changing glow plugs on a 2008 Sprinter V6

hightechcoonass

New member
reminder... slow and steady using a deep 8 mm socket. Slowly loosening and tightening back a fourth....

I had a #3 glow plug fault so I changed all 3 on the right bank... I will do the 3 on the left back next month.
111 K miles on the engine... the #1 looked fairly new previous owner changed it.


step one remove the air filter... loosen hose clamp and remove to plugs.... just snaps on the rubber mounts...




step 2 remove heat sheild .... 6 torxs heads 1/4 turn last 2 in the back clip in...


step 3 remove intake hose to turbo... loosen hose clamp and you can leave air flow sensor connected and move aside...

step 4 remove oil fill filler neck... unbolt and turn 90 degs.
then remove sheild... no bolts... clips on.. wires are clipped on the rear....


step 5 then remove the rubber insulation... no bolts ... just snug fitted....



here are the glow plugs to the right of the fuel rail...
here you see the plug is right under the plier tip... using the pliers pull the small grey plugs... sorta like a spark plug connection...


clean the port thoroughly before you attempt removal!! lots of grit accumulates here... #3 shown here



number #1 shown here... remove little gadget to access...



I also replaced my controller.... shown here bolted to the front on the engine...





after completion disconnect battery to clear the check engine light!

cylinders--- arrow points to the front of the grill for reference...

 
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lindenengineering

Well-known member
A small but important tip!
Once the oil filler cap and neck is off--You should have had the ex British Sgnt Major bellowing in your ear--as I did in 1964!

PLUG THAT BLOODY HOLE UP WITH SHOP TOWEL!

You see if there was anything lurking about loose under that cover, or something in your pocket it has the ability to fall into the timing chest! Believe me if anything can fall it will find itself in the chest--Its Murphy's law!
In short if something falls in it WILL break the chain or come flying out through a hole punched into the right valve cover upon start up!. Wallet flush time!

Second safety tip!
I can see you do not do manual labor--office worker perhaps?
Remove the watch and ring before working on vehicles, serious injury can result! :thumbdown:

Guys how many more times do I have to mention this!:thumbdown:
One slip and it half a day at the clinic A&E!
Plus pain, lots of it!
Dennis
Mechanic
 
I just replaced 4, 5, and 6 and have a few hints to contribute. First, before you even start, make sure that your 8mm deep socket is deep enough to slide over the entire hex part of the new glow plug shaft. Some sockets aren't drilled deep enough. Without much difficulty, I was able to remove the electrical connectors with a hefty needlenose plier. The special tool probably makes it even easier. They just pull off. Once loosened, I spun out the old plugs, and spun in the new ones using a piece of rubber hose that fit tightly over the electrical stud at the top of the plug. When torquing the new glow plugs to 97 in-lb, it felt way too tight to me. I verified the torque wrench was correct in 2 different ways. Guess I was terrified of shearing off the plugs with excessive torque.

Specific to cylinders 4, 5, and 6, first read the #5 replacement thread at sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33956 . My #6 was out. One person said he replaced #6 without removing the turbocharger pipe and resonator. I couldn't figure out how and did the removals. For this, you need some external torx sockets because the engine is put together with e-torx bolts. Some e-torx box wrenches would be nice. Lacking them, I used a socket held by vise-grips on one bolt head. There's no perfectly straight path to the glow plugs. Mercedes sells a special tool to solve this. I used wobble extensions which worked great. Once the turbo pipe and resonator are gone, the biggest obstacle is a wiring harness that's in the way of everywhere you need to get to, and can't be moved around a whole lot. You have to strike the balance between the access you need and not damaging the harness. Cutting off a ziptie holding the harness allows just enough movement. It's a bit difficult to replace.

Considering the price of the glow plugs, the work needed to get to them, and the risk of breaking things, it seems sensible to me to replace all three on whichever side you're working on.
 

hightechcoonass

New member
Thanks for the write up. I did the same - if you are in the process do all 3.
I will do 4,5,and 6 this summer. Remember to clean the area well before removal.
If anyone is doing 4,5,6 please post pics.
I have 150,000 miles and I feel the more often they are changed (at least every 100 k miles)
less chance of sticking.
I just replaced 4, 5, and 6 and have a few hints to contribute. First, before you even start, make sure that your 8mm deep socket is deep enough to slide over the entire hex part of the new glow plug shaft. Some sockets aren't drilled deep enough. Without much difficulty, I was able to remove the electrical connectors with a hefty needlenose plier. The special tool probably makes it even easier. They just pull off. Once loosened, I spun out the old plugs, and spun in the new ones using a piece of rubber hose that fit tightly over the electrical stud at the top of the plug. When torquing the new glow plugs to 97 in-lb, it felt way too tight to me. I verified the torque wrench was correct in 2 different ways. Guess I was terrified of shearing off the plugs with excessive torque.

Specific to cylinders 4, 5, and 6, first read the #5 replacement thread at sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33956 . My #6 was out. One person said he replaced #6 without removing the turbocharger pipe and resonator. I couldn't figure out how and did the removals. For this, you need some external torx sockets because the engine is put together with e-torx bolts. Some e-torx box wrenches would be nice. Lacking them, I used a socket held by vise-grips on one bolt head. There's no perfectly straight path to the glow plugs. Mercedes sells a special tool to solve this. I used wobble extensions which worked great. Once the turbo pipe and resonator are gone, the biggest obstacle is a wiring harness that's in the way of everywhere you need to get to, and can't be moved around a whole lot. You have to strike the balance between the access you need and not damaging the harness. Cutting off a ziptie holding the harness allows just enough movement. It's a bit difficult to replace.

Considering the price of the glow plugs, the work needed to get to them, and the risk of breaking things, it seems sensible to me to replace all three on whichever side you're working on.
 
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rhemsher

Sprinter Lover
IF [hopefully NOT] the glow plug snaps off in the head .... what is the procedure to remove [w/o removing the head].

Is there a way to loosen the glow plug in the proper manner to avoid a snapped plug ... possibly a cleaner, solvent etc. [I do realize the breakage is normally in the head ... but is there a chemical that can be ran thru with fuel to loosen?]

I only have 60k miles on the engine ... but the MIL indicaton comes on when starting AND the OBDII tells me there are [3] glow plug failures! With that low mileage, would you expect to have the GP stuck?

I have read of reamers to remove carbon b4 installing the new GPs ... would you expect again w/low mileage to have to do that?


Thanx,

Ray
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
I only have 60k miles on the engine ... but the MIL indicaton comes on when starting AND the OBDII tells me there are [3] glow plug failures!
If you have the old style glow plug controller (likely with an early NCV3) you may want to replace that first as it is known to be troublesome and occasionally report bad plugs when they are actually OK. Since you would probably want to update the controller anyway it's a good first step. If the new controller still reports the same bad plugs, have at 'em.
 

bcislander

'07 Mercedes-badged Dodge
snip....

Is there a way to loosen the glow plug in the proper manner to avoid a snapped plug ... possibly a cleaner, solvent etc. [I do realize the breakage is normally in the head ... but is there a chemical that can be ran thru with fuel to loosen?]

I only have 60k miles on the engine ... but the MIL indicaton comes on when starting AND the OBDII tells me there are [3] glow plug failures! With that low mileage, would you expect to have the GP stuck?

I have read of reamers to remove carbon b4 installing the new GPs ... would you expect again w/low mileage to have to do that?


Thanx,

Ray
+1 on smiller's suggestion to change out the 'old style' GP controller first to see if that might be the problem.

FWIW, my 2007 has about the same mileage as your 2008 and within the last year, I have replaced GPs 1 through 4, without having any problems extracting the old GPs. I didn't use any penetrant, the GPs came out without any 'drama'.

I didn't observe any unusual carbon deposits on the old GPs, so I don't think a reamer would be required. Of course, YMMV.
 

rhemsher

Sprinter Lover
Wondering if you replaced the glow plug controller as was suggested by last post by smiller? I would assume{:hmmm:] you would have mentioned that.

Were your symptoms the same/similar to mine [light on dash and OBDII codes]?

I would rather not throw parts at the situation but can understand if the controller is know to fail ... this would be the time.

Also wondering if you replaced the engine cover ... have been reading threads where the dealers are leaving them off to avoid Black Death on Gp #5 due to partially burnt diesel going unseen and heated to a very hard mass making it sometimes impossible to remove in future?
 

bcislander

'07 Mercedes-badged Dodge
The first failure occurred while I was on the road near the beginning of a long trip. At first the GP indicator light would stay on for a short while after the engine was running. Later it stayed on constantly while the engine was running. The service facility diagnosed a faulty GP (#1) and controller. Both were replaced at that time.

The later GP failures occurred while I was near home, so I replaced them myself. The same GP indicator staying on signaled their failure. I didn't check the OBDII codes, but used my Autel to access the Sprinter-specific codes which indicated the exact GP that had failed. Now waiting for #5 or #6 to fail so that I can replace them both, or I may decide to get proactive & replace them before the next long trip. I also bought the O-Rings and seal ring for the charge air side joints that have to be removed in order to more easily access GPs #5 & #6. I figure that they should be due after nearly 10y under high temperature & pressure operation.

I replaced all engine covers. Black Death does not seem to be a problem with the V6 diesels. It was more common with the 5-cyl. T1N diesels.
 
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@hightechcoonass -- Your instructs and pics were TREMENDOUSLY helpful. Mission Accomplished on GP's 1-2-3. Now does anyone have similar step-by-step for GP's 4-5-6? It would be great to know even where to find them and how much other stuff is in the way and needing removal to get to them.

Huge Thank You to all forum posters. My local Sprinter dealer is more interested in picking my pockets, than in being fair-minded. I understand they need to make a profit, but that profit does NOT to be obscene. Although I am NOT a grease-monkey by any stretch of the imagination, I hopefully, am pretty decent in assessing what I can or cannot do -- given my skillset or lack thereof.

Thanks again!
 

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Having read your post narrative I have some lingering questions.
Notably at what level do you feel the dealer you are using quote "Is picking your pocket"?

You have not disclosed what the estimate was to change out the "glows" and possibly the controller! So it hard for me to assess whether you are being charged the average tariff or you are being potentially overcharged.

Guys!
Why oh why do you folk gripe about repair charges on this forum yet NEVER disclose what was the estimate of charges for the job or procedure in question !

All to often I read "Oh Woe is Me" like Ophelia in the 3rd act of Hamlet yet I never get any respondent replies as the whether this like the Hamlet play is a (financial) tragedy or a flaming cry for sympathy because like many Americans you don't have the money to maintain your favored ride!
Sorry but it needs stating!

So here is my standard quote for a phone in customer!
See if what you were quoted is anything like this?

The labor time to change out 6 glow plugs is 2 hours & that includes the glow plug controller and clearing out any associated codes.
Glow plugs are $37 each.

Now caution there is a cavea
t.
If these original glow plugs have been previously installed in a careless manner , or non MB genuine spec glow plugs used previously then there is a distinct possibility that the glow plugs might break in the head requiring extra time to remove the broken stem. Each broken glow plug removal is $200 additional to the tariff!.
Should the glow plugs be glued in and special activities be encountered it may dictate cylinder head removal and rectification. This will be estimated upon such encounters which are generally rare but have been discovered on occasion.
Dennis
 
Back to basics and the request on post 10 this thread. Note: I am the son of a mechanic and have been piddling with motorcycles and cars (nothing too serious) for 61 years. I am 75 and had a Harley-Davidson 125 c.c. at 14. That being said how the hell do you get the get the engine cover off the right bank? Frankly I had great difficulty getting the resonator and tube to the turbo off. By the way where does the green "O" ring go? The resonator end has a black "O" ring and the infamous orange seal is on the turbo opening. By the way (again) an 8mm socket will get those male torque head bolts and 10mm will get the larger ones. Frankly I would not recommend anyone without a pretty good tool chest to work on these things unless he is interested in buying tools. Mayby someone should make a list of suggested tools for their toolchest.

Back to the cover on the right bank it looks to me like I have to remove the power brake booster to get it off but if so I think someone would have mentioned it.

So what is the magic trick? Experienced people just do things without thinking as they have all these "knacks" in their mental toolkit. I worked two hours this afternoon and still don't have it off. I am leaving town in the morning and wanted to spray Zep 45 on the glows before I left and again we I got back.
 

bcislander

'07 Mercedes-badged Dodge
Back to basics and the request on post 10 this thread. Note: I am the son of a mechanic and have been piddling with motorcycles and cars (nothing too serious) for 61 years. I am 75 and had a Harley-Davidson 125 c.c. at 14. That being said how the hell do you get the get the engine cover off the right bank? Frankly I had great difficulty getting the resonator and tube to the turbo off. By the way where does the green "O" ring go? The resonator end has a black "O" ring and the infamous orange seal is on the turbo opening. By the way (again) an 8mm socket will get those male torque head bolts and 10mm will get the larger ones. Frankly I would not recommend anyone without a pretty good tool chest to work on these things unless he is interested in buying tools. Mayby someone should make a list of suggested tools for their toolchest.

Back to the cover on the right bank it looks to me like I have to remove the power brake booster to get it off but if so I think someone would have mentioned it.

So what is the magic trick? Experienced people just do things without thinking as they have all these "knacks" in their mental toolkit. I worked two hours this afternoon and still don't have it off. I am leaving town in the morning and wanted to spray Zep 45 on the glows before I left and again we I got back.
Have a look at this thread: https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33956

I don't remember having any problems with the engine cover on the 4-5-6 bank when I replaced GP #4. You certainly do NOT have to remove the brake booster. In fact, the pic in post #10 in the thread I referenced seems to show that the GPs can be replaced without removing the engine cover.

I agree that removing the turbo piping was difficult. The green O-ring sits in the joint between the turbo outlet and the pipe that connects the turbo outlet to the resonator input.
 

Red Eye

New member
I'll be joining all of you in changing out my Glow Plugs on my 2008 Sprinter soon. To me, the frustrating part is that I have an old 1964 Cat 10 Grader, all glow plugs are original and they still work perfectly, This is 50 year old technology, and Mercedes can't design a glow plug to last more than a few years.... ? Maybe they should go copy the Caterpillar design.....
 

onealfre

New member
Invaluable information, thank you!:rad:



reminder... slow and steady using a deep 8 mm socket. Slowly loosening and tightening back a fourth....

I had a #3 glow plug fault so I changed all 3 on the right bank... I will do the 3 on the left back next month.
111 K miles on the engine... the #1 looked fairly new previous owner changed it.


step one remove the air filter... loosen hose clamp and remove to plugs.... just snaps on the rubber mounts...




step 2 remove heat sheild .... 6 torxs heads 1/4 turn last 2 in the back clip in...


step 3 remove intake hose to turbo... loosen hose clamp and you can leave air flow sensor connected and move aside...

step 4 remove oil fill filler neck... unbolt and turn 90 degs.
then remove sheild... no bolts... clips on.. wires are clipped on the rear....


step 5 then remove the rubber insulation... no bolts ... just snug fitted....



here are the glow plugs to the right of the fuel rail...
here you see the plug is right under the plier tip... using the pliers pull the small grey plugs... sorta like a spark plug connection...


clean the port thoroughly before you attempt removal!! lots of grit accumulates here... #3 shown here



number #1 shown here... remove little gadget to access...



I also replaced my controller.... shown here bolted to the front on the engine...





after completion disconnect battery to clear the check engine light!

cylinders--- arrow points to the front of the grill for reference...

 

GA_Boy

New member
My MB service Guy said $745.00 to change # 2 and #4. He said parts were the major expense.:thumbdown:
I priced them at AutoZone and they are $24.00 each. :thumbup: HHHhhhhhhMmmmmmm
Marvin
 
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SprinterTeck

Gray hair tech
do not use the autozone ones. they will burn up and mushroom and removal will require speical tools... Buy the OEM ones and install them yourself. I have seen this happen way too many times, and I believe Mercedes came out with a Li document about not using the Bosch or OEM Mercedes GP. Also I have had great luck with using the Mercedes-Benz GOLD transmission fluid that is in the new front wheel drive cars... The gold fluid is only type that can seep into the pores of the aluminum and get the plugs free up. I put a single drop on each one at the threads after engine is nice and hot. Let it sit for about 30 min, and then remove the plugs with ease. However that fluid is only avaliable at dealer and kind of $$$... SO alternative is a can of Kroil and or Creep from sea foam. Also I have just started using a can of YIELD H2 Penetrant and Release Agent. It cost me $22.99 at Federal Auto Parts. Im not sure if Advance or autozone may carry it. Chemsearch is the brand. Website is www.chemsearch.com and or to re order call 1-800-527-9921 and or fax at 1-800-456-0010 and that information came right off the can. It smells worse than the Kroil but works just as good if not better.
 

smiller

2008 View J (2007 NCV3 3500)
... I believe Mercedes came out with a Li document about not using the Bosch or OEM Mercedes GP...
If you are not supposed to use the Bosch or OEM Mercedes part then what are you supposed to use?

I have never once heard of the correct Bosch plug being a problem, in fact I've read that at various times during production MB has used the Bosch part. If anyone has a MB document indicating that the Bosch plugs are a problem I'd like to see it, and probably so would the many people on the forum who have installed Bosch plugs. I tend to doubt that such a notice exists.

I do agree that you probably way to stay away from generic Autozone stuff, that often ends up inviting trouble regardless of the type of repair.

.
 
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SprinterTeck

Gray hair tech
Buy the OEM ones and install them yourself. I have seen this happen way too many times, and I believe Mercedes came out with a Li document about not using the Bosch or OEM Mercedes GP.


I stated to buy the OEM ones. The LI document states that NOT USING BOSCH or OEM will not work. Never said that you should not use BOSCH or oem. And I'll post the document today. It just says to never use anything other than BOSCH or oem.
 

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