I collected a Diesel expert van from a mate yesterday who has had it sitting around since just before Christmas. It started ok but he did say he had to jump start it yesterday as the battery had gone flat. It wont start this morning at all, turned over fine but just refuses to start. I am contemplating changing the glow plugs. I know my way around petrol engines but diesel is alien to me although i did change the glow plugs on a diesel fiesta a couple of years ago. It drove fine yesterday and started again fine when I got home but it's not playing ball this morning :(
As the battery was flat yesterday, I would firstly connect up to a battery charger if possible as diesels need all the help they can get in this weather.
While that is charging, disconnect the bus cable connecting the four glow plugs.
Find a high wattage bulb or pinch one of the headlamp bulbs & connect one side of the bulb to the battery positive. Connect the other side of the bulb to each of the glow plugs one at a time. If the bulb lights, you probably have a good glow plug although a small possibility it might still be faulty if the element is partially short circuit but rare. Any that don't light the bulb up replace with a new Beru plug.
Connect back up the bus cable & feed cable. Press the fuel feed primer bulb a few times until hard, then try to start again.
If still no go, get your bulb again, this time connect one end to earth & the other side of the bulb to the glow plug bus cable still connected to the glow plugs.
Switch on the ignition & the bulb should light brightly. If it fails to light, get a stout cable such as a jump lead. Connect one end to the glow plug bus cable & the other end to the battery positive. Make sure there is no way it can come into contact with any exposed metal to cause a short. Now try starting.
Thanks dieselnut, I will try all of that but at the moment I am still trying to get the black 'airbox?' off the top of the engine. I have removed the four allen screws but it is still stuck fast. I have resorted to a fan heater under the bonnet just to get some feeling back in my fingers. The battery is on charge.