1985 Mercedes 280 TE - MUST DO's - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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1985 Mercedes 280 TE - MUST DO's

Hey all,

Just picked up a 1985 Mercedes TE with 225K miles and it hasn't been driven since 1997. Basically it's been in storage beneath an apartment complex. Runs pretty rough. I have a pretty good understanding of the basics required to get this back on the road, but I'd like to hear the a few suggestions, or a list of must-do's to bring the 280 TE back and running properly.....mechanically.


Here's a pic. Great lines.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 07:49 AM
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Vehicle: 1985 190E 2.3-16
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One problem you may run into is old fuel, could be why it's running rough. Back in February, I found a 190 16v in a barn where it had been for several years. Took me a while to figure out why it would start, but had no power to speak of - old fuel residue clogging up the fuel distributor. I'm guessing the TE indicates injected, and it will probably have the old Bosch CIS mechanical injection system. Fairly simple, but just about devoid of any diagnostics.

I would suggest you first change out the fuel filter - heaven knows what's in there.

Spark plugs... be sure you have the right ones for that engine. The older vehicles don't have the very high voltage sparking systems of contemporary engines, and are pickier about their plugs.

If it still runs rough, you may have old fuel residue clogging up the injectors, or the fuel distributor. First, try injector cleaner in the fuel at 2x the normal concentration. If that doesn't clean things out, you can pull the injectors and give them a carb cleaner bath, not that hard to take them out. Or replace them - they're not that expensive.

With the 190 16v I found in a barn last spring, I had done all of that and it still had no power over 3k. I ended up putting the injectors and fuel distributor in an ultrasonic cleaner, using parts cleaner as a liquid medium. Three two hour sessions finally cleared out the crud, and it runs like gangbusters now.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:32 AM
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Even when you get it running optimally, it's a 12 mpg car.

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 08:32 AM
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Running the gas engine on 13 years old fuel is asking for troubles. You should drop the tank, clean the strainer, replace all filters and make sure no crude is going into injectors or carburetor.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 11:35 AM
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Before you start it for the first time it would be a good idea to replace the fluids and filters, especially oil. Also, changing the belt(s) would be a good thing to do.
As others have said, don't run it on the old fuel.

Is there a reason it hasn't been run since 1997?

1979 Pontiac Firebird 5.7- 86,142 miles
1981 Chevrolet Corvette 5.7
1984 Mercedes 190D 2.2 Auto - 140,628 miles
1987 Chevrolet Sprint 1.0 - 139,000 miles
1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais S - 123,000 miles
1989 Chrysler New Yorker - 95,000 miles
1991 Dodge Stealth R/T - 101,000 miles
1999 Dodge Durango - 178,000 miles
2003 Dodge Dakota - 203,000 miles
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2011, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it.

I seriously don't understand why it's been sitting in a parking garage for 13 years, the individual I purchased it off (1K) had high hopes of restoring it, which fell pretty short.

The vehicle is at my repair guy, he's telling the same thing, needs the basic tune up, plugs, filters, etc. After that, he saying it's in great shape and could be daily driver with a few more odds and ends, which is pretty good news after taking the covers off three days ago...

Keeping my fingers crossed.
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