Date registered: Jan 2011
Vehicle: 1985 190E 2.3-16
Location: Versailles, KY USA
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Quoted: 1 Post(s)
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.