1973 280SE Won't Start... Ran Fine when parked... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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1973 280SE Won't Start... Ran Fine when parked...

Here's the story:

In 2002, I acquired a 1973 dove-gray 280 SE with hard-top, named Claire:

I drove her the 3,000ish miles from San Diego, CA to Rochester, NY, and then for another six months, until it started snowing. She then sat for a year and a half (no, I didn't start her to keep the batteries charged... I know... I know.)

When I did try and start her, of course, she wouldn't turn over... so I went to Sears, bought a new battery (bringing the old one with me for reference), put the new battery in, tried to turn her over and - again - she wouldn't catch. I gave up for the night, and when I went back in the a.m. and turned the key - nothing happened. Zero, zilch, nada. Recharged the battery, thinking maybe I'd left the lights on - but nothing.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 01:56 PM
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RE: 1973 280SE Won't Start... Ran Fine when parked...

Check the ground at the back of the engine to the frame. About a 2'cable. The engine won't start if the ground is loose or broken. Check your fusebox and be sure the fuel pump fuse is okay. Voltage regulator or relay could be faulty too. What kind of work have you had done on it besides a new battery?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2006, 02:20 PM
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RE: 1973 280SE Won't Start... Ran Fine when parked...

it cant be anything too big. clean all battery connections and connections to starter. Replace plugs, ht leads etc, maybe give any bare metal electrical componants a spray with wd40 incase there is any moisture, charge the battery and take it from there... if nothing then you might have to start thinking about pulling fuel lines to see if there is a problem with the delivery

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-22-2006, 12:32 PM
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Do you get any dashboard lights when you turn the key? I sometimes have this issue with my w115 where the starter motor gets stuck. The engine won't turn over but I do get lights on the dash indicating that there is juice in the battery.

Usually a little knock on the top of the starter motor with a spanner sorts it out and the it starts up no problems.

Might be worth a try?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2006, 04:22 AM
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It will flood.

The feed pump for the MFI must be running as soon as you turn on the igniton,do that first,then sticxk your ear under the car by the drivers side rear wheel,you should hear the puimp humming.If not,check the fuse .replace itand if it blows again you have a stuck feed pump.They are simple enough to repair,but easier if the pump is off the the car.replace the rubber lines if you do pull it off.Use modern EFI hose ,it's available at any parts and accessory place.
OK,so the pump is working...have you got spark?,get a extra plug,pull a lead and plug the plug ( :-) ) into that and lay it on the head so it has a good ground.crank the engine and see it if sparks.
No spark? check the points gap. No gap- no spark - no run.
Points gap OK? .change the condensor and check the coil leads are tight on the coil.
Still no go? ,check the rotor arm is in good conditon with NO cracks .
Are the plug and coil leads nice and clean and good tight fit into the coil and dissy cap? .
OK so you have spark,you have fuel...pull a plug from the engine and check that the plug has fuel on it,or at least smells of fuel..to check the MFI is working.
Still not running?
with cap off the distributor,turn the engine over and see if the rotor is turning..if not,the timing chain has broken.,and yes it does happen on these engines.
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