Car starts, but dies when in gear - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Car starts, but dies when in gear

Hi guys! My 1979 450SL had trouble starting this morning. Check all fluids, oil was down, added some, tried again, and voila, it started. The minute I put it in reverse it died. Idles great in park and neutral, but put it in gear and it dies. It seems to be flooding the minute I put it in gear. Quick check of hoses, don't see anything out of place. It ran just fine yesterday, didn't do anything weird or out of the ordinary. Parked in driveway, and now it's doing this. Any thoughts or ideas of what it could be?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-05-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Question

This also sounds like it could be the fuel/air mixture. This may sound dumb but what controls that in this vehicle? I know that there is a part right next to the air filter which has a big screw on it, which you can turn. The mechanic I took it to, awhile back, had it screwed all the way down because it was idling really rough when hot, and would die. Never did find out from the guy what the part was, and he said he could get for 140 bucks, but would charge me 350 to replace it. So, I said no. But I'm think this is the part that is bad. I've attached a picture of what I'm talking about. Can anyone tell me the part number or even name of this part?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Some good news...

So, the guy who looked at my car got it running, sort of. He told me there is a major vacuum leak at the intake manifold. He said the bolts were loose, so he tightened them up and since the car had been running so rich, the plugs were all fouled up, and he cleaned those, and adjusted the idle mixture. I can drive for a bit (just to get me to the store and stuff) but it starts to act up after a couple of miles, and I have to put it in park at stop lights to keep it from dying. He said he could get it all fixed for around 1100.00, mainly labor, which I don't have, so I will be doing the work myself. Is it hard to redo the seals on the intake manifold? Or just time consuming? I am also going to replace all the vacuum hoses to the intake. Anything I need to be aware of as I do this? Thanks in advance for your input.

p
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 11:49 AM
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At this point there are SO many things to consider,
How many miles on the car?
First and number one how is the compression?
If you get into the motor and you need a valve job?
You have to start at the basic stuff,
can't just throw band-aid fixes at the motor.
IT need an assessment of condition.

Then there are so many other details to fix while the intake manifold is off,

Brian O
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 03:50 PM
Boring Cars...meh!
 
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Vacuum leaks are K Jetronics nemesis. Those are cheap to fix and must be done before anything else. If when you turn that screw and idle changes, it is 9/10 times good. How old are your plug wires, cap and rotor?

K Jetronic Basics

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c328/nutz4benz/W123/6C3A9CA5-EDFF-4834-8125-34B70B20A676_zpsiyesrawz.jpg
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm pretty sure that this all revolves around the air/fuel and the K Jetronic system. The engine runs great as long as the car is in park or neutral. The engine has about 200K on it. The last mechanic I took this car to said that the air control valve was broken and he screwed it all the way down to fix the problem. So it has been running rich for a while, but I did replaced the cap, rotor and plugs about six months ago. I knew I need to get in there and work on it, but the car was running great, and time passed. My friend who looked at this last week said that he put in a good air control valve (I don't think that's the name of it, but nobody seems to know the actual name of that part I posted a picture of) and it was still doing the same thing. Vacuum leaks are a big part of my problem with this car, and I need to get in there and change all the old hoses out. I'm going to study that guide you pointed me to, and get into this weekend. My husband also suggested I replace the fuel filter, as about a week and a half ago, I let the tank get down to the point that the reserve tank kicked in, and he said that since I never do that, there could have been gunk in the tank that clogged the filter. I'm a decent mechanic for a girl, but this will be my first time really getting into a car. Mostly, its been changing alternators, radiators, starters, and such. So, I may be back here again, asking questions. Thanks for the help.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 06:40 PM
Boring Cars...meh!
 
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The part in your photo is called an auxiliary air valve.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c328/nutz4benz/W123/6C3A9CA5-EDFF-4834-8125-34B70B20A676_zpsiyesrawz.jpg
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. Yes, that's one part I know is good!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Another Question

Okay, I'm pretty sure this is probably self-evident to most of you, but it's not to me. I am going to start removing the intake manifold tonight, but have been examining the manuals and such. One of the directions has me confused. It says "Deactivate fuel lines." Exactly what does that mean?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-18-2010, 07:04 PM
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If you've been replacing alternators and starters then you can also deal with the intake manifold. Basically all rubber parts in the V should be replaced as they have been cooked with heat and time. Not too expensive, but time consuming. This includes the seal rings between the plenum and the runners (between higher and lower part of the manifold).
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