280SE wont start, help! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2010
Vehicle: 1971 280SE
Location: Kansas City
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280SE wont start, help!

My 71 280se has never given me any problems. I went outside the other day and when i turn the key i get a single click. It kind of sounds like its coming from the starter silinoid but i could be wrong. The battery is a brand new red top optimum. I took it out and put it on the charger. Put it back in and the same thing happened, single click. I moved the starter wires around to see if any were loose, non seemed to be. Anyone have any ideas of where to start? I need to get this thing running asap.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-18-2011, 07:38 PM
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Sounds like either dirty/ loose cables ,a stuck solenoid or a toasted starter. Did you try the ol rap tap tap on the starter, or turn motor a little by hand (works sometimes to free a stuck solenoid).

If your starter is gone, take it to "East West" on troost. that little dude has 24 hr service 12 month warrentee and real fair prices.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Beat the starter with a metal pole, nothing. Checked connections, although dirty they are still attached. Im going to pull the starter and take it in to get tested i guess.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 08:01 PM
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I've seen corrosion under the insulation of cables, taking out enough of the conductor to produce the same symptom. First thing I would do is to remove the battery connection, and clean the terminals and the inside of the connectors.

If that fixes you, go to the auto parts store and get some electrical contact grease, and smear a THIN film on the posts, and reassemble. The grease will exclude air and moisture, preventing corrosion.

You may need to go through your car and loosen, clean, and retighten connections, including grounds. The contact grease would be useful there, too.

Although, it could still be a frotzed starter, but I usually want to check the cheap stuff first.

Remember: It's not just a car. It's an Adventure.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 10:05 AM
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pull the starter, clean, replace brushes (maybe) disassemble solenoid, clean copper parts. Note this needs a large soldering iron, chances are that this has never been done. These starters are most reliable until the dirt and age catches up.

Now for the fun part..... getting it out
An early W108 has a access window on the trans tunnel to get the upper starter bolt out, later version needs about 5 ft of 1/2" drive extensions, u-joints and hex head driver and a breaker bar. this is not fun.

Brian O
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