barn find, but now won't start... 1966 200 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jun 2012
Vehicle: 1966 Mercedes Benz 200
Location: Seattle, WA
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barn find, but now won't start... 1966 200

hello, i just purchased a '66 200 in baby blue. it's in REALLY great shape with the exception of a few rusty spots, no perforation though. it's all original, interior immaculate, a real treat. i got it running at the folks house who i purchased it from, but after trailering it home, i can't get it started.

the starter turns the engine anywhere from 0-4 times before "whirring" out. sometimes it just clicks, other times it acts as if the battery is low. it sounds like the starter is failing, but it cranked really confidently when i was first trying to get the car running. the battery is fully charged. i've tried connecting jumper cables directly to the starter, and i get the same effect. i've tried turning the motor to get a fresh spot on the gear, but the whirring is the same.

odd thing is, if i leave the car in gear and turn the key, it will roll forward, even up a slight grade.

does this sound like the starter? i don't know much about cars, let alone these older mercedes, other than i'm thrilled to own it and cannot wait to drive it!

thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 09:42 PM
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Date registered: Jan 2007
Vehicle: 1962 W111 220SE Coupe
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Welcome to BenzWorld!
You didn't specify if the car had been sitting or for how long, but as a rule you always clean the fuel lines and test that engine can turn before attempting to start. You know the engine isn't seized already, but still not a bad idea to drain the fuel, clean lines and add fresh if it was sitting for a long period. From your description it sounds like the bendix on the starter is stuck, maybe you can remove it and move it around to free it up or give it a clean, but you may just want to rebuild the whole starter for peace of mind.
Let's see some pics, and please update your User CP with your location and specifics on the model you have so others can more easily offer advice.

-Marrs

The Coupe Group (W111/112 coupes and cabs)official website
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"Too many people are working at jobs they hate, to buy things they don't particularly want, to impress people they don't even care about." --Dr. Deepak Chopra
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Jun 2012
Vehicle: 1966 Mercedes Benz 200
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thanks! and hello to everybody (i am so excited to get this thing running i skipped the formalities (-

the car had only sat for about a year. it wasn't daily driven, but it was driven. the tank was almost bone dry, i put fresh premium and a splash of fuel treatment in. also, i popped the fuel lines off the carbs and let them squirt a little before reattaching them. that's about all the fuel delivery work i did. that and some pyroil.

the research i've done does lead to either the drive (bendix) or the ring gear, but it fascinates me how far and strong the car will roll when started in gear.

there's a parts rebuilder in town, and i plan to pull the starter and have it rebuilt this weekend. the cost is only $80, as opposed to ordering a bosch reman for $160. plus the warranty is in town!

i'll certainly fill that out in my profile.

thanks for your prompt response!
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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these are the only pics on my phone, and it's already dark out
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 12:49 AM
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One word: WOW!

Congratulations on the purchase. That is indeed a (great) barn find.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 01:00 AM
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Looks like DB335 "Mercedes Blue" from the pics, great color combo with that interior, nice find indeed! There's a Benz corral at the Portland historic races in July but I think you need to have registered thru MBCA by June 1st, but you can still attend and chat up some other members.

-Marrs

The Coupe Group (W111/112 coupes and cabs)official website
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"Too many people are working at jobs they hate, to buy things they don't particularly want, to impress people they don't even care about." --Dr. Deepak Chopra
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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certainly the best $1,000 i've ever spent! i'll undoubtedly be hamming it up soon, but unfortunately it sits until the starter gets repaired.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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Vehicle: 1989 560 SL - Signal Red & Palomino; 2011 C-300 - Black on Black 4MATIC
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Great looking car, and a very good buy at $1,000 - I am convinced based on the number of these that turn up in great shape that these were really built to an incredibly high standard. Do yourself a favor, having bought this car so cheaply, as Marr's says, change out all fluids. Do a full tune up, and change out all hoses and belts. This will go a long way towards confident use. The hobby is much more fun if you can depend on your car.

You mentioned premium gas - this I would circle back on, if the engine does not call for premium (don't recall on these models) then don't use it. A lot of people believe it is just "better gas" - not the case, octane is merely an antiknock agent, for cars with higher compression engines, to prevent "ping" or "knock" -- ignition at any time other than during the ignition stroke in your engine initiated by your sparkplug is "knock". An engine that does not need premium can actually be inhibited a bit by premium, it helps in no other area, not to mention the cost differential. This is especially true in older vehicles with ignition systems that are not as robust as todays electronic ignition. One tank full won't hurt, I am just suggesting a better practice for you going forward.

That said, agree on your decision to pull starter, & rebuild locally. Take a few minutes to pull the plugs and examine & clean/replace, and check the points, if you are not comfortable doing this, get someone to do that. The next investment I would make would be a shop manual & owner's manual if you do not already have them. Even if you have most of your work done, it will help to know what needs to be done, plan preventive maintenance and assist your mechanic in diagnosing issues.

If it ran well when you picked it up, you will be able to get it to run well and set it up to be dependable, likely for a small investment. Looks really good cosmetically, enjoy it!


1989 Mercedes 560 SL
1930 Ford A Roadster
1914 Ford T Speedster

Last edited by OldWorldShepherds; 06-14-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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i'll check inside the gas door for fuel recommendation, or perhaps i'll consult the ORIGINAL owner's manual and service manual that came with the car (-;

the previous owner said he was putting premium in it, but it's true many people assume a "premium" car needs premium fuel.

i will undoubtedly have a local mercedes shop replace all belts and hoses as per shepherd's suggestion while they do my tune-up. i haven't pulled the plugs, but the coil, distributor cap, and rotor all appear to be relatively new.

any other suggestions?

thx
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 08:02 PM
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I hate to say it, but if you wanna go straight by the manual (I misplaced mine right now) even premium gas isn't a high enough octane. The manual calls for 95 octane rating (Highest most gas stations have is 92), with attenuation possible to 87 octane with decreased performance (meaning you would have to change carburetor and possibly spark plug settings sacrificing engine performance for lower octane).

BUT!!! If you do a little research in the topic you'll come across THIS DOCUMENT which says an octane rating of 95 in the 1950s-1960s is equivalent to 89 octane now days.

...So the car needs mid-grade.
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