280SL, dies after 10 minutes, +/- - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Feb 2006
Vehicle: '92 400E 5.0; '91 500; '98 CL600; '92 300D, 2.5; 1965 250S, SBC V8
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Question 280SL, dies after 10 minutes, +/-

My 71 280 SL starts and runs great, but after short drives or idling for 5 minutes or so, will change exhaust note, like it's leaning out and stall. It will recrank immediately and repeat the cycle. Fuel gauge at the cold start valve shows 8 PSI consistent, even as car starts to stall. Removed and cleaned tank, some minor rust residue, but tank drained easily. Car has new optic trigger points, new coil, don't think it's electrical. The fuel pump is about 2 years old and since the pressure is good and the fuel gauge stays consistent, don't think that's the problem. Can ethanol blend gas cause this? Initially car runs flawless so I really doubt there is an issue with the injection pump either. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 11:53 AM
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Date registered: Jul 2010
Vehicle: 1967 250SE (W108)
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What's required to get it started after it dies?
Had a similar issue with a clogged fuel filter. Would die after 10 minutes. Letting it sit for a few minutes would cause some of the dirt on the filter to fall to the bottom of the bowl, allowing it to start again. Worth checking.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Feb 2006
Vehicle: '92 400E 5.0; '91 500; '98 CL600; '92 300D, 2.5; 1965 250S, SBC V8
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Smile 280Sl issue

Since I had a similar problem with a 220SEb, I again looked at the fuel tank. On the SEb there was a hose in the tank from the return pipe to the "well" where the screen and the fuel feed tube exits. The company that cleaned and coated the tank destroyed the hose and then sealed the feed ports to the well so once the tank was less than half full, no fuel could flow into the well. I had to cut the tank open, repair the fuel hose and drill 4 additional 4mm holes to get the well supplied. On the 280 SL, there are only metal pipes in the tank, no hoses. The return fuel flows into the well. However, if the feed holes from the tank to the well are blocked, eventually the well runs dry and the car shuts off. After sitting even a few seconds or minutes, enough fuel will still flow into the well and it will start, only to die again once the well runs dry (again). The only solution is to cut open the tank from the top, drill a number of additional holes into the well so that fuel flows freely. The point of the well is to keep fuel around the pick-up tube during hard cornering, accelation etc. Unfortunately, they were designed at a time when fuel was ethanol and trash free. Once the holes have been drilled it is a good idea to clean the tank of any contaminats and wipe it out. Welding the tank shut presents a number of challenges since there is fuel residue present. A good cleaning with a caustic cleaner is a good idea. I usually fill the tank with water to just below the weld area and use a torch to test for volitability. Another solution is to actively purge the tank with an inert gas while welding it shut. There is a certain amount of risk here so turn to a professional to have this done if you are not familiar with the work. Since these cars tend to sit during the cold months, this could be aproblem for others besides me.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2014, 06:56 PM
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Ethanol might gum up a fuel filter. Also, you might want to post this at sl113.org

Currently: 1967 250 SL, 1963 220Sb, 1965 300SE Lang, 1971 280SE parts car, 1972 Alfa GTV, 1965 Alfa Duetto, 1993 BMW R100R
Past: 1971 250 C, 1985 300 TD, 1967 250 S, 1968 280 S,1981 300 D, 1982 280CE, 3 Facel Vegas, Borgward Isabella Coupe, Alfa 2600 Sprint, Volvo P1900 (yes), numerous less interesting Volvos, ...
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