1978 230 Euro sputtering issue - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-12-2014, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question 1978 230 Euro sputtering issue

Hi guys, this is my first post here, so sorry about the noobness.

I just bought a great little 230 in Boise, Idaho, and it's having some issues I can't really identify.

It's hard to explain, but the car doesn't like starting, and you have to give it quite a bit of gas for a long time (5-6 minutes) before it idles decently. Then, once it's running, it has lapses in power and jerks when you are accelerating or trying to maintain a speed. Occasionally, when revving down and downshifting, it backfires.

what could this be? Idle set too low? Timing issue? Distributor problem?

if I was going to use a timing gun, what settings would I need and which cylinder is number one?

are there idle screws or methods of changing the lean/rich balance on a stromberg? I've never seen one before, so I don't really know anything about them.

likewise, if you have any other ideas of what it could be, let me know! I could really use the help!

thanks to all who reply,

78benz230
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 08:53 AM
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this carb was not the best , see if there is a hole in top diaphragm . you need to find a manual of some kind on e bay or ? .it is same as a 115 car 220 US .
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 09:54 AM
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Where to start....

Was the car being used before you got it or had it been sitting for a while? If it was sitting, how long was it sitting for?

If the car was sitting for over a year, I would suggest cleaning out the entire fuel system, including the fuel tank, the fuel lines, fuel pump and new fuel filters.

Please give us a little more history of the car if possible.

Other things to check:

spark plugs
distributor and points
timing
carb adjustments
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Luna Gaudi's 72 250 View Post

Please give us a little more history of the car if possible.

Other things to check:

spark plugs
distributor and points
timing
carb adjustments
I love these kinds of questions. "My car runs like crap. Any ideas?" I mean, really? Is it classified what he may or may not have done to the car so far? Would it kill him to tell us if he's even looked at the spark plugs before he starts worrying about idle screws?

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboyike View Post
I love these kinds of questions. "My car runs like crap. Any ideas?" I mean, really? Is it classified what he may or may not have done to the car so far? Would it kill him to tell us if he's even looked at the spark plugs before he starts worrying about idle screws?
Hey now, you don't have to be like that, I was just asking if maybe these were logical things to look at.


The cap and rotor is new, but it looks like the plugs and wires might need to be cahanged at some point. The previous owner installed a stupid electric fuel pump because the old one had cracked and was leaking fuel.

He told me it had been sitting for around a month, which is bad for any car. I've drained and reolaced the old fuel and added some stabilizer with the new tank, but the problem is still there.

I'll pull the plugs tomorrow and let you know what I find. I still think the timing is an issue, though.

Self-Proclaimed Dastardly villain and all-around nogoodnik

just trying to keep an excellent car on the road!

Mercedes > (insert US car company)
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 78Benz230 View Post
Hey now, you don't have to be like that, I was just asking if maybe these were logical things to look at.


The cap and rotor is new, but it looks like the plugs and wires might need to be cahanged at some point. The previous owner installed a stupid electric fuel pump because the old one had cracked and was leaking fuel.

He told me it had been sitting for around a month, which is bad for any car. I've drained and reolaced the old fuel and added some stabilizer with the new tank, but the problem is still there.

I'll pull the plugs tomorrow and let you know what I find. I still think the timing is an issue, though.
Yes, there ARE logical things. The logic is as follows:

Step 1: do easy stuff.
Step 2: observe if easy stuff helped.
Step 3: come to the forum, tell us what you did, what (if any) effect did that which you did have. Be careful not to omit stuff like the car having a non-standard fuel pump, which, you know, might possibly be relevant.

Sitting for only a month really shouldn't be a problem. Oh, and the cylinder closest to the radiator is #1 . I'd suspect that fuel pump before anything else. Fortunately, the correct Pierburg pump is available from Germany for a reasonable fee.

Fuel Pump Mercedes Saloon (W123) 230 (123.023) by Pierburg 7.02242.22.0 - rexbo.eu

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 05:18 PM
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the guy is new to our forum flyboy. we don't have to discourage him from coming back. this vintage forum is slow as it is already
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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I went out and took some video of the surging it's doing, both at the front in the engine bay, and at the end of the exhaust. Once I get them up on youtube, I'll post the links here. It took an easy ten or eleven tries just to get it to catch, amd I had to give it gas for another 5 or 6 minutes before it would idle. It's 65 degrees out, but that shouldn't warrant babying it for five minutes, should it?

I felt really stupid when I opened up the bonnet and saw the firing order right where it should've been.

It's true, I should've given more information! It doesn't matter how experienced someone is, you can't expect them to psychically know everything!

I have a friend who will let me borrow a timing light. I'm going to test it anyway, just because I have the time and it's something I've never done before.

Some more history: this car spent was in Washington state prior to coming to Idaho. It was there from about 2001 until this year, and all that time it was serviced at Mercedes Plus in Kennewick.


Videos will be up soon! Thanks!

Self-Proclaimed Dastardly villain and all-around nogoodnik

just trying to keep an excellent car on the road!

Mercedes > (insert US car company)
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 08:58 AM
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Keep the info on the progress coming in. (we would reallly like to see those videos)
This vintage forum has a bunch of great people and lots of helpful advice, we will do our best to help you sort everthing out.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2014, 11:49 AM
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check the diaphragm first at top of carb , it only goes one way .
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