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Old 08-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2013
Vehicle: 1985 300D W123
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 2
1985 300D Not Turning Over

I recently purchased a 1985 300D, odometer reading 419,000 (!), and it has been great... until this morning.

When I went out to start the car, I turned the key to the pre-start position and everything came on normally except the glow-plug light. I thought that was strange, but tried to start the engine anyway, and got nothing, not even a solenoid click. I hear a click from the ignition, but I think that's just the action of me turning the key. Attempting to jump-start had no effect.

A little research turned up no mention of a problem like this. The closest thing I could find is that it could be the glow plug relay, but would that prevent the starter from engaging?

EDIT: Heh, I just went out and jiggled the shifter around and it started right up. Guess it had something to do with the NSS.

Last edited by Rivabanks; 08-23-2013 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Figured it out
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jul 2011
Vehicle: 1981 W123 300D non turbo, 1992 190E 1.8
Location: The Netherlands
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Are you sure the battery isn't dead?
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1981 300D (non turbo) 123.130 => Project car - stripped to the bone

1992 190E 1.8 201.018 => This car I'm not allowed to take to pieces
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Feb 2013
Vehicle: 1966 250 (sold) 1981 300 CD (sold) 1972 280 SEL 4.5 (sold) 1971 280 114 Coupe (sold) 1988 300 SE
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Probably worn shift linkage bushings rather than the NSS.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2013
Vehicle: 1985 300D W123
Location: Newport News, VA
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That probably is it, and I wonder if it could also be causing the transmission not to shift into 4th gear. See, if I move the shift lever to the 'D' position, it stays in neutral, and won't go anywhere. It'll only shift into first if I pull the lever back to 'S' (for 'slope'). So, not so good for highway driving, as it won't ever get out of 3rd. It's like the shifter completely skips over 'D'.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: Aug 2012
Vehicle: 74 450 SEL, 78 300D, 99 Ford 7.3 turbo
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Rivabanks: My '78 300 D did exactly the same thing. There is a white nylon bushing with a spring-loaded retainer washer on each end of the linkage rod. Get your car up on a lift and replace the bushings. It takes a pair of needle-nose pliers and a screwdriver. The bushings are a couple of bucks from Autohausaz. Get new retainers also. You might look at the bushing for the transmission throttle valve linkage while you are at it.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Vehicle: 1966 250 (sold) 1981 300 CD (sold) 1972 280 SEL 4.5 (sold) 1971 280 114 Coupe (sold) 1988 300 SE
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This trans takes off in 2nd gear from rest if in D. It will shift twice. 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th. If you floor the throttle from rest, it will take off in 1st and shift 3 times to 4th. If there is wasted motion in the linkage, and by the way you describe it, there is, then one position below D should be regular drive until you repair the slop in the linkage. I doubt its "skipping" over D. This vehicle will feel like its in 3rd when in fact, its in 4th! 4th is not overdrive like newer cars. 4th is one to one direct drive.
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