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95 E320 Special Edition
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm an aspiring diy mechanic and this is not my proudest moment.

So last night my friend recommended using engine degreaser and rinsing the it off with water while the engine was running to clean up some oil that I spilled (another embarassing story). He has an associate's in Automotive Technology.
So I play along with a terrible feeling about this because I know the m104 has the recessed spark plug holes and I know the metal plate covering them is NOT sealed. All was well until I restarted the car to drive to the store. This terrible rumbling shook the entire car. This has happened before when I first start the car but only for a couple seconds. This time it was so much worse. This time it happened the whole time the car ran. When I stepped on the throttle, when I let off the throttle, under (almost) wide open throttle. Our theories flew back and forth- maybe it was from the 1/2 quart of ATF I ran in the oil for 40 miles. Maybe it was much worse...
I drove to and from work today- about 50 miles- and the car shook and had very little power. I come home and checked the spark plugs because it felt like a misfire.
I pulled off the wire on the second farthest plug and there is water in the tube! I pulled the back wire and again there is WATER that smelled an awful lot like engine degreaser. So, noticing there were rain clouds coming, I covered the area with a garbage bag leaving the two wires out of the tubes and closed the hood in a safe manner.
My question is: any advice about drying the area out? How should I handle this? I left the spark plugs themselves untouched for fear of getting water in the combustion chamber.
Also the 4 other plugs looked a lot like the attached picture. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Registered
1990 300E
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746 Posts
Crap happens :eek: Remove the spark plug wires and see if you can use compressed air to blow out the tubes. Also, blow out the spark plug boots where they go over the electrodes. If you have a hair dryer, you may be able to speed up the drying process.
 

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Registered
94 E320 Cab, 93 400E, 87 300TD, 92 300CE24 Sportline, 94 SL320, 92 500E, 99 SL600R, '02 CLK55
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33 Posts
Don't feel so bad..

Don't feel so bad; I think we've all done something like this at one time. I did this in the mid-1980s with a 1979 Volvo V-6. Similar problems. I suspect blowing them out with air will be OK, though you might look for any other pockets that the water might have been able to collect in. Good Luck!

Gary
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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12,822 Posts
Your associate degree friend has been learning from the wrong associates. Next time, check in with your ol non-associate degree friends here on the forum. Get a shopvac or compress air and suck/blow everything dry.

Jayare
 

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3,783 Posts
Hope it all works out... I did something even dumber, hooked up the battery backwards and it cost me $700 worth of alternator, relays, and labor to fix those things and do a little maintenance. You'll be kicking yourself for a bit, but once it gets back to its old smooth running self you'll feel much better and have learned a lesson.
 

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1998 E300, 2006 R350
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491 Posts
I might also suggest keeping the transmission fluid out of your crankcase. Keep regular oil change intervals and you'll be much better off.
 

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95 E320 Special Edition
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the kind words everyone! And Jayare, I will certainly be asking more questions on this forum. w125Sam and edwardsgw, thanks. I have definitely learned my lesson. I'm going to let the car sit for tonight and will use a shop vac tomorrow. I'll post an update in the morning.
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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52,233 Posts
I have a master's degree, and I still do bone-headed things. The nice thing about these online discussions is that you can run stuff by a whole gaggle of "associates" and they'll give you feedback and occasionally bicker amongst themselves until a consensus emerges. Stick around here and soon you'll be running with the big dawgs
 

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1984, 201.122, OM601.921, G717.410
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504 Posts
Research, don't guess. This is a good place to research, and ask dumb questions before doing dumb things.
 

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1996 E320, 2005 Toyota Camry
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1,810 Posts
?

I have a Ph.D. and was a Fulbright scholar (way, way back there), but I wouldn't want to admit some of the boners I've pulled over the years. Degrees will only take you so far and is certain directions. :)
Hemersam
 

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1990 300E
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746 Posts
Sorry but I think the M104 has a distributor? If so, open up the cap and make sure that it's dry as well.
 

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95 E320 Special Edition
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95 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
UPDATE:
So I used a hair dryer and some paper towels to dry out the spark plug holes. And changed the spark plugs. It fired right up without any indication of yesterday's troubles.
All is well that ends well I guess. Lesson learned.
Also, the m104 does not have a distributor. And I use Bosch Super Plus copper core.
 

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80 280SL, 85 300SD, 87 300TD, 90 300TE 4Matic, 90 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300D 2.5 Turbo, 92 300TE 4Mat
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1,471 Posts
I have a Juris Doctorate and never do anything forgetful, wait . . . what are we discussing?
 
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