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Discussion Starter #1
Well I talked to the people who smogged my car about the hard starting and they played with the mixture, but it didn't improve starting. The mechanic told me that the problem might be that the fuel distributor is going. He said the car isn't getting fuel during start up. He said there is a plunger or something in the bottom of the fuel distributor that might be stuck. Does anyone know if there is a way I can check?

The car runs great once it starts, but if I stop I doesn't want to restart, I really have to crank the car a lot.

The weird thing is that if the car won't start because I crank too much and I charge the battery up the thing will start right up. I almost wonder if something might be going in either the electrical or starting system.

Any help would be appreciated, I cannot afford to get a new fuel distributor now so I hope I can get my car to start consistently.

Thanks for any help!
 

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That almost sounds like weak fire during start. There is a resistor bypass circuit during start thru the start relay to supply a hotter fire during start. That has to do with the two resistors by the coil. From what you said about jumping the battery, I would look at that circuit array. Just a guess, not knowing what year your car is.
 

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Everybody blames the fuel distributor for everything. But usually it's not the culprit. Keep looking elsewhere...
 

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Fuel Accumulator

Check the fuel accumulator. It sits under the passenger seat (outside.) This needs about 80 some punds of pressure. It it gets less, it will not push fuel to the injectors. I had the same problem until one day it just didn't start. Changed that and all is well. You can get them for about $90 online, but I paid $500 for the lesson from a Benz mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The car is a 1978 280slc with k-jetronic. Thanks for some of the reply's. I will have to check some of these things out, when parts turn 30years old they like to crap out. Actually most of the parts on the car are original. It might be something like a bad switch, you can really feel the car crank when it is going to start, but on a weak attempt it will sound weak.

Another thing weird that happens is it fells like sometimes if I crank the car and abort the starter will get stuck and won't stop, you really hear the thing wind up and the only way to stop it is to put the shifter into gear and cut the start circuit. I don't know what's that about, but wonder if maybe the starter might be crapping out. Too bad I cannot read my fuse box as it is all in german.

The weather really sucks, one week of rain, so I'll be doing some work on the car. Think I'm going to do the sway bar kit and change the washer hoses. Might as well the car isn't going anywhere, too wet and too cold. Even if my car did start I wouldn't drive it in this weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Can anybody give me direction as to where the relays are on my car, it's a 1978 280slc. I know they aren't behind the kick panel. I cannot even read what it says on the fuses, everything is in german. I just would like to take a look at them, maybe one is on the way out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think the problem is that the car isn't getting fuel during starting, actually I'm pretty damned sure. I couldn't get it going yesterday and my dad had a go, he was able to start it by pushing the accelerator hard to the floor. The car would start especially if you oscillated the throttle.

I'll review the jetronic stuff and see what it might be.

I think I need to fix the throttle linkage because it is kind of funky now especially where the linkage butts up against the firewall. I need to get some new bushings and fix it so I'll be able to get my beast started. I'll take a picture and you folks can tell me what's wrong, I guess I'm going to need to get some manuals someday.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
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Only after you eliminate the 'direct short between the drivers seat and steering wheel' issues.
Ha! No amount of grounding gonna fix that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Where is the fuel accumulator? Is it the thing that looks like a bunch balls under the passanger fender? I'll have to do a little research into what it is and how it affects starting. I just cannot understand why it runs so well once started but just hates to start now. Maybe the trip to and from dago burned the thing up.
 

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Where is the fuel accumulator? Is it the thing that looks like a bunch balls under the passanger fender? I'll have to do a little research into what it is and how it affects starting. I just cannot understand why it runs so well once started but just hates to start now. Maybe the trip to and from dago burned the thing up.
Would you please listen to the old farts?
Fuel accumulator accumulates fuel pressure assisting in the starting process as it retains fuel pressure in the fuel system. It is in the back, behind the right rear wheel with the fuel filter and pump.
That "bunch of balls" under the fender is a vacuum reservoir.
 

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Would you please listen to the old farts?
The old farts are wondering if you have a technical manual for your car, Daryn....

The accumulator is next to the fuel filter, or thereabouts. Might as well replace the filter while you're under there getting soaked with gasoline!
 

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The other problem may be the check valve in the pump. Early pumps require replacement of the pump. The later tandem pumps had replaceable check valves. In my experience a bad accumulator or check valve will only cause a hot start problem. For cold start problems look else where. In any case you should be doing a system pressure test before replacing an accumulator. This is the first step in finding out it the accumulator is bad.

John Roncallo
 

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Yep. Fuel accumulator. It's the cause of 95% of hard-starting problems.
If I had to take a guess here, I would say sensor plate adjustment is out and it's been mis-adjusted to compensate for some other problem causing the car to not pass emissions. The first step is a system pressure check which will check all aspects of the system and either rule in or out the accumulator and warm up regulator. Does the car start easily if you push down on the sensor plate one time with the key on just before cranking??

John Roncallo
 

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Discussion Starter #19
the sensor plate was replaced 4 or 5 years ago. The fuel filter was changed around 5 years ago and the strainer last year. I am going to get a set of manuals as soon as I get the car going.

The accumulator must be near the fuel pump and filter. I have a phobea about working with gasoline so I might let the shop do this job. I don't understand why the car starts only if the battery has been fully charged. It starts fine if I take it off the charger and crank it, but won't restart after the engine is turned off. My dad said it might be that the battery is no good but it is new and the same size as the old one (size48).

I'm going to do the sway kit and lube up the front end then bring the car to the shop next week. Thanks for the help.
 

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roncallo said:
If I had to take a guess here, I would say sensor plate adjustment is out.... Does the car start easily if you push down on the sensor plate one time with the key on just before cranking??

daryn said:
the sensor plate was replaced 4 or 5 years ago
So what? He didn't say it was too fucking old. And that doesn't mean the guy doing the $300 smog adjustment didn't misadjust it or something else.

I'll bet if you start by trying that test, and answering John's question, he just may have some more insight that might resolve your issue. For a lot less than $300.

John's trying to give you some diagnostic help. Use the knowledge.
 
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