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'85 280GE LWB '84 230CE
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm having an intermittent problem with my 1985 280GE with about 170,000 miles on what I believe is the original engine.

It seams to cut out for just a second or so. If I'm driving, it does not stall. If I'm idling it will miss a beat or two and continue to run fine or it will stop running, then it starts up without a problem.

I would not describe it as a sputter and there's no backfire present. I have only noticed it dying once while driving and maybe four times as it was idling.

It has a pretty new cap, rotor, wires and plugs. I also had a new cat installed recently. Other than that, it runs fine, but I'm having a problem passing smog (High NOX/Low CO).

I'm thinking I might need a new ignition control box, and/or coil. Would an idle control unit cause it to die like this?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

GDog
 

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G320 & E500
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1,193 Posts
It sounds like you may have an ignition wire or power wire to the coils grounding out.

Chuck
 

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Unimog 1700L (1981), w460 300gd (1981), w108 280s (1966),w204 180cdi (2011)
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45 Posts
Eg trur du kann ha problem med fuel wireen eller noko i den retninga du kan jo besøka heimesida te nils for og fao jelp. Fr ank günter e også flink med slikt.
stao pao
 

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1980 LWB 280GE
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3,504 Posts
On the ignition side it could be:
Ballast resistor (on fender well just back from coil)
Crank sensor pickup (big green wire going to spark box)
Ign box trouble
Coil trouble

Try unplugging and re-attaching the two plugs on the ignition box and see if anything changes. If not then I'd replace the ballast resistors, if still no change, then I'd have a good MB mechanic do an electrical system check on it. They can spot weak coils that way. If coil looks fine, then go after spark box.

On the fuel side it could be a bad fuel pump relay going intermittent, or it could be the fuel pump positive lead gunked up or otherwise grounding to the cover plate on the bottom of the tank. I'd definitely pull that cover and make sure the connections to the fuel pump are good.

Small intermittent failures are tough to diagnose. I had one plaguing me for a while recently, and knew there was nothing I could do until it crapped out entirely. Eventually it did, and after it did, it was only a matter of minutes to track it down, and a few more to fix it. In my case it was a bad lead to the fuel pump.

Good luck!

-Dave
 

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'85 280GE LWB '84 230CE
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153 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Bingo!

Hipine - 3/4/2005 3:22 PM

... I'd definitely pull that cover and make sure the connections to the fuel pump are good.
... In my case it was a bad lead to the fuel pump.

Good luck!

-Dave
As usual, you are right on Dave. My terminals have rubber boots protecting them. I think the boot was holding the broken terminal in place, allowing a partial connection and that's why I didn't experience a complete failure.

Thanks!
 

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TJs, FJ40s, JGCs, G500
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RE: Bingo!

Love your picture! I get all emotional when I see desert pictures. Best place on earth. Quiet. Empty. Divine.

Just a few more days and I'll be in Baja. I'll promise to think of you guys whenever I'll stop to have a beer.

Harald
 
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