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Premium Member
1985 380SL w 5OO SEL block, 2005 SL500, 2011 C300
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 85 380SL has died out right three times in the last two weeks. I'm dead in the middle of the road. I crank it and nothing. As if no fuel is getting to the engine. A minute or two later, it starts right up as if nothing happened and away I go.
Twice this has occurred soon after pulling out of parking lots where I had been parked for twenty minutes. The third time was in my driveway after returning home from errands. I drive the car 18 miles to work on the freeway daily.
Also, , twice I have felt a brief hesitation in the acceleration while on the freeway, only for a moment. It's as if my fuel filter is dirty (maybe my fuel filter is dirty?)
Two months ago, my local Benz mechanic resoldered the relay circuit board that is behind the glove compartment when the car had died totally while getting on the freeway. I mention this as a process of elimination.
I have just replaced the intake manifold gaskets but have been driving the car for several weeks since. Again, I mention this to provide as much scenario as possible.
Now I'm reluctant to take it to work (at 5:30am) and have it die while on the freeway in the dark.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,108 Posts
Could be dirty filter,c/be pump issue, c/be Warm up regulator- I recall someone having the same problem.Do some searches- it wasn't that long ago.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,137 Posts
Two months ago, my local Benz mechanic resoldered the relay circuit board that is behind the glove compartment when the car had died totally while getting on the freeway. I mention this as a process of elimination.


I was going to suggest a new fuel pump relay. The symptoms sound likely.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
Joined
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5,108 Posts
Relays

I was going to suggest a new fuel pump relay. The symptoms sound likely.
Are there good aftermarket relays available? MB wants a fortune here for any I've enquired about. eg $230 for a window relay
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
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29,137 Posts
Are there good aftermarket relays available? MB wants a fortune here for any I've enquired about. eg $230 for a window relay
I know they are a fortune....more so if you have an oddball car.

But.......whadya gunna do?

Ebay or part outs. I have a used good one that came from Ebay...$35 and I have another coming from a part out.
 

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Registered
1984 300D turbo 1982 380SL 1981 380SL 1984 300SD
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2,330 Posts
If you buy gas at different places, or it's been a while since you replaced the filter, sounds like a reasonable approach.

The relay is easy to get to, easy to open, and pretty obvious circuitry.

I jumped a burned circuit with a piece of fusible link, worked fine for a week until another burn occurred at another spot, did the same and it has worked fine since.

I'm told older fuel pumps draw more current as they age.
 

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Premium Member
1985 380SL w 5OO SEL block, 2005 SL500, 2011 C300
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
FP relay likely

The first time my relay failed without warning six months ago, I was a new 107 owner. I had the car towed to my local old Benz mechanic. Expecting and dreading that the car would have be checked out,need some expensive part and I'd get a good size repair bill.
Instead, when I described the symptoms to the owner, he went out to my car, pulled open my glove compartment, reached in and yanked out the relay. Takes it in the shop, pulls it apart and solders one of the circuit board connections. Snaps it back together, hands it to me and says "goodbye." refusing to take a dime. I was on the road in minutes.

I've just pulled the relay myself, opened it up and inspected it. It looked good to my novice eye but I brought it to him (shop owner, George) just now and he saw a couple of other places that need re-soldering.
So Monday I should be back on the road as I believe that is my cause of my problems. I'll be changing the fuel filter just to take that off the list.
Here's hoping.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
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29,137 Posts
I was going to suggest a new fuel pump relay. The symptoms sound likely.
Well I hope the soldering fixes it.

But that is besides the point.

EVERYONE should carry a spare. If your car ever breaks down in BumFuckNowhere and there is no Tony with a soldering iron....you will be S.O.L.
 

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Premium Member
1985 380SL w 5OO SEL block, 2005 SL500, 2011 C300
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36 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
A spare is a great idea. I'm a firm believer in carrying spare belts and even so far as an extra fuel or water pump in the trunk if traveling- to BF and beyond.
I was illustrating that there's more than one way to come up with a remanufactured relay.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
Joined
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29,137 Posts
I was illustrating that there's more than one way to come up with a remanufactured relay.
Absolutely. But yours is well on it's way.

I use the PIG on long trips...sometimes away from any type of help.

I carry a spare alternator, fuel pump, fuel pump relay and ICU which would be hard to find parts in out of the way places.

I have a stick shift so no spare starter.....but could I really push that car fast enough to bump start it? :)
 
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