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Hi, I'm going to take a look at an '84 and '85 500SL that's been parked indoors for about 3 years. Apparently ran fine before being stored (the owners spend most of their time abroad, so they just stopped driving it). Assuming the wiring hasn't been eaten through or anything like that, what would you do to try starting the engine? Obviously it will need new battery, and probably air in the tires, but here are my other questions:

-Is it necessary to drain the fuel tank, or will it still run on 3-year-old California regular unleaded? Would it help to add stabilizer or acetone, or does that only work if done at the outset?
-I'm pretty sure I'd have to change the oil and filter before even attempting a start, or can I try to get it running a few seconds before changing the oil?
-Is it essential that I squirt something in the spark plug holes, e.g. ATF? Marvel Mystery Oil? PB Blaster? Does it need to sit for a while? Wouldn't this foul the plugs?
-Should I crank with the starter (coil disconnected) to build up some oil pressure first?

Thanks for your input!
-John
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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Hi, I'm going to take a look at an '84 and '85 500SL that's been parked indoors for about 3 years. Apparently ran fine before being stored (the owners spend most of their time abroad, so they just stopped driving it). Assuming the wiring hasn't been eaten through or anything like that, what would you do to try starting the engine? Obviously it will need new battery, and probably air in the tires, but here are my other questions:

-Is it necessary to drain the fuel tank, or will it still run on 3-year-old California regular unleaded? Would it help to add stabilizer or acetone, or does that only work if done at the outset?
-I'm pretty sure I'd have to change the oil and filter before even attempting a start, or can I try to get it running a few seconds before changing the oil?
-Is it essential that I squirt something in the spark plug holes, e.g. ATF? Marvel Mystery Oil? PB Blaster? Does it need to sit for a while? Wouldn't this foul the plugs?
-Should I crank with the starter (coil disconnected) to build up some oil pressure first?

Thanks for your input!
-John
All YOUR ideas are good ones and will be recommended by others.

Don't try to use that old gas........even in your lawn mower.

And there is a procedure for cranking.........I think if you just disconnect the coil you might fry something else.
Do a search.
 

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1978 450SL (RIP); 2007 Impala 9C3 (Police); 2010 Ford Edge
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If you're going to look at it, you could ask nicely if you can disconnect the fuel pump, check the oil and simply 'bump' the starter for a single crank (or less). My thinking is that this proves the starter circuit and wiring to the steering column. You'll probably need jumpers for this. This might sound crazy, but every time you start your car, the first few rev's are made without oil pressure.

Plus, when you put your jumpers on, you will be able to see if the interior lights come on, check the lighting circuit, wipers, blinkers, radio, power antenna (maybe). I think this will give you an idea if critters have got in or not.

Definitely take the hardtop off it is on and check the soft top (obviously).
 
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