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1998 C230
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys - me again.

This cold weather is playing havoc on my '98 c230

this morning, I went to start the car, and click. NOTHING. The dash lit up, I have 12.25v across the battery terminals, but the car would not turn over at all. I got underneath the car, and had someone "start" the car. A loud click from the starter motor, and a faint whirring sound. I'm assuming the bendix is not engaging, or perghaps a frozen solenoid - (the whirring wasn't a loud whirring, btw, not like a spinning gear)

Anyway, it looks like I'll have to remove the starter motor to have a good look. The bottom bolt's easy, but the top bolt is IMOSSIBLE to get any sort of wrench or socket on without removing the fuel injection system. (I've tried the "tap on the starter motor and solenoid" trick, btw, but to no avail)

has anyone got any words of wisdom on removing that top starter motor bolt?

thanks as always!

JJ
 

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1998 C230
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks bmeister,

I checked that thread earlier, and it doesn't even seem like the same car! My top mounting bolt is on the back of the bellhousing, between the bellhousing and the driver's footwell. I can feel it from underneath, but can't imagine what spanner I'd use, and if I look under the hood, it's at the rear of the motor WAY down under the injection housing - I've wrenched on cars and boats for 20 years now, and I can't even begin to think what tool I'll need

 

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'94 C280 US Spec
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360 Posts
Hey! I just removed mine on my C280 a few weeks back and I think I know exactly what you mean. There is maybe an inch in the space between the bolt and the car body. I was afraid the I'd have to move the whole engine somehow, but found a better way to do it.
What I did was I bought a double sided flat ring spanner, with 17mm on one side (that's the one you'll be needing). You want to buy a short one, cca 4in total, because otherwise there wasn't enough room to turn it. If longer, you can cut the extra off. Then what you want to do is bend it behind the 17 ring at about a 10-15° angle. I just bent it, tested, bent, tested.
It's pretty hard to loosen it at first since the spanner is so short, but once it snaps, you're good. You should also hold the spanner on with you other hand so it doesn't slip and riun the bolt head (that would be a big mistake).Then it took me about 30min to turn that darn bolt out, cuz you can only turn about a quarter circle.

I didn't know this when I took mine out, but I recommend (on the 280 atleast) to remove all wires, especially the fat + wire to the bendix before removing the starter itself, because it gets in the way when trying to get the whole thing out.
Mounting the starter is exact opposite.

I'll be glad to help with anything else.

 

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1998 C230
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey Fusion - that's EXACTLY wahat I mean! - My bolts are 16mm, not 17, but that's the exact problem I'm having. My ring spanner is too long to move, but there's no way I can get both my hands down there - I have my fuel injection harness loosened, and pulled forwards with tie downs! lol - thanks for the info - I'll let you know how it goes!

JJ
 

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96' C220
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1,275 Posts

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1998 C230
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ahhh wait - so you're saying that a 2' extension for a socket wrench will reach from BEHIND the trans mounting bracket, past the trans, and thru to the bolt, all from UNDERNEATH the car? - oh nice - I gotta go get a 2' extension now - I'll keep you updated!

thanks!

JJ
 

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'04 G55 '80 280GE '99 S420 '98 E320 2011 E350 2016 GLA250
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3,104 Posts
JJ,

Yes, I know the 280GE is a totally different set-up... but it is basically the same CONCEPT, though.

Get yourself X2 12" extensions, and possibly a U-Joint in between them (depending on the anatomy of your particular vehicle).
 

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1998 C230
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
okay - I'm even more confused now. I removed the starter (thanks again guys), and it seemed to be working (I think), but I stripped an cleaned it anyway. When I hit the smaller, ignition post with the +ve cable , the gear jumped forward (but did not spin) - when I hit the motor post with the +ve cable, the motor whirred perfectly. I just reinstalled the starter motor, and it's dong exactly the same thing.

A clunk, followed by the just whirring of the starter motor (I can hear it whirring in the engine bay) - it's like it's not throwing the gear forward to the ring gear for some reason - anyone out there know what this could be?

thanks again guys!
 

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1998 C230
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
update -

okay, I used the "long metal bar" trick - in this case, the newly purchased socket extension, to listen to the starter motor while it was firing up - it was definitel the internal motor spinning, but the gear wasn't getting thrown. Anyway, inadvertantly, I crossed the 2 posts on the starter motor with th metal bar, and it engaged! So it seems as though there was a short of some sort in the electri\cs. Anyway, it's started up perfectly 6 or 7 times since then, so hopefully, with the new service, that will last - keep you updated
 

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96' C220
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Bad Bendix

Sounds like you have a bad Bendix in the Starter. The other option is a very bad electrical connection between the Solinoid on top and the Starter. The Bendix problem will temporarily restore it self after a shock to the system (usually banging on it). They seem to go bad in colder weather. You will probably experiance the problem again and you will know to just order a starter.

Good Luck!:thumbsup:

C as in 220
 

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1998 C230
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
okay - update.

New starter motor's in, and THE SAME THING HAPPENED.

A dull click, you can hear the motor spinng in the starter. Cleaned the ground wire connections between the chassis and trans, and nothing. "Shorted" the starter motor +ve's, and nothing. Manually turned the motor about 2 degrees, and it fired right up!

Is this a cam position sensor issue? If so, would it allow the starter motor to spin, but not engage?

Totally confused now!
 

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Only us with Tiny hands can do it like this lololol

Hey! I just removed mine on my C280 a few weeks back and I think I know exactly what you mean. There is maybe an inch in the space between the bolt and the car body. I was afraid the I'd have to move the whole engine somehow, but found a better way to do it.
What I did was I bought a double sided flat ring spanner, with 17mm on one side (that's the one you'll be needing). You want to buy a short one, cca 4in total, because otherwise there wasn't enough room to turn it. If longer, you can cut the extra off. Then what you want to do is bend it behind the 17 ring at about a 10-15° angle. I just bent it, tested, bent, tested.
It's pretty hard to loosen it at first since the spanner is so short, but once it snaps, you're good. You should also hold the spanner on with you other hand so it doesn't slip and riun the bolt head (that would be a big mistake).Then it took me about 30min to turn that darn bolt out, cuz you can only turn about a quarter circle.

I didn't know this when I took mine out, but I recommend (on the 280 atleast) to remove all wires, especially the fat + wire to the bendix before removing the starter itself, because it gets in the way when trying to get the whole thing out.
Mounting the starter is exact opposite.

I'll be glad to help with anything else.

 

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C220
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58 Posts
So how does everyone remove the starter once the bolts are removed? Do you have to remove the engine mount like the Bentley manual says? Or can you squeeze it out without removing the engine mount? I want to avoid removing the engine mount.
 
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