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1987 560SL
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
87' 560SL 80K miles, excellent condition mechanically and cosmetically, no known problems. Came from home in Corinth, MS last night to Destin to stay in a friend's condo for a week. Car ran perfect the whole time.

Went out this morning and it just spins and spins very fast, not hitting. Tried the ether test several times. Opened oil cap, cam is spinning. Took off breather and sprayed right into the plenum with throttle held 1/3 open, acted just a little like it wanted to hit but went back to fast spin.

I noticed that the ">" light next to gas gauge was on but the tank is reading a half tank, and it should start on ether.

The reason I mentioned Mississippi and Florida is because obviously Florida is very humind and air is thicker.

Okay guys, that's all I know, thanks for reading. Please help.

Duane Estill
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
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7,166 Posts
1. Is the starter spinning the engine faster than normal?
2. Can you hear the fuel pump spin up, prior to trying to start?
3. Did the engine backfire or otherwise, pop, during any attempt to start?
 

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Registered
1987 560SL
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Starter speed seems normal. Hard to tell because the car always fired immediately.

Not sure about fuel pump.

No backfire or belch at any attempt.
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
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7,166 Posts
Have someone kneel down beside passenger rear wheel and listen for the fuel pump to spin up (about 1-2 seconds worth). Turn the key to the on position, but not start.

If fuel pump does not spin up, I suspect fuel pump relay...
If fuel pump spins up, I suspect a firing problem, possibly due to aforementioned humid conditions?
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
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7,166 Posts
You've got the MB tool kit with you?
Pull a plug and check for spark.
...but be doubly-sure to ground the body of the plug when you do... and that all hints of ether are long gone!
 

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Registered
1987 560SL
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fuel pump

I can hear the fuel pump zipping up. I've kept it covered for most of the day and it has now started to sound more interrupted and not just fast spinning. I have a headache, and I think the car does too.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,512 Posts
You might want to check your oil............make sure it's not full of gas.
 

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Registered
1986 560 SL
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7,356 Posts
You might want to check your oil............make sure it's not full of gas.
Geez, Nobby.
First things first.
He just wants to get started so he can go back to Miss.
Diluted oil can be dealt with in due course.
 

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82 380SL 96 SL500 03 SL500
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6,165 Posts
I noticed that the ">" light next to gas gauge was on...

Although I realize that if it were a fuel issue, ether should have caused it to at least try to start, I believe the idiot light warrants adding a couple of gallons of fuel before going further.
 

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Registered
1987 560SL
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
????

Well....with such overwhelming feedback I''ll just have to start looking at ignition module sorts of things. The humidity surely plays a factor in this.
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
Joined
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7,166 Posts
Although I realize that if it were a fuel issue, ether should have caused it to at least try to start, I believe the idiot light warrants adding a couple of gallons of fuel before going further.
According to the manual, idiot light is functioning as designed...
 

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Registered
1987 560SL
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89 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Pardon guys

Didn't realize all these responses had come through, pardon my impatience.

I would have expected that the ether would have at least made it turn over for a moment, but it didn't so much as bump.

I have not seen the idiot light before.

How much does an ignition module?
 

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Always Remembered RIP
1979 280sl 4 sp w/ac 1957 MGA 1998 volvo xc/70 2004 F150
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6,050 Posts
Once when I was working on the 84, I had the front jacked up and when I turned the key the low fuel light came on and the car would not start even though I knew there was gas in it. Easiest thing to try was adding gas -- yup started right up!!! BTW - guage and low fuel light work fine on level ground. Gremlins
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
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7,166 Posts

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Premium Member
1986 560SL with M120 V12 Engine, 1988 560SL Stock
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10,228 Posts
Are you sitting down...?

If ignition is your problem, it could be as simple as moisture in the dizzy (doubt it), or the crank sensor... EZL would be last resort because so costly. New in the thousands...
They can be had for $50.00 to $400.00 on E-bay. Lately $50.00.
 
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