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Old 08-27-2006, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: mass
Posts: 43
87 300d no start electrical?

hi ,
i have a 87 300d , i started it this morning,it hesitated a second or two. no click, grind, anything , just silence. after that split second it started as normaly did. ran the car half hour and parked it. tried to start again, this time nothing at all, lights and all acc. fine ,batt is good ! could it be ing switch ? is it a common problem ? could it be starter, sound fine no dragging when turning no grinding , always started great, two turns it fired right up, till now. does it have a fuse or relay or just a soleniod on the starter ? when turning key to start,lights doen,t dim, it seems like starter is not getting signal to start, tried moving shifter thinking poss neutral safety, still nothing, i think if starter went bad , you would see some kind of draw from batt. any sugestions thanks mike d :

Last edited by mickeyd; 08-27-2006 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:00 PM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
Sounds like dead starter or solenoid to me. And yes the lights wont dim and there will be no draw if starter/sol dies. Can you reach the solenoid with a hammer? Try gently rapping to loosen it up and then turn the key. And how many miles are on the starter? If 100k+ then replace as matter of course, thats what I'd do.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:57 PM
junqueyardjim's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cicero, Hamilton County, Indiana about 30 miles north of downtown Indianapolis
Posts: 2,613
I had the exact symptoms a year ago.

Exactly as you described it. Made a stop, when back to drive away and when I hit the start, it halted for a second then started. I thought that it was unusual and "what did that". But it was running cheerfully so I went on to the county Fair. Parked it, and when I came back it would not crank and I could tell quickly that my lights were not dimming either as I turned it to start. Well, I called my wife and she came and picked me up, because it was very hot and the car was blocked in pretty good.
Well, it didn't take long in reading on this forum that on the passenger side of the engine compartment, at least on the 85 W123 models, but I suspect on yours as well, is a little black junction box mounted about midway along the top edge of the inner fender, between the radiator overflow tank and the battery. You can open this little junction box and jump, with a pair of needle nose pliars or even a opened paper clip, from the small screw to the closest big screw. There is a little partition in the box. But doing that cranked it right up but of course you have to do the glow plug maneuver first to make it fire up. The paper clip will heat up quite quickly so it is important to give it a proper glow first if that is what you are using.
And I still have not found the source of the problem. I have reworked all my grounds, I have replaced the ignition switch, I have verified that the transmission neutral safety switch is operating and nothing will make that ignition switch crank the engine. So I went to NAPA and bought a little push button swich, like for the starter on a rider mower or like the starter on my 51 Mercury, (why did I ever sell that good car) for about $5.35. I drilled a neat little hole thru the dash, just about 2 inches from the ignition switch and it works fine for me. However it will start in gear, so that safety feature is missing. It doesn't bother me, no one else uses my Benz. I still do try my ignition switch to start at times, thinking that as it just stole away, someday it would return, unannounced. Not yet, but I am waiting. So, save yourself a lot of bucks and just install that little starter switch and run two wires, one from each pole on the switch to both the big and little screw. With switch and "about" 12 feet of light automotive wire and a couple little nylon tie straps and two terminal eyes, you could get around this problem in about 45 minutes.
Since I had a parts car on hand to experiment with, I found out how to drill a good hole in the dash. I used the "hole saw" type drill instead of the fluted drill and it worked very well. The "hole saw" quickly went through the padded dash and then made ever so neat a hole through the aluminum base. I believe I used a 3/4 inch hole saw. I do prefer the factory set up, but you have to do what you have to do, and short of taking it to the stealer, that was the only out for me.
Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. C.S. Lewis

1983 Mercedes W123 240D 4 Speed 285,000 on the road with a 617 turbo, beautiful butter yellow, license plate # 83 240D INDIANA

2003 Jaguar Type X, AWD. beautiful, good mileage,
Mom's car, but I won't let her drive it!
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:34 PM
cazart's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 30
"run two wires, one from each pole on the switch to both the big and little screw."

Forgive me, for I am not a bright man.
Which wire from which pole goes to which screw? Or do I run a + and - from each pole to EACH screw?
Like I said, I'm not that bright. Thanks.
Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra.
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