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  #1  
Old 12-27-2009, 08:19 PM
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300SDL with a lot of electrical problems

I have been a long time lurker of these forums and finally joined because I think I have something that isn't covered yet.

I just bought a 1986 300SDL with 308k. My grandparents had the same car a while ago so I figured I would try to get one since I have worked in it before.

I bought this car and more was wrong with it that originally divulged.

The radio does not work, but the illumination of the on/off switch works when the lights are on. The power antenna does not work either. The sunroof does not work I was told, but from how he described it I don't think it was electrical. The tachometer does not work, but I have not tried the cigarette butt trick yet. The analog clock is broken. The accessory power jack/ cigarette lighter does not work.

I have checked out the fuses and all of those all look ok.

The rest of the vehicle is in good condition except a flare in the transmission when shifting, but I am going to replace the modulator cap and if that does not work, tighten it a little.

Another problem might be the glow plugs or diesel heater. When the car is cold, the idle is very rough, but it gets better after 2 minutes of sitting. Also, when I plug the car in at night, it does not make any noise, like anything is happening.

Thanks for any help and if anybody thinks these problems are correlated.

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  #2  
Old 12-27-2009, 10:09 PM
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Welcome.



FIRST, replace all the fuses in the box. Yes, even if they appear fine. Also clean the contacts while in there. Many issues arise from corroded contacts. Also check the 10A fuse in the Over Volt Protection relay, this is by the master cylinder and is a rectangular box.

Radio could have a popped fuse behind it. Antenna only works when the radio is on. Are there dashes on the screen such as "- - - -" or is the screen simply blank? Blank is good, dashed out is bad.

There is no tachometer amplifier for the 603 Diesel. So the cigarette butt will not work. From memory the tach runs off the EGR controller down in the passenger footwell area. I forget where the pick up for it is at.

These clocks fail often. How to repair is beyond me. Probably something simple.

Purchase a MityVac and set the transmission vacuum properly. My guess the shift pressure was turned down to soften the shifts. This tool is invaluable in PROPERLY repairing one of these vehicles.

Pull glow plugs and test them properly. If they glow, they are good. If they do not glow, they are bad. This is the definitive test for them as simply Ohming them out will not always work. Chances are you have an out plug or so. Does your squiggly line light up when you glow the plugs? If not, you have one or more plugs burned out.

How long is the block heater pluged in for? And you should once again, Ohm out the cable and verify there are no shorts in the cable.

Sunroof is probably stuck, typical. Leave it shut until you are ready to deal with it properly.



Now, get to work on your problems.
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'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

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  #3  
Old 12-28-2009, 10:04 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

Do the turn signals and the hazard lamps work?
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2009, 01:42 PM
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Thank you for the quick replies.

Yes, the hazards and turn signals work correctly.


I ordered a bunch of fuses that will be here sometime this week, I will replace them and clean the contacts.

The radio does not turn on at all, but the illumination lights up the the on/off button when the headlights are on. There is a button to put the antenna up and down, does that only work when the radio is on also?

I left the block heater on for around 2 hours.

The glow plug light does not turn on but it makes the buzzing noise for about 10-15 secs and then I turn on the car when that is done. I will look into testing and replacing them.

Is this what you are talking about for a MityVac?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/MityVac-4000-Automotive-Vacuum-Pump-Brake-Bleeding-Kit_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem518dd6f9deQQitemZ350272027102QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools

The transmission shifts hard from first to 2nd but then misses from there. Might be a sign of things to come.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chuck07 View Post
Thank you for the quick replies.

Yes, the hazards and turn signals work correctly.

Well, unfortunately, you don't have a fuse issue as best as I can determine.

Therefore, the radio and the antenna must be diagnosed individually. The first thing to do is to confirm that you have 12V at these devices. If so, the problem lies with the device itself.

With regard to the power antenna..............it won't work unless the radio also works...........typically. However, you can attempt to operate it independently of the radio via the use of the switch on the panel above the radio. Have another person press this switch to the top position and listen for the motor to operate in the trunk. If the motor operates and stops, the problem is with the mast. Nobody has cleaned or lubricated the mast in ages and the motor's clutch is just not strong enough to raise it.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:38 PM
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On my 85 300D I have a Becker radio. I'm not sure how the SDLs work

When I first powered up my car the #2 fuse immediately blew. I replaced the fuse and soon enough my radio died and the power antenna stopped working.

I pulled my radio and sure enough I discovered a fuse that blew on the back of the radio. I remember it was like 11:30 at night when I fixed this so I went down to my stash of christmas lights and pulled a similar looking fuse. I put it in and sure enough I had my radio working again.

The antenna was a bit harder battle. I pulled the entire unit out of my trunk and opened it up. There was this thick gunky junk at the bottom which I realized was silicon lubricate. I cleaned it all out and jumped the little motor for the antenna.

Fortunately it worked! I was able to control the antenna by switching polarity. It was the daughter board on top of the motor that was dead.

I emailed hirschman's US office and the email response I got back was just so funny. I'll post it here because i still get a kick out of it! The email might be of some use to you since it has some part numbers and a gent in Burbank who can help you.

Quote:
Good Afternoon Mr. Reusché,

Thank you very much for you inquiry in regards to the AUTA 6000 EL and for sending us the picture. It was very helpful in quickly identifying this part. Unfortunately, Hirschmann no longer supports the AUTA 6000 EL antenna and its components. In the past, Hirschmann has sold various AUTA 6000 EL components to a company located in Burbank, California. The company’s name is Walter Odemer Company (telephone 818-846-2819). You may want to contact Walter Odemer Company to see if they have any stock left or if he can repair this board for you.

If Hirschmann can be of any assistance on your future antenna requirements, please let us know. Thank you!

Lisa Moore
Customer ServiceFrom: James White
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2009 3:17 PM
To: Lisa Moore
Subject: RE: Part Questions for Auta 6000 EL



Lisa,
I doubt we sell these parts. This part is from one of the original antennas built 20 years ago. I know we have nothing here. I was able to find this part number though 821254-001 US Version and 820916-001 Standard Type. I would send him to Walter Odemer since he does do some repairs on the older models.

Regard's
James White
I believe 79mercy sent me a replacement one.

The capacitors on my clock had died a long time ago. He also sent me a replacement one before I bought my soldering iron. Go and pull your cluster and see if there is anything obviously wrong with it before you call post mortem on the capacitors.

* I hope this is useful. I know the 86 300 SDLs are a lot different then my w123 but the troubleshooting methods are kinda similar
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:46 PM
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Well I guess things working isn't always good news.

I will pull out the radio and check on the antenna.

I called an independent Benz shop and they said it would be in the low to mid 2 digits for them to replace a faulty glow plug, and hopefully it is just a burned out glow plug.
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2009, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck07 View Post
Well I guess things working isn't always good news.

I will pull out the radio and check on the antenna.

I called an independent Benz shop and they said it would be in the low to mid 2 digits for them to replace a faulty glow plug, and hopefully it is just a burned out glow plug.
That's a funny cost quote.

You can check for a faulty glow plug yourself. I just checked mine today. Diesel giant has a pictorial on how to check your glowplugs for an 86 300SDL .

http://dieselgiant.com/glowplugrepair.htm

There's the link. Go ahead and give it a check. It took me 10 minutes at best to see if my glow plugs were ok (they were).
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  #9  
Old 12-29-2009, 05:28 PM
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You are right about the funny cost quote.

I called back and went to make an appointment and that guy seemed more knowledgeable about the situation and the engine with the intake in the way. 500ish for all of them to get replaced. When I get home I am going to follow that link/tutorial to a t

Thanks for the info
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2009, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck07 View Post
500ish for all of them to get replaced.
$75. in parts and $425 in labor for a two hour job..............I am in the wrong business.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:09 PM
1986 300sdl 1985 380se
 
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Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
$75. in parts and $425 in labor for a two hour job..............I am in the wrong business.
AMEN!!!!
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1986 300sdl
1985 380se
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  #12  
Old 12-29-2009, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
$75. in parts and $425 in labor for a two hour job..............I am in the wrong business.
No, he is over priced. It isn't even a 2 hr job on an SD.
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  #13  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck07 View Post

I ordered a bunch of fuses that will be here sometime this week, I will replace them and clean the contacts.

The radio does not turn on at all, but the illumination lights up the the on/off button when the headlights are on. There is a button to put the antenna up and down, does that only work when the radio is on also?

The glow plug light does not turn on but it makes the buzzing noise for about 10-15 secs and then I turn on the car when that is done. I will look into testing and replacing them.
Assuming the '87 shares some wiring design with earlier models, you've got three (or four, counting the one on the back of the radio) fuses. One, which apparently works, is for the lights only. Another provides power for the clock and is hot all the time, a third provides power for the radio to work. The radio routes a signal out through the antenna switch to the antenna, which gets power directly, too, so troubleshooting a bad antenna usually needs a good radio first (possibilities include bad radio, bad switch, bad motor, bad fuse). I think the fuses for the radio are #1, #2, and #4. I'm not sure about the antenna fuse, but yes, the switch normally only works if the radio is on and working.

Check your owner's manual and check the fuse box and read the fine print, you might see 'radio' listed for the three fuses. You might also want to check if your cigarette lighter works - if that has power, then it's likely the main (switched) power to the radio is also okay.

A BTDT on the glow plug test - I'd verify a source for replacements before testing if this is your main mode of transport. One or more is probably bad, and you don't want to run around looking for a new one in a borrowed ride.

For the block heater: check the other end of the cord where it plugs in to the heater at the block. Since you haven't popped a breaker in the house/garage, it's probably safe to assume the cord isn't completely corroded, but there's also no guarantee it's plugged into the heater.
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  #14  
Old 12-29-2009, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkman View Post
No, he is over priced. It isn't even a 2 hr job on an SD.


Yes, but you do not have an intake manifold in the way nor the cruise control servo... so to R&R the plugs is a bit more involved.



I recommend changing the fuses from a preventative maintenance standpoint simply to eliminate the potential issues they can and do cause.

Yes, that MityVac will work well. In fact, appears to be the same kit I utilize.

The transmission may simply need a service... you know, drop the pan, new filter, drain the converter.
__________________
I'm not a doctor, but I'll have a look.

'85 300SD 245k
'87 300SDL 251k
'90 300SEL 326k

Six others from BMW, GM, and Ford.

Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to liberty.
[/IMG]
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  #15  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:08 PM
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I checked the glow plugs using the method on the link shown.
#1 had infinite resistance and #4 read 2.21 ohms, otherwise it was correct at 0.6 ohms

I think #1 can be replaced without taking off the manifold, and I am also wondering what the harm in a bad glow plug is.

The radio fuse in the back of the radio was blown. After searching for a replacement and not finding it, I rigged it with 2 thin pieces of copper and it worked. Then I took it out as not to ruin it. I am replacing the radio as soon as I take one out of my old car so this is no big deal.

The cigarette lighter had a snapped connection in the back of the tray. A little solder fixed that up.

They said they job was going to be billed @ 5.5 hours, since that is around what it would take. I am assuming the #1 plug is in the front of the engine, and if that is the case, I don't think it will require the manifold to be taken off, and a lower replacement cost.

So now its just the tachometer, a new radio and getting this glow plug fixed. Thanks for all the info and help.

And if you think that is bad, how about $300 to fix a 7 year old computer that is worth $200 and takes about 10 minutes of attentiveness by the tech.

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