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  #1  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:21 PM
1985 300D Turbo
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 628
key, starting issue. No car right now

Hello all,

I am having a problem w/ my 85 300d

Last time I drove it, it started up no problem.

Went to start it this last time and the key will not budge in the #3 position.

I can get #1 and #2 and #3 position on the key

I have a factory steel key, tried both the valet and the original

The problem is, once I get it into the #3 position to start it will not turn any further, like it has something blocking it.

The steering wheel is not locked

I have tried jiggling the key to no end.

Tried several times to go back to the #1 key position and restart, still same out come.

I can get the glow and the dash lights and headlights to come on by key.

I tried several times to go thru the gears and tried forcing the park position thinking it could be the neutral safety switch.

Trying to start in nuetral no change

The car is still sitting where I left it which is not at home.

Concerns: If I am able to jump the starter (which I need directions for please) will the steering lock on me while driving it?

Any advise on how to get this thing home (other than a tow) and working again would be appreciated..not sure if it is the tumbler or the switch or the locking mechanism or something else

First time stranded...BTW the taxi cab driver had a stash of beer in his center console, not very comforting at the time..found out AFTER he drove me home
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,353
If you have a plastic junction box on the right front inner fender in front of the battery, put the key in #3 position to glow the plugs and then jump terminals 1 and 3 in the junction box. Starter should engage and start the car. Drive it home and then fix the tumbler problem.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2012, 02:43 PM
whunter's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 17,350
Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtodiesel View Post
Hello all,

I am having a problem w/ my 85 300d

Last time I drove it, it started up no problem.

Went to start it this last time and the key will not budge in the #3 position.

I can get #1 and #2 and #3 position on the key

I have a factory steel key, tried both the valet and the original

The problem is, once I get it into the #3 position to start it will not turn any further, like it has something blocking it.

The steering wheel is not locked

I have tried jiggling the key to no end.

Tried several times to go back to the #1 key position and restart, still same out come.

I can get the glow and the dash lights and headlights to come on by key.

I tried several times to go through the gears and tried forcing the park position thinking it could be the neutral safety switch.

Trying to start in neutral no change

The car is still sitting where I left it which is not at home.

Concerns: If I am able to jump the starter (which I need directions for please) will the steering lock on me while driving it?

Any advise on how to get this thing home (other than a tow) and working again would be appreciated..not sure if it is the tumbler or the switch or the locking mechanism or something else

First time stranded...BTW the taxi cab driver had a stash of beer in his center console, not very comforting at the time..found out AFTER he drove me home
Starter jump directions are in post #2.

The steering can NOT lock with the key in position 1,2, or 3.

FYI: There are many people in Florida parting out complete cars, it may be cheaper for you to buy a good used steering column assembly with key.
I would help search for one, but need your zip code.

.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2012, 04:24 PM
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Just a brief word of caution. The steering column can lock in positions 1,2, or 3 under the right conditions depending on the failure mode of the ignition switch. It happened on my daughter's 84 SD. The locking pin broke away from the upper ignition assembly and locked while I was driving the car. Luckily it was as I was pulling out of a parking space. It would have been much more exciting if I was going 70mph. I have no idea how common a failure this is but it's a real PIA when it happens because the steering wheel is not turning until that ignition assembly is completely removed.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2012, 04:38 PM
Ether's Avatar
Go S Class or go home
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Posts: 758
FWIW a new key and tumbler can be purchased from the Classic Center for $25 or so. You give them your VIN and the new key and tumbler arrives in a few days.

I had a problem last month where mine was bollixed up and would sometimes not turn at all and at other times it would turn but I could not get the key out. Assuming I would need to replace the whole enchilada, I ordered a key/tumbler and steering lock assembly and when they arrived I extracted the old tumbler/captured key then installed the new assembly and presto! everything worked just fine. Returned the $180 steering lock assembly and all is well with the world. Also, after I removed the old tumbler I was able to wrestle the old key out and the new key worked just fine in it. I may have needed just the new key but I kept the new tumbler installed.

Now, the solution to your problem may require replacing the steering lock assembly but for $25 it may be worth a shot and you get a new key that matches your others to boot.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Former Family Members
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2012, 05:09 PM
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Hmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Just a brief word of caution. The steering column can lock in positions 1,2, or 3 under the right conditions depending on the failure mode of the ignition switch. It happened on my daughter's 84 SD. The locking pin broke away from the upper ignition assembly and locked while I was driving the car. Luckily it was as I was pulling out of a parking space. It would have been much more exciting if I was going 70mph. I have no idea how common a failure this is but it's a real PIA when it happens because the steering wheel is not turning until that ignition assembly is completely removed.
That has to be one of the more unusual failures I have run across in years.

.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:39 PM
1985 300D Turbo
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 628
Jumping the starting terminals

Jumping the terminals got it back home! Thanks all

Used the junction box w/ a insulated piece of copper wire and insulated pliers..used the smallest screw in the box,negative I think, and the screw next to it, got a few sparks and jump started the car and my heart a little bit too!
Had to cram the copper wire in a little bit to get past a bit of corrosion.
The battery looks like it is leaking too...corrosion in the pan along the bottom of the battery box. Next project. That battery is not that old either?? Weird


The steering locking mechanism seems to function and did not lock up, I can hear it when I turn the key
Thanks for the help all, saved me a tow bill!
Roy you have a PM

I'm surprised no comments about the taxi driver??
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:14 AM
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Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
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Hmm

1983 Mercedes 240d parts car (32210 )
1983 Mercedes 240d parts car

W123 1984 Mercedes 300D parts - $40 (MULBERRY)
W123 1984 Mercedes 300D parts


mercedes parts - $50 (DeBary)
mercedes parts
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2012, 01:47 AM
1985 300D Turbo
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 628
Thanks Roy,

I think I have seen that 123 in 32210 will have to have a look
If it is the same one he had for sale over the summer it was ready for the scrapper..rust bucket
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2012, 01:55 AM
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Ramah is in Israel ;-)
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dawsonville, GA
Posts: 90
^^^ he said "Bollixed"

;->
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2012, 11:03 AM
Ether's Avatar
Go S Class or go home
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamahX View Post
^^^ he said "Bollixed"

;->
The result of working with several Brits for the past decade.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1980 300SD - 495k miles - 'The Ambassador'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Former Family Members
95 C280
73 280SEL
90 300D
87 300SDL (X2)
86 560SEL
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  #12  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:03 PM
Yak Yak is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Maybe I'm confused. There's OFF, I, II and START, or four total positions. I presume position #3 as described equates to START, so if it turns to 3 (or START) where else would it go? Or is OFF being referred to as #1 instead of 0?

There's a note in the manual that says "starting mid-78, a modified repeat start lock is installed. With this switch, the time limit is extended, since the key must be returned back to "0" prior to a restart (up to now position "1" only). Did you go all the way back to Off, or just to 1?

Or maybe the ignition is working correctly, but corrosion described when jumping is stopping the starter from engaging?

Off - the steering lock can engage;
I - it can't, and this is the "accessory" position;
II - it can't and this is the "run" position;
START - it can't stay here since it's spring-loaded back to II. If it can't get to START, I don't think that's the tumbler's fault, but is the ignition switch fault.

However, having seen the drywall-screw-in-the-ignition "fix" that the PO for my car installed, I wouldn't be surprised at almost any mode of failure in the ignition and/or tumbler.

VIN matched tumbler and key is closer to $100 from the dealer. Need to show title as well. But it keeps you with single key for doors, trunk, ignition, and assuming your current key(s) are good, you already have spares.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2012, 12:10 PM
Ether's Avatar
Go S Class or go home
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Posts: 758
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yak View Post
VIN matched tumbler and key is closer to $100 from the dealer. Need to show title as well. But it keeps you with single key for doors, trunk, ignition, and assuming your current key(s) are good, you already have spares.
The VIN matched tumbler for my 300SD (purchased 1/12/12) was $25.50 from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center.
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Joe

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1980 300SD - 495k miles - 'The Ambassador'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Former Family Members
95 C280
73 280SEL
90 300D
87 300SDL (X2)
86 560SEL
84 300D
80 300SD

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  #14  
Old 02-18-2012, 03:21 PM
1985 300D Turbo
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 628
Turns out that the part that was broken was the pot metal underneath the switch, that little thing in the middle of the green was broken in 2 places
Attached Thumbnails
key, starting issue.  No car right now-w01331615655val.jpg  
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  #15  
Old 02-18-2012, 06:56 PM
1985 300D Turbo
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 628
Off - the steering lock can engage;
I - it can't, and this is the "accessory" position;
II - it can't and this is the "run" position;
START - it can't stay here since it's spring-loaded back to II. If it can't get to START, I don't think that's the tumbler's fault, but is the ignition switch fault.


To answer your above questions
1. Yes I was going back to the start position each retry of the starting process

I was calling the #0 position incorrectly, I called it #1

The car would go to the start position and not spring back to the #2 position.

The corrosion I was referring to is under the hood on the phillips screw heads that mount in the plasic box in the fender well..I will correct that tiny bit of corrosion...no rust just dirt build up I think

The ignition was taken apart and the conclusion of the broken part was the item pictured, everything else looks good so far, we'll find out when it gets put back together

I do have a question.... the spring loaded button on the end of that part used to lock the steering, is it supposed to have a slight angle on it? I am guessing that makes it easier to slide into place? Or is that worn?
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