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Old 12-16-2019, 02:08 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Central coast CA
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240D start gremlins.

Hello Everyone,

Just joined after buying a 1981 240D last week. The car has 200K miles, manual trans and hand crank windows (perfect-O)! Seems to be a lifetime California car so no rust. Had moderate oil cap blow-by but seems to have improved somewhat after the 50 mile drive home. Also, the throw out bearing does some squalling and the steering can be a bit vague. Today I'm having starting issues and that's why I'm writing.

Here's the story. Attempt to start the car. Turn key and everything powers up. Headlights are bright. Buzzers working. Turn key to engage starter and get one click and then nothing. And I mean NOTHING! Everything is dead. No headlights, no dash lights, nothing. Battery is fine. 13.5 V. Fuses are fine. Wait 4 or 5 minutes and everything is back on line. Headlights, etc. Try to start again and one click and everything off!! I'm thinking that something is sticking and slowly releasing. Maybe the solenoid? Does the starting process disconnect everything electrical momentarily and restore power when the solenoid disconnects?

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Old 12-16-2019, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Marietta GA
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sounds like a poor connection/bad wire to me. I had a similar issue a while back after replacing a starter on mine and one of the cables to the battery made connection but the sudden massive draw of the battery sometimes made it lose connection for a second. wiggled it a bit and all was well. I should replace it honestly
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:33 PM
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You can start by cleaning the battery terminals and cable ends. Fairly typical on most cars although it can be other things.
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Central coast CA
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Good call. The battery posts and connectors were very clean BUT the negative battery connector was an after market item that clamped to the cable. I took that apart, cleaned it and the bare copper wires from the cable and BINGO... we have ignition!! In my past experience if you get the click it's a dead battery. It doesn't come back to life in 4 minutes. But I just read an article explaining the heating and cooling of it all that was helpful. Now I can file that information in the overflowing part of my brain that explains how stuff works.
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:09 AM
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Location: Anaheim
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I had this issue with a used starter I put in my rebuilt OM617. It ended up being the starter went bad, I am not very familiar with the internals of starter motors, but the gear was stuck in the engaged position and exhibited the exact same symptoms as what you are having. It's a lot easier to pull the starter on your OM616, I would pull the starter and have it tested at a AutoZone or other parts store near you if you don't have any loose connections.
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Old 12-22-2019, 12:38 AM
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Location: Long Beach,CA
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My Starter would intermittently click sliding a piece of wood behind the Manifolds and onto the Starter and a good rap with a hammer worked to get it going.

However, the issue got more frequent and I pulled the Starter and rebuilt it. I bought a new Starter Solenoid but when I took the Starter apart I found not only worn brushes but one in particular stuck.
One of our members mentioned that the Brushes not making contact can also cause the clicking.
That led me to want to know if that was true and I replaced the Brushes but re-used the old solenoid. So far I have not had one repeat of the past issue for about 2 months.

But with you symptoms the cable contact issues mentioned, the Starter Solenoid and or the Brushes and the Ignition Switch could all contribute.
If a Manual Transmission has a neutral safety switch a bad one will cause the turn the key and get nothing issue.
Old gunky grease in the mechanical mechanism that moves the pinion in and out can also keep your Solenoid from pulling it back far enough for it to spin.

If using a piece of wood against the starter and pounding on it makes it work it is likely something in side of the Starter. But, that does not mean you should not clean the cable contacts.

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