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Old 07-17-2007, 09:51 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
1980 380SL Euro Starting Problems

I Have a 1980 380SL Euro that I can't get started.It starts and runs for a short time and then stalls.It had been sitting for about 3 years.I changed the fuel pump(bad), fuel filter,all fuel lines to the pump from the tank.Changed the strainer in the tank and cleaned and flushed the tank.The cold start valve and the thermo time switch were also changed.If I do get it running it stumbles and stalls.I changed the spark plugs too.If I can get it up to about 3000 rpm it will run for about 5 minutes and then acts like I shut it off.I know the cold start valve is not working,so I checked the wiring from the starter and I'm only getting about 8 volts,should be 10, to the cold start valve.Battery is new,so that is not the problem I've ordered a new starter from ******** AZ.(great place for parts,by the way) It acts like it's starving for fuel.If I spray gas into the throttle body housing,it will run as long as I keep spraying gas It's begining to get to me.Any help will be appreciated. Thanks again...
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:34 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 211
Have you run a fuel system pressure test?
Sounds like you have fouled injectors and/or a fuel distributor problem.
Did you replace the fuel accumulator?
Could be something as simple as the mixture adjustment on the fuel distributor.
Since it runs with you manually adding fuel to the throttle doesn't sound like any starter or other problem.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
Talking Now runs like a new one

Well,I finally got it fixed.Main problem was return line from fuel distributor was plugged at the distributor.Removed FD and disassembled and cleaned.Also replaced all injectors and seals.Also whoever replaced the FD before never put the o ring on.Real bad air leak.Replaced the starter because the cold start valve gets it's reduced voltage from it.Everything works now.Tomorrow she gets a new dash cover and a real good cleaning and polish.Will Post pictures when I get done.Thanks...Oh Yeah,dealing with a grey market car is kind of fun. Mine is a 1980 380SL.It incorporates parts and things from the 1980 450 SL and the 1981 380 SL.Just have to visually check what parts look like before you order them.Total repair for everything(no labor)(did it all myself)was just under 750.00.Replaced fuel pump,fuel filter,accumulator,Removed fuel tank and cleaned and flushed it,replaced tank strainer and all hoses,8 fuel injectors,injector seals and insulators,cold start valve,thermo time switch,starter,and new battery.Bought most of my parts from autohauzAZ,Oh yeah ,got the dash cover from performance Products.That was an extra $120.00.It took a total of three weeks to get all the parts and fix everything,but I'm not complaining.. Thanks again for listening...
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Old 07-25-2007, 06:02 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 34,606
Glad you got it fixed. Sounds like a fun car. Love the euro look with the little bumpers and flush lights.

The blocked pipe is very unusual. I am curious as to how it could have gotten blocked. Anybody have an idea?

Tom W
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:25 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 211
How did you dis-assemble the Fuel distributor? I thought they were sealed units - not repairable.....
That plugged line is weird....wonder if something got in there from the first time the FD was removed?
Also, was the injector replacement difficult? I have been toying with the idea for a while, but don't want to bite off more than I can chew.....
Seems like the injectors are just pushed into the rubber seals and isolators........the only real connection is the fuel line from the FD.
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 20
The fuel distributer is just held together with star type screws and was not difficult at all.I figured that if I have to buy another one,I'm gonna see how this one works.I think the junk that I took out of the return line fitting came from the gas tank.The tank was easy to clean.Just dish detergent and water to flush it out and I hooked up my shop vac to the filler neck and just blew hot air through it for a couple of hours.We live in New Mexico so the air is usually hot.The fuel injectors were real easy,just held in by one bolt and a piece of metal over the injector.The insulator just pulls up.The hardest part was re-installing the tubing to them,not much room to turn a wrench.Then top of the FD is aluminum and the tubing nuts are steel and it's very easy to cross-thread them.Just take your time ,and have lots of patience.It also helped that I made a tool to help loosen the nuts on the FD.I took a box end 12mm wrench and cut a slot for the tubing to go through.They actually sell that type of wrench for standard fittings.It's called a flare nut wrench,but I have never seen a metric version of one. I'm not done with my baby yet.Took it for a drive today and found a strange noise coming from the transmission.I'm gonna clean and change the transmission fluidfirst,but probably have to disassemble and check that too.Fortunately this is not my daily driver,and we are retired so I have lots of time..
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