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Old 02-28-2010, 03:00 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10
'85 SL won't start

I was having trouble starting the SL. It would start OK sometime. Other times it would crank like crazy without even a cough or sputter. I would have to wait an hour or so and try again. Then it would start. If you made a stop... like at a store for just a few minutes, the car wouldn't start unless I waited at least an hour. Now it will not start at all for the last 2 weeks. Cranks like crazy without a cough. Spark looks strong but not very blue. Any ideas on where to start looking before having to go to the $1000 independent?

PS. Yes, there is gas in the car.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 263
Start with the basics.
Got spark?
Got gas at the cylinders?
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10

I have spark, more red than blue, but strong. Took off air cleaner and unscrewed a few(one at a time) fuel fittings. No gas coming out when cranking the car. What's next? Fuel filter? Fuel pump?
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 263
Sounds like a dud fuel pump or its relay.
Search the forum for how to test and diagnose.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 349
Agree on the fuel system. If you're not getting fuel to the cylinders, it won't start. Fuel pump, relay, or filter could be the problem, there is also a screen inside the tank that could be clogged, also.

The usual consensus is that the filter should be changed with the pump, just for paranoias' sake.

If you wiggle the relay to insure that it's seating the contacts properly, you may just "get lucky" and fix it. But don't bet on it, you're eliminating the easy stuff.
Remember, it's not just a car. It's an Adventure.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Central Ky
Posts: 6,133
Agree, but dont assume no fuel, perhaps too much , leaking injectors, CSV ect . After cranking , pull a plug, see what it looks like
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:25 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 40
On my 85 Sl , Had the same problem, The problem was in the rusty gas tank, the small pieces of metal was clogging the tank filter, I remove the tank, I wash it with a pressure water, let it dry, put red Kote from auto parts place , shake it and let it dry for 48 hours, change the gas filter , put fresh gas ... and bruuuum it works fine after that.It is a dirty job , but worth driving that beauty without problem.
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