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  #16  
Old 11-17-2004, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Arthur - I tried that yesterday - the old headlight trick. There was NO noticable dimming or change in the headlamp power. I'll go give the starter a shmack now. I've been charging the battery for about 30 minutes, in case that is the problem. Many thanks for your response!!! Best regards - (be right back - going to the garage)
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2004, 12:02 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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Arthur - you won't believe it. Pulled the splash pan to get to the starter (from underneath) - whacked it with the hammer a few times - VROOOOOM. Started her up 10 times in a row.

Whew - that's great news. I can't believe my old mustang restoration/mechanical skills didn't kick in, and I didn't think of whacking it earlier. But, not used to having a solenoid on top of the starter motor - lol.

OK - so what does this mean? Starter is on it's way out? Solenoid? Or just a flukey think that may not happen again? Boy - do I appreciate it, my friend.
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  #18  
Old 11-18-2004, 01:03 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
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Could be solinoid or brushes , or bad ground..
If you look over at the brake booster, right at the brake fluid tank cap level, just to the left on a wall, you will see a plug connector screwed to that wall with 3 wires .. this is plug X/27 and the V/WT wire is the feed wire to the starter solinoid.
If you hook a 12v test lamp to that wire [ back probe it], and that lamp lights every time you turn the key, you know all the electronics for starter are in tack and operational, but the starter itself, or solinoid, are at fault..
There is a NSS relay in the dash, but if this lamp lights , we know that is OK [ and you are lucky on that]
One last simple test before pulling the starter.
Next time it does it and you know you have power to X/27, grab some battery jumper cables and hook one end to the bat - [ neg] and the other end to the engine somewhere good [ metal] and retry.. this assures a good ground from bat to eng/starter..prob not the problem, but so easy to do, that it's a worth while try ..I like to be sure of the simple possibles....cuz I'm lazy
and don't want to get under there til I know I have to.................................................................................................. .................................................................
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  #19  
Old 11-18-2004, 01:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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Very good troubleshooting methods. I'll check all of that in the morning. But it sounds like there is a pending problem with probably the starter solenoid, or brushes. And I need to address it soon, right?

Is it possible that - like you said earlier - something just froze up in the starter, temporarily, and the BFH method somewhat restored things?

I plan on driving the car tomorrow - and take my BFH in case I need to SHWACK it again. Thanks Arthur - very much for you time. Have a good night. Best regards, 71Rcode
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  #20  
Old 11-18-2004, 01:51 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,804
Year , they wear out ... brushes are prob down to the armature..
the wack just gets them to make a temp contact... it will continue to screw up...
The reason I mentioned this remote starter possible in an earlier post is cuz you said you had heard the solinoid click a few times ... the NSS switch does not feed the starter solinoid directly, but rather through an NSS relay..[ up behind the dash cluster]... so, a bad NSS itself is not usually accompanied with a clicking starter sol, as it only trips the relay primary contacts...
The usual complaint on NSS is turn the key to start position and get NOTHING.....
so, that was a tip off for me.........

See ya
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  #21  
Old 11-18-2004, 07:52 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
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Arthur - I followed your advice --------

"If you look over at the brake booster, right at the brake fluid tank cap level, just to the left on a wall, you will see a plug connector screwed to that wall with 3 wires .. this is plug X/27 and the V/WT wire is the feed wire to the starter solinoid. {71 - I pulled this plut to see the violet/white wire - which is in the center of the lower three wires. Put a test light to this connector (to the harness) and turned the key. It DOES light every time}

"If you hook a 12v test lamp to that wire [ back probe it], and that lamp lights every time you turn the key, you know all the electronics for starter are in tack and operational, but the starter itself, or solinoid, are at fault..
There is a NSS relay in the dash, but if this lamp lights , we know that is OK [ and you are lucky on that] One last simple test before pulling the starter.
Next time it does it and you know you have power to X/27, grab some battery jumper cables and hook one end to the bat - [ neg] and the other end to the engine somewhere good [ metal] and retry.. this assures a good ground from bat to eng/starter..prob not the problem, but so easy to do, that it's a worth while try"

--------

OK - not the neutral safety switch, the NSS relay in the dash. So it's either a faulty starter solenoid, starter brushes or a bad ground. That simplifies things for sure. So - the choices are finding starter brushes, ordering them and replacing them. Or call Phil and get a starter on order - think they are $179. Just hate to spend the money on a starter when I think this one has operated so flawlessly - other than the electrical NO CRANK.

One thing Arthur - don't know if this is a issue - but when I traced the violet/white wire from the plug where it is screwed into the first firewall (just to the side of the master cylinder cap) - and traced it down to where it runs next to the oil filter cannister - the violet/white wire plastic IS CRACKED and some of this wire is exposed. I remember when I first got the car earlier this year, when doing an oil filter change, the plastic "sleeved insulator" that fits loosely around this loom disintigrated in my hands. Probably because of engine heat. I just wrapped the exposed portion of this wire the best I could with electrical tape - but it was all intact. Need to better insulate this for sure.
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  #22  
Old 11-24-2004, 08:04 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Posts: 140
Thumbs up Update

********** UPDATE ********

I wanted to follow through with you guys on what ended up being the problem. After my last post, I drove the car again - and again, got a no 'crank'/no 'start'. Had to whack the starter again with a BFH, and was on my way. At that point, I ordered a starter from phil at fastlane. As I was on vacation, I just got back yesterday. It was waiting on me. Really nice reman Bosch unit. I replaced it and all seems fantastic. I think it might've been the starter solenoid that was sticking. I do believe the starter was original - so I guess I could expect a 10-year-old starter to go out.

----- wanted to pass on the steps I used to replace it, as I didn't see this posted anywhere else. It was VERY SIMPLE - this is for a '95 E320 W124.

(and please use this at your own risk)
1) got the car high enough off the ground with my floor jack, and put two jackstands under the front, lower control arms (as I as going to need full access to the center of the undercarriage). Pull negative batt cable.
2) pull the plastic 'skid' plate underneath
3) sliding under the car, right behind the rear tire, this is where you'll do most of your work. You'll see the starter right underneath the oil filter housing. Two bolts attach it to the transmission bellhousing, and two electrical connections attach to the nose of the starter.
4) I removed one bolt from the oil pan. It's the one that has the metal 'wire' loom that two black lines (I think vacuum) sit right underneath the starter. Just pulled the bolt, slid the loom to the front of the engine - to open the space for the starter to slide out next to the oil pan.
5) Pulled the two electrical connections to the starter. The large cable that attaches to the nose of the starter, I used a screwdriver to pry off the rubber 'sheath' that exposes the nut. I used a 3/8" ratchet on both of these fastners. I think you might have better luck if you slide further under the car, toward the front, and use your left hand. A shop light shining down from above helped.
6) used a 3/4" ratchet to pull the two starter bolts. One with a standard depth socket. The top bolt, with a deepwell socket. Not much room for extensions. (on assembly, I used an air rachet to snug the bolts back down - saved a lot of time).

---- pretty much, that was it. Very, very simple. Pulling it, probably took 60 minutes. Replacing it, 30. Good luck. I hope this helped someone out.

---- thanks again to all that replied to my urgent cry for help. I greatly appreciate it. Especially Arthur Dalton - owe you a beer, my friend. Regards, 71Rcode
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