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  #1  
Old 12-13-2000, 05:48 PM
arochard
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Hi, just curious if anyone knows what is at work here.
Just started my 1976 230.4 (W115) in -10 degree weather this morning (after three or so tries)

The first time I turned the ignition I just got a loud whizzing noise and the engine didn't even turn over. The second time, it turned over but didn't start, third time it choked and dies and the forth or fifth time it started.

I'm wondering if this is normal for older cars trying to start in this type of weather, or if maybe something is wrong.

I put some ATF on the choke area just in case it is the choke sticking.

I was wondering if there is any way to grease the starter, or change the type of oil used (currently 5W 50 synthetic)

Any guesses ?

AARON ROCHARD
1976 230.4 W115
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2000, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Sounds like the starter drive Bendix wants to head south for the winter.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2000, 01:01 PM
arochard
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Nice, a little tech humour. I'm going to order one from the dealership and keep it on hand, it did this last winter, so I hope it'll last me another while longer until my mechanic returns from Cuba.

Just wondering how long a job is it anyway ?

Thanks,

AARON ROCHARD

1976 230.4 W115
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  #4  
Old 12-28-2000, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
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I started having this problem lately too. When it is really cold (-10 C/ 10 F). Will this cause any damage? Should I have it looked at right away. Car always starts fine on second try or when ever it is warm. Any ideas?

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Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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  #5  
Old 12-28-2000, 01:11 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PA
Posts: 5,440
My '79SD's starter meshes with the ring gear but then jumps out in very cold weather. When the key is released I can hear the starter jump back in to the ring gear. It does this each time until it starts, usually on third try. This only happens when temperature is about 20 F or less.

P E H
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2000, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
starting

The starter is a simple DC motor. When the key is turned, it begins to turn immediately very fast. A gear is mounted on the output shaft and slides on the shaft in a spiral groove. The inertia of the spinning starter motor mskes the gear slide forward and engage the ring gear on the flywheel and, together, away they go. A spring is mounted on the end of the starter gear which throws the gear off the flywheel ring gear when the engine starts so that it doesn't get caught and spin into oblivion when you rev up the engine. Since the Bendix Co. was the primary manufacturer of these sliding gear-spring things we have called it a, "bendix", ever since. The sliding gear needs lube to continue to slide smothely for zillions of starts. After that many, the grease may go south and a dry fit causes the sliding gear to be fixed gear even in the summer sometimes. I winter, whatever lube is left may be too stiff to let the gear slide and we hear the starter motor whirr away without engaging the ring gear. No need to hold it there, Turn the key off and blip it a few times till it engages. If the engine coughs but does not start, the return spring may kick the starter gear off the ring gear and the starter will whirr away but not turn the engine. Once started, everything warms up eventually and no sweat till it freezes again. Remedy: take the starter off and have the output shaft lubed with a cold weather grease--or, move to Florida.
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2000, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
starting

The starter is a simple DC motor. When the key is turned, it begins to turn immediately very fast. A gear is mounted on the output shaft and slides on the shaft in a spiral groove. The inertia of the spinning starter motor mskes the gear slide forward and engage the ring gear on the flywheel and, together, away they go. A spring is mounted on the end of the starter gear which throws the gear off the flywheel ring gear when the engine starts so that it doesn't get caught and spin into oblivion when you rev up the engine. Since the Bendix Co. was the primary manufacturer of these sliding gear-spring things we have called it a, "bendix", ever since. The sliding gear needs lube to continue to slide smothely for zillions of starts. After that many, the grease may go south and a dry fit causes the sliding gear to be fixed gear even in the summer sometimes. I winter, whatever lube is left may be too stiff to let the gear slide and we hear the starter motor whirr away without engaging the ring gear. No need to hold it there, Turn the key off and blip it a few times till it engages. If the engine coughs but does not start, the return spring may kick the starter gear off the ring gear and the starter will whirr away but not turn the engine. Once started, everything warms up eventually and no sweat till it freezes again. Remedy: take the starter off and have the output shaft lubed with a cold-weather grease--or, move to Florida.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2000, 10:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
starting

The starter is a simple DC motor. When the key is turned, it begins to turn immediately very fast. A gear is mounted on the output shaft and slides on the shaft in a spiral groove. The inertia of the spinning starter motor makes the gear slide forward and engage the ring gear on the flywheel and, together, away they go. A spring is mounted on the end of the starter gear which throws the gear off the flywheel ring gear when the engine starts so that it doesn't get caught and spin into oblivion when you rev up the engine. Since the Bendix Co. was the primary manufacturer of these sliding gear-spring things we have called it a, "bendix", ever since. The sliding gear needs lube to continue to slide smoothely for zillions of starts. After that many, the factory grease may go south and a dry fit causes the sliding gear to be fixed gear even in the summer sometimes. In winter, whatever lube is left may be too stiff to let the gear slide and we hear the starter motor whirr away without engaging the ring gear. No need to hold it there, Turn the key off and blip it a few times till it engages. If the engine coughs but does not start, the return spring may kick the starter gear off the ring gear and the starter will whirr away but not turn the engine. Once started, everything warms up eventually and no sweat till it freezes again. Remedy: take the starter off and have the output shaft lubed with a cold-weather grease--or, move to Florida. Or--buy an electric car.(Man, I've got to get out more!)
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2000, 10:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PA
Posts: 5,440
Sparhawks:

Yes, you explained a "Bendix" but MB uses a solenoid to engage the pinion gear into the ring gear. But you could be right about the grease on the shaft that the pinion gear slides on.
The only absolutely reliable starter drives are the old style ones where with your foot you pushed a rod that slid the starter pinion gear into the ring gear but they went out of style about 1940.

P E H
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2000, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 310
MB starter

Thanks for picking up on my goof. I must have gotten lost in the late night fog. In bed, I realised that I had drifted off on a Bendix tangent and had overlooked the MB solenoid activated starter. Much apology. I knew an alert MBhead would catch me. Too many cars-too many decades.The lube idea still stands, however, and I hope the jist of the entry got through. ( I also remember the hand crank and the sore arm if the spark was advanced too far.) This is a great forum -just referred by my son-great folks with an apparent sincere desire to contribute and, hopefully, to forgive a geezer wrench-head. Congratulations. Have a great New Year
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