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  #1  
Old 07-09-2001, 11:45 AM
agupta
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Hi guys,

Another problem with my car (190E 2.3, 1985, 116K) - sometimes, the car doesn't start, and a sharp, loud grinding noise comes. The second time (or the third/fourth, sometimes) it starts up. Then the problem won't happen for a week or so, then happens again. It has been going on like this for two years now, except that yesterday, it just didn't start! after 12-13 tries, it finally started - usually it takes only a couple of grinds, if it happens. I am worried I might get stalled somewhere. What could the problem be? Is it something major? IF yes, when I get it done, are there other things that I should get done as well, since the car would be opened up anyways?

Appreciate all your help, thanx,
Rags.
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2001, 12:02 PM
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Some questions for you...

Is it a grinding or chattering sound? Grinding implies that the starter teeth are making the noise when attempting to turn the flywheel...either worn or missing teeth.

Chattering would be more of a hard starting situation, like the battery is weak or dead. I'm guessing that if you can crank it 12-13 times in one sitting that your charging system is fine.

Your symptoms point to a bad starter, and since you've had intermittent problems for two years, I would suspect that it's just getting worse.

I don't know if the 85 190E has an OVP relay, but it causes hot starting problems. The OVP is not related to the grinding noises, so I would go after that starter first...
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2001, 12:19 PM
agupta
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Its a grinding sound. The OVP relay is new - I had a full tune up recently, when a lot of parts were changed. And the problem is uncorrelated with whether the engine is hot or cold - happens totally at random.

If its the starter, could it have ruined the flywheel? Is getting the starter changed a major job? Is the starter the same as the ring gear?

thanks again.
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2001, 01:19 PM
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Hard to say if the flywheel is damaged...it's actually a pretty beefy unit, and more than likely, the starter gear would be damaged before the flywheel teeth.

Changing a starter should not be a big deal, but I am speaking only from experience swapping out a VW Beetle starter...which is easiily accessible. I don't know how it's positioned in the 190E, and there may be other components that have to be removed first to gain access.

Can't answer the "ring gear" question...I don't know what a ring gear is...
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2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2001, 02:15 PM
agupta
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Hi folks (thanks G-Benz for your help),

For this kind of starting problem, is it the transmission ring gear that is the most likely suspect? Does one have to get the starter motor also replaced along with it? How big a job is it (roughly, in terms of labor hours) to replace the ring gear on the flywheel? While at it, are there any other parts that I should get replaced since the transmission would have to be taken out?

Would appreciate any comments from the pros.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2001, 02:16 PM
Q Q is offline
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The reason your problem is intermittent is because your engine will stop at different angles. When the engine stops on the spot where your flywheel's ring gear is worn, you get the grinding noise. If it were the starter gear, it would do it all the time.

If the car is a manual transmission, you can use a slight grade to have the drive wheels turn the engine enough to get you to a spot where the teeth are good. Just a little nudge is usually all it needs.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2001, 02:22 PM
agupta
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Thanks, Q. Mine is an automatic, and that exactly what I did when it didn't start last time - put the car in drive and tried to push it a little. But I want to get it fixed now. How big a job is replacing the flywheel ring gear - what else should I get replaced along with this job, if the incremental labor is not going to be much? I guess from your answer it seems that the starter should not be touched in this case.
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  #8  
Old 07-09-2001, 08:54 PM
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The ring gear replacement requires the transmission to be removed, as well as the flywheel so the old, damaged one can be removed and a new one pressed on. I have had this done on my 1982 240D, and the ring gear was not the expensive part. While the transmission was out I had all the clutch (manual transmission) stuff replaced as the car had over 120,000 miles on it at the time.

The labor to get to the ring gear was several hundred dollars a few years ago. I imagine it is on the same order of magnitude today. The gear was under a hundred dollars as I recall and the job took less than a day.

I agree with the diagnosis noted earlier in this string. The engine always stops in one of four positions (assuming it is a four cylinder) and those spots get worn faster than the rest of the teeth on the gear. As the car ages, it will start to favor one or two positions (compression differences between cylinders) and the rate of wear increases accordingly.

Any good Mercedes shop should be able to handle the job, but I had it done by the dealer as where I live there are relatively few Mercedes specialists. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2001, 01:46 PM
agupta
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Thanks Jim. Since the transmission would have to be removed to change the ring gear, what else about the transmission should one get replaced (seals, gaskets, etc., or other components). Mine is an automatic, 4-cylinder. Is the timing chain/tensioner anyway linked to this job, because the mechanic also said that the timing chain tensioner needs replacement, as it doesn't hold oil, so the lifters are noisy if it has been standing overnite? What about the starter - should I get that touched at all?

Again, would appreciate any responses from anyone with similar experiences.

Rags.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2001, 02:54 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
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I am unfamiliar with the types of maintenance your automatic transmission might benefit from at this stage of its life that cannot be performed with the transmission in place. In general, I would not go replace things that are not showing any sign of needing attention. Like seals.

The timing chain tensioner is at the front of the engine and is not affected in any way by the ring gear wear issue. The timing chain tensioner is "activated" by the engine oil pressure, and maintains a preload on the timing chain (which turns the valve camshaft(s), depending on model you may have two overhead camshafts, which operate the valves) to keep it tight between the sprocket at the crankshaft and the sprocket(s) on the camshafts. Tension on the chain keeps it from skipping a tooth on one or more of the sprockets. A bicycle chain on a 10 or more speed bike has a thing on the back sprocket, called a derailleur, that does the same thing.

In the car the chain tensioner has a hydraulic unit that should be able to be replaced directly by unbolting it and installing a new unit with a new seal. The hydraulic assembly has a cylinder and piston arrangement that has a rod attached on the end of the piston. The rod engages a crescent shaped rail inside the block, below the camshaft sprockets in the front of the engine. The rail is fixed at one end (usually at the bottom of the engine block) by a hinge pin. As the oil pressure increases the rod extends, pushing against the rail to make it pivot inward to apply pressure against the outside surface of the chain. The rail is fitted with a low friction layer of material to avoid metal to metal contact with the chain, which prevents wear and keeps things quieter than they otherwise might be. If the chain tensioner hydraulic unit internal seals are worn, then it should be replaced. I do not think replacing the hydraulic unit will help much if the rail material is worn off, as in that case you need a new rail. The range of the stroke in the new hydraulic unit will be the same as the range in the old one, so if the chain is not held tight because the rail is worn too much, the new hydraulic part will not address the problem.

The chain tensioner will have no direct affect on lifter noise. The lifters are part of the valve actuation scheme, but are contained on the head, in the space above the valve and below the cam on the camshaft. It is normal for hydraulic lifters, which in a Mercedes and other vehicles act to automatically adjust valve lash or free-play using engine oil pressure so there is no longer a need to mechanically adjust valves, to be less than full of pressurized oil at start up. As oil pressure builds, they should fill up, then expand to the desired dimension to take up the excess clearance, and quiet down. If you are experiencing a lot of valve clatter at startup, it is possible you have an oil pressure problem (low oil pressure), or it is also possible the chain clatter/slap from a loose chain is being mistaken for lifter noise.

As for the starter, the teeth on the pinion gear should be visually examined when the ring gear is replaced. If the teeth are damaged the starter should be swapped for a rebuilt unit, or you can have yours rebuilt. I would not think the cost of having a new gear installed and tested would be much different than a rebuild job.

Good Luck, Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2001, 03:59 PM
agupta
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Thanks a ton Jim, you've been extremely helpful.

Rags
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2001, 05:16 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
Glad you were able to follow that long winded dissertation. And glad to be of help. Jim
__________________
Own:
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

Owned:
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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