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  #1  
Old 11-05-2017, 12:10 PM
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95 E320 no start

The starter won't engage. I turn the key to start, dashboard lights up normally, fuel pump energizes momentarily, but I don't even hear a click anywhere when I try to start it. Where do I start looking for the problem? The battery is brand new. The starter and everything else is original.

Edit: I made some headway in the diagnostics. I can start the car in Neutral, but not Park. This suggests a bad starter lockout/backup lamp switch. Where is that located?

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Last edited by Kestas; 11-05-2017 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:01 PM
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There is a 3 way connector (X27) on the outer firewall ahead of the master brake cylinder. It has a heavy violet/white (2,5mm sq) wire that is the trigger for the starter. Check that you have voltage there when you crank. If you do then that eliminates the ignition switch and park neutral switch.
The harness from that connector down to the starter (and oil pressure and oil level sensor) disintegrates like the main engine harness and could be the problem.

If you have no voltage at pin 2 of X27 then you may have bad shifter rod bushings, park neutral switch or ignition switch.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestas View Post
I made some headway in the diagnostics. I can start the car in Neutral, but not Park. This suggests a bad starter lockout/backup lamp switch. Where is that located?

Sounds like shift rod bushings. At that age they are probably shot and may not even be there anymore. You are going to have to crawl under to inspect them. If only one is bad, replace them both while you are in there if they are original.

The park neutral switch is on the side of the transmission with one end of the shift rod connected.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:43 PM
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Poking around the internet, it seems the likely culprit may be the neutral safety switch, PN 000-545-49-06. When I shift into reverse, the back-up lamps don't light up.

I couldn't find the 3 way connector you mention.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:00 PM
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I'd be going after the shifter bushings BEFORE changing the NSS. If the shifter isn't tight as a drum (any slop AT ALL!!!) or makes a "click" noise when shifting gears, the time is now. Starting in neutral but not park is one of the most classic symptoms of the shifter bushings packing up.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:11 PM
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X27 is right beside the brake reservoir filler cap.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:35 PM
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my 94 does the same thing, 220K and a previous sedan also at the similar mileage. I simply learned to use neutral to start the car and did nothing, drives fine.

Maybe I should do the bushings. I didnt realize it was a critical issue. Shift functions are just fine, except for the starting in park issue.

Thanks for the informative discussion..
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diseasel300 View Post
I'd be going after the shifter bushings BEFORE changing the NSS. If the shifter isn't tight as a drum (any slop AT ALL!!!) or makes a "click" noise when shifting gears, the time is now. Starting in neutral but not park is one of the most classic symptoms of the shifter bushings packing up.
Are these the white nylon grommets immediately under the shifter? They were replaced not that long ago.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kestas View Post
Are these the white nylon grommets immediately under the shifter? They were replaced not that long ago.
There are two underneath the car that are the ones that will cause problems. The ones in the shifter mechanism itself rarely cause issues like the ones you're having, it's the ones on the main drag link connecting to the shift lever on the transmission.
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:49 AM
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I've had my e320 for 4 years put 2 NSS switches in yet still on ocassion it only starts in neautral..., mostly when car is cold
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  #11  
Old 11-06-2017, 08:43 AM
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Thanks for the info on the bushings. I'm retiring the car today for the season. I'll have all winter to work on this.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:19 PM
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Diseasel300, Thanks for saying, about the particular bushings..I veiwed the Kent Bergsma ************** video and was about to get his kit which deals with the less important bushings and I would think I was good then, but I see from your comment its not those, but the other bushings..Continuing to look into it!

PS just had to drill out my ignition lock. The old was sticky and I purchased a replacement but the release pins did not work for any attempt at replacement..It wasnt that hard to run a drill through the keyhole and destroy the lock so I could operate the car with a screwdriver..Now I just have to remove the cylinder and hopefully go to a keyless button start and get rid of this nonsense!

All the info about this issue seems misleading and I may want to post something of my own online..everyone just selling their particular fix for ten bucks..
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:24 PM
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PS for the OP starting issue, (for future reference) another potential no-start gremlin is the security relay behind the speedometer..Mine was failing and needed a whack sometimes, so I replaced it..$25 bucks just listed as a general purpose relay..some people jump and eliminate this part from the circuit but I chose to keep it..Still had issues for a bit and a whack above the speedo was needed to start the car at times..click and off it goes! The wiring is pretty good on this vehicle but the contact pins seem to fail to connect sometimes..in my experience.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:29 PM
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The shifter bushings are not too hard to snap in with a pair of pliers IF you soak them in boiling water for a bit before trying to install. You certainly do not need to buy Kent Bergama's tool for it; waste of money.

You have classic symptoms of bad shifter bushings.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2018, 02:14 PM
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It finally warmed up enough to where I could get at this problem. The relay behind the speedometer was jumpered some time ago. The shifter bushings are both intact. I ordered a new neutral safety switch.

Any tricks on getting the bolts in and started to mount the switch? I got it out with a 1/4-inch ratchet, but I'm going to have a tough time getting the bolt started with my fat fingers. There's just no room to get your fingers in there.

More importantly, what is a good way to adjust the switch? I'd hate to have to iterate crawling under the car and starting the car, and disconnecting the battery each time.

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