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Old 10-20-2002, 10:03 PM
RobertFini's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Millville, NJ
Posts: 172
190E 2.3/5-spd Won't Crank

Hello all. I am new to the 190E and am having problems with the starter on our rally car, which is an '84 190E with 2.3 liter 8-valve engine and 5-speed manual transmission. The battery is new and fully charged and everything was working fine, but when I went out one morning to start the car it would not crank. The electrics seem fine and the key turns perfectly, but when it gets to the "start" position there is a loud thunking sound that seems like a solenoid pulling in very strongly, but no cranking. Is there a fuse or relay in the starter circuit that I can check, or has the starter gone TU? Also, it looks like a real pain to get the starter in/out. Any suggestions on how to go about it if the starter is indeed kaput? Thanks in advance for your help.

Best Regards,
Rob Fini
Silverphile Bleifuss Motorsports
'07 E350T 4MATIC, 187k miles
'99 E320 4MATIC, 248k miles (dormant)
'97 C36AMG, 256k miles (gave to son)
'94 E320T, 235k miles
'94 E320T, 251k miles (RIP)
'93 190E Sportline LE, 168k miles (daughter's car)
'92 Coachmen Van Camper, 142k miles
'84 300TDt 336k miles (RIP)
'84 190E-2.3/5spd (Stage Rally Racer)
'66 230 W110 Sedan (Barn Find, Future Vintage Racer)
'64 Plymouth Valiant V200 Convertible
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Old 10-21-2002, 02:29 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NW suburb of Chicago
Posts: 104
I had a problem with my '84 190e not cranking with a full battery and everything operational. I dont know exactly what was wrong with it but u cleared it up by removing and replacing the relays in the fuse box and the ones not in the box. I didnt replace them with new ones just put the old ones back in. after i got home i took each one out and put a small dab of dielectric grease on the contact posts to ensure that they were getting good contact then replaced it. this happened early this past summer so i dont really remember if there was a clunk sound on my car as you said that yours had. anyways its a cheap fix if it works for ya.
190e 2.3L
107000 miles
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Old 10-21-2002, 03:16 PM
Live to Learn
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Raleigh NC
Posts: 145
Sounds like the starter has gone bad. Check to see if you have voltage at the small wire when the key is turned to the start position. Also check for a voltage drop at the large wire on the starter. (Voltage drop = one lead of dvom at positive battery post and other lead at large post on starter.....the post, not the cable.
There should be almost no drop. If all of this checks ok, replace the starter.
Mercedes Benz Master Tech
ASE Master Technician
Diagnostic Technician
Owner of "Behind the Star Inc."
Raleigh NC.
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Old 10-21-2002, 03:51 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: England
Posts: 1,841
Don't want to seem like I think you're incapable, but be absolutely sure the battery is charged, by a simple test:

Turn the headlights on full, in high-beam mode, and then try to start the car. If the headlights are dimming a lot, it is a voltage-related problem, possibly battery. Otherwise, it may well be the starter.

good luck!
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
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