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  #1  
Old 11-17-2002, 03:14 AM
Johnson Chan
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1986 300E stalling/reving/airbag problem

Hello everybody, I need your expertise on a gasoline car. A couple days ago I bought a 86 300E to tinker with for fun.

Most stuff is ok and easy but i am stumped about a problem i have.


The car will stall when put in drive (rarely) but not in reverse. When idling the car will rev the engine by itself. It will sometimes stall, but mainly rev up and down a little. Before i start changing all the parts, what could cause this? since its somewhat related to the transmission, are these cars like the diesels and rely on vaccum?


Also, if i replace the airbag, will the SRS light go out by itself or do i have to take it to the dealer to have it reset? How easy is it to replace the airbag? how much does it cost (used) usually?


P.S. how much is a 1986 300E with 190,XXX with a salvage title worth? It is a theft recovery vehicle, minor stuff like radio faceplate missing and airbag, other than that, it seems fine. I bought it so i can drive it on snowy and bad weather days so i dont damage my other cars, or just sell this car.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2002, 09:03 AM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Things to check:

Clean the idle valve (do a search), check the OVP, vacuum leak, and the O2 sensor. Most likely it is a vacuum leak. That would be the cheapest.
Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2002, 09:15 AM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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OVP!
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2002, 04:24 PM
Johnson Chan
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Thanks for the reply,

I will check the OVP and yes the O2 sensor light comes on. What is an O2 sensor and how much and how difficult is it to replace?
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2002, 05:45 PM
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A steady SRS light on the '86 does not necessarily mean the air bag is bad.

Any of the components could be. You say "Salvaged Title", could mean it had been in a wreck and repaired, possibly a wreck bad enough to deploy the air bag. Same thing with my 560 and the thrown drive shaft, blew the bag and when I changed the bag and crash sensor I still had a steady SRS light. A little tracking showed that the ETR's (seat belt tensioners) had also blown. They blow at a stage one crash, the bag at a stage two.

Another thing that can give a steady SRS light has nothing to do with the SRS system. Check the voltage output. If voltage drops below 10.1dcV the SRS lamp will come on.

EDIT: Just reread the original post and now see it was a stolen recovery. Was the bag stolen? If so, replacing the bag should douse the SRS lamp.
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'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2002, 06:22 PM
Johnson Chan
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mike, your on the right track! yes the seat belts are "blown" and yes airbag is deploy.

what happened was somebody stole the vechicle, then ran into a curb or something of the nature, the impact strip was hit and the airbags deployed.

Right now the seat belts are "stuck" i cannot put them on or anything, how do i fix this problem?

the airbag is deployed and i ordered another one, a used one, and will fit it in the car sometime next week. I am wondering if the system will reset itself or do i have to take it in the shop.

The car seems ok exterior wise, no "body damage" or anything severe, just missing a radio faceplate and airbag is deployed.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2002, 07:26 PM
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OK, if the bag deployed and the ETR fired, then you also need to replace the crash sensor (it is a one time use item). It is located on the tranny hump, just about below the stereo. You will have to completely pull the center console to access the sensor. The cable from the sensor connects on the right side under the false floor and is the only red connector there. You can use a good sensor from a salvage yard, just be sure the bag hasn't deployed and that the seat belts retract when you pull the out.

As for replacing the ETR's, you will have to pull the interior trim from the "B" pillars, then unbolt the ETR's and withdraw from the pillar. The other end of the belt is bolted to the floor and will have to be unbolted. The complete seat belt assembly will need to be replaced.

Once the sensor, air bag and ETR's are replaced, the SRS light should be out.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2002, 08:25 PM
Johnson Chan
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thanks mike, it sounds like a lot of work. Since i have a airbag coming to me next week, can i replace the airbag so that the interior of the car looks better? I do not want to try and replace the airbag only to have it shoot in my face while installing it. Are you saying i have to replace the sensor first then the airbag? thanks.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2002, 09:58 PM
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I don't know if installing a new bag with an expended crash sensor will deploy the new bag or not.

I know that when I did this job I replaced the sensor before installing the bag. I followed that order as I didn't know what would happen and didn't want a bag going off in my face.

New, the sensor is somewhere in the range of $1200, which makes finding a salvaged one a good deal. A good sensor should not rattle.

As far as amount of work, it really isn't that bad. Strip out the stereo ACC and whatnot, then remove the center console and then it is just a matter of replacing the sensor.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2002, 08:53 PM
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Hey guys FYI, 1986 MB's only have one stage of deployment. The two stage system didn't appear until 1988. Chances are that the airbag, ECU, and ETR's will need to be replaced. While you're in there you might want to replace the contact brush assy. After that you'll be good to go for quite some time. Good luck
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2002, 04:24 AM
Johnson Chan
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thanks for the info on airbags and safety.

Now how about the value of the car? lol. I figure a 1986 300E with 190,xxx miles with a salvage title should be worth 3 grand, is that a realistic price?

After replacing all these safety parts, then battery, then who knows what will go wrong, what is my stop limit? I dont want to put 3 grand in a car thats not worth it.
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