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Old 07-08-2003, 09:18 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2
Unhappy 1984 280CE will not start

I need help in diagnosing this problem with my 84 280CE european import. Last winter on the coldest day of the year the car stalled on the way to work. I could restart it but when I would put it in gear it would stall. Had it towed back home but now it will not turnover. I need a good diagram of what components are in the ignition system. I could only find a Haynes manual for model years 77 thru 81 and I am not sure if the diagram for the ignition system is the same for a 1984 280CE. In the manual it shows 2 ballast resistors which are not in this car. I measure 12vdc at points 15 to ground on the coil with the ignition switch on. The manual says it should be 4 -7 vdc. I measure 12dv at point 1 to ground on the coil and the manual says it should be .5 to 2 volts max. The coil primary and secondary resistance is within specs according to the manual .7 ohms on the primary and 9.64 K ohms on the secondary. Before I spend money on an ignition control unit, I need some more information that will help me to further diagnose this problem.
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Old 07-08-2003, 01:28 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,315
When you say "won't turn over" do you mean the starter is not working, or that it will turn on the starter but not fire?

If you have the control unit, you should have the two resistors, as the purpose of the control unit was to allow reduced voltage at the points so they would not burn out.

Without the resistors, it is probably wired with 12V to the coil and points, which has probably fried them and/or the condensor. Is the control unit bypassed?

My suspicion is that the control unit went bad and a PO went to the full 12V to bypass it.

I can fax you what I think is the right diagram, send me an email with a fax # - but everything I have shows .4 and .6 ohm ballast resistors.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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