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Old 10-26-2003, 11:32 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 14
Question 280SE won't start

After parking my 280SE after a long trip, I started it a couples weeks later and the engine ran extremely rough with absolutely no power when shifted into gear. I thought it needed a tune up. I installed a new distrubutor cap, rotor and points. Now it won't start. It didn't appear to be getting any spark so I replaced the coil. No luck. After reseaching the workshop manuals, I checked the ignition parts for proper voltage and resistance. Everything seems to check out okay. The car appears to be getting fuel. You can really smell it after I crank the motor for about 30 seconds, trying to see if she'll at least cough. I wonder maybe if the timing chain may have jumped. Not sure. Would like to get some direction from anyone who may have experienced a smiliar problem.

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Old 10-27-2003, 09:16 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 215
Old fashioned trouble shooting for points ignition:

1) Pull a plug lead from a plug. Attach a spare plug and lay this on the engine block or head. You should see a spark. If not, go to 2. If you do, pull all the spark plugs and look for problems here.

2) Pull the king lead from the distributor and hold it near (1/4 inch)the engine block while you crank the engine (use something to insultate you from the HT). If you see a spark, suspect your new rotor. Less likely is the cap. Else go to 3

3) Use an analogue volt meter to measure the LT supply to the coil. This should pulse when you crank the engine. If not, suspect your new points, or a lost connection in the LT circuit.
Cheers, Neil
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Old 10-27-2003, 03:36 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 54
I had a similar problem with my 280TE and I found that there was water in the fuel tank.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225

Welcome aboard, and since you are new I'll politely inform you that it is most irritating when people ask for help and don't state year and model. Is it a 6 or v8. Depending on what year you are talking about, the problem could be caused by the newly installed points. Please repost with the year, and I'd be glad to offer whatever help I can as a 30 year MB mechanic.


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