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Old 05-15-2004, 03:04 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Manila
Posts: 4
What to do: poor performance due to lack of spark?

Good day!

Its my first time to post here and I must say this site is nothing short of impressive!

I recently acquired an '82 200T. It has the 123280 engine with an automatic transmission, power steering, windows etc. I must say it was really love at first sight...

However, we're going through some pretty rocky moments now.

I can still live with the minor quirks (extremely bouncy ride perhaps due to a broken hydraulic rear suspension etc. Don't get me wrong though, the car's overall condition is good! Great, spotless paintjob. Vacuum locks still working. Upholstery pristine, no cracks or fading. No, if at all very few, rusty parts.) But the part that's ticking me off is for such a beautiful exterior/interior, the engine's a bit of a disappointent.

The short story is that, there probably are just 2 things that went wrong. Car's engine was recently rebuilt so the bugs are not mechanical in nature.

Here's the thing: the original ignition coil and trasistor(?) is shot. So, to make it run, my dad (who is quite a benz afficionado) replaced the ignition coil with one that is not for a transistorized type of system. As for the transistor (i'm not sure what it's technical term is), it was also replaced with one that is not for the transistorized system. What happened?

The car starts, no problem. However, it goes on some sort of a cycle wherein it idles smoothly then roughly! If you've got the A/C on, the engine would die in those rough moments. Fuel economy is, needless to say, the worst! I believe it consumes somewhere in the region of 5kms/Liter, cruising! But it can go fast though, 150kph pedal to the floor.

Dad told me that the spark is not powerful enough due to the replacement parts (he was demonstrating it by showing the distance between his thumb and index finger... the spark produced is but half of what should be produced).

I was told that there are two basic things I can do. Firstly, Im really short of dough so I'm leaning towards the cheaper options:

1. we can leave the replacement transistor alone, but will have to replace the ignition coil with one that is for transistorized system (the old one, actually, is still working! The problem is, it's seal cracked and the internal "coolant" leaked. The car would run but eventually, the coil would heat up so much the engine would die, stranding you!)

2. I can have the original "transistor" repaired. The original transistor, I was told, is compatible with the non-transistor ignition coil.

Option number 3 of course is to buy brand new those parts. Out of my league!

So, my questions are:

1. Can the old coil be repaired? Fact is, we've tried the local parts stores. They don't have a stock which is why we had to settle for the replacement just to make it run.

2. Can the "transistor" be repaired? If so, what is the common problem with this? How much usually does it cost? Is it worth it or will it eventually die in the near future anyways?

3. Is any of these a DIYer?

4. Are there any "replacements" that will make this car run just as well?

My other car is a diesel (123 200D). I am a newbie when it comes to these gas powered cars (makes me appreciate more the simplicity of the diesel)!

Have an excellent day!

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Old 05-16-2004, 09:52 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
We need some more information to help you figure this out.

Can you verify what engine you actually have? A 200T would be a 4-cylinder gas engine with a carburetor. "123280" does not mean anything to me.

Does you distributor have points, or is it the newer type without them?

What type of box was used to replace the MB unit? How is it connected?

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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