380SEL wont start... help needed

1979-1991 280SE, 300SE, 300SEL, 380SE, 380SEL, 380SEC, 420SE, 420SEL, 420SEC, 500SE, 500SEL, 500SEC, 560SEL, 560SEC
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GazzaSel
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380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Fri 14 Jun, 2019 10:27 am

Just bought a 380sel, it's been sitting for a few years and now it won't start, it turns over, has spark, fuel pump and filters are new, the pump runs. even tried with starting fluid but no luck. I'm very familiar with cars and mechanics but very new to MB so few things look different in the engine bay to me. Any help will be much appreciated.
The previous owner tried starting it nad apparently put "a kit" through the fuel mixer so no idea if they have stuffed it up, also when I went to drain the oil it was very thin(almost like water) and smelled of petrol.
Thank you in advance
Gary

Henry Schuman
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by Henry Schuman » Fri 14 Jun, 2019 10:28 pm

IF all you say is good and at the right sequence then a couple of things could be the cause .
1. No compression
2. The exhaust is Stopped up
Check those things and get back to us.
Don't Squat With Your Spurs On !!!!

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Fri 14 Jun, 2019 10:50 pm

The petrol smell and rebuilt - I'm guessing that is the fuel distributor - is a bit of a worry. If this is dumping excess fuel in, then adding more fuel with starter fluid is not going to work. If you pull the plugs are they wet? You say you have spark - is that from the plug lead or have you pulled plugs and seen them spark? The other thing is that fuel goes off very quickly these days. Does it smell funny if you take off the fuel cap and smell? It will never fire up on bad fuel and will need to dump the lot.

Otherwise going back to basics, start with compression as Henry suggested.
Craig Baulderstone
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GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 12:02 am

Hi Henry, I'll be doing compression test tomorrow, just waiting on the tool, might pull the exhaust off to check it as well.

Craig, I checked the spark at the lead from coil, all the plugs were actually wet. I'll be checking the spark at the plugs once I pull em out for compression as well.

Regarding excessive fuel, as I was in the process of checking fuel pump relay, I jumped terminal 7 and 8 and upon jumping pump ran and I could also here loud high pitch noise from engine bay which I think was injector noise( please correct me if I'm wrong) and I thought that cant happen until the air meter plate is depressed ?

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 6:38 pm

I agree - I reckon you might want to have another look at what they have done with the fuel distributor, or if someone has one off a wreck, just bolt another on to try and source the problem. If its pumping fuel in like that, the plugs are never going to fire. To check spray pattern, i lined the injectors up into two clear plastic soft drink bottles, short the relay as you did and then you can push on the plate to see the pattern, flow, if it drips after cutting off etc.
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GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 7:16 pm

Thanks mate, I started by pulling out the tank today and found hops of rust flakes in it, I could hear the flakes sliding in it as I tilted it, now is it possible to get this cleaned or shall I get a new one ? I cleaned all the fuel lines with high pressure as well, pulled off the distributor and it didnt look very good underneath, will be pulling out the injectors in the morning as well.
now the question is, where do I source a replacement fuel tank or get it cleaned in Melbourne and where can I go for FD replacement or reco ?
thanks heaps mate.

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TheMadRacoon
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by TheMadRacoon » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 7:39 pm

Is it worth checking that the camshafts are turning? ie check timing chain is ok?
Emad,
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by Henry Schuman » Sat 15 Jun, 2019 10:24 pm

In light of this NEW info and more especially about the high pitched whine you hear when hot wiring the fuel pump what I said still goes BUT I would also suggest you disconnect the fuel pump , pull all the spark plugs and either blow them off well with compressed air (good time to do compression check) and spin engine over to get rid of excess fuel in cylinders then either put the cleaned dry plugs back in depending on compression results and or NEW Plugs THEN try starting with or without a little starting fluid and ALSO be aware that the oil is probably diluted with the excess fuel and should be drained and refilled as well as filter BEFORE doing any more attempts to start
Don't Squat With Your Spurs On !!!!

GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Wed 19 Jun, 2019 12:59 pm

Thanks heaps for responses guys, haven't had a chance to work on the car since last weekend, I've found a complete engine with all the bolt ons, the only thing is it's from an 87 model which had EHA valve on Fuel distributor and mine doesn't, now my question is if I replace the the whole motor with bolt ons and ecu from that other car, will I run into any other dramas ? or ecu only controls the engine and i should be ok ?
Thanks heaps

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Wed 19 Jun, 2019 2:18 pm

Just off the top of my head, I think you also need the trans that has the cut out with the crank angle sensor for the later KE. I'm not sure but you might be able to hybridise something. But if compression is good on current motor and given what you have said about fuel accumulator, I would just look at fixing that or finding a known condition replacement. Its just a bolt on item and saving hours and hours with changing whole motors and wiring. Just my thoughts though.
Craig Baulderstone
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GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Wed 19 Jun, 2019 3:15 pm

That sounds like a fair call mate, didnt think about the crank angle sensor. Now if I do get that other motor( it's running and very low ks) would I be able to just replace it with mine and run my fuel distributor( reco or S/H) instead of KE that comes with it ?
I guess other than KE- jet and K-jet everything else on the motor will be pretty straight forward?
also will series 2 dash cluster work on series 1 w126 ?
Thank you

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 12:14 am

I am pretty sure you can swap your k-jet bits over and that saves all the rewiring etc. too. I can't think right now, but wondering if you could use the fuel distributor on the low mileage and just leave EHA disconnected - if so that would get around what seems like a fuel distributor problem. What capacity is the 87 motor- ie. 420/500/560? Just thinking out loud, wondering what your trans is like - the 380 I think is a weaker trans and might struggle with a bigger motor. All the motors have a different trans model number but I'm not sure what the real differences are (strength? shift points?) and its just 'hearsay' that I had heard the 380 trans is significantly weaker and not ideal to use with bigger motors.

I think other things on motor ok. I think gen 2 cluster will work - main difference gen 2 has outside temp gauge and need sender to make that work... not 100% sure though
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
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280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
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GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 7:17 am

thank you Craig, the motor is another 380, its low ks and guaranteed running aa compared to mine which isn't running and sat for 10-12 years, so I think transmission will be ok, I did read somewhere last night that if I disconnect eha valve it acts like KJet system, really not keen to rewire it anyway

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Dean 560 SEC
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by Dean 560 SEC » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 10:34 am

The replacement engine can't be a '87 380 as the introduced the 420 as a replacement for the 380 in 1985. I'd check the engine number on the other motor before proceeding.
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 4:52 pm

Agree with Dean - best way is to get the first 6 digits of the engine number - google that and no doubt you will find out exactly what it is. Engine number is on the block face (looking from above), visible just behind the LH cylinder head. You might need to clean it off
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Thu 20 Jun, 2019 9:47 pm

It turned out that it actually is an 85 model and is Kjet not KE, the guy got it mixed up with another car, will get the engine next week, planning to so the timing chain, tensioner, guides etc. is there anything else I should do before it goes in the car(engine has 128k on it ?
And then I'll be pulling my engine apart and probably rebuild it for future (and fun haha)

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Fri 21 Jun, 2019 9:03 am

That's excellent then - straight swap and no doubt good fuel distributor etc. Under the rocker covers there are little plastic bits on the oiler bar for the cam - they are cheap and you don't want them to break etc. Apart from that, just rubber bits around the engine check but imagine will be fine. Maybe for the effort involved just pull the pan off the motor and look for anything that shouldn't be there and give a clean, but at that mileage should be nice a clean. Replace gasket and/or use a good sealant. That's all i can think of.
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

GazzaSel
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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by GazzaSel » Fri 21 Jun, 2019 9:55 pm

Roger that mate, any idea or recommendations where I can these tubes and timing stuff from in Melbourne?
Ta

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Re: 380SEL wont start... help needed

Post by CraigB » Fri 21 Jun, 2019 10:58 pm

I don't know Melbourne - look online - there are some local sellers via ebay or there are US sites fcpeuro, pelican parts, autohaus but need to check out postage etc to compare properly.
Craig Baulderstone
280s's
280SE3.5
280SL Ruby
300TE Otto
350SL Gloria
350SLC Lurch
450SEL Boris
500SEC's...including Syd
560SEL's Foufou and Zac

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