Author Topic: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)  (Read 2639 times)

rutger kohler

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280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« on: January 23, 2020, 07:33:14 »
Hi my care above has an internittent starter problem.  About every 5th time i switch the ignition key over to starter, the starter doesn't engage,  it is not a low battery charge as if the car is left for 10 minutes it will turn over and start.  There is not the clunk sound indicating a low battey charge, but a whirring sound.

I am thinking maybe the starter solenoid contact might be worn, or the starter commutator area might need machining; or the carbon brushes need replacing.  Any ideas appreciated before I start tearing things down
1969 280 SL Manual gear shift
1972 280SE 3.5 auto

WRe

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 09:02:13 »
Hi,
in most cases the starter solenoid is worn - check the contacts - or the cabling is rusty or faulty. I would check this first.
What happens when you turn on lights and other electric consumers and try to start?
Get the lights darker - means that's something wrong with the starter motor -
or do they stay bright - means that there is no current flow, no contacts.
...WRe

Cees Klumper

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 11:49:27 »
In my car it was the ignition switch that slowly but surely went out, so that is another possibility.
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
1968 Ford Mustang 302 V8
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1600
1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
1972 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1.3
1983 Porsche 944 2.5
1990 Ford Bronco II

ja17

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 14:48:33 »
Since the starter spins (whirls}, it is most likely that the starter drive is bad. It is like a ratcheting mechanism which will spin when the ratchet mechanism no longer holds. With this problem it is usually worse when the engine is cold. Looks like a starter rebuild is in your future.
Joe Alexander
Blacklick, Ohio
1969 Dark Olive 280SL
2002 ML55 AMG (tow vehicle)
2002 SLK32 AMG (350 hp)
1982 300TD Wagon turbo 4spd.
1963 404 Mercedes Unimog (Swedish Army)
1989 flu419 Mercedes Unimog (US Army)
1998 E430
1974 450SLC Rally
1965 220SE Finback

dirkbalter

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 17:50:30 »
I have the same problem but a lot less frequent. Once in a while, it doesn’t engage and I hear it spinning. As soon the gear stops spinning, I try again and it will engage and start. Considering a starter is relatively inexpensive, I already bought a starter, ready to be switched if it gets any worse. Every 5 th time is a lot and you may want to take a look at starters soon.

Probably not feasible for you but here is where I got mine.
https://www.rmeuropean.com/Products/002151710188-MFG14-V5739.aspx
Dirk
66 230 SL
70 280 SEL
53 CHEVY 3100
18 C300 COUPE
05 HD FLSTNI

rutger kohler

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 00:50:27 »
Hi, thanks for that, all very helpful, will look at all areas.  Can anyone tell me if the starter mmotor for M116 engine is the same as the M130 engine starter plse?
1969 280 SL Manual gear shift
1972 280SE 3.5 auto

WRe

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2020, 07:50:05 »
Hi,
these starters fit in several models: 107-109,111,113-116,123.
There are also lighter models available: https://www.sl113.org/forums/index.php?topic=21743.0;all.
...WRe
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 08:03:10 by WRe »

stickandrudderman

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Re: 280SE 3.5 intermittent starter problem (M116 engine)
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 12:53:34 »
It could also be that the teeth on the ring gear are worn and so not being caught by the starter motor.
If, when this happens, you can turn the engine over by hand from the alternator, PAS pump or even crank pulley and then the problem is immediately resolved then you have a worn ring gear which means removal of transmission.
(If the car is manual transmission you can simply put it in gear (IGN OFF!) with the park brake off and rock the car to rotate the engine from its rest position).