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380 sl '85 starting problem

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javirivera's picture
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Having a little problem with my 85 380 sl. When starting from cold no problem at all, but when hot, if you turn off and after approx. 10 minutes try to turn on it takes like 3 key turning to get the engine running. Could it be the accumulator. I will appreciate any help.

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2008 S550
2005 E320 Wagon 4MATIC
1988 560SL
Re: 380 sl '85 starting problem

I would think that the accumulator would show up on the first cold start. It is meant to store a bit under pressure to help with the first start of the day (or week).

Michael in Arizona

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Michael in Arizona (Desert Stars) 1988 560SL in Signal Red, 70,000 miles 2004 E320 4Matic wagon in white, 72,000 miles 2008 S550 in Black, 28,000 miles

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UT_Tech's picture
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Re: 380 sl '85 starting problem

It might be the EHA valve. The best way to check it is to put a fuel pressure gauge on the control pressure circuit when the hard starting occurs. The system might be dipping into cold start too soon.

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Re: 380 sl '85 starting problem

javirivera;132538 wrote:
Having a little problem with my 85 380 sl. When starting from cold no problem at all, but when hot, if you turn off and after approx. 10 minutes try to turn on it takes like 3 key turning to get the engine running. Could it be the accumulator. I will appreciate any help.

Difficult start after a hot soak is the classic sign for accumulator replacement. When the engine is hot the gas tries to vaporize in the lines. The accumulator is there to stop it from happening.

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Re: 380 sl '85 starting problem

The accumulator might be defective but this would only be a factor if the accumulator was leaking enough to cause the residual pressure to bleed down quickly after the engine stops. It is true that the residual pressure keeps the fuel from vaporizing in hot soak while the engine is hot but it isn't known if the accumulator is he problem.

Good troubleshooting practice would be to first duplicate the problem while a pressure guage is connected to the system. Watch if the control pressure continues to drop after the engine is turned off. It shouldn't. If it does then something is leaking. A leaky injector would cause this, as would a leaky accumulator or a bad cold start valve.

The accumulator has a more important function to smooth out the pressure pulses coming from the fuel pump. If the system pressure is bouncing around then your accumulator is probably bad.

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