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Lou P. master tech
Lou P. master tech, Mercedes Technician
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 4485
Experience:  15 years master certified 100% fix rate and have access to factory radio codes, wiring, and instructions.
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I have a 1987 190e 16v Mercedes. The car was sitting for a

Customer Question

I have a 1987 190e 16v Mercedes. The car was sitting for a while due to a snapped chain. I rebuild the head, put a new chain on. Drained the fuel. The fuel distributor was also rebuilt. Ultrasonically cleaned everything including the injectors. New fuel pumps, fuel filter. So now the car starts but it won't idle. It sounds like a tractor starting up and you need to give it throttle. I am not familiar the KE-Jetronic system and am a bit lost as to why its not idling.
JA: Have you ever replaced the fuel pump, or is this the original?
Customer: replaced both the fuel pumps and fuel filter there is two fuel pumps in tandem
JA: Are you fixing your 190E yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes, I am fixing it myself I have worked on slash rebuild many cars so I quite a bit of experience I have made sure i have correct fuel pressure at the distributor its about 80 psi fuel pumps are definitely running
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** and i will do my best to assist you.I am going over your story now and will reply back soon with some info,thanks!

Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

ok so the first thing that comes to mind in your story is that you stated it sounded like a tractor, so the first thing we need to verify is timing.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay, sounds reasonable. I have also checked timing already before, but open to going through it again. I might of missed something. This is what I did last time: I set the crank pulley the TDC, marked "OT" on the crank pulley, I pulled the valve cover off and verified that the cam alignment marks are positioned correctly, its two dots that have to face each other. Closed that back up and then i started the car, someone has to hold the throttle, since it won't idle, so its a two person job but I have a timing gun and used that to make sure all cylinders are firing. The timing is set by the ECU so I don't think you can change it. Don't remember exactly what it was set to but can check when I redo it. It seemed reasonable since I remember I wasn't concerned. Is there something I should be doing differently when I go through it again?
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

what is your vin?

ill get the info so we can follow along together.

also did you reset the tensioner?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yup, reset the tensioner and replaced the washers for it, too.My VIN is WDBDA34D0HF314588
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

is this the procedure you used?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yup, that's it. What was difficult to tell from the picture there is that the 2mm holes on the camshafts are exactly opposite each other and also line up with the face of the top of the head. That's atleast how I figured they are suppose to be set.
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

right those are were the tools go into.

ok so sounds like timing is correct, could you make a youtube video of the noise?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sure, I won't be able to make a video until later tonight when I get home though. It will be probably around 7/8pm.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Lou, sorry I got back from work late the other night and couldn't make the video. Just did it now with some help.Here is a link to it: me know if that doesn't work. I turned sharing on for the video file.The air filter housing is off but the sensors are connected. I noticed after watching the video (I was in the car and had a friend film), there looked to be a pretty big arc that went from the ignition coil to the air intake on the KE-jet. I wondered if it was a grounding strap issue. I took the ground strap, that goes from the ignition coil to the intake manifold off and inspected it. It looked fine to me, no corrosion or rips. I cleaned eyelet connectors on it well with some sandpaper and put it back on. I also jacked the car up and inspected the ground strap that goes from the trans bell housing to the frame and that looked fine to me too. When I took the car apart there wasn't any ground strap from the cylinder head and that makes me wonder if I am missing a strap? I tried to look in the Haynes Manual but there was no mention of it, maybe you could take a look?
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 10 months ago.

ok 2 things after seeing that video ( thanks by the way it helps!)

check the spark plug wires to make sure they are correct order

do a compression test on all 4 cylinders

you are either off on spark plug timing

or you have bad compression and its popping back through the intake.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I ran a compression test, it was within 5% on all cylinders, cyl1 171psi cyl2 175psi cyl3 168psi cyl4 170psiChecked the spark plugs are in correct order, as marked on the distributor cap and referenced the manual for firing order. Firing order is 1-3-4-2.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Lou, any other suggestions to try?
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 9 months ago.

ok so spark and timing appear ok. i will have to opt out at this point, only because i had a issue come up and i cannot spend time on the site at the moment, if you are still here when i come back i will pick up where we left off, my apologies, i will open it up for other techs, Lou

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Okay, so should another tech contact me soon or do I have to relist my question?
Expert:  Lou P. master tech replied 9 months ago.

it will relist as soon as i opt out, just dont opt me out on your end or i cannot repost in the future.