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1976 450Se Starter Motor problems

Started by simon132, 09 November 2005, 09:32 PM


I have owned my 'beast' for around three years and the starter motor has slowly failed to engage first time. It seems strong enough to start the motor each time but for some reason it often fails to 'grab'.  Strangely, it seems to be worse when I park on a incline.

I believe I have heard that sometimes the mounting bolts can loosen causing this to happen.  Any opinion? Or I am just up for a starter replacement?

It is a little embarassing (for my kids) as I sit and crank and wait for the motor to grab.


mate, thanks for your offer.  My mech had a look,without pulling it out and suggested that either the ring gear is a problem or the starter is dying.

If the ring gear is a problem, what does that mean? $$

Any advice on getting the starter replaced?



Thanks again.  It the starter replacement a DIY - I don't like getting dirty - or how much should a mech charge?

Also, i am in marrickville, what would postage cost or can I pick up?

john skene

How good is your battery? Have you checked the earth straps? I assume you don't get a clicking sound from the starter which would indicate a bad earth.

You should not have to crank the motor to start, with a full battery it should be almost instantaneous once the solinoid throws in and the motor starts to crank over.


John,  What happens is that I turn the ignition and the starter (or something) sort of whirs, there is a sort of overun sound of something spinning, and then clicks.

Now I get to do it again. And again.  The problem is I never know if it will start first time or tenth. But it does always start.  The other electricals are good.  Every time i go near a mech he wants to change it over, but won't guarantee that it will solve the problem.

It has been getting worse over the last three years. Very slowly.

john skene

Sounds very unusual, it's normally only a Bendix starter that gives that type of problem. The Mercedes starter should engage with the ring gear before power is applied. Styria is right; a competent auto electrician should pick up the problem.