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i have a 1987 260e. i used to run my car with 5 dollars of gas at a time. deffinately wasnt the smartest thing to do. but i ran it out of gas and now the car runs very rough. especially on hills and accelerating from a stop. i changed the fuel filter but it still does it. i think it is a problem with the catalytic converter. The converter turns red hot when i let the car idle for a few minutes. i had problems with my exhaust even before i ran out of gas. i think i need to replace the entire exhaust system. if anybody knows of a good place to get a new exhaust system please let me know.
 

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Sounds to me like your converter is just doing it's job. Sounds to me like your car just has a misfire. And if you keep driving it like that, within no time, you will have to replace your converter, cause it'll melt down. I'd start checking out by first pulling your spark plugs and taking a good look at them.
 

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FUEL INJECTOR CLEANER

catalytic converter glowing in the daytime? it could be that your engine may be running pretty lean (leading to detonation and excessive heat build-up). i invested in a Raytek infrared thermometer (with the cool laser pointer built in). on my '86 300E, i point at each exhaust port and read 377 degreesF on an average 80dF day.

for the metal to glow, exhaust must be pumping over 800dF. is it a faint cherry red glow? is it an orange glow? a yellow glow would lead to complete blow-thru and you'll be seeing flames underneath. white hot is white hot!

when you run your tank empty (especially a 15 year old tank), you are picking up gas sludge, rust corrosion, and possibly silt/sand from the very bottom of your tank. a good gas filter should take care of most of the crud, but if you intend to run on a SINGLE gallon per trip, you will have to keep changing gas filters. once the crud gets past your fuel filter, it's going to hit the injectors.

clogged injectors could be spraying lean. you want to go back to a richer fuel mixture.

the cheapest (and laziest) way to clean injectors would be to invest in a bottle of Fuel Injector Cleaner. read the instructions-- it says use with a full tank. pour the whole bottle and top off the tank. maybe use a higher octane gas to further reduce detonation.

one of three things could happen. all injectors could open up. some of the injectors could open up and the rest remain cruddy (and spraying lean and detonating). or the crud from your nasty old fuel tank could dislodge with the help of the fuel injector cleaner and clog your new fuel filter and all injectors may run lean (never fear, replace your fuel filter again).

your trusty infrared thermometer will let you know which cylinders are running optimal and which are running hotter than normal (cruddy injectors). keep using the Fuel Injector Cleaner in the fuel tank for the next 4-6 refills. if that doesn't help, read on.

with six injectors at $36 per injector and my own labor, i didn't have to rely on the fuel injector cleaner therapy. i decided the best thing to do is replace all six mechanical fuel injectors on my '86 300E so it is one subsystem less to troubleshoot. a twenty year old mechanical injector is just that-- a 20 year old injector. nothing lives forever.

i now have consistent injector spray pattern, consistent temperature readings from the exhaust, smoother cylinder ignition.

don't wanna spend on new injectors? get a gallon of Berryman's Carburetor Cleaner (with the dipping basket) and soak your mechanical injectors overnite. rinse with clean water, scrubbing vigorously and allow to dry. re-install and get some infrared temperature readings. if it works, good for you! if not, more labor and get the one or two injectors as needed. the rejuvenated injectors may last awhile, but the spray pattern may not be as good as the new injectors.

also, when you get new injectors, they don't come with the hard rubber seals. best to replace with new ones. carefully unthread the metal fuel lines from the mechanical fuel distributor (so as not to pinch the metal lines). my injectors were held in place by a single bolt and metal clamp/strap. [to see injectors and fuel line, you will have to unbolt the air cleaner]

good luck!
 

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