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After having lived with hard starting, excessive cranking on my '91 164L I thought I would share how I resolved it. The car got progressively worse, hot or cold did not make much difference. Once in a while it would start on the first click of the starter. Flooring the accelerator seemed to help occasionally, but unpredictable.

The biggest clue I had was the longer the car sat unused, the better it behaved, 2 weeks etc.

The fix? Pulled the vacuum line off to the fuel pressure regulator and the car started immediately. Eventually fuel started dribbling out of the vacuum line. A rupture in the fuel regulator diaphragm was allowing excess fuel to bleed into the intake plenum.

Took about 5 minutes to fix it.

Ian
 

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The fix? Pulled the vacuum line off to the fuel pressure regulator and the car started immediately. Eventually fuel started dribbling out of the vacuum line. A rupture in the fuel regulator diaphragm was allowing excess fuel to bleed into the intake plenum.

Took about 5 minutes to fix it.

Thanks for sharing - it's always useful to know the symptoms for various failures.

I created a similar problem when I accidentally swapped hoses on fuel rail (while fuel rail removed from engine, I replaced the hoses) and fitted tank return hose to rail (instead of regulator) by mistake, with the rail joining hose going to the pressure regulator. Result was insufficient pressure for the engine to run until I clamped off the return line. Thought the regulator was faulty - very embarrassing when someone else pointed out my mistake.

-Alex
 
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