Follow-up to my -- Re: Please Help! '89 190E 2.6 Start Problem & More ??

After 2 months, I was finally able to scrape together enough money to get our '89 190E 2.6 into a dealer for a diagnosis. The results TOTALLY surprised me,
so I though I'd share with you all, ask you for additional advice, and to especially THANK all of you who offered suggestions.
I received a call from the dealer's service rep. yesterday saying the plugs were fouled with oil and the coil was defective. As a consequence, there was no spark and they could not start the car for further diagnosis. Their estimate was $200 for parts (coil & 6 plugs) and $250 for labor. I responded, "you mean you are telling me I have to spend $450 to get to the point where you can start to diagnose what the problem really is?" (I refreshed his memory by describing how and when the failure to start had occurred [driving down freeway, exited and stopped at signal light; turned right and proceeded downhill, car ran out of fuel while going down the hill, so I pulled into the right-hand lane and pulled off the main road at the stop-light at the bottom of the hill; put gas into the tank, but car would not re-start.) I said I had a hard time believing that the problem was an ignition problem from the way the failure had occurred. He said, we can't tell you what's wrong if the car isn't running, and it will take a new coil and plugs to get it started. I asked him if they would install used parts since I felt they were overcharging for new parts that may not solve the problem. He said they'd install them if I brought them in, so I went to Tri-Star Pete's (our local MB specialty salvage yard), got the parts and delivered them to the dealer for a fraction of what the dealer wanted.
This morning, I got a call from the dealer saying the coil was definitely bad, but the car did not start when they replaced it, so they suspected the problem was the Ignition Control Unit, for which they wanted $2,123 + tax and labor.
I said "you mean to tell me that I've got to spend as much as the car is worth to get it out of your shop?" to which he replied, "yes, but at least your car will be running." I again asked about installing used parts and he said they would if I brought in a new control unit. I got the part number from him and called Tri-Star Pete's again. They have a unit, but the vacuum nipple is broken and will have to be repaired. He says a little JB Weld should fix it.
So my questions to you are:
Does the diagnosis of the "Ignition Control Unit" failure sound reasonable as a cause of this failure to start problem, given the nature of when/how it occurred?
Does fixing the broken vacuum nipple on the used ICU with JB Weld sound like something that will work?
Would I be better-off selling the car for parts rather than investing in having it fixed?
Thanks for all your previous advice and for your assistance with these questions.
Lee
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First, I have to say you should find a new shop. The shop I use keeps a pile of test units in the back just to try the "swap out the part to see if it is the problem" method of repair. If it works with the used "test ECU" the say "You need a new ECU" and quote a price. Some dealers do this as well. Find one.

as a

Yes, but I would test more before spending $2k. As the other poster said, ask them what they base this diagnosis on.

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I have done a lot of repairs with JB Weld. It works well if you are patient, and don't get it where it should not be. That said, if it looks like you feel you can't do it, you are probably right...

having
Many people do a cost analysis based on the market value of the car. I do it based on the value to me. Could I get a car as nice as the one I have for the cost of the repair + salvage on the existing car?
Lee (but a different Lee)
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Can't you find another used one that isn't broken? Try Potomac German Auto and talk to Pat (he's their 190 guy).
www.pgauto.com
Bill Balmer 190e 2.3-16
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