OK, I'm stumped

I have a 1989 300e. It has seen a run through high water. (This is my second posting regarding this) It never stalled, but did stop running after 20 seconds when parked in a dry lot. I was able to start it
twice, but it would not stay running. Now it will not start) and checking the distributor for water and removing the air cleaner, it still will not start. I hear the fuel pump doing it's thing, but am unsure how much water might have entered the intake. It just keeps turning but will not even hint at trying to fire up.
1. Is it safe to use starting fluid on these cars? Not sure if that would help it get started and force the water from the system.
2. What is the best way to check spark, in case the coil is smoked?
3. Is ther anything else I should look for?
I have the tools and means to do just about anything maintenance wise, and always have. BUT, I have never had my son drive my car through 1-2 feet of water either.
Thanks.
Thom
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If you are saying that water wen into the intake, perhaps the air filter is saturated with water and choking the airflow?
I don't know squat about your model, but the fact the fact that it ran for a while seems good, at least it didn't suck a bunch of water into the intake, and liquid lock a piston. which would be serious damage.
If your car has electronic injection, it could be the air flow meter or any other intake path sensor got soaked and isn't doing it's job right.
Hope this helps, marty
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I'll look at the meeters next. Right now I am going to remove the plugs and give it a crank or to to blow any wate rout if any iis in there. Got some new plugs and an air filter too.
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I'd discount water entering the engine for it would not have run afterward.
I believe there's an electrical problem that prevents spark. At a guess - a guess - it could be something like the O2 sensor or, if so equipped, the crank angle sensor was drowned.
The fuel pump can be tested, defacto - is there pressure in the fuel rail when the engine is cranked? I doubt fuel is the problem, so don't use starting fluid.
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I've never failed to get an engine running, albeit briefly, no matter how long it has been sitting, seized, underwater, anything.
It is as simple as this - fuel & fire.
If you have fuel, and you have ignition, it will run.
Don't use the Blam Spray (ether). Not because it will harm the engine, but because I doubt that is the problem.
If it was my car, here is exactly what I would do, and I guarantee you will get it running.
(This assumes you have verified every single fuse, fusable link, connection is good everywhere on the car)
1. Ground the son. For quite a while.
2. Pull one plug, re-attach to ignition wire, take grounded son out of his room, have him hold the spark plug. Crank engine. If son screams like little girl, you have fire. If you are not that mad at son, lay plug (metal part of) on any metal grounded part in the engine compartment, and have son watch it while you crank the engine. Should be noice, zappy blue spark.
No Spark? Replace coil, replace any/all replaceable ignition parts. (Trust me - cost of just doing all of them is less than doing one at a time running back & forth to the parts department. And it will always be the last thing you replace.
If your spark is good, strong,
2. Drain all the oil. Remove the oil filter. Crank it over some when draining the oil (5-6 seconds) to get any/all oil out of crankcase. Let it totally drain. Put new filter on, top off with good oil.
3. Drain the gas tank. Completely. When it is completely drained, put an air hose in the filler & let it blow in for a good long while, drying as much as possible. Turn on ignition when doing this, to run fuel pumpmp to clear out the lines. (Better yet, disconnect lines & blow them out)
4. Replace fuel filter.
5. Fill with premium gas, Use the blam spray, start & drive

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Yeah! I like the crank angle sensor too, now that Thomas points out there is one....
If that's what it is, it will probably dry out and work (eventually).
Marty
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Thanks. All. I ennded up replacing the Air Filter, Plugs, Distributor cap and Rotor, and it fired right up. The Distributor cab looked horrible. I doubt it has ever been replaced in it's entire 233,000 miles.
Runs like new now. Oil and tank were clean.
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