Yes, get the repair manual on this 23 year old money pit. E-bay has
them and they have the diagnostic routines for fuel system problems.
Your beast is hard starting when hot because all the fuel in the
injector lines vaporizes and you have to blow it out with the starter
until you get liquid fuel and it starts. The purpose of the fuel
accumulator is to keep pressure in the system when hot and prevent this
The accumulator is the most common problem, but other possible pressure
leaks are: injectors, pressure regulator (in the fuel distributor),
cold start valve, fuel pump check valve, and, iirc, the warm-up
compensator, and a couple of other places. Diagnose before you replace
- you will run out of money before they run out of parts. Often a bad
accumulator will howl at you.
The fuel accumulator is the top one of three cans held in a single
bracket near the right rear axle, behind a black plastic cover. Pull
the cover first. The bottom can is the fuel pump, the middle one is
the fuel filter.
The pressure side of the accumulator has a steel high-pressure fuel
line into it. If the diaphram has a hole, fuel will leak through it
and out the rubber relief line on the other end of the accumulator back
into the intake for the pump through a pressure damper. If you clamp
this line shut (hard, it is really stiff rubber, you may damage it and
have to replace anyway) and the problem goes away, it's the
accumulator. Make sure you get the plastic sleeve between the pump and
the bracket when you reassemble. With a car this old, be looking to
replace all rubber fuel and vacuum lines before they fail completely.
If you don't , leaks can cause all kinds of hard-to-diagnose problems.
Do fuel system repairs outside with a fire extinguisher handy.
'82 380 SL - 163K
'81 380 SL - 124K
some people never learn