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Old 09-25-2018, 09:26 PM
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Squiggle Dog Squiggle Dog is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Posts: 3,777
Finally, after over two years of working on the 350SDL, it was ready for my roommate to start using it. He was so excited that he stayed home from work, printed out a trip permit, drove it to the emissions station, got it licensed and registered in his name, and got five new tires put on the CLK rims. We cleaned up and treated the rust around the rear fender arches and installed chrome trim to cover it.


He drove it to work the next day and said that it drove like a cloud, but the air conditioning was blowing warm air. He took the car to an air conditioning shop and they charged $65 for an inspection. They quoted him $1,500-$2,000 to get the system to hold refrigerant. This included a new compressor (they said it was bad and wanted $1,000 for a new one), a new manifold hose, and labor. Then after the system would hold refrigerant, they would want another $1,500 or so to fix the "Jerry-rigged fan wiring" and the non-operational dashboard vents, which they said is a common problem.

So it looked like we were going to have to buy the parts and install them myself as these shops mark up the prices so much and charge so much for labor. He ordered a new Denso compressor (under $200) and had the hoses remade with barrier hose for $250. The hose shop also repaired the stripped-out aluminum threads on the stock parallel-flow condenser.


I was advised to flush the evaporator. What I did was drill a hole through the smaller holes of the old expansion valve and blew it out and cleaned it with flush. Then I installed the expansion valve and the hoses. I ran the thick hose through the firewall and fitted a funnel to it, while routing the thin long hose through the cabin and into a gallon water bottle. I poured in some A/C flush from a bottle through the funnel so that it would fill up the evaporator and I let it soak for half an hour. During this time I hung the catch bottle off the turn signal stalk.



After this I moved the catch bottle down onto the ground outside the car with the long, thin hose still attached. I then blew compressed air through the thick hose in the firewall as it drained into the catch bottle.

The flush is a clear liquid. What came out into the bottle was bright orange with not a speck of dirt. I'm not sure if the orange color is from a leak dye or the color of the old oil. I flushed until the fluid came out clear. I then blew compressed air through until nothing was coming out, then disconnected the hoses and then blew compressed air through the evaporator again from inside the car. Then it was left open to dry out for a few days. The old expansion valve was held together with J-B Weld.


The new expansion valve came from the local auto parts store. It was listed as Murray brand, but the stock photo showed an Egelhof made in France. When we looked at the box, the box was labeled Made in China. The valve had a big sticker over the original sticker. So I peeled that sticker off, revealing an Egelhof R-134a sticker underneath. No indication of where it was made, though, but probably China.

He got the air conditioning charged with R-134a, but it was only blowing 48 degrees F out the vents and didn't seem very cold, which was disappointing. So, I stayed up late that night and though I couldn't find a vacuum leak, the vent pods weren't opening and letting any cool air get through the vents; however the floor vents were stuck open with some metal that someone propped in there. I teed the vent pods to the main vacuum source going to the switchover valve and removed the home-made floor vent props.

Now it blows nice and cold and strong through the vents instead of an anemic lukewarm breeze.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Highly Optioned, 350,000+ Miles

Last edited by Squiggle Dog; 09-25-2018 at 09:36 PM.
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