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  #1  
Old 08-05-2006, 03:43 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
Question Compressor Bad?

I picked up an '81 300 SD three weeks ago. Over the past two weeks I have had a problem with the belts squeeling. It seems to happen only once the car has warmed up a little, and happens sitting at idle as well as while driving. I [I]think[I] it's happening just when the air conditioning is running, but here in Florida that is almost always.

I checked the belt tension, and that seemed fine to me. I applied belt dressing, with little improvement made to the intermittant squeel.

Yesterday, the squeel stopped. I think that was due to the compressor belt breaking.

Do I have a compressor that has the bearings seizing up? Is there a way to check it?

On prior inspection of the belt, it did not appear overly worn, but it certainly wasn't near new either.

I'm very mechanically challenged / ignorant. I would hate to go through the hassle of changing out the belts only to have the squeel re-appear and break another belt. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I would also like to know if anyone can recommend a reasonable MB repair shop in the Vero Beach, FL area.

Thank you

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  #2  
Old 08-05-2006, 09:50 PM
engatwork's Avatar
busy
 
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Try to turn the compressor by hand. If you can't then that is probably your problem. I have seen the clutch lock up on them doing the same thing you are describing.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemediceric View Post

Yesterday, the squeel stopped. I think that was due to the compressor belt breaking.
A belt doesn't just break for no reason. Examine the belt. Was it on the vehicle since it left Germany? Is it an aftermarket POS? Is it a US equivalent that is narrower than the specified metric belt? Are there signs that the belt should have been replaced long ago?

If so, then install a proper new Continental belt that fits the pulley properly. Tension it to the required level and try it again.

If the clutch is seized, you'll see smoke pouring out from the new belt and the noise will be horrendous.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:34 PM
Craig
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Originally Posted by Brian Carlton View Post
If the clutch is seized, you'll see smoke pouring out from the new belt and the noise will be horrendous.
I know that sound, happened to mine a week ago.

When you turn it by hand, make sure you are turning the center part of the pulley, not just the outer portion. The outer portion should turn easily (without a belt). The center will be harder to turn, but it still should turn by hand.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:41 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
Thanx

Thank you for the tips. I outer part of the pulley moves freely when I turn it by hand, but I didn't know if that really told me anything or not, as I thought it may only be seizing up when a clutch inside the compressor was engaging. Tomorrow, when I have daylight, I will try turning the center portion of the pulley. As you can tell, I am pretty ignorant about this.

As I said in the original post, the belt was not new, but at an earlier inspection I did not see any signs of gross degredation or undue wear. Not enough left of the belt now to really tell anything.

I never did see any smoke pouring out while in motion or at idle.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:43 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
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Craig,
You said you had the same thing happen to you a week ago. Did it turn out to be a compressor problem?
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:44 PM
Craig
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If you're lucky, the belt was just old and it broke. If you're not so lucky the compressor seized and broke the belt. Let us know what you find.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2006, 10:47 PM
Craig
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Originally Posted by firemediceric View Post
Craig,
You said you had the same thing happen to you a week ago. Did it turn out to be a compressor problem?
My compressor seized in a big way, the entire front of the clutch was missing when I stopped. The clutch bearing also seized and stopped turning, resulting in the belt pretty much melting off. I cut off the belt and drove home, I now have a new compressor installed.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2006, 09:02 AM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
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Location: Vero Beach, FL
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Inner part of pulley moves

Craig,
I tried your suggestion first thing this morning. The outter part of the pulley turned freely. The inner part was much stiffer, but still turned. I applied pressure by hand against the edge of the triangular shaped plate on the front of the pulley. I turned it a couple of revolutions both clockwise and counter clockwise.

I hope this is a good sign that maybe I won't be wasting my time putting on a new belt.

Thank you
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2006, 09:11 AM
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That is a positive sign that the clutch and compressor will turn. Install a new belt and hook your gauges hooked up to the system to insure that your pressures are where they are supposed to be when the compressor is in operation.
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2006, 10:35 AM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
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I don't have the guages, or the knowledge to use them, but I will put on a new belt. Hopefully, I will get to this tomorrow when I get off shift in the morning. I'll report back the results.

Thank you
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2006, 11:04 AM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
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After market compressor?

I started calling the local auto parts stores to find the belts I need. According to Auto Zone, there are 2 possible compresors that may be on my '81 300 SD. They need to know which one I have to give me the correct belt.

I got underneath the car to look at the label on it and it says "Harrison General Motors" Does that sound right? What do you make of it?

Auto Zone was the only place that mentioned the need to know which compressor I have. The other places I called never questioned me.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2006, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemediceric View Post
I started calling the local auto parts stores to find the belts I need. According to Auto Zone, there are 2 possible compresors that may be on my '81 300 SD. They need to know which one I have to give me the correct belt.
There you go again.

Heading down the same path and obtaining a POS belt from AutoZone that probably will be too narrow for the sheave.

You own a Mercedes-Benz, not a POS Chevy. Obtain the proper belt from a proper supplier (FastLane or the dealer)........or suffer the same consequences.
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2006, 04:28 PM
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I agree with BC on this. I don't know how many MB's I have seen with belts that came from Advance Auto or a place like that and the fit in the pulley was not what it should have been.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2006, 05:25 PM
firemediceric's Avatar
1981 300 SD
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 351
I, to, have been disappointed in the past with certain parts from Auto Zone, Advanced Auto Parts, NAPA, and some of the others, but part of the issue is conveinence and my impatience. The closest MB dealer is 45 minutes away from me, and the wait on something mail order is at least 5-7 days unless I pay a huge price for expedited shipping.

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