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  #1  
Old 08-18-2007, 01:16 PM
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Help with determining what repairs need to be done

So I'm getting some repairs done on my 92 300D. Replacing the flex shaft, serpintine belt, and rebuilding the leaking powersteering box are at the top of the list. The car has 175k on the OD.

The serpentine belt is original. The mechanic showed it to me and it appears to be slightly worn on one edge - doesn't look like major wear but I guess if it was really worn it would be broken and I would be pretty f'd so I'm going to replace it now while I have a decent mechanic (going to school in LA in 1 week). Makes sense, right?

The flex shaft obviously needed to be replaced so thats a no brainer. It's also original. I imagine I should get another 170k out of a new one (right?)

The power steering box is obviously leaking - sadly it doesn't seem like a gasket can be replaced according to the mechanic. Hes going to put in a rebuilt part.


The AC leaks terribly. It started out as a slow leak and now it won't hold charge for more then a week or so. So I don't use it. However the guy was saying the caps for the upper and lower are missing (and they are). He says putting the caps on might slow the leak down or fix it. He wants to get some caps and recharge. This I can easily do myself so I'm going to DIY that. He says that the caps are a "secondary seal" - any truth to that? Caps are 6 bucks a piece so I'll just order them online.

Also a few hoses need to be replaced.

So I haven't gotten a quote yet but I get the feeling that this is gonna cost upwards of $2k.


CLIFF NOTES: If you guys have any advice on the serpintine belt, powersteering box, and AC I would be appreciative. Has anyone had the powersteering box replaced? Slight wear on the serp belt - obvious replace? Any truth to AC caps? Never replaced this stuff before. 92 300D 175k on the clock. Thank you much.

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  #2  
Old 08-19-2007, 01:05 AM
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I don't know about the other questions, but I've been told by dedicated AC shops that the caps do help as seals, they also help keep crud out of the schrader valve in the fill ports.

Also, you might see if there is an AC shop in your area, they often have some generic AC caps that you can pick up off of them for a song. I think I paid $2 each. Admittedly, though, that's small change compared to the rest of the work.
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  #3  
Old 08-19-2007, 01:25 AM
Craig
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Originally Posted by bigdan View Post
So I haven't gotten a quote yet but I get the feeling that this is gonna cost upwards of $2k.
That sound right, the AC is never as simple as it looks. I just paid over $500 for one hose on my 83 (parts only), as part of a $1400 AC repair (R-12).
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  #4  
Old 08-19-2007, 05:50 AM
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The power steering boxes are extremely long lived. I would check carefully to be sure it is leaking from the box. It is a lot more likely to be a hose or a loose fitting.

And if it is at the box there is no reason not to replace the seal.

Tom W
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Old 08-19-2007, 10:27 AM
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i have stopped many power steering leaks by changing the fluid.

Many cars use automatic trans fluid in the steering but when i replace it with power steering fluid the leak stops.

Try it before you change the box.

Steve
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2007, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by fireman1073 View Post
i have stopped many power steering leaks by changing the fluid.

Many cars use automatic trans fluid in the steering but when i replace it with power steering fluid the leak stops.

Try it before you change the box.

Steve
Hmm ok thanks Tom and Steve. I personally wont be doing the repairs, we were looking at the car when it was up and there was a lot of wetness around the box, hoses, everything and apparently I was almost out of fluid so who knows whats leaking for sure. They understand that I'm trying to get this done as cheaply as possible but I will suggest that when they give me the quote tomorrow Monday.

Allen and Craig, I hear ya on those AC problems and appreciate your advice. They are frustrating and expensive which is why I haven't bit the bullet to replace the compressor (which I think is leaking - we did a dye test a couple years ago). That said I'd love to get 6 months-1 year out of an AC charge like I used to but replacing the caps. Not to mention it will keep any dirt out of the valves. I have an AC shop by my house so I will see if they have any caps for sale.


Edit - So, any ideas on the serpintine belt or flex disk? The flex disk is worn, when they jacked the car up you could see it sort of rotated (the whole driveshaft) a few degrees. The serpintine belt had slight wear on the edge facing the grill. My thing is, aside from the 900 mile trip I'll take in the beginning and end of the year I really wont drive the car much (once a week, 5-10 miles to go to the grocery store or wal mart is usually it). I guess the issue is, if that serpentine belt goes in post apocalyptic New Orleans I am screwed - I'll have to get it towed to some shop I don't know, with no transportation, etc. I'm wondering what sort of chances I have of either part going. What about the flex disk? What happens if that gets destroyed? Thank you.

Last edited by bigdan; 08-19-2007 at 12:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2007, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdan View Post
He says that the caps are a "secondary seal" - any truth to that?
The caps absolutely provide a secondary seal. However, if the schraeder valves are leaking, why not replace them? They can (with the proper tool) be replaced without loosing the refrigerant charge.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by bigdan View Post
What about the flex disk? What happens if that gets destroyed? Thank you.
The flex disc on some models has been known to fail at highway speeds, become tangled in the parking brake cable and bring the car to a uncontrollable halt.
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  #9  
Old 08-19-2007, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tangofox007 View Post
The flex disc on some models has been known to fail at highway speeds, become tangled in the parking brake cable and bring the car to a uncontrollable halt.
uh... holy ****. Ok thanks, this is what I need to know... it looked fairly loose. When I had the car looked at last thanksgiving they wanted to replace it then, but I had no money and had some more pressing repairs. I'll probably have it replaced as I don't feel like dying on I-10. I'll also consider replacing the schraeder valves themselves... I imagine using that UV leak detection system would come in handy here.
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2007, 09:05 PM
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You need to get all the other stuff right before messing with the AC. You can live without AC, you can't drive the car with a messed up serpentine belt or a bad flex disc.

Spend the money on the things that drive the car, then if you have money left do the personal comfort items.
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  #11  
Old 08-19-2007, 09:12 PM
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I'm going to hazard that the serpentine belt wear is due to a worn out tensioner. It's a cheap and easy part to replace that will save you from replacing the new belt to soon.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2007, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
You need to get all the other stuff right before messing with the AC. You can live without AC, you can't drive the car with a messed up serpentine belt or a bad flex disc.

Spend the money on the things that drive the car, then if you have money left do the personal comfort items.
Don't get me wrong... I've been going w/ out AC for over a year now. Its not a huge priority. However, in the deep south it gets hot as hell 3/4 of the year so if a couple plastic caps will fix my problem, I'm all ears - I'm sure you would be too. The reason why I keep asking about stuff like the flex shaft and serp belt on here is because I'm trying to not get SCREWED, I'd like to know exactly how important these repairs are, why they are important etc. Its not because I'd rather put the money into my AC or don't care about the car or something.

So with that said I went ahead w/ all the repairs besides the AC ('cus I'll just look at that myself). I am getting everything done (plus some misc. stuff that I haven't mentioned - a dozen items in total) for $1500.

Of course when they took the front end apart to replace the serp belt they found out that the fan clutch was worn out and that needed replacement which will be an additional $185 (at first they wanted $380 lol - autpartswarehouse.com set them straight). So its $1700 (not too far from my original estimate of 2k) and I am getting A LOT of stuff done. I think I found a good shop as they were willing to work with me and understood that I wasn't going to simply agree with whatever they said.

So thanks again for everyone's advice... my car and wallet appreciate it Even if a $60 oil change turned into a $1700 repair-fest, without the proper knowledge I could have easily been screwed to the tune of $2500+.
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2007, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Dieseldoofus View Post
I'm going to hazard that the serpentine belt wear is due to a worn out tensioner. It's a cheap and easy part to replace that will save you from replacing the new belt to soon.

thanks I have them replacing the tensioner as well.

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