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Old 03-28-2001, 12:24 AM
Posts: n/a
First, I've just joined this forum. Hello to you all. I'd also like to compliment on the layout of the site, very easy and simple to navigate.

Now, last week I took my mother's 300TE to have the climate control problem diagnosed. Two shops have determined the AC Compressor to be leaking freon like a beast. They've quoted 12 and $1300 to replace (along with neccesary other replacements in the procedure.) I'm trying to find a way around that... looking for any cheaper alternative short of hitting the summer without AC. If anyone has any experience with this please let me know. TIA.
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Old 03-28-2001, 12:57 AM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
AC Compressors


Welp, you've hit a fairly expensive area of MB... AC Compressors. The cheapest way is to do it yourself if you're qualified. An AC compressor should cost around 300-450 dollars plus the reciever/drier which should be replaced anytime the system is opened. While you're at it, convert the r12(freon) to 134A(SUVA). Most places sell a conversion kit including adaptors,oil,hose and valve for about $35 and 134A is much cheaper than r12 (4.99 vs 40.00 per can and you dont need a license for 134a like you do for r12).

Good Luck

Jason M.

PS: If you do it yourself, buy the parts from the Online Part Shop, they're pretty cheap and they are nice enough to let us use their forum.
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Old 03-28-2001, 01:31 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,315
Before I agreed to a new compressor, I would check to see exactly what is leaking. You should be able to tell from the dye. There are seals between the compressor and the manifold pipe, and on the speed sensor on the back of the compressor. You can get them from the dealer for a few bucks and replace them yourself if that is the problem.

If you convert to R134, you need to replace the Schraeder (expansion) valve and two sensors which come to about $100.

You really need to take it to a shop to have the system evacuated and charged.

R134 conversion is a hotly contested topic on this board. In fact the whole area of 124 climate control has generated an amazing number of posts, which you make want to look at. Including my epic struggle with a fried compressor. Don't miss Steve's classic on Black Death.

Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 03-29-2001, 10:15 AM
Jason M.
Posts: n/a
Hey Chuck

Hey Chuck, what did Steve mean by Black Death?
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Old 03-30-2001, 02:27 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,315
Black Death occurs when certain compressors run too hot and seize. In the process, melted teflon gets into all parts of the system. This teflon has the interesting characteristic that when cold it sticks to hoses, condensor, evaporator, etc and therefore cannot be flushed.

So the unwitting owner replaces the compressor and drier, has the lines flushed and the system charged for $1500 or so. Then after it runs for a while, the teflon liquifies and apparently turns to black goo, which gets sucked into and clogs the new compressor. Hence the term Black Death.

Steve - Did I get this right?

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Old 03-30-2001, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Could not have said it better. The big problem occurs in the condenser where the temperature go hot and melts the death.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 03-30-2001, 09:33 PM
Posts: n/a
R12 vs 134A

When did MB switch from R12 to 134A? I have a 94 E420. Would mine use R12 or 134A? How can I tell?
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