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Old 02-06-2007, 12:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 21
Question Can I run a 300E without charging a salvage compressor

The A/C compressor froze during this latest East coast cold spell on my 1990 300E. This car is not cost effective to keep the A/C running in so I just want to install a salvage A/C compressor to run the serpentine belt around. I plan on placing refrigerant oil in the compressor but you'll see below why I am concerned that I'll blow out this next compressor.

I had trouble taking the old A/C compressor out as the bolt holding the (manifold?) tubing had siezed badly. Sorry to say I had to cut the tubing running into/out-of the A/C compressor to free the beast so now I have no metal lines to hook the compressor to even if I wanted to. Those lines ran immediatlely to two metal cylindrical units - I cannot find a reference to what those items are. It appears one of them may be something to cool the gasoline before it reaches the fuel manifold. I need to know in case I need to shop for these items. I don't want refrigerant oil spewing from the newly installed compressor. Can I get by with no oil in the compressor?

Any help is greatly appreciated - I hate to see this nice daily driver bite the dust over a simple A/C compressor going up. But boy is it expensive to fix A/C systems on a mercedes.

Last edited by Jgood12006; 02-06-2007 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 02-06-2007, 02:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
Yes, you can use the salvage AC compressor for the serpentine belt. The compressor won't run because there is a pressure switch in series with the compressor clutch. Get the hoses, pipes and manifold from the salvage compressor so you will have AC during those long hot summers in Maryland. BTW, if your compressor siezed, there may not be enough oil in the system. The replacement compressor may be in need of cleaning so check the ports for black oil. You don't want to suffer from 'black compressor death' again.

You can also get a shorter serp belt for the non-AC version of your car, although I don't know where.


Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL


Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:04 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 21
Thanks for responding.
Indeed, when I finally was able to free the old compressor , one of the hoses (coming from the condensor) dripped a nasty, black (smelly) oil.

Post-mortem : Several weeks before this compressor froze, my daughter mentioned the climate system seemed dead (blower motor wouldn't engage). Heat would only drift through the car if it was moving. I found the car had blown fuse #7 which is tied to several things (the climate computer being one of them) and wouldn't you know it, the refrigerant high pressure switch (S32/1) ( I guess built into the A/C Compressor ) . Now that I have removed the compressor and I've replaced the fuse, I have the climate system back on-line w/ the blower motor (but of course no A/C).

So one symptom of a failing A/C compressor may be blowing of the fuse controlling the switch to the dying unit.

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