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Old 10-31-2001, 08:15 PM
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190E 2.3 A/C evaporator

I've got trouble with the A/C evaporator on my '93 190E 2.3 127kmi. I had the system converted from R12 to 134a in Feb this year, and all worked fine. But recently I noticed a "salty" smell coming from the vents. A check by my MB independent showed it was the evaporator that was leaking. He also went on to say that a proper 134a conversion would have replaced the evaporator, condenser, as well as the receiver/drier and expansion valve coz the "glue used hold the pipes together in the evap/condenser melt under 134a - newer units are resistant to that". Is this true?

OK - so now I look to replace the evaporator. Fastlane shows a list of $940. Phil says he can get other units for much less than that. But when I put this to my mechanic, I get nothing but doom and gloom stories about how "they won't last".

What have other members found in their experience with OEM or refurb evaporator units?
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Old 10-31-2001, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
First, I don't think you will find a refurbished unit. You will find OE and aftermarket. I have used them and they work well once connected. The connection is a little more work with the aftermarket, but if you do it yourself, you will save enough money for the fuss of the aftermarket part.

If your tech does it, you are at his mercy on parts.

I use only the Behr or the ACM cores on the really hard ones, but on the 190, the evap is so easy to get to, I'd use any of them within reason.
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 10-31-2001, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 613
Benzmac: Where is the evaporator located on the 190 and what are the steps to get to it (if the steps are not too long)

1993 500E
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Old 11-01-2001, 12:36 AM
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Thanks Donnie - I thought I would look at a Behr unit. No way could I do the work myself, so I'll supply the part to the tech and risk having to redo the labour if the part fails. Your reply also suggests that the aftermarket units are slightly different to the MB part, such that the connections will be more fiddly - is this what you mean?

Do you have an opinion on the point about having to replace most of the bits when converting from R12 to 134a because "the glue connecting the pipes together melts"?
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Old 11-01-2001, 07:24 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 962
The real issue with leaking evaporators, I'm told, is that aluminum evaporators and R134a don't mix as it is corrosive to aluminum over time. Mine went out last summer. My mechanic used an OEM Behr unit (copper, not aluminum).
'93 400E
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Old 11-01-2001, 06:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
On the 190E the A/C evaporator is under the hood & takes 3 hrs or less to replace.
All Behr OE evaporators are ALUMINUM!! only sone of the less $$ aftermarket parts are copper!
R134a doesn't melt any glue holding the pipes but will erode Aluminum.
THERE aren't any OE R134A componets on the W201(190) chassis, however the replacement Driers & Expansions valves are for R134a or R12.
On the aftermarket evaporators that I've installed on 190's bending(tubing) slightly is REQUIRED. But they work well!
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