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Old 08-24-2003, 10:55 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: north carolina
Posts: 113
remanufactured compressor

Has anyone ever replaced the compressor in a 1989 300e with a remanufactured unit, need some feedback on how well does compressor hold up as compared to a brand new unit. Heard it usually goes bad in about two years after install.
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Old 08-24-2003, 11:10 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Is it a Mercedes rebuild? I have heard good things about MB rebuilds, but don't know much about others.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 08-24-2003, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
There are many types of compresor failure. The most common is also the simplest to fix. That is a leaking compressor. The system functions but it can't keep the refrigerant in.

The most devastating of all AC failures are the mechanical destruction of NipponDenso compressors. The fallout from the destruction forms all kinds of contaminants; the worse of which is a condition nicknamed "the black death". Search the archives.

The black death happens in Nippondenso compressors because instead of using rings for piston seals they use teflon coated pistons. In the caldren that occurs during failure, compounds of teflon, carbon, oil, aluminum, whatever are created that are carried throughout the system. While it is concievable that the low side components of such a system might be flushed, the problem occurs on the high side where even after the most abrasive of flushing, a coating remains that is instantly released once the high side is running at temperature once more.

So, I have been using a combination of MB and Denso rebuilt this year. The Densos are a new product this year and look real good. On the box they describe what they do in rebuilding, and I assume they are at the state of the art on their own compressors (one would think that the original manufacturer would do the best rebuilding job) but they state clearly that they reuse pistons after careful testing. They DO NOT restore the teflon layer they only check to see it hasn't failed.

Probably the worse thing I see happen to 300Es is the replacement of a compressor for leaks and loose the whole system to a rebuilt meltdown. Believe me we learned the hard way when we first started fixing Nippondenso failures over 15 years ago. After some of the worse repair disasters I have seen in business we only used new compressors or ones we resealed ourselves for a number of years until MB came out with their rebuilts. WE have used MB rebuilt, Porsche rebuilt, and VW rebuilt Nippondenso compressors and only MB have given good service. Luckily all the defects have been leakers so far, nothing like the failures of the aftermarket rebuilts we used in those early days more than ten years ago.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 08-24-2003, 02:56 PM
haasman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097

So if someone has a "black death" failure .... is it out of the question to believe the system can be flushed? Or is it under the realm of "maybe" depending on the extent of distruction?

BTW, thanks for your advice here. I will be needing a compressor on the 300E soon.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:04 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
I bought a remanufactured compressor about 2-3 years ago...

it has worked fine until recently the clutch shorted. Is it the beginning of the end for my compressor?...Only time will tell.
BTW, it is NOT a MB rebuilt. I think it is a denso rebuilt.
'86 300E
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Old 08-24-2003, 03:34 PM
GermanStar's Avatar
Annelid wrangler
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Posts: 4,932
In general, rebuilt Nippondenso compressors seem to have a slightly higher failure rate than new ones, but well within reason. Rebuilt Delco A6 compressors seem as good as new, and rebuilt Delco R4 compressors should be returned to the garbage heap from which they sprang.

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Old 08-24-2003, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: north carolina
Posts: 113
Thanks to everyone for all this valuable information, leaning towards getting a new compressor versus a remanufactured.
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Old 08-25-2003, 12:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: evergreen co
Posts: 25
denso apart-need info

I have my Nippendenso compressor apart to replace the seals. I cannot figure out what the intended connection between the shaft and the wobble plate is. There is no keyway etc. The shaft is too small for a press fit. Can someone tell me how the plate is conected to the shaft?
Thanks JD
87 300sdl
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