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Old 09-12-2003, 12:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin
Posts: 28
140 Evaporator Leak

The dreaded time has come. My evaporator is leaking and leaking fast. I've seen some pictures and read some horror stories, but I'm determined to do it myself. Any detailed instuctions? Any hints?

BTW, I've tried the seal kits. They slowed the leak, but the $250 for the kit would have been better spent on a new evaporator.

I understand MB has "fixed" the problem (How can this not be a recall???) with the new evaporators. Should I go aftermarket or from MB?

95 S500
91 300 SL
97 SL500
Lyndon T

91 300 sl
95 S500
97 SL 500
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Old 09-12-2003, 01:49 PM
GermanStar's Avatar
Annelid wrangler
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Fountain Hills, AZ
Posts: 4,918
Go aftermarket unless you have an extra $300 to burn for the same product.

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Old 09-12-2003, 08:23 PM
KenP's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
The on line manual at ALLDATA is pretty detailed for pulling the dash and getting to the evap... probably worth the 30 bucks to have the procedure first hand for this job.
Have never done it (so far, mine's still tight) but would really like to see this documented on the forum with good pix... I'm sure my day is coming...
I wonder what the % of failure is on these things...
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Old 09-14-2003, 02:18 AM
A. Rosich's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Posts: 883
Oh, the dreaded Evap leak on W140s...

What's the percentage rate of failure?

Believe me when I tell you is 100%!!!!

Yes, all evaporators fitted to W140s will fail sooner or later. There are a hundred tricks to slow down the process, but eventually, all have to be replaced.

Don't be so sure a NEW evaporator from M.B. will last you a lifetime. According to the trade here, the new evaporators still have the same design problem that made the original evaporators leak in the first place (a combination of copper and alluminum piping).

Only fitting a 100% copper pipping aftermarket evaporator could almost guarantee you that you will not have problems in the future. They are expensive, but when you take into account the money you save on labor by removing the dash everytime the evap fails, the price looks like a bargain.
A. Rosich
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995 [Sadly sold ]
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Old 09-14-2003, 11:15 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 303

What a coincidence, I'm fixing to do my r129 evap as well. oh by the way, this is Anthony from San Marcos, you do remember, right? Anyway, the reason for this unexpected leak on the 124's 140's and 129's is the aluminum/copper connection of the evaporator. Due to it's different expansion rate when temps go up or down, the "epoxy'd " connection weakens and whalla, leaks like a m^&*((*(&^%$r. We have the tube and fin design. As you can see on most internet parts stores, the behr is the identical one as our MBZ branded evap. To me, it is kinda stupid to put the same evap with the same design flaw. I would put in an all copper tubing to prevent doing this twice. Now the only thing we have to do is find one. MBZ of Austin qouted me $1400 in labor only. Ben's @2900 p/l German autocenter, 2300 p/l
They also recommended to change heater core, vacuum servos, rcvr/dryr, and exp valve which are not part of the qouted prices.


1978 280 CE silver
1986 560 SL black
1987 300 SDL cream
1994 SL 500 brilliant green
1997 E 300d dessert silver
2005 FORD F250 Superduty Crew cab 4x4

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