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  #1  
Old 06-22-2000, 01:37 PM
rhinobenz
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My mechanic tells me that my evaporator is the root of all evil in my climate control system (89 300E). Apparently I have a large leak and am loosing all my freon from this location. He also wants a very large sum of money. something like $1000 for parts and then 16 hours of labor on top of that. Has anyone had this work done on thier car? Is there any more cost effective alternatives (i.e. cheaper parts)? thanks,
Ryan
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  #2  
Old 06-22-2000, 01:50 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
I suggest you do a "search" on this site. As far as the parts, what is he changing? just the evaporator, r134 convertion, compressor, receiver/dryer, etc? If it is the evaporator only, it is tooooo much $$$ for the parts. Check with the parts shop for prices. It is labor intensive, since the whole dash has to come off...Whatever you do, make sure you get a copper coil evaporator.
Good luck!
J.H.
86 300E
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  #3  
Old 06-22-2000, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Tampa, FL
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Make an appointment with stevebfl to get this fixed at his shop. I know it's across the state from you in Gainesville but, believe me, you don't want just anyone working on this A/C system. I spent over $6000 at 4 different shops in two years on my 87 300e and nobody ever got it right. The A/C in this car can be enough to make you sell it and get something else, which is why I have the VW.

------------------
Rick Miley
99 E300 TurboDiesel
00 Jetta TDI
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  #4  
Old 06-22-2000, 04:46 PM
Benzman500
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which shop did u go to the name

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1985 euro 500sel 220k
1981 300sd 278k sold
1989 chrysler
leabaron 130k
1990 320sl (hopefully)
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  #5  
Old 06-23-2000, 06:42 AM
dfndr
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It's Continental Imports in Gainesville; they are knowledgeable, competent, and honest. In addition, they're nice people.

Their telephone number is (352) 377-6604.

Brian
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2000, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 5,316
My sympathies on the occasion of your diagnosis of a bad evaporator.

My suggestion -

The evaporator fittings connect to the expansion valve and are reasonably accessible. If it has not been done already, I would check the integrity of the evaporator through a vacuum or air pressure test before I put out for 16 hours of labor.

I would not want to second-guess your mechanic, but since the evaporator is the one place that can't be accessed in the system, it may be blamed because they can't find anything else.

Another positive test for evaporator leakage is to charge the system, get it running and "sniff" for freon coming out of the AC vents.

It is true that the original aluminum evaporators sort of dissolve over time, but I would make sure before I signed up for the repair.

Good luck.

Chuck
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2000, 03:41 PM
rhinobenz
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I believe that it was after a "sniff" test that this diagnosis was made. Ive shoppeda round and found OE evaporators for arounde $300.00. Non OE for even more than that, and Aftermarket for as low as $115. Has anyone had any experience with anything other than an OE evaporator?

Thanks again
Ryan
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  #8  
Old 06-24-2000, 05:28 PM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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We use a copper tubed evaporator that we sell for around $300. We do charge about 15 hours labor to remove and replace the evpaporator, five vacuum servos, retrofit and charge. The vacuum servos are probably one of the most common problems guaranteed to come to every car eventually. A coupe of them require dash removal and one is inside the case itself. We always replace them as they only take a little more time now and ensure proper airflow afterwards and into the furure.

One of the most subtle losses of duct temperature is when the recirculate door isn't held closed. It can cost 10degs of duct temp loss to have it fully open. The most common duct problem is the loss of center vents with the air going through the defrost vents. This causes poor cooling efficiency and often causes a severe fogging problem on the outside of the window (at least in humid Florida).

BTW thanks for the nice comments about my shop and people.

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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  #9  
Old 06-24-2000, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
I seem to have this same problem in my 1990 300D 2.5. A charge will last about a month. The last guy said that his sniffer indicated a minuscule leak under the dash.

In addition, when the system is working, from time to time it will blow hot air for about 30 seconds, then begins cooling again.

A question: what is an estimate for the average job to repair this? How many days would it take?
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  #10  
Old 06-25-2000, 02:04 AM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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Your problem with brief periods of heat is not likely caused by refrigeration problems. It is more likely a heater valve problem or compressor control problem.

The evaporator job with 5 vacuum servos (at $20-35 each)and retrofitting is around $1500. Putting it back in R12 (Freon) is about the same (higher refrigerant costs versus retrofit procedures). I don't recommend retrofitting old nippondenso compressors especially those prior to 1990 (smaller displacement - lower capacity).

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician

[This message has been edited by stevebfl (edited 06-25-2000).]
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2000, 06:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
I forgot to say that I have already had the system retrofit to R134a, because replacing the freon was just too damned expensive.

I am actually trying to get a real estimate on this job. I do want to get it completely fixed, with a real copper core evaporator, not the darn old aluminum core which is what caused the problem in the first place.

Does my 1990 2.5 Turbo 300D have the smaller compressor, and can it be replaced by the larger compressor, such as are used in newer models? After I had it retrofit to the new gas, it cooled just fine, even in Miami Summer heat.

I suppose the compressor would have to run more to keep it cool. Is there any other reason to use the R-12? Eventually, my guess is that R-12 will be impossible to find at any price, after all.

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[This message has been edited by Richard Eldridge (edited 07-02-2000).]
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