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  #1  
Old 05-20-2004, 03:02 AM
Likes DIY/Tech'y inclined
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
W124 A/C needs to be revived...

Hi All,

I bought my parent's car 2 years ago. It's an '87 260E that was hardly driven. I got it with only 52K miles. The A/C doesn't work because of the evaporator according to my indy. I'm guessing it's broken since it was not driven much.

Questions:

1. Where should I take the car in for a proper diagnosis (A/C specialist, Dealer, etc). Should I be charged for diagnostic tests?

2. Do I need to switch to the newer refrigerant by law or something? Pros and Cons...

3. Once diagnosed, should I just opt to fix it myself? What are the costs/time savings...

4. What parts are expected to be broken by not being used for years...

Thanks,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2004, 08:50 AM
LarryBible
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Posts: n/a
To begin with I can't understand why you would expect someone to diagnose your problem for free.

The evaporator is indeed a trouble spot on these cars. If the system were charged and UV dye added, you could shine a black light in the condensation water that drips under the car to check for the dye. If there, it is the evap. Since it is apparantly not charged, this would not be practical since it is an R12 system.

The alternative would be a savvy shop could add two ounces or R22 and pressurize the system with nitrogen and then check the evaporator with an electronic sniffer. This would be tough, but could be done.

R12 is still available to EPA licensed techs and is still the preferable refrigerant for your car. These cars have very little reserve capacity which makes them bad candidates for conversion to 134.

There will be those who will propose all sorts of snake oil refrigerants like Freeze 12 or Dura Cool. All of these snake oils fall into one of two categories, they are either flammable or a blend. You don't want to use either.

If it is indeed the evap, it is a BIG job to replace. About 15 hours. This will equate to a job that will cost something like $1500 to $2500. Don't panic until you have diagnosed first. It could very well be that you are simply facing another leak. Your indy possibly just figures it's the evap since that is a somewhat common failure. Maybe he is preparing you for the worst.

Did he actually do diagnosis or did he just say that this was probably it?

Good luck,
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2004, 12:37 PM
Likes DIY/Tech'y inclined
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
A/C

Larry,

Thanks for the response. I didn't expect diagnosing the problem to be free. I just didn't know what it takes and for how long.

I believe my indy did the pressure test, but I can't say for sure since I wasn't there...

Considering the complexity of the diagnosis and possible removal/installation of the dash, would you rec DEALER, or will an INDY w/ experience suffice...

thanks,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-20-2004, 01:54 PM
LarryBible
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you have a trusted independent that has done one of these before, I would think that this would work.

Good luck,
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2004, 02:55 PM
Likes DIY/Tech'y inclined
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
indy

got it... thanks... I'll probably have him do it while I'm present so he can explain what's he's doing...

cheers,
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-21-2004, 02:37 AM
Likes DIY/Tech'y inclined
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 452
INDY

I've known him for years and I have access to the whole shop whenever he does work for me. I'll make sure to get a 2nd opinion before any work is done.. thanks...
__________________
sjsfiji

'87 W124 260E (DD)
98K orig. mi. @7/15
CLK 7-Spoke Forged Wheels
Neuspeed springs/Bilstein Sport
4/3 bump (F/R)

'97 993 Carrera
106K orig. mi.
Always driven like it's stolen
Reply With Quote
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