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Old 06-21-2004, 10:10 PM
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Post How to replace a York A/C Compressor with a COOL new SANDEN SD-508

Here is the comprehensive account of how to convert your old worn out York compressor to a brand new efficient Sanden

This project all started when I went to charge my already barely working air conditioning system earlier this spring. As I finally got enough gas in the system to cool properly, the old York seized and made a horrible squeel as the belt slipped on the pully. Of course after I sucked half the freon back out it would turn again, go figure?

So I set out to replace my York with a new Sanden after reading a few patchy details from the archives. Granted, I had very little information to go on, but I knew someone did it once!

Searching on eBay I found a York to Sanden conversion bracket.
I purchased the bracket from a seller who goes by "texaserick" and his email is He has the bracket for $25 while everyone else is selling the same thing for $36. Just email him and he can get you one.
I'm posting the picture below:

Secondly, I needed to buy a compressor. I also saw several on eBay, but most were rebuilds, or Chinese copies, etc. For near the same price, you can buy a new Sanden with a warranty. I found a company in Massilon Ohio that sells street-rod parts on the web. They have to compressor listed here: SANDEN SD-508 R-12

I chose the SD-508 with R-12 oil becasue I had never converted my system to R-12 and I absolutely refuse to. I work on home appliances and I have to recover all the R-12 from refrigeration systems. Therefore, I have an ample supply of clean recovered R-12. R134A does not get as cold, requires higher pressures, and will strangely "burn-up" in refrigeration systems when it reaches certain tempertures. The 134A is a poor refrigerant that will ruin refrigerators! If you cannot find real R-12, then there is a replacement called "Freeze 12" that will work with R12 oil. The Sanden is designed to work with higher pressures, so the Freeze 12 should work fine in a pinch. Find the good stuff if you can!

Anyway, the Sanden can be purchased with two V-belt pulleys, and the clutch comes already on it. Street-rod-stuff just had it drop shipped from Vintage Air for me.

The other part you will need is a new Filter/drier to replace your 30 year old one. This is standard operation procedure when installing a new compressor. You can get one at NAPA for two male 3/8" Flare fittings. I will post the part number later. It sells for only $20, but it has no sight glass.

You will then need to remove the York by completely unbolting the compressor bracket from the front of the engine. As you fit the conversion bracket to the York bracket, you will notice that there is a piece of steel on the top-rear of the original bracket near where it bolts to the manifold that is keeping the bracket from fitting properly. Get an angle grinder and cut that piece of steel off. Now, your conversion bracket will fit. Line everything up and bolt the brackets together. Mount your compressor to the new bracket and line up the front pulley of the compressor to the idler pulley for the belt. You may have to use several washers to shim the compressor backward on the bracket. There's only one way that it will fit, and you will soon figure it out.

Now bolt the compressor and brackets to the engine and see how the V-belt lines up. It may require some more shims. After you have everything lined up, use blue Locktite on EVERY BOLT!!!!!

You now need to hook everything up, and I'll bet those O-ring fittings on the top of your compressor are sure different from your existing flare fittings. At this point you may either want to have new hoses made with O-ring ends, or there are a set of adaptors to put flares on the compressor. I was able to buy one adaptor from NAPA for the suction line, but the smaller discharge line was NLA. Therefore, I found a good mechanic who lopped the end off of the hose and installed a new fitting with the hose still on the car. I had the hose made new last year, so it easily took the new fitting. The adaptors are available online from this website: Adaptors You need the #8 and #10 O-ring adaptors.

After everything is hooked up, I first checked for leaks with 150 psi of Nitrogen and soap bubbles, then I ran a 30 pound vacuum on the system for at least 3 hours from the low side charging port. This evacuates all air and moisture from the cooling system. Begin running R-12 in to the low side charging port and then engage the compressor (You can figure how to hook up the magnetic clutch ) You will need to charge the system so that your charging manifolds read 40 degrees on the R-12 arc when the engine is running around 3000-4000 RPM. That should do it. I'm posting all the pictures below.
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How to replace a York A/C Compressor with a COOL new SANDEN SD-508-york_to_sanden_conversion_kit__w.jpg  
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:15 PM
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Mounted compressor.
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:17 PM
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Side view:
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Old 06-21-2004, 10:20 PM
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I forgot to mention that this compressor places an almost unnoticeable strain on the engine, barely decreases your idle speed, and is absolutely quiet and smooth. Also, I can reach around it to access the top of my alternator and all of my radiator hoses that I used to have to completely remove the York to get to. You'll be saving yourself a lot of hassle in future maintenance and cool off for a total of $300

I'll be glad to answer any questions, keep cool!
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
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This gentleman has a 280SE engine in a 250SE and needs some help with a few things.

1967 250 se

Nice conversion BTW.


Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL


Not part of the in-crowd since 1952.
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Old 07-13-2004, 07:00 PM
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Revamping A/C System

I just picked up a 1979 300D with a non-functioning A/C, so am extremely interested in your work. Although I am not an A/C expert, it looks to me like the 300 D A/C system controls are vacuum operated. [There is a unit next to the compressor that has several vacuum lines running to it and an electrical connection running from it to the clutch.] As most of the vacuum lines are shot on this car, I'd kind of like to convert it to electrical operation/control.

Any thoughts on where to start? Anyone done this before?
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