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Thread: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

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    Senior Member 550Maranello's Avatar
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    How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    My car's AC has a freon leak. The mechanic just put more freon and fluorescent yellow/green dye but he thinks it is the evaporator [124 830 107 58], the interior smells freon. The estimate price, including evaporator is $1.8K and four working days.

    Need to find a job not a hobby.

    Orazio
    Last edited by 550Maranello; 08-27-2012 at 11:02 AM.

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Evaporator replacement is a problem that EVERY W124 and W140 owner faces at one time or another. It's a fact of life, just like the wiring harness. The good thing is that once it's done, it won't be a problem for many more years to come, if ever.

    Replacing the evaporator is also an excellent time to replace all of the climate-control vacuum pods in the dashboard (there are 6 of them) as well as the rubber vacuum elbow connectors, since it all has to be exposed/come apart to get the evaporator out of the car.

    Sorry to hear this -- but evaporators are a pretty common issue/repair with the W124. $1.8K actually sounds like a good price for the job, if it includes the part.

    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    Senior Member JordiC's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Sorry to hear this as well Orazio. It seems as if everything in your car has gone within a 6 month period. This will most likely be your last big expense for a long time.
    "I think that in any race engine, the nearer you are to it disintegrating, in general, the better it's performance will be." Keith Duckworth

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    HI Orazio,,

    There are chemical sealants that will fix evaporator leaks, probably 80-90% of the time. The cost should be ~$200 or so for a shop to use the sealant (search for CryoSeal if you want to read up on it). I would replace the evaporator ONLY if the chemical sealant does not work, and you are confident that the sealant was installed properly, per the mfr's instructions.

    I had an older 124 with a leak bad enough that the charge would be gone within a few days. After using the sealant (DIY, <$100 total) the charge held and blew ice cold all summer. I sold the car in winter and can't report how it was the following summer, but I have no reason to believe it wouldn't still be working fine. Other people have reported success for multiple years. Definitely beats a $2k repair bill (which is optimistic, IMO, given the 20-30 hours labor required).

    Dave M.
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Orazio - the hard truth of these cars is that they can hit you with an expensive repair any time. Unless you have a significant collection of tools and some diagnostic equipment, not to mention more than ordinary savoir-faire and a spare car, you're stuck having most of these repairs done somewhere. I fall partially into this camp (though I'm learning to do more), and I am on my second E500E. Common repairs which do not appear in your list of recent issues include the EGas module, the ETA; the wiring harnesses; the transmission; SLS components; EZL; a leak in the steering box; and a front caliper. Any one of those can cost you $1500 - $2500 to repair. Don't ask me how I know. Ownership of an E500E means you have to be prepared to pay for those repairs if they come up.
    Current:
    2nd 1994 E500 199 Black/Gray ca 114k miles
    1988 300CE Midnight Blue/Palomino twin turbo ersatz hammer ca 172k miles
    1984 300D Orient Red/Palomino Tex ca 152k miles
    1988 Brabus 300CE 3.6 199/anthracite 44.5k miles

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    Senior Member 550Maranello's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Dave,

    Thanks a lot for the info. I will try it. What's the degree of difficulty, it seems that I have to take the car to the shop. For those wanted to know more about CryoSeal here is the info:

    The SSR R-134a Kit repairs leaks in Mobile air conditioning systems, WITHOUT REMOVING THE EVAPORATOR CORE, THE DASH, AND AIR BAGS FROM THE VEHICLE. The esoteric chemicals utilized in our SSR process is a boon to the service center, maintenance center, A/C professionals, and consumer/customer.

    Our Cryoseal® sealant process works by introducing active chemicals into the refrigeration system which will circulate with the refrigerant. While within the bound of the system, the chemical circulates inert and remains completely neutral toward system components. When the chemical circulates with the leaking refrigerant, it reacts with oxygen and water (air and humidity) and polymerizes to form a solid non-deteriorating, polysiloxane seal that PERMANENTLY REPAIRS THE LEAK. The ideal part of the process is that the leak does not need to be “physically located” in order to be repaired. Expensive components of the refrigeration system do not need to be replaced.

    Our SSR Cryoseal® for R-134a systems is a multi-functional organo-silane chemical compound that performs in a complex three step reaction. This synthetic supra-refrigerant called Cryoseal® will:

    > SEAL PRESENT LEAKS AND WILL PREVENT FUTURE CORROSION LEAKS

    > DEHYDRATE THE A/C SYSTEM WHICH INHIBITS ACID FORMATION

    > PROMOTE BETTER LUBRICATON WHICH INCREASES THE LIFE OF THE EQUIPMENT WITH A HIGH LEVEL OF EFFICIENCY THAT RESULTS IN THE OUTPUT OF CRISP COLD AIR

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    Senior Member JordiC's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Orazio, let me know if you need help with anything. I live nearby, have decent mechanical abilities plus I'm half Argentine (my Mother was born in BA). If the mechanics don't work out we can at least have a parrillada.

    "I think that in any race engine, the nearer you are to it disintegrating, in general, the better it's performance will be." Keith Duckworth

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Where can I get some good chimichurri?
    Current:
    2nd 1994 E500 199 Black/Gray ca 114k miles
    1988 300CE Midnight Blue/Palomino twin turbo ersatz hammer ca 172k miles
    1984 300D Orient Red/Palomino Tex ca 152k miles
    1988 Brabus 300CE 3.6 199/anthracite 44.5k miles

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    Senior Member 550Maranello's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Dave, the mechanic said that he would be more than happy to install CryoSeal in my car but he thinks that in the end it may ruin the compressor and we are talking a lot of money here.

    Orazio

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    Senior Member Hi-Power's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by JordiC View Post
    I'm half Argentine (my Mother was born in BA). If the mechanics don't work out we can at least have a parrillada.

    :
    Like !
    Ernesto Molina
    1993 500E

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Properly installed cryoseal, I do not think it will lead to destroying a/c compressor. Ussual failure for many of the cheap sealers is clogging the dryer/filter or the fixed orfice or expansion valve.

    Compressor list from Nipendenso for $450 or available via amazon with free shipping for $206!
    If you get the evap replaced, I would suggest soliciting best brands of evaporators and have your mechanic obtain one. On a good note, I think the replacements are all welded aluminum instead of having epoxy jointed coper/aluminum pieces. So, they may last longer..

    Make sure the aux fan is working properly...

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    :timeout:
    To be honest here, stuff like CryoSeal is just a Band-Aid. I recommend just going in and doing the job right, meaning replacing the evaporator and taking care of any other HVAC-related items in the process (i.e. vacuum pods). Band-Aids just put off the inevitable, at best.



    Cheers,
    Gerry

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    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    I think the leak on the 93' is too large for CryoSeal, so I think I am in for a "learning experience" with my evaporator.

    This "how to" video should help me don't you think?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPAAo9Mia6M

    Trae
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Damn!

    1992 500E
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    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    My thoughts exactly.

    The wife was getting excited thinking it would be a good time to sell, but I love the way it drives.
    Trae
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    I doubt I would ever get it back together again.

    1992 500E
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    E500E Guru nocfn's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Trae you have not experienced anything until
    You have removed a dash and didn't have any parts left over from the airbox.
    1994 E500
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    If you need a
    Compressor. Amazon is reasonable for new oem compressors. I think it was $170 plus free shipping.

    I thought the later 124s have lower evaporated failure rates. R12 cars converted to r134a were horrible.

    Michael

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Trae View Post
    This "how to" video should help me don't you think?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPAAo9Mia6M
    Yikes! That is one frightful How-To video to watch. Hope I never need to have that done to my car!

    Greg
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Well, Trae, it should be a huge relief to see that a professional can do the job in less than 6 minutes.


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    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    I figure about six years at my speed.

    I have been warned by Jono, and others, to clear several days and stay the course until it is done or I might not ever get it back together.

    Don't know if I am brave enough for this task, but IF I do it I'll take a gazillion pictures along the way.

    The alternative is to drive the car in the winter and give it a break in the summers, hire it done ($3,000),. . . or sell.
    Trae
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Holy mother of f$ck...my ac is not working at the moment and I pray this isn't the part needing to be replaced. That looks like the worst possible way to spend a weekend.
    Jon
    '93 500E

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    MOST of the time the leaks can be fixed with sealants introduced via the refrigerant. Only as a last resort would I replace the evaporator, since I don't think I'd be able to get the 5-minute wonder in the video to visit Idaho and work his magic on my car. After all that work I'd be sorely tempted to install a new Denso compressor at the same time...


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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    I had this done at the local dealership just after I got my '94 E500 as it apparently
    was fitted with an evaporator from a bad batch. There was evidence of leak tracing stuff
    found so I suspect the seller of the car had figured what the problem was before deciding to sell.
    They charged me for two full days of labor plus parts. Cost about 1250€ back in 2001.
    No issues with the AC in the 15 years since then.
    Part of the story was that poor Eduardo the 'lucky' mechanic who was assigned the task,
    ended up putting some dents in the passenger airbag upon refitting it, so they had to
    replace it on their account, the part alone costing around 700€ as I recall it.
    At least they earned a loyal customer after that.

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    I’ve taken a few w124’s & w202’s down to the bare bones and it’s not that bad once you get stuck in. If any of my car's ever need a heater core replaced I would for sure do it myself, I wouldn't trust someone else to put it all back together without leaving something loose / causing a rattle.

    This is a pic of my C36 Donor..... this one was easy to take out. Mind you – I didn’t have to put it back together

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    That video brings back memories. Loved doing these in my dealer days. 140's, 129's, 124's We worked flat rate and I had these down to a one day gig. Lots of guys wanted nothing to do with the job but I loved them. One thing the video leaves out is the extra steps of disassembly of the cowl and wiper area. Once in awhile a customer would come into the shop to get something from their car while I had it opened up. They were usually a bit slack jawed...
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    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Wow! I'm inspired. I know of an evaporator (and fan, and wiper motor) that's coming home with Daddy next time I visit the junkyard. I've already removed most of the obstacles!

    <== Doin' the Hoard Whore Boogie
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  37. #28
    Senior Member Eno's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Can the old evaporator motors be electricaly repaired?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eno View Post
    Can the old evaporator motors be electricaly repaired?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    OK, I'll bite.. There is a small shop in Boca Grande, Florida, that specializes in Adder Stone, Sky Hook, Left handed Power Tools, and evaporator motor repairs.
    Although the last time I checked, they had a 4 month back-log...

    Seriously though, , gsxr in a post or two above, offers up info for a possible temporary fix, (chemical sealants), and Gerry recommends to bite the bullet and replace it with a new one, (what I did on my e420).

    There used to be an old commercial about oil filters I think, they had a catchy phrase, "You can pay me now, or pay me later", it kind of fits this situation.

    Good Luck...
    04 E500-359 * 00 SL500-040 * 99 SL500-366 * 94 E420-744 * 92 500E-481/498 * 92 500E-199 * 92 300CE-199

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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    Evaporators on the W124 ... basically you have to "bite the bullet" and just replace them. There's no getting around it. Any fix is just a temporary Band-Aid ... very very temporary at best.

  41. #31
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    As mentioned back in post #4, Cryo-Seal (or Cliplight Super Seal) can seal most leaks chemically, if the leak is not excessive. If the charge is lost within hours or even a few days, sealers may not work. One of the sites (Cryo-Seal?) provided details about how to determine if the leak is too large to be fixed chemically.

    But if you're only losing a pound or so over several months, additives have a VERY good chance of solving the problem for multiple years, before you need to tear into the system. Of course if it's anything except the evaporator, the preferred method is to replace the leaking component. I had two different cars (not 500E's) with moderate leaks, one was losing charge over a few months, the other got bad enough to lose charge in a few weeks. I added a can of FJC 9140 Stop Leak to each car, mostly for the red dye as I wanted to figure out what exactly was leaking. I was shocked to find that 8 months later, both cars still have enough charge to cool adequately in ~90F ambients. And, no sign of red anywhere either.

    I'm going to see how long they can go before I have to top off... Cliplight Premium will be the next Band-Aid. Hmmm, 40+ hours labor and $$$$ in parts for a full evap replacement, or $50 for a can of sealant and a couple hours tops to mess with it? I'll take option #2 first, thank you berry much!


  42. #32
    E500E Guru Trae's Avatar
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    Re: How much is too much has no end. Need new evaporator!!!

    For us, the decision was made to. . . gulp. . . drive WITHOUT AC in the 93' that lost the evaporator.

    In NC, it is very comfortable 9 mo. out of the year, and roll the windows down the other 3mos. if needed.

    Having bought Frank's 93' last year, we have cold AC in two out of three 500Es.
    Last edited by Trae; 1 Week Ago at 01:55 PM.
    Trae
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