Author Topic: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2  (Read 5272 times)

raueda1

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #120 on: 23 August 2018, 05:35 PM »
What a great story, Scott!  Congratulations on getting it all back together.  Looked like a nail-biter right down to the last second.  It's a real inspiration.  But now, uh....  hate to ask...    what's next?   ;D ;D ;D
-Dave
Now:  '76 6.9 Euro
Before that:  1966 230S, 1964 220SE coupe, 1977 Carrera 3.0

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #121 on: 21 September 2018, 07:37 PM »
The air conditioning has been working well, but it's been leaking. I noticed a slight amount of oil at where the receiver drier connects to the pipe right after having the system charged, but thought it was just residual oil from when I lubricated the threads. I figured the air conditioning shop would have caught it if it was a leak.


After I got back from Utah, I noticed oil was dripping off the bottom of the car. I thought it was an oil cooler leak, but I traced it up to the fitting on the drier and could hear the refrigerant leaking out.


In order to tighten up the fitting, I had to loosen up the hose above it just enough to rotate it out of the way without the refrigerant leaking out. Then I unbolted the condenser and used a crow's foot wrench to tighten and loosen the fitting several times before cranking it down very tight.

It's still leaking, but not as much and at least the air conditioning is still somewhat cool. I'm done with flare fittings. All they seem to do is leak. I'm going to have to redo this using O-ring fitting parts.

The receiver drier is in a really bad location when it comes to accessing the fittings. I was trying to make the parallel flow condenser upgrade look stock, but it's been too complicated. I'm probably going to use a drier from a newer W126 chassis Mercedes (which uses O-ring fittings) and mount it behind and under the headlight in the crook by the left horn.

With the drier out of the way, it will allow me to install a 2" wider condenser for even better air conditioning performance. I'll have to make new mounting brackets.

I'm really hoping that the expansion valve fittings (which are flare fittings) aren't leaking so I can get away with cutting the ends off the hoses under the hood and crimping new fittings on them without having to touch the expansion valve end in the cabin.

I was hoping someone made an evaporator core for the W107/W116 chassis that uses an o-ring style expansion valve, but it seems they don't exist. I could, in theory, have someone weld O-ring fitting ends on my evaporator, but it would require removing the climate control box again. I'm hoping a lot that the expansion valve connections aren't leaking so I don't have to mess with anything in the cabin.

In other news, I took the car to its annual emissions test and the employees there were flabbergasted to see a diesel-powered car and didn't know what to do with it, so they finally gave me a "Director's Certificate" which didn't cost any money. My roommate's 1991 W126 350SDL has been having a lot of issues, so he's been driving my car to work while I tinker around with his. I've also been selling quite a few parts from the 280SE parts car, including the engine and transmission.
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #122 on: 07 November 2018, 02:39 PM »
The air conditioning was leaking at the flare fittings at the drier. Despite loosening and tightening them several times, they still continued to leak out refrigerant and oil. The flare surface of the cheap drier must not have been machined well (similar to the cheap expansion valve I had on the first time).

I had planned on redesigning the air conditioning system to use an O-ring style drier from a W126 and mounting it in a location where it would be easier to tighten. But, it just became too convoluted and it seems the way I did it is the best way.

So, I tried to fix the leak one last time. I unbolted the condenser so the drier could be pulled closer to me to get a crow's foot wrench on it, and then I used a breaker bar to loosen, tighten, and then really crank down on the fittings until they were as tight as I could get them without stripping out the threads.

As you can see, I had to loosen the upper hose fitting enough that I could pivot it out of the way enough to access the lower fitting without leaking refrigerant, but it worked. The air conditioning is still blowing very cold and is no longer leaking.

It is SO great to have working air conditioning, and it works very well; as good as--if not better than--modern cars. It feels so pleasant being able to drive around without feeling like I'm getting heat stroke. When I turn it on, it blows cold air almost instantly and cools down the cabin in short time. That's no small achievement for the Arizona desert. If it can cool well here, it can cool anywhere. I am very content that I decided to go all out on the upgrade, with almost no expense spared, and also used R-12 refrigerant.


A while back I bought a pair of new hood latch deflectors (116 887 00 45), but the left one broke as soon as I closed the hood. I just now ordered another. It's hard to believe these little pieces of plastic are $57 each.


Here it is in place. I adjusted and bent the hood latch so it wouldn't land on it wrong and break the part again, and the hood now shuts smoothly.


The windshield has been heavily sand pitted, chipped, and cracked for a while. I had a new spare, but it broke in storage. I stopped by the wrecking yard to inspect a 1973 W116 450SEL. It had a new windshield and seal installed recently, so I removed them both without damaging either.


I just used plastic prybars to push the lip of the seal from the metal flange and then pushed out the glass and seal as a unit.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #123 on: 07 November 2018, 03:15 PM »
It's time for new tires! They are dry rotted and starting to go out of round, so my car wobbles when I drive. I'm happy with how long they've lasted, though, considering they're between seven and ten years old (yes, they are all different manufacture years) and I've put about 50,000 miles on them.



The tires currently on my car are Hankook Mileage Plus II shaved whitewalls; they started out as thin whitewalls and then some of the black rubber on the sidewall was ground off to expose more of the whitewall underneath. Unfortunately, no one is selling them anymore, so I'd have to either buy some tires and shave them myself, or hire someone to shave them. There are Portawalls, which mount between the rim and tire bead and make a tire look like a whitewall, but I hear they have so many problems (difficult to install and seat, slide around, come off, flap around, get snow and water stuck in them, cut into the tire, etc.) that they don't seem suited for daily driving.

But, I want REAL whitewall tires. I was hoping to be in a better financial situation by now, because real whitewall tires are insanely expensive ($200-$300+ per tire), so they are out of my price range. It's so strange that no one sells an affordable wide whitewall tire, especially since all raised white letter and thin whitewall tires have wide whitewalls already under the black rubber.

Fitts07 has a W123 with wide whitewalls that he said he got from Calli Tire for $118 each. They use regular tires and then vulcanize whitewalls onto them to make them like a true whitewall tire. I decided I would spend the money and go with them, but when I contacted Calli Tire, they said they raised the prices because the tires they normally use are discontinued and the ones they use now are more expensive and in short supply, so getting a stock size tire with a 2.5" whitewall would cost $184 each after shipping. Once again, too expensive for me. :(


So, with cheaper tires it is. I decided on a set of five 195/75R14 Uniroyal Tiger Paw tires with a diminutive whitewall. But, they are listed as a top quality tire and are made in USA. They were $280 after tax and shipping. My roommate bought them for me as an early Christmas present, so that is great!


I'm going to try to grind off some of the black rubber on the sidewall so it looks like this one:
« Last Edit: 07 November 2018, 03:38 PM by Squiggle Dog »
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1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

rumb

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #124 on: 08 November 2018, 12:58 PM »
A while back I bought a pair of new hood latch deflectors (116 887 00 45), but the left one broke as soon as I closed the hood. I just now ordered another. It's hard to believe these little pieces of plastic are $57 each.


Where did you get them?  I see them as NLA and cant find them anywhere.

'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #125 on: 08 November 2018, 04:44 PM »
A while back I bought a pair of new hood latch deflectors (116 887 00 45), but the left one broke as soon as I closed the hood. I just now ordered another. It's hard to believe these little pieces of plastic are $57 each.


Where did you get them?  I see them as NLA and cant find them anywhere.

I got them from The Classic Center. Also, I don't know if you are still looking for them, but I found a set of original silver wiper blade holders in the wrecking yard. I sent you a private message about them, but not sure if you received it.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

floyd111

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #126 on: 10 November 2018, 02:42 PM »
Those little white plastic clips? That discussion has been going for quite a few years. Bloody unubtanium at any price, last timezz I checked. I think I found a small handful of them along the way, almost accidental, and well-overpriced. That is one part that could do with a 3D copy.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #127 on: 10 November 2018, 09:10 PM »
Those little white plastic clips? That discussion has been going for quite a few years. Bloody unubtanium at any price, last timezz I checked. I think I found a small handful of them along the way, almost accidental, and well-overpriced. That is one part that could do with a 3D copy.

Every time I've needed to buy them, The Classic Center has always had them. Of course, they are ridiculously expensive. It seems like the type of thing that could be made with a do-it-yourself injection molding kit.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

rumb

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #128 on: 12 November 2018, 09:12 AM »
I just ordered the last 2 new ones on the planet per Tom hanson.
I plan on looking into 3d printing them though.
'68 250S, '77 6.9 euro, '91 300SE, '98 SL500 '14 CLS550

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #129 on: 12 November 2018, 08:31 PM »
I just ordered the last 2 new ones on the planet per Tom hanson.
I plan on looking into 3d printing them though.

Oh! Then I am very glad I already have them!
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

Peter

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #130 on: 13 November 2018, 05:23 PM »
last price I saw was approx AUD $50 each and that was 2 years ago. I ended up at the wreckers and it took three attempts to get just one off the wreck. I hope someone 3D prints them.

UTn_boy

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #131 on: 24 November 2018, 01:56 AM »
Scott....I've a question regarding your air conditioning work.  On the drier fittings, there are supposed to be two copper conical sealing washers that go between the drier and the a/c lines.  Were those present when the leak was happening?  I ask because 9 times out of 10 when I service the a/c on a W116 these are missing.  I think that they fall off unnoticed and no one is ever the wiser.  Either way, I'm glad the a/c is working now.  I, myself, am one of those people that will spend his last red cent on making the a/c work.  In East Tennessee it may not get as hot as where you are, but when you have a 95 degree day with 80%-90% humidity, the heat index goes well over 100 degrees.  Like you, all of my cars use R-12, and I have never been sorry about forking out the dough to buy it.  My W109 has dark blue interior, and being a dark color it takes in an insane amount of heat.  Both it and my W126 have extremely good air conditioning!  :) 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #132 on: 24 November 2018, 12:34 PM »
Scott....I've a question regarding your air conditioning work.  On the drier fittings, there are supposed to be two copper conical sealing washers that go between the drier and the a/c lines.  Were those present when the leak was happening?  I ask because 9 times out of 10 when I service the a/c on a W116 these are missing.  I think that they fall off unnoticed and no one is ever the wiser.  Either way, I'm glad the a/c is working now.  I, myself, am one of those people that will spend his last red cent on making the a/c work.  In East Tennessee it may not get as hot as where you are, but when you have a 95 degree day with 80%-90% humidity, the heat index goes well over 100 degrees.  Like you, all of my cars use R-12, and I have never been sorry about forking out the dough to buy it.  My W109 has dark blue interior, and being a dark color it takes in an insane amount of heat.  Both it and my W126 have extremely good air conditioning!  :)

I ordered and installed new conical copper sealing washers from The Classic Center for every flare fitting except for the one where the drier connects to the pipe coming from the condenser. I did order one for there, but decided to not use it because it seemed like with it in place, there weren't enough threads grabbing, and it also raised up the drier enough that it was causing fitment problems.

Even with the copper washers, the air conditioning shop said the expansion valve was leaking. I informed them of the sealing washers, so they told me to remove them because in their experience they cause more leaks than they stop. That didn't work, and after several loosenings and tightenings, I removed the expansion valve and could see that the flare surfaces were poorly machined and scratched up. I guess that's what you get when you think a trusted, but cheap brand (4 Seasons) is going to work at all.

Fortunately, the shop had a new old stock Egelhof expansion valve, and the quality was night and day. But, it leaked, too, because I had purchased a cheap (4 Seasons) evaporator which had aluminum flare fittings and I think the flare surfaces got a bit damaged from the several tightenings. So, then after putting a copper washer back in (I bought extras) and several extreme loosenings and tightenings, it finally didn't leak anymore. I'm SO glad the shop let me fiddle around with the expansion valve instead of sending me 2 1/2" hours home or charging me for it.

But, I had a leak which the shop didn't catch, which was at the two flare fittings at the drier. One had a copper washer, and one didn't. Eventually loosening the fittings a bit and then really cranking down on them stopped the leak. In the future I am going to check the flare surfaces of the drier when it comes time to replace it again, and will make sure to use copper washers on all fittings and really crank them down tight.

Some people thought I was going overkill on the air conditioning system and said I should just put a new R4 compressor in, Jerry-rig the system, and run it as stock--or use R-134a. But, I can say that with the Sanden compressor, the parallel-flow condenser, all new hoses, a larger fan, and a fully converted manual climate control running R-12, it blows every bit as cold as a new car, and much better than it did when this car was new. Even on the hottest days, by the time I leave my driveway, the air is already starting to come out cool out of the vents.

I feel like everything I did was worth the effort. One thing I didn't want to end up with was a car that would take driving several miles on the freeway for it to blow cold, and then to be lukewarm in stop and go traffic.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

UTn_boy

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #133 on: 24 November 2018, 08:32 PM »
Ugh. You poor fella.  I hate you had to go through all of that.  New expansion valves are something I don't consider anymore for reasons you already discovered, but also because new ones are calibrated for R-134A.....which puts a crimp in how you, myself, and many others choose to charge it.  When R-12 is used with an expansion valve calibrated for R-134A it won't work well at all.  The old/original expansion valves are almost bomb proof.  Unless they're physically damaged, they'll likely outlast the car.  They can be taken apart and cleaned quite well.  All you have to take note of is who many turns the brass allen screw is screwed in.  Sometimes the end where this brass allen screw is will be deformed because of the flare fitting, but it can be manipulated out with patience. 

When I restored Father's 450sel, I also bought a new evaporator.  I can't remember which brand I bought, but I didn't have any trouble with the fittings like you did.  It's been a little over two years, and none of the R-12 has leaked out.  It still blows ice cold....However, the damned compressor (General Motors A-6) has started to make a hell of a noise.  I'm quite agitated because I bought a brand new one.  So I re-sealed the old one and will put it on.  I spent a lot of money, and a TON of time getting the automatic climate control back to new and working properly, and I can't have Dad driving around with no A/C.  Though, if I had to do it over again, I would have put the manual climate control in like you did.  I just didn't have any of that equipment at the time, and I also wanted Dad to experience the full affect of it all.....automatic climate control included. haha  Right now Dad is still getting over the expense of replacing the warm up regulator and the fuel distributor.....but it runs so well now.  Both of us couldn't be happier. 

The Sanden compressors are a wonderful compressor.  They're very efficient, easy to adapt to most engines, and parts for them are easy to find.  They have to be re-sealed every +/- 10 years, but they're worth it.  The GM A-6 compressor on Dad's car is big, heavy, sort of unsightly, but it does a really good job.  I thought about putting a Sanden on my W108 250se, but I had a brand new York lying around so I'll end up putting that on for now.  It'll be using R-12, of course.  haha 

So yes, everything you did was definitely worth the time and effort.  You now have a wonderful A/c system that doesn't leak!  When they're done right they'll last a very long time.  A few weeks ago I parted out a 280sel 4.5.  It was a low mileage car.....around 80,000 miles....but it spent its life in Connecticut, so you can imagine what the underside of it looked like.  Even the frame rails were rusted through, and the doors would no longer shut well.  Anyway, it was a one owner car, and it came with paperwork going all the way back to 1972.  I noticed it had the original Frigidaire A-6 compressor on it, and it had never been converted to R-134A.  Well, would you believe that it still had over half of its required 2.2 pounds of R-12 in it?!  And to add to the mystery of it all, the car hadn't been run or driven in 10-15 years.  Likewise, but a little less impressive, my W109 had to have its R-12 topped off this past summer.  It took 7 years of daily driving and regular seasonal used of the A/C to leak down far enough to be noticeable.  I'm still happy.  If I have to top it off every 7 years then so be it. 
1966 250se coupe`, black/dark green leather
1970 600 midnight blue/parchment leather
1971 300sel 6.3, papyrus white/dark red leather
1973 300sel 4.5, silver blue metallic/blue leather
1976 280s astral silver/blue MB Tex
1978 450sel 6.9 Euro, Anthr/velour

Squiggle Dog

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Re: My Custom 1980 300SD Project Part 2
« Reply #134 on: 25 November 2018, 09:29 AM »
I'm just glad they actually had a new old stock Egelhof brand expansion valve in stock (and cheap) that was set up for R-12. I had intended to buy one before, but they were scarce and in the $200 price range (compared to the 4 Seasons ones that are something like $18). I asked the shop if they adjust the new expansion valves that are calibrated for R-134a to the superheat values of R-12, and they said they never mess with the factory settings. I didn't want to reuse an old expansion valve and then have it not work. It wasn't clear to me before if they are a wear-and-tear item.

I'm glad to know that a charge can last that long. I had been trying to get answers more specific than "a long time". I completely went through the air conditioning on my roommate's 1991 W126 350SDL (new hoses, new compressor, new expansion valve, new drier and switches, original parallel-flow condenser [for real], and flushed the evaporator). It's running R-134a because he doesn't like the idea of using R-12 because of scarcity and shops not having the equipment to charge it. It works reasonably well, but it takes longer to start cooling, and doesn't seem to keep up terribly well on really hot days, especially in stop-and-go traffic.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles