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1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
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252 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys - before I pull the trigger on this car it occurred to me that I could ask for your input. I'm intending her to be a fun (read that as escape from the in-laws place) fall / winter / spring touring car in the Tahoe foothills and down to San Francisco. We don't get there much in the summer, so not having AC didn't strike me as a big deal.

That said if I ever need to sell her I'm not sure how big of a turn-off that would be to potential buyers.

What do you think?
 

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82 380SL 96 SL500 03 SL500
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6,165 Posts
My car is sans AC, and I do miss it in hot weather like we're having now.

I generally take longer trips than many so the temps change considerably over the trip. Being able to put the top up and the AC on when temps reach 90f+ would be a nice option and without, I often leave the 107 home, opting for the 129.

OTOH, for what I have in the 107, I'm still happy with it.
 

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1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
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252 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
If you live in Phoenix, yes.
I won't ask if you bought yours w/out AC... Or try to sell this one you you either then. Grin.

I'd imagine most of these are fair weather pampered cars at this point, so if it is hot out then as noted above there are other options. Or is that just my wanting to buy the car speaking?

She is an early car - '72 350 SL.

I'm not planning on selling her but...
 

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Premium Member
'72 350SL, '85 300D, '98 E320, '19 Subaru Outback (sold '14 GLK250)
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10,340 Posts
I won't ask if you bought yours w/out AC... Or try to sell this one you you either then. Grin.

I'd imagine most of these are fair weather pampered cars at this point, so if it is hot out then as noted above there are other options. Or is that just my wanting to buy the car speaking?

I'm not planning on selling her but...
When I bought my 350SL in 1989, the A/C sort of worked if I put in a can of R12 at beginning of summer. But then they stopped selling R12, so I just gave up on it.

It does mean that the SL is just used with top down on nice days. If I had to travel any distance on highways, it would get hot. But we have a few other cars for that.

It didn't bother me that A/C didn't work. How many sports cars even had A/C? Cars like MGs and Triumphs for example.

One of these days I might try and find where leak is. I think compresor still works, but controller on dash doesn't - the capilliary broke somewhere along the way.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
-----'83 280 SL----- 5 speed....The PIG
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29,512 Posts
My aftermarket add on A/C was pooched when I bought my SL.

I removed it and everything that goes with it. I really have no need for it during the 2 really hot weeks a year we get....certainly not worth the $$ for a new or repaired system.
 

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Premium Member
1984 380SL, 2000 BMW Z3
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392 Posts
My blower motor was bad when I bought the car. I have a replacement but haven't got around to putting it in. Top stays down in the summer and if I need A/C I use my truck. Needless to say I've got a great "farmer's tan" and a real redneck. I drive it some every day if it's not raining or looks like rain (drove it yesterday and today about 20 miles). Doubt seriously if the A/C has a charge.

Not a problem when moving but at traffic lights surrounded by giant SUVs (everybody here has one) around throwing off heat it gets uncomfortable.
 

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'87 560SL / '00 Celica GT-S / '92 Volvo 960 / '70 F-100
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324 Posts
In Charleston... YES! The heat index won't go below 100 and a week or two ago it kept getting into the mid-120s. I find a way to sunburn in 15-20 minutes. Rebuilding the a/c is hard on these cars but worth it IMO. It'll make this thing driveable during the summer months.
 

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'71 250, '78 450SLC 5.0, '78 450SL, '81 380SLC 5.6, '89 260E, '15 Kia Sorento
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5,269 Posts
Well, as everyone knows I'm an SLC guy. I can't even imagine having a convertible, let alone going without a/c. I rarely even open the sunroof. It is just too uncomfortable here with the heat and humidity.
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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1,374 Posts
I bought my 450 with the knowledge that the A/C had not worked in a long time--I took it to my mechanic before buying it and he tested the compressor to see if it was good. They are not that much, however. But the servo was toast and had long since been converted to the manual cable for heat.

Anyhow, if you want the car, and it had A/C from the factory, then use it as a bargaining chip. The 72 you are looking at is a desirable model. If it has the components in it for A/C then I would consider it--especially if all else is "good to go". If it never had it, you could find out what it would cost to retrofit it and bargain with that. Besides, I don't recall it being altogether that hot in the Tahoe area, is it? San Fran does not get that hot. My dad lived there for a few decades and I never thought it particularly hot.

My 560 has A/C and it has been used, with the top down, on hot days. I think it's a nice feature.
 

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1972 350SL 4.5, car #917
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252 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hi guys - thanks for the input.

It is pretty mild in greater San Francisco / Napa / Tahoe most of spring and fall, so I'm thinking I'll be OK for the most part.

She is a pretty basic car, roll up windows and no AC from the factory, so if I ever decide to add it I assume it will be major (as in prohibitive) dollars.

Hope the heat wave isn't too bad for all of you - hang in there.
 

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Premium Member
1975 450SL
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2,440 Posts
I won't ask if you bought yours w/out AC... Or try to sell this one you you either then. Grin.

I'd imagine most of these are fair weather pampered cars at this point, so if it is hot out then as noted above there are other options. Or is that just my wanting to buy the car speaking?

She is an early car - '72 350 SL.

I'm not planning on selling her but...


Actually, my A/C was pooched when I bought it. I was going to get it going right after I got the engine set up right, when I got the interior redone.

Then SWMBO got RIF'ed out. The money budgeted for that went elsewhere. I still have not quite gotten a LOT of things done.

I just drive it back and forth to work and the grocery store, sweating.
 

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1978 450SL--117K
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1,374 Posts
Actually, my A/C was pooched when I bought it. I was going to get it going right after I got the engine set up right, when I got the interior redone.

Then SWMBO got RIF'ed out. The money budgeted for that went elsewhere. I still have not quite gotten a LOT of things done.

I just drive it back and forth to work and the grocery store, sweating.
But it's still fun, huh?
 

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Previous: 1989 190E 2.6, 1997 E420, 1985 380SL, 1975 450SLC
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747 Posts
I think it all depends on how much you're paying for the car. My 380SL's A/C is an R134a convert that's been in non-working condition since I bought the car about a year ago for $4K. Since I have my top down 99% of the time -- and I have an air-conditioned Mazda to drive when temperatures get unbearable -- I've never tried so much as charging my A/C system (for all the good that would do).

On the other hand, if you're looking at a pristine 560SL that's $10K+ with everything except the A/C working then I'd be more concerned with it as an A/C system rebuild can run into the thousands from what I've read here.
 
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