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Hey All,

Just letting W123 diesel enthusiasts know that that is now a kit out to replace the troublesome Delco R4 a/c compressor with a more durable Sanden 508 compressor. The Sanden can run R-12 & R134a without problems, and it lasts a lot longer than the Delco. If you're sick of dealing with the problems with the R4, here is a possible solution:

Klima Design Works

-Matthew
 

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380SL diesel
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Just letting W123 diesel enthusiasts know that that is now a kit out to replace the troublesome Delco R4 a/c compressor with a more durable Sanden 508 compressor. The Sanden can run R-12 & R134a without problems, and it lasts a lot longer than the Delco.
There's also another option that is just now coming on the market that looks pretty good and is a heck of a lot less expensive. There is a thread over on PeachParts about the development - Installing a Sanden compressor on a 617- looking at all options - PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum

I was going to design and fab my own, but after careful measurements there is just no room in my swap due to subframe mount and UCA interference (OM617 into a 380SL chassis)

The only feasible way I can think of right now (without a whole lot of engineering and fabrication) would be to go with a hydraulic drive system for the compressor, but that's just too complex and expensive for a little SoCal comfort for a couple of months. I'll just use the top-down method for now. :)

The Sanden is definitely the way to go, though.
 

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1980 280CE; 1982 300CD
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I've been thinking about this upgrade for a while. The R4 with 134a just doesn't cut it.

I called Matthew today and he was helpful. He patiently explained the upgrade to me and answered lots of questions.

I ordered the mounting kit with compressor for now. Will probably bite on the parallel condenser when I get to that point in the project. Will post more as I make progress.

FB
 

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1979 240D; W123 Sedan
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I just finished overhauling the a/c system on my '79 240D with Matthew's help and patience. I went with the Sanden side mount compressor and the mount bracket conversation from the old York. Changed all components, hoses, etc. except the hp hose from the dryer to the expansion block style, the evaporator and condenser which I flushed out and tested each. I used 134a and it is icey cold!!

Everything fit properly, with some attention of course, and the hoses he supplied were long enough to do a custom fit. Just cut the hoses to length and I took them to an a/c shop to crimp the fittings.

If you go this route and as indicated in the photos;

1. make sure to mark the fittings orientation on the hose and respective fitting; I.e. do a complete mock up.
2. get the radiator hose in front of the compressor away from the compressor pulley by bending the restraining clamp and
3. rotate the dryer somewhat to accommodate a smooth sweep in the hoses.

Cannot state enough how helpful Matthew assisted, with patience, in this endeavor.
 

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1984 280TE Euro; 1983 240D; (Sold)1982 300D Turbo
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226 Posts
Brooks, does your kick panel install properly with that fitting/hose on your exp valve?
 

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1980 280CE; 1982 300CD
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Thanks for the pics and tips.

I’ll be farting from the R4 compressor mounted on the lower driver side.

FB
 

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1979 240D; W123 Sedan
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It's tight. You have to finagle it a bit and I'm going to add a strap on the hose to coax it upwards.

That's why I stuck with the original hp hose due to the tight constraints under the under dash panel, blower motor ,etc.

It is very important and well worth the time to do a complete mock up prior to final install/assembly. This gets the hoses and their fittings in their optimum orientation. I even installed the kick panel for a test fit. Mine was a little tuff as the front panel had some warpage over time.

A note on the fittings at the condenser. This one; which is an early MY with the York has an odd fitting on the lower supply nipple. Double check this when you order this fitting and hose compatibility from the compressor to the condenser.
 
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