Author Topic: "Good! No air conditioner!"  (Read 2893 times)

jharkin

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"Good! No air conditioner!"
« on: September 13, 2020, 23:39:08 »
When my "new" 250SL was first delivered to my mechanic for inspection and some repairs, the first thing he said was "Good! No air conditioner!". His opinion is that while it is possible to fit an aftermarket A/C, it would be a negative drain on engine power and fuel consumption, and A/C performance would be marginal at best, so not worth the trouble and expense. Because he has  decades of experience with these cars, I respect his opinion and have decided to let the matter rest for the time being.
However I know many members have A/C and would be interested in their opinions, and
experience.
68 250SL White over Blue manual
84 280CE Lapis Blue auto
67 250SL Silver Gray auto,  sold :(
63 230SL Metallic Blue manual,  sold

Garry

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 06:14:09 »
I had air conditioning in my 230 but took it out.  Not because of the power drain but because of the strain it puts on the engine in the 230’s that i believe don’t like it.


Garry
Garry Marks
Melbourne/ Kyneton, Brisbane. Australia
1969 MB 280SL 5 speed RHD SOLD.
1965 MB 230SL Auto RHD Lt Blue 334G, Top 350H, 213 Leather, Tourist Delivery.
1972 MB 280CE Auto RHD 906G Blue Grey
2005 MB A200.
2006 MB B200
2019 Izuzu DMax 4x4 with Slide-on camper.
2022 Volvo XC40 Twin Electric

Peter

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 07:35:17 »
I have a 280SL. I changed the compressor to a Sanden rotary compressor.
I don’t notice significant power loss, most probably due to the use of the Sanden.
The original Frigiking system works well and I use it frequently during the summer period.
I’m happy I did not take it out.

^Peter


wayne R

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2020, 14:25:02 »
jharkin, i am with  Peter here, and would like to give a little help re my experiance with
A/C in old classic cars, also you live in AZ, i think you would really love to have your s working properly,
and you can,and if your reasonably handy with doing work on your car,it does not cost to much to do this.
no 1, Fit all factory parts ,except Compressor,new better blower fan, like Peter said,buy a new Sanden,or in the last about 10 years 10cylinder,
rotary made in china compressor ,yes china,there compressors are great,these rotary examples .,you can spin the clutch
with your small finger,and the weight is  a third less, i have fitted about 3 or 4 in other classics, mainly Cadillac, Buick,
and Porsche 911,after doing these cars i never had to touch them.
A must when fitting , buy new Barrier hoses, new receiver dryer,good working expansion valve,new green orings,and the most important
restore your Condensor and Evaporator, i mean no leaks flush out,and reseal all areas ,will show you a few photos of last Porsch11 i did.
 I understand you may say i have not worked on a Pagoda,but yes the Principal is the same ,,if you do what i say ,you will have really cold air around
42--46 degress,If you go ahead i can guide you doing this,its not hard to do, how to re oil,and to charge the system.flush system
In USA you have all the items available,-Example  a good Refridgerant you have in most parts store is EZ Chill 18 oz cans-134a,i actually still have new dryer ,and good working expansion valve,if you want for minimum price,plus shipping.
--Also will say like Gary said perhaps --no-- for 230SL, because of less bearings,but with these newer Compressors
there hardly any drain or drag,similiar to our new cars of today.----go do it---.---ps my Pagoda does not have A/C.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 14:41:37 by wayne R »

wayne R

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 15:16:21 »
Just following on,with help as i found a few more photos,and most persons will
say older Porsche 911,dont have good A/C, fitted, but---wrong--- if you restore,
and fit good near new parts,   you can and will have nice cold  air.
This Porsche i used all factory parts,including Denso compressor, but i restored  compressor
with seal kit, new Barrier hoses,etc, etc,. and  43 degress,all day running.

Leester

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 16:11:38 »
Hello Wayne, great information. My 280SL restoration is coming along but AC is still a bit in the future. However, I live in the DC area and DO plan to install AC. Our summers are just ridiculously humid and can get quite hot. One question: What are Barrier hoses? Is that a brand or a type.
Lee Backus
1963 220SE Cabriolet
1970 280SL (reassembling - hopefully soon)
1978 450SL (disassembled for paint)
1985 500SEC

Peter

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 17:59:08 »
Fit all factory parts ,except Compressor,new better blower fan

Hi Wayne,

You say changing also the blower fan.
Did you do this also a Frigiking aircon?
Which blower fan did you use?

Thanks, ^Peter


jharkin

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 19:21:50 »
Can't tell you all how much i appreciate the responses, info and offers of help.
Unfortunately, besides having nowhere to do the work except the driveway in the AZ sunshine,
and being a mechanical/electrical idiot, i also have some age and dexterity issues.
That being said, I have forwarded the thread to my mechanic for his consideration. I respect him enough to know that if there is info here he didn't have, he would cheerfully and gracefully accept the input.
Thanks again, you're a great group. Looking forward to when we can all move out of the digital and back into the real world. Stay safe.
68 250SL White over Blue manual
84 280CE Lapis Blue auto
67 250SL Silver Gray auto,  sold :(
63 230SL Metallic Blue manual,  sold

wayne R

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2020, 01:44:27 »
Sorry for late reply, different time  here then you,
Lee, sorry about that Barrier hoses are hoses that since about 1950-60 old stile hoses where not good at holding
the refrigerant, they would actually  create very small less then a pin hole in the wall of the hose, so about 1984--6
A company called , Griffiths air condition , developed a Barrier hose, in US  to eliminate this problem,especially with Porsch 911,
reason,25 ft of hose in one 911 , and also with modern  134a it is more prone to leak with old worn hoses.
Go to google  put in Griffiths barrrier hoses.
Peter, no i have not replaced or changed a Pagoda blower fan, but its a must that before  re fitting get it tested,\
to make sure it developes full revs and amps,  also  make sure the temperature switch is working on all  positions.
Good luck  jharkin.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 08:37:47 by wayne R »

CJHenderson

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2020, 11:30:30 »
In my humble opinion I'm doing a restore on my 70 280SL. I took out the AC and have no plan of reinstalling especially since that thing did not work, not to mention that if it wasn't factory installed then you are asking for several extra holes on your floor board with possibility of leaks in your interior. And yes with air conditioning you will have a decrease power and gas per mile. And my final thought is that having an AC hanging under the dash does not look good.
1970 280SL/8 W113 101624 miles.
1950 MG-TD
2021 Harley Davidson CVO Trike

MikeSimon

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2020, 12:38:57 »
CJ: I couldn't agree with you more. All the points you made are exactly how I think about it. My 71 280SL is a German spec car and was originally sold there. It does not have A/C. Very, very few cars back then were sold with A/C in that market. My main argument always is, that the SL is NOT a daily driver, I drive it mostly in nice weather with the top down. No need for A/C.
I think there is quite a large number of owners who follow the train of thought, that a classic car in order to have maximum value MUST have all the options that were available.
Each to his/her own.
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
Automatic
Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
3rd owner

neelyrc

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2020, 01:49:16 »
Right on Mike and CJH!  When I ordered my car I lived in Alabama (talk about hot and humid) and I never considered adding the AC and I have never regretted it.  I had a much heavier foot In 1968 and I didn’t want the drag on the engine.  I also opted for no power steering.  I am in Europe in the summer months most years so most of my driving in Alabama in recent years has been in more temperate winter and spring months. Not so this year!

This summer I have participated in day-long driving events with the local MB section with the same great enjoyment as ever.  No AC, no regrets.
Ralph

1969 280SL, 4 Speed Manual, Dark Olive (291H), Parchment Leather (256), Dark Green Soft Top (747)
1972 Mercedes-Benz 280SEL 4.5
1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL
2007 BMW 328xi (E90)
Italy
2004 Toyota HiLux D4D Pickup
2008 BMW 330xd Futura Coupe' (E92)

dirkbalter

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2020, 19:38:02 »
Well,
I believe the opinion on yes or no on AC strongly depends on where one lives or how often the car is going to be used.  If I lived in Canada or Germany for example, or intend to only drive my car once in a while to the ice cream shop or cars and coffee in the morning, I probably would worry about AC either. I find if you live in a warmer climate and want to drive your car in the summer, AC is a very useful and enjoyable option to have. If everything is working properly, I don't see a real downside. 
Dirk
66 230 SL
70 280 SEL
53 CHEVY 3100
18 C300 COUPE
05 HD FLSTNI

Peter

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2020, 20:17:00 »
I can't agree more with Dirk.

^Peter

Atazman

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2020, 02:17:25 »
I've had it both ways.  First... no A/C.  Then I installed A/C.  A/C was much more comfortable here where the summers are hot.  Unfortunately, I always had to keep an eye on my temperature gauge.  That was not fun.

I went through the cooling system and now I can fully enjoy the car.  Yes... I still watch the engine temperature.  But, it is satisfying to see how cool the engine runs with A/C going.  Things have to be "right" to get full enjoyment from the A/C.

I am loving the cool ride this summer even when we run the A/C with the top down.  Sounds ridiculous, but it is fun and it is comfortable.
Don
67 250 Sl
(#3168) from Italy
5-speed/Posi/AC/Kinder

chumps

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Re: "Good! No air conditioner!"
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2020, 18:47:39 »
I bought my 71 280 SL 25 years ago. It had Fridgiking Air in it, it worked but not too well. I rebuilt it about 12 years ago. I replaced everything - compressor (sanden), hoses, condenser in front of radiator (still use in bumper unit in system), dryer, new Spall fan in interior unit. Did some work to direct air flow to make it a bit more evenly dispersed. It works great and does not drag the engine down at all. I disconnected the CSS, the engine loses maybe 10 to 15 RPM when I turn the Air Conditioner on while idling in gear. I couldn't be happier with it. I do have one question that someone might answer for me. The York Compressor and the Sander have double belts, so that I maintained. Does it have to have 2 belts or can it function with 1?  One of the 2 belt always seems to make noise.               Thank You, Chumps