Author Topic: restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL  (Read 1977 times)

nileseh

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restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL
« on: May 07, 2023, 19:31:58 »
I have a 1969 280SL that was delivered with the "factory" dealer installed unit, but a previous owner had it removed instead of serviced. The whole system, compressor, condenser, evaporator, plumbing. I want to put it back, but I want it to look like it was never removed. I bought a retro fit system from BudsBenz a few years ago and an finally getting to put it together. The mechanics are new, Sanden compressor, better condenser and evaporator, better fan so it should work pretty good.  However I also want the appearance of the distribution box to be that of the original install. I found an old evaporator assy, removed the under dash bit, reconditioned it and have adapted it to the new fan/evaporator system.
But when I fit it to the car, it looks like it will interfere with the under dash courtesy light. There is barely enough room to set the air box between the light and the rear of the heater box.  If it goes in it will be hard on the heater box and barely off the light bezel.  Is that the way this thing fits in the original installation? 
It occurred to me that maybe the AC air box in the 280SL is a bit shallower in the center to provide clearance to the heater without interfering with the light. I can certainly make it so at this point, but I'd like to have a better understanding of what our friends in Stuttgart had in mind.  Can someone with a 280SL and the "factory" AC system take a look at the left end of the air distribution box to see where it is relative to the light and the heater box. Or maybe a picture if you can swing it. I have the dealer install instructions, but they only refer to an unavailable template for positioning, no pictures or dimensions.
Thanks.
Niles
1969 280SL;  1971 280S;  1989 560SL;  1985 190E 2.3-16V
1993 500E  ;  1991 600SL; 1999 S600

Bshaunessy

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  • 1957 190 SL; 1970 280 SL; 1975 450 SL; 1971 300 SE
Re: restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2023, 00:52:01 »
Niles
  I have a 1970 280SL , auto, with factory AC.   I can get you some pics tomorrow.

Peter

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Re: restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2023, 19:04:04 »
This document can also be helpful: Air Conditioning Installation Instructions for Mercedes Benz 280SL.

Bshaunessy

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  • 1957 190 SL; 1970 280 SL; 1975 450 SL; 1971 300 SE
Re: restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2023, 20:46:58 »
Nileseh
  Some pics of factory AC 2970 280 SL, auto.  Hope these help.

nileseh

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Re: restoring dealer installed AC on a 280SL
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2023, 13:14:16 »
Perfect.  Thanks so much.  It's as I expected, barely fits between the light and the heater box. I may play around a bit since I have  the opportunity.  I could remove the light, put a connector on the wiring and re-fit the light in the bottom of the AC ducting. Doing so would allow the AC unit to be mounted a bit further aft, restricted only by the glove box opening. The blower/evaporator assembly is somewhat smaller than the original so I have to build mounting brackets in any case. so the final position is not at issue. I would have to also build an enclosure for the light so it doesn't illuminate thru the vents, but I can 3D print an appropriate bit out of high temp plastic.
Or not, and just put it where originally intended and move on to the next project.  These things frequently suffer mission creep and get out of hand.  Decision deferred.
Thanks for the pictures.
Niles
1969 280SL;  1971 280S;  1989 560SL;  1985 190E 2.3-16V
1993 500E  ;  1991 600SL; 1999 S600