Viano/Vito air conditioning pipe replacement

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sweeper

Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2008
Messages
178
Location
Peterborough
Car
Vito 116cdi, 2011 R Class 350cdi 4matic, Mitsubishi Outlander, Viano 2.2
I thought I'd post this as i couldn't find much on the internet.

I mentioned to my wife the other week that the Viano a/c was working well still after i replaced the condenser and the compressor 4.5yrs ago, along with one electric fan and for good measure whilst i was there put a new radiator in as well, Van was 5 yrs old with 313k miles so as I bought it cheap i didn't mind doing a bit to it, so following on from my comment about how well it was still working. few days later it was working fine and the next day all the gas had gone (all of it) so big leak it must be and quick re-gas showed a leak in the high side pipe from condenser to bulkhead and tees off to the rear a/c as well.

Under the fuse box/ecu housing the pipe is fixed to the wing with a p clip, and this is where a bit of localized corrosion had taken place, the issue was first MB couldn't get me a new pipe and it is around £240, so i prepared myself with some compression fittings and some spare pipe i had laying around in order to make a repair, in the meantime i also found a decent used one.

On the right hand drive vehicles the p clip under the fuse box can't be seen or reached (used a mirror with lamp on a stalk) I had a couple of goes with no success, I did manage to get a 1/4drive socket on it but couldn't turn it. Sunday morning I decided the fuse box would have to come out and started looking at how, problem is that four of the nuts holding it to the bulkhead have to be accessed from inside the car and two are above the glove box, the glove box is part of the dash! This is looking like a pig of a long job, so back to the fuse box I removed the ecu and detached the fuse and sam units, also seemed impossible to unplug the wiring off the sam unit as not enough slack.
Having the ecu out allowed access to the air intake below which, if removed, shows two bolts that secure a bracket below the fuse box, once this bracket was removed (two studs on chassis rail and one on inner wing) I could get my left arm up under it whilst holding the 1/4 drive socket with right hand (you need to be flexible and it hurts) and finally managed to get the securing pclip undone, it is better to remove air cleaner and engine cover.
Once the pclip is out of the way there is just the three pipe connections, the bulkhead on one the expansion valve, the condenser and the one underneath which leads to the rear a/c unit, (there is another pclip on this one) you will need to disconnect the positive cable to the side of the fuse box and then pull the assembly forwards toward you under the fuse box and manipulate it out, the replacement goes in easily, needless to say i didn't bother putting the pclip under the box back on, considering the clip caused the issue and how difficult it is to get at and of course i have put a used pipe in, which to be fair looks pretty good but who knows.
So if anyone is looking to replace this pipe in the Viano or Vito even without rear a/c I can verify it can be done without a big strip down of the fuse box and if i had to do it again I think it would take a couple of hours, it took 3.5hrs on Sunday but this included taking things off i didn't need to and some experimenting, and of course included a re-gas and test.
Left hand drive vehicles will have the header tank and washer bottle this side so maybe easier to do.
 
I thought I'd post this as i couldn't find much on the internet.

I mentioned to my wife the other week that the Viano a/c was working well still after i replaced the condenser and the compressor 4.5yrs ago, along with one electric fan and for good measure whilst i was there put a new radiator in as well, Van was 5 yrs old with 313k miles so as I bought it cheap i didn't mind doing a bit to it, so following on from my comment about how well it was still working. few days later it was working fine and the next day all the gas had gone (all of it) so big leak it must be and quick re-gas showed a leak in the high side pipe from condenser to bulkhead and tees off to the rear a/c as well.

Under the fuse box/ecu housing the pipe is fixed to the wing with a p clip, and this is where a bit of localized corrosion had taken place, the issue was first MB couldn't get me a new pipe and it is around £240, so i prepared myself with some compression fittings and some spare pipe i had laying around in order to make a repair, in the meantime i also found a decent used one.

On the right hand drive vehicles the p clip under the fuse box can't be seen or reached (used a mirror with lamp on a stalk) I had a couple of goes with no success, I did manage to get a 1/4drive socket on it but couldn't turn it. Sunday morning I decided the fuse box would have to come out and started looking at how, problem is that four of the nuts holding it to the bulkhead have to be accessed from inside the car and two are above the glove box, the glove box is part of the dash! This is looking like a pig of a long job, so back to the fuse box I removed the ecu and detached the fuse and sam units, also seemed impossible to unplug the wiring off the sam unit as not enough slack.
Having the ecu out allowed access to the air intake below which, if removed, shows two bolts that secure a bracket below the fuse box, once this bracket was removed (two studs on chassis rail and one on inner wing) I could get my left arm up under it whilst holding the 1/4 drive socket with right hand (you need to be flexible and it hurts) and finally managed to get the securing pclip undone, it is better to remove air cleaner and engine cover.
Once the pclip is out of the way there is just the three pipe connections, the bulkhead on one the expansion valve, the condenser and the one underneath which leads to the rear a/c unit, (there is another pclip on this one) you will need to disconnect the positive cable to the side of the fuse box and then pull the assembly forwards toward you under the fuse box and manipulate it out, the replacement goes in easily, needless to say i didn't bother putting the pclip under the box back on, considering the clip caused the issue and how difficult it is to get at and of course i have put a used pipe in, which to be fair looks pretty good but who knows.
So if anyone is looking to replace this pipe in the Viano or Vito even without rear a/c I can verify it can be done without a big strip down of the fuse box and if i had to do it again I think it would take a couple of hours, it took 3.5hrs on Sunday but this included taking things off i didn't need to and some experimenting, and of course included a re-gas and test.
Left hand drive vehicles will have the header tank and washer bottle this side so maybe easier to do.

Hello Sweeper, quite informative of you and useful description. I have a similar problem but have not yet investigated where the leak is from. Do you maybe have some photographs of the area where your leak was from so that I may be able to run a process of elimination?
 

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