Water in our R11. Crud!

Three years after being replaced, the distribution baffle at the bottom of the evaporator has become unsecured near the hot gas bypass inlet. We believe this has impinged on our evaporator copper tubes, causing a failure which allowed water into our ***** side. We now have the entire machine torn apart, have the motor out for rebuild, and are cleaning all the water-carried stuff out of the system.

Has anyone else encountered this? If so, how did you repair it?

We're thinking of cutting windows into the shell so we can complete the required welds, and then welding the shell closed again.

Has anyone run into this?