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Old 07-09-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
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A fun day doing an a/c overhaul.

So Friday after work I finally was able to repair my my a/c. The compressor had chewed itself up so I tore all the lines out and cleaned them up. I had also collected everything else I needed to do the repair, accumulator, refrigerant, O-rings ect... So I get to my buddies house and pop the hood and I start by trying to get the belt off, and come to my first problem, the tensioner is an 18mm and the socket set I brought with me only went up to 17mm. So we drive off to my house and I pick up my 1/2" drive set. Get back take the belt off and then go for the compressor. 3 of the four bolts come off with ease except for the last one which is being blocked by the TB hat that comes with my s/c kit. It is only held on by 3 small studs and nuts but they way they are placed it is almost always a huge pain in the ass to get them back on. The first time I installed it it literally took my half an hour of fuking with that last nut trying to get it on there. So I pull the TB hat off then the compressor. First thing I notice when I go to pull the compressor out is that there is an electrical plug in the back that I know isn't on the new one. After further inspection I see it is a sensor held in by an internal snap ring. Well at that time I didn't have snap ring pliers we shot back to my work( 5 minutes away) and used a pair from the engieering dept. Swapped out the sensor and I am good to go. Drive back install the compressor, orifice, accumulator, pour oil into the compressor, install hoses and hook up the vaccuum pump. I let it run for a few minutes and I shut it down. It's holding a vacuum, there are no leaks, excellent. So we let it run for 45 minutes or so and I unhook the vacuum pump. I go to put the new gatorback belt I bought on and I can't get it on. I got the exact same size as the original belt and it is a good inch and half from even getting close to going over the last pulley. We mess with this thing for a good forty minutes trying to get it on. We even tried the original belt, and that one was just as tight, I have no idea how I managed that in the first place. So I try the gatorback again, this time I try stretching it with a long screw driver, that was the most prductive of all the other methods but it still wasn't close. I think I even heard a couple threads in the belt rip trying to stretch it. At this point the my friend was already have an hour late for a dinner at another friends house. So we decided to just finish it tomorrow and I will just get the next size up belt. We start cleaning up and I decide that I would rather no leave the a/c system in a vacuum over night and I will just put in one can of refrigerant for now. I hook up the can and let it empty. So we finish cleaning up all the tools and out of no where I hear PSCKHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Appearently I didn't have that internal snap ring completly seated in the groove and it blasted out the back of the compresser spraying the drivers side of the engine in ester oil. I just closed the hood an went home. The next day I got a new belt, more refrigerant, oil and a pair of snap ring pliers. Half an hour later everything is back together and the system is back on a vacuum again. Everything went fine from there and the a/c works better than it has ever worked for me. The only thing that was a problem was I kept shutting down the truck to let all that oil smoke off the exhaust. I didn't want to get it hot enough to catch on fire and burn my truck to the ground.

Anyway just wanted to share the fun!
98 S10 4.3 auto 3" exhaust Vortech SC
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Old 07-09-2006, 11:13 AM   #2
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sounds good. could you do a write up on it maybe a How to and send it to me I gotta do mine soon
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Old 07-09-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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You know I was going to make a how-to but I was too frustrated after the first trip home to get my other ratchet set.

I don't have any pictures but first thing to do is go to a shop and have the refirgerant recovered.

After that

1) Disconnect and remove battery and battery tray. This will give you access to disconnect the lines running into and out of the condensor.
2) Remove 13mm bolt from the top of the compressor that holds the suction and discharge lines into the compressor.
3) Disconnect suction line from accumulator using two adjustable wrenches
4)Disconnect rubber discharge line that runs from the compressor to the condensor.
5) Disconnect wiring from the pressure sensor on the accumulator, remove the accumulator from upper evaporator outlet then remove the sensor from the accumulator and set aside.
6) Remove lower discharge hard aluminum line from lower condensor outlet and lower evaporator inlet.
7) With needle nose pliers, reach into lower evaporator inlet and pull out the metering orifice. You will probably get a few bits of metal flack when you pull this out. It will depend on how your a/c compressor decided to off itself. My chewed itself up from the inside out so there were a good bit of flakes in the metering orifice screen.
8) With nitrogen or compressed air blow out all of hose assembly that connects to the compressor, the hard aluminum line that runs from the condesor to the evaporator, then blow out the evaporator and condensor from the outlets. This would be the upper fitting on the Evap and the lower fitting on the condesor. You will probably get a bit of oil coming out so use a rag or a bottle to catch it.
9) Disconnect any electrical connections from compressor. Clutch wiring and if your has it another sensor/sender on the back of the compressor.
10) Remove four bolts holding the compressor in place (13mm IIRC)
11) Install new compressor and hook up electrical connections. Pour 6oz of oil into suction inlet of compressor. Rotating the clutch to move the oil through the compressor.
12) Install new metering orifice into lower evaporator inlet, being sure to lubricate Oring with clean ester oil.
13) install aluminum discharge line with new O-rings
14) Pour the remaining 2oz of oil from your 8oz bottle into your new accumulator , install accumulator and attach sensor all with new Orings, then hook up sensor wiring.
15) Install rubber discharge and suction line assembly back onto compressor and attach to condensor and accumulator. Do not over tighten the bolt holding the lines to the compressor the block will warp and not seal if you do.
16) Reinstall belt
17) Either drive your truck to a garage to have the system put onto a vacuum to pump out all the air and evaporate any moisture in the system. Or find a friend or make a friend that works in HVAC and owns a vacuum pump, and use his/hers to put the system on a vacuum. This is one of the most important steps do not skip it. Leave it on the vacuum for atleast a half an hour. The longer the better.
18) Disconnect vacuum pump and charge the system with refrigerant. You can either fill it with 134a from a bulk 30lb can that your HVAC friend has, have the shop that put the system on a vacuum charge it for you. Or buy a few small cans of refrigerant and a bottle adapter from a parts store and fill it per the instructions that come with the bottle adapter or the bottles of refrigerant.

I hope I didn't miss any things and I hope that was clear enough for you. It is a really easy job. You don't really need to tear that far into your truck. Besides the initial evacuation of the refirgerant (which you may note need if it leaked out from a common case leak on the compressor) and putting the system on a vacuum you are only looking at a couple hours of relativly simple work.

A couple notes. Depending on where you buy the compressor and accumulator they should come with all the Orings you need to do the job.
Also if you are having your hvac friend evacuate the system and put it on a vacuum for you, you will probably need to buy a suction side adaptor/quick connect fitting. Because standard hvac hoses and guages will not connect to newer 134a a/c systems.
98 S10 4.3 auto 3" exhaust Vortech SC
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