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Discussion Starter #1
My A/C has never blown cold, so went for a re-gas yesterday .... but they said the condensor is knackered / leaking so a new one needed:disappointed: . Tried Alfa Workshop etc & they say they can't get new ones. Autolusso are going to get back to me. Google has come up with aftermarket ones but v confusing eg) ones with & without a "dryer", do I need this or can I use my existing one???. Ones without are much cheaper. I have no idea about the mechanics of Air Con bits.

So .....anyone breaking a 166 with a full working condensor they can sell me? Also is it unique to the 166 or is it the same condenser across all 2.0 TS engines (156, 146 etc). If so I can try that angle.

Cheers!
 

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You’ll need a new dryer anyway, given it’s a leaky system and I’d make sure you can undo the unions before spending a penny. The parts are aluminium and can corrode together badly meaning quite often the unions won’t come undone, so you could end up with quite a shopping list. FWIW, I wouldn’t use a secondhand radiator of any kind myself, especially an AC component due to the costs associated with the swapping of parts as well as the problems you can have with parts of unknown provenance.

Moisture in an AC system reacts with the lubricant to make an acidic solution that eats from the inside out. The dryer is an essential part that needs changing if the system ever develops a bad leak or is exposed to air.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You’ll need a new dryer anyway, given it’s a leaky system and I’d make sure you can undo the unions before spending a penny. The parts are aluminium and can corrode together badly meaning quite often the unions won’t come undone, so you could end up with quite a shopping list. FWIW, I wouldn’t use a secondhand radiator of any kind myself, especially an AC component due to the costs associated with the swapping of parts as well as the problems you can have with parts of unknown provenance.

Moisture in an AC system reacts with the lubricant to make an acidic solution that eats from the inside out. The dryer is an essential part that needs changing if the system ever develops a bad leak or is exposed to air.
Cheers Chris, just the sort of excellent advice I was looking for:thumbup: . In fact Ned at Autolusso said not to get a 2nd hand one. He's since quoted me a (much appreciated) discounted price of £360.00 incl VAT for a new one ...... not sure if that includes fitting etc., don't think it does. But either way it's just too much for me to afford right now so I'll just stick with windows down & being sweaty.
 

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Most welcome.

I'm conscious I'm coming across very negatively on a few threads with my admittedly cautious advice. Ultimately, I can only suggest what I'd do myself - I'll not claim it's the best or only thing to do as 'best' depends on a lot of things.

Way back now, but when I bought my 155 V6 the AC didn't work all that well. It was only just over 2 years old so i thought it was worth some effort. Eventually, it became clear that the problem was a leaky evaporator rad, and given I'd need to strip pretty much the entire interior of the car to get at it, I never bothered.
 

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Most welcome.

I'm conscious I'm coming across very negatively on a few threads with my admittedly cautious advice. Ultimately, I can only suggest what I'd do myself - I'll not claim it's the best or only thing to do as 'best' depends on a lot of things.

Way back now, but when I bought my 155 V6 the AC didn't work all that well. It was only just over 2 years old so i thought it was worth some effort. Eventually, it became clear that the problem was a leaky evaporator rad, and given I'd need to strip pretty much the entire interior of the car to get at it, I never bothered.
Nonsense Sir Chris, thou art a genuine legend....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Decided not to go for a new A/C condensor - I'm looking at about £500 all-in with fitting & re-gas even with a new discounted unit. I personally just don't think it's worth it for the few v hot days we get in the year......especially here in the NW. And it's been just about OK with the windows down in the recent hot weather.

Autolusso made the point that new condensors aren't being made anymore so once stocks go that's it.
 

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Decided not to go for a new A/C condensor - I'm looking at about £500 all-in with fitting & re-gas even with a new discounted unit. I personally just don't think it's worth it for the few v hot days we get in the year......especially here in the NW. And it's been just about OK with the windows down in the recent hot weather.

Autolusso made the point that new condensors aren't being made anymore so once stocks go that's it.
Hmm well 20 seconds checking ebay and condensers are £53 new plus delivery in the UK.
Dryer bottles are £23.99 new and most local places will regas for around £25, so £100 or so in total.

It took me maybe a morning to change the collant radiator with basic tools, so doing the condenser at the same time would probably add like 30 mins max to that.
 

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Hmm well 20 seconds checking ebay and condensers are £53 new plus delivery in the UK.
Dryer bottles are £23.99 new and most local places will regas for around £25, so £100 or so in total.

It took me maybe a morning to change the collant radiator with basic tools, so doing the condenser at the same time would probably add like 30 mins max to that.
That sounds incredibly cheap for a condenser! Generally, fitting one that's too big is fine (better for the system) but too small and the fan will be running a lot. You'll also need seals (which are usually O rings) for all the unions. The oil in the aircon system distributes itself round the system but doesn't really mix with the refrigerant, so when you change the condenser, you'll have to add a bit of the correct lubricating oil to the system, as some of it will be in the condenser that you take out. There are various rules of thumb for how much oil to add when changing each component of the system. Also, as Chris says, change the receiver / dryer. The problem here, is that after being open to atmosphere for more than about 20 minutes or so, the desiccant particles in them will have absorbed too much water and it will be useless. (They come with their ends capped). For that reason, it's not a good job to do as a DIY proposition. A proper aircon shop would do the receiver / dryer last, and immediately evacuate the system with a vacuum pump and fill with dry nitrogen to check for leaks. If OK, they'd then evacuate it again and refill with refrigerant. Unless you have access to refrigerant and a charging station, you're better off doing the condenser and making sure the unions on the dryer aren't seized, then taking it to an aircon specialist to leak test and fill, and just giving them the dryer to fit for you (or asking them to source one).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That sounds incredibly cheap for a condenser! Generally, fitting one that's too big is fine (better for the system) but too small and the fan will be running a lot. You'll also need seals (which are usually O rings) for all the unions. The oil in the aircon system distributes itself round the system but doesn't really mix with the refrigerant, so when you change the condenser, you'll have to add a bit of the correct lubricating oil to the system, as some of it will be in the condenser that you take out. There are various rules of thumb for how much oil to add when changing each component of the system. Also, as Chris says, change the receiver / dryer. The problem here, is that after being open to atmosphere for more than about 20 minutes or so, the desiccant particles in them will have absorbed too much water and it will be useless. (They come with their ends capped). For that reason, it's not a good job to do as a DIY proposition. A proper aircon shop would do the receiver / dryer last, and immediately evacuate the system with a vacuum pump and fill with dry nitrogen to check for leaks. If OK, they'd then evacuate it again and refill with refrigerant. Unless you have access to refrigerant and a charging station, you're better off doing the condenser and making sure the unions on the dryer aren't seized, then taking it to an aircon specialist to leak test and fill, and just giving them the dryer to fit for you (or asking them to source one).
Agreed. Many thanks for the tip Mystic, it appreciated, but I'm not convinced either it's as straightforward / cheap as you make out. And I just don't trust cheap bits off ebay they're invariably the wrong size or something. Plus Autolusso said summat about the aluminium clips / pins are highly likely to break-off (they corrode very easily) as you're messing about & they're a pain to get / sort out afterwards. Plus fitting a condensor etc is way past my level of "basic" expertise - and knowing me something will go wrong as I'm doing it, or I haven't got the right spanner etc. I'm best just leaving it & having the windows down.
 
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