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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this forum but it looks like a really useful place, u guys sound like you know your stuff!

Anyway my AC condeser has a leak and was wondering how hard it is to replace myself? I'm no expert mechanic but quick and careful learner. The biggest thing I have done is replace my interior for leather myself.

Also was thinking of getting a 2nd hand used condenser from a Alfa broken for spares, is this false economy? I mean will I only end up having to replace this a few months down the line or are then generally quite robust?
Thanks very much,
John
 

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John,
I'm in the process of doing mine;

Remove undertray, O/S wheel arch liner, front bumper (no need to detach from N/S), headlights and then bonnet slam panel. Manoeuvre bumper away from O/S to gain access to condenser. Undo and remove cap head bolts securing hoses to condenser - caution, they maybe corroded and either round off or, worse still, shear off. Undo and remove 4 bolts securing condenser to radiator. Lift up and remove condenser. When refitting the replacement condenser, new O ring seals will require fitting to the hoses.

I wouldn't bother using a second hand condenser, if the bolts shear off or there is a pin hole in the matrix, it's a write off and you'll have to start again.

Good luck,

Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Stuart thanks very much for your reply.
I won't need any special tools/gauges or anything to replace it will I? Also what would I do if the screws did round/sheer off?

Lastly where did you get your replacement condenser from and how much was it? I found a used one for £10 or £20- you still recon its not worth the risk?

John
 

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Any used rad or condenser can be a lottery .. and you only usually find out when it's all back and connected up .. don't forget it will be getting peppered with small stones through the grill and the tiniest hole makes it useless.

A new condenser is around £100 but probably worth it in the long run. You might also want to change the dryer (mounted in the front of the o/s wing)

As for tools ... nothing special beyond the standard socket set .. but obviously you'll need to take it to a proper a/c place to have it vacuumed and recharged, etc. It's not going to be a case of attaching an aerosol from Halfords ..

If you do sheer of a bolt, you'll have to drill it out and retap the thread, etc. Round off the bolt head and you may be lucky with a mole-grip.
 

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John,

You won't need any special tools - the bolts for the air con hoses are hex drive (allen key type) and are easily rounded off so be careful. The lower hose bolt on mine unscrewed without problems, unfortunately the upper hose bolt didn't because it was corroded into the aluminium and sheared off. I tried drilling it out to retap the hole but the aluminium was so badly corroded the condenser became a write off.

The chap that's regassing the system for me ordered a replacement condenser for about £50. A second hand one may be OK but if there's a pin hole or corrosion, you've wasted money and time. This is why I recommend you'd be safer buying a new one, unless the second hand one comes with some sort of guarantee?

Hope this helps,

Stuart
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah I see what you guys mean about the second hand rad, probably go for a new one. Where did your air con guy get one for £50? The cheapest I have seen is like £72.

Oh and the mechanic I used to find the leek etc would be vacuuming and regassing when I'm done (that is if I decide to do it). I just wanted to know if I could save some money and do it myself? Like I know its more complicated than just changing an interior but it isn't like changing piston rings or something really technical is it :confused: ?
 
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