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Old 04-07-2008, 06:42 PM   #1
Silvervetteconv
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Default 1998 air conditioner compressor replacement

please help ... first this site has been great!!! .. i need to replace the air conditioner compressor on my 98 convertible ... i ordered the compressor and receiver/dryer and i am tempted to do the job myself short of recharging the system because the local dealer and shops want a small fortune to do the job ... but i am getting conflicting opinions on how difficult this job is .. some say that in order to get the compressor out the water pump must be taken out .. i am hoping i can get the true story from all the great people on here.. i would like to have clear instructions on how to do this job .. thanking all of you in advance .. Bob
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:39 AM   #2
TTK98
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Yes, it's true the water pump has to come out but it isn't that difficult.
For a detailed explanation I would suggest you get the three vol. repair manual and/or the dvd-cd manual.They can often be found in the parts for sale section at a good bargain.

First disconnect and remove the battery and the rubber surround as it will be in the road for the accumilator removal. Drain the coolant for the water pump removal. Purchase new gaskets, they are cheap at any local autoparts.Remove the belts and hoses then I think 6 water pump bolts w/ a 10 mm socket?

First assuming your system is dry (all refrigerent has leaked out or escaped ) if not it should be removed with a refrigerant recovery system that most diy people don't have.
Raise the passenger side of the car and remove the wheel, this is to access the two lower compressor bolts. Remove the one bolt at the rear of the compressor attaching the lines to the comp. I can't recall the size 13mm maybe? Then the four (two upper & two lower bolts) one of the uppers looks like a stud but it but it also comes out. Un fasten the wire connector at the clutch and yank it outa there.
Note: if your replacement compressor was shipped with out oil you should try not spilling any from your old comp. as you will need to drain and measrure the amount to add to your replacement with new oil. The manual has a replacement amount for this ( I think 3 oz. not sure). I use PAG 46 oil available at most autoparts, I also use it to lube the o-rings although the book calls for refrig.525 oil.

The accumilator (receiver/drier) has two tube fittings which are hard to wrench (very close quarters) make certain you use a backup french on the fitting while loosening and tightening these! Remove the two srews holding the bracket to the fire wall (10mm maybe?) and again the drier should be drained of oil and measered for the new oil amount to be replaced. I found this difficult as the desicant bag inside tends to not allow it to drain out. There is a standard amount called out in the manual for replacement (not sure w/out my books 2oz. I think).

You did not mention the orifice tube (expansion device). If you dont have one of these you will also want to replace it. It is located inside the liquid (small) line which is very near the area of the engine dipstick.
It looks like another line fitting. Use a backup wrench and lossen the nut then pull the line apart. The orifice tube is inside the line toward the fire wall. Reach in there with a pair of needle nose pliars and pull it out carefully (it is plastic) it should also come out with it's o-ring. Take note of the direction of the thing so that you install the new one correctly, some have a tiny direction arrow and it should face toward the drier or fire wall.

Hope this helps some. Sorry I cant be more specific on oil quantities or wrench sizes.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:43 AM   #3
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You will need a professional shop to get the system going again. Its not like the R12 days. A specific amount of R134 based upon the ambient temperature at the time, must be pumped in. Without the correct equipment, its going to be very difficult to do. Easier to pay a shop the approx. $50 to do it for you.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:09 AM   #4
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I just got quoted $1250 to replace the compressor in my car (granted, half of that was the compressor cost). I found a new compressor with accumilator and orifice tube on eBay for $250, so it looks like I'll be tackling this one. I guess I'll still need to go to a shop to have the system evacuated and filled, though.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for asking this, but what could happen if I just vented the R134 myself? Is it bad for the ozone like R12? Not that I'm planning to do this, just curious.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:08 AM   #5
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THANKS TTK98!!! ... although i can turn a wreench it just seems that this job is a little above what i feel like tackeling and there seems to be too many things that can cause problems
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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What a bummer. I know cause the compressor on my 97 just developed a leak. Had two different dealers in Central FL look at it to make sure I wasn't being taken for a ride. One dealer was $1200 and the other was $1635. Although the higher price one was going to change the tensioner ($103) and belt ($84). This really hurts, but I agree it seems more than I want to tackle too.

Also, does anyone know if the condenser needs to be change when you change the Compressor. I saw on Autozone that they say the contaminants can't be completely emptied.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:37 PM   #7
TTK98
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Hi Bob, I can understand that. There will be plenty of other areas for repair work that will fit your comfort zone. Nice vette by the way!


RCATALDO, dealers do tend to be a bit pricey and this part of the a/c is not much different than any other gm system.
Ah yea the intentional release of R134A into the atmospehere is a no-no, granted R12 is worse.


GLKFAM, as above dealers always seem to include some kinda vette tax and a trusted mechanic is sometimes hard to find. The condenser is usualy always replaced when the compressor has failed (blown-up). The metal parts leave the comp. and flow directly to the condenser and become lodged in the many bends in the tubes. They may also have pinholes from acids forming in the system due to poor maintenance, such as moisture entering because of a leak- additives and other such non-condensables. I did flush ours including the lines with a/c solvent and compressed air after the compressor exploded. So I guess it depends on your situation.


Good luck all If you were a bit closer I would be glad to give you a hand.
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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TTK98
Thanks for the information. Hearing it from someone that has been through it and knows, always makes me feel better even though I got to pay. Thanks
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:16 PM   #9
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this site is amazing .. thanks for all of your help ... I did find the compressor on line and for it and the required receiver dryer and the directional valve it cost me only 320 ... so I am bringing it to friends in a local dealer who quoted me 500 to put them in and recharge the system again.. I am thinking about just putting back the original water pump as weird as that sounds only because a new one is about 200 and that job I could easily do myself if and when the need arises .. but thanks again for everyone's help
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
bighank
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Default Specific amount of R 135A SAY WHAT.?!

The label in the engine compartment tell you how much R134A you need to add from a fully evacuated sustem. It is JUST UNDER 2 14 oz cans of refrigerant. Evacuate the system to remove any air and make sure you don't have any leaks. I used 2 cans and used a bucket of hot water to get the refirigerant out of the can while running the compressor. I also replaced the $2 ORFICE TUBE noted above which is in the liquid line on the passanger sice near the inner fender. It was a BITCH to get the old one out. Used locking needle nose vise jaws to grab the sucker tight and pulled like crazy.
I lubricated the NEW one first with refrigerant oil and slid int in and out several times to make sure it wouldn't jam half or 7/8 way into the tube.
Charging the system isn't hard but if you have the system open evacuate it for at least a half hour with a vacuum pump. I made one over 20 years ago from an old sealed compressor from a discarded refrigerator. Added hose and a fitting to go to the guage swt and it will pull close to 30 inches of vacuum. Harbor Freight has the guage set for R134A for about $39.00.
Good luck BIGHANK
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:50 AM   #11
rob&dalevance
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Here is another one for you...

My compressor works just fine, but everytime I engage it, I get a bunch of ticking and whatnot from the clutch.

Is there a way to just replace the clutch???
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:50 AM
 
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