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uvachief
 
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Lightbulb How can you tell if your A/C compressor is really leaking?

How can you tell if your a/c compressor is leaking? Do you see green dye in this picture? I had some work done a couple of months back and the mechanic said my compressor appeared to be leaking. I crawled under the car and took some photographs but I don't see any evidence of obvious green dye leaking unless I am blind. Can someone clue me in?



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1986 944 NA Red 5SPD
Old 03-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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i think you need to use a blacklight to see the dye
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:57 PM
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You do need a black light to see u.v. dye. However if the front seal is leaking you will actually see it drip from behind clutch area, and it will be obvious. On my '84 I found the leak was the schrader valve for low side. It can be replaced with compressor on car but is very tight. and belt needs to be removed to get access. (also from picture you need to replace belt as it looks to be fraying a bit)

When I ran across a bad a/c shop I decided to do my own work, and invested in much of the equipment needed (only need gas analyser now) If you have access to an electronic sniffer (maybe a friend has one) you can narrow down possible areas very quickly. Problem is the system can leak from any of the 'O' rings throughout the system. Some of the areas are front seal, schrader valves, connections to receiver dryer, connections to condensor, high/low temp sensors. Where you REALLY do not want a leak is from inside car, as replacing that condensor requires removing most of interior.

Lastly did the shop say they added dye? If so then they should also have the black light to check and should have. The system does not have to run long to pressurize enough to see leaks. Hope tis helps some.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:02 AM
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a/c leak detection kit, (black light and safety glasses and dye) available at better (?) parts houses (AZ, Kragen, NAPA) about $15.00
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:52 AM
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its leaking, leave it alone and live with it. or replaced or rebuild your expensive compressor
Old 03-27-2011, 08:35 AM
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$375 for a rebuilt from discountacparts.com, I've used one for 3 years now with no problems. Make sure you replace the drier if you change the pump to keep the warranty in place.

When all is said and done though, if you are doubting the word of the mechanic who worked on your car, then you don't trust him, so either find another mech or do the work yourself. Just sayin'
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Last edited by 89-944NA; 03-27-2011 at 10:32 AM..
Old 03-27-2011, 10:29 AM
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mattdavis11, member and Auto AC technician would suggest to reseal the compressor if you have the skills or money. Cheap fix

I bought my compressor rebuilt from an ebay rebuilder in TX for $240 in '09. Changed the receiver/dryer, all "O" rings, PAG 50 and converted to R134a. Everything fine to date.

You can also get "reconditioned" sniffers on ebay. Usually OK but need new rechargeable batteries and a charger. I think I paid a total of $70 for all parts.



GL
John
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Last edited by John_AZ; 03-27-2011 at 02:24 PM.. Reason: sprlling x2
Old 03-27-2011, 11:04 AM
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I found that the most common source for a leak on the Nippondenso 6E171 is the shaft seal, yours doesn't look to terribly bad, most of the time they are coated with oil and dirt. Yours may be a small leak that doesn't sling oil all over creation.

Not many older denso compressors lock up, so rebuilding is viable and cost effective solution. You need some tools though, a jaw puller, it's nice to have an impact gun, but not necessary, snap wring pliers, allen sockets, and probably something I'm forgetting. Any a/c shop should have the seal kit, and if I had my books, I'd look up the Santech part numbers. The information is out there and several places sell the kit. Just google 6E171 shaft seal and you'll find someone selling them.

Joejoe1, the condenser is in front of the radiator, the evaporator is inside the car.
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:20 PM
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lol oops.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:48 PM
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Thanks. I had a rebuilt compressor installed last May. The one in the pictures is the installed one. It came with a one year warranty against leaking so if it is leaking, I need to remove it and ship it back to the parts dealer for a replacement. I had a new drier installed last year as well and a leak check revealed no leaks. However, while it blew cold air, the cold air only came through the center vents. Heat poured in from the side vents. Any idea why?
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:27 PM
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I just saw you have a 86, which should have a 10P15E compressor, but the shaft seal is the same for both compressors. I know very little about the later car air boxes.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:10 AM
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Sounds like maybe the clip on the heater controls in the driver's side footwell has come unclipped?
Old 03-29-2011, 08:18 AM
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Unhappy Heater controls

Quote:
Originally Posted by pigeon View Post
Sounds like maybe the clip on the heater controls in the driver's side footwell has come unclipped?
I went on Clarks-Garage and found the section on heating and air conditioning issues. I tried to trouble shoot the clip issue in the footwell. I will be damned if I can figure out where the box is that hides the clips. Anyone have a picture they can send to show me where the box is? This is an 86 so it isn't exposed like they are on the early models.

I drive it some days and I get nothing but pure heat. I drove it this morning and got ZERO heat no matter what setting I put it on. Sometimes the heat works when it is in defrost mode. I've been trying to replicate when the heat is engaged and when it is disengaged for weeks with no success. Cannot figure out what the heck causes it to work or not work. Also, I have never ever felt any air in the footwells. The only forced air pressure I have ever felt is through the dash vents.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:44 AM
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maybe...
944 Online Forum - The Porsche 944 Forum For The 944 Enthusiast.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:05 AM
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I just replaced the clips in mine...remove the dash surround, when you look into the dash from this nice big hole, right next to the heat/ac duct on the drivers side you will see the actuating rods and the cover. There are two screws that hold the cover on. Pull the screws, remove the cover and replace the clips. Real easy to do....While I was in there I replaced all three clipseven though only one was broken. Cost 3 clips, 3 spring locks less than $12.00
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:40 AM
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Just looked on our hosts website, want to find the clips, where can I get them?
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:32 PM
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It was a loose clip. The damper rod had gotten out of the clip. Re-inserted it and works fine now. However, whenever I drive over rough patches of road, it comes dislodged about 50% of the time. I am thinking it is missing some sort fo retaining clip that goes on the back of the actual clip to keep it in place. Anyone got any good pictures of what a full and complete clip and damper rod should look like?
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_AZ View Post
mattdavis11, member and Auto AC technician would suggest to reseal the compressor if you have the skills or money. Cheap fix

I bought my compressor rebuilt from an ebay rebuilder in TX for $240 in '09. Changed the receiver/dryer, all "O" rings, PAG 50 and converted to R134a. Everything fine to date.

You can also get "reconditioned" sniffers on ebay. Usually OK but need new rechargeable batteries and a charger. I think I paid a total of $70 for all parts.



GL
John
Can youi post details on the reseal kit? How hard is it to crack it open, install new seals and seal it back up? I've been picking up used a/c condensors here and there on the cheap. If the reseal works and is cheap, might be worth refurbishing the old ones and selling them. Why do these things leak so bad? I bought a remanufactured one and it didn't even last a year before it started leaking again. There has to be a better, new alternative for under $300.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:58 AM
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It's not very hard to tear down a compressor, but the problem lies in getting the parts. The company I work for wouldn't have a clue, but I do. We buy parts from Santech, just not rebuilding supplies. I'll get back with you on the part numbers, but I'll give you a heads up, Santech isn't going to sell directly to the public. I can help you out.

If memory serves well, about the only thing you need to watch out for is the position of the valve plates when taking it apart. I think there are five 5mm allen through bolts holding the case together. Again if memory serves,

1) remove 8 or 10mm clutch bolt and pull off clutch friction plate
2) remove snap ring
3) remove pulley and clutch with bearing (need jaw puller most likely)
4) Remove snap ring
5) remove coil
6) remove allen blots
7) start paying attention, take notice of the valve orientation while separating case, or just pull the nose of the compressor off
8) drive out the shaft seal with a socket
9) lubricate seal and reinstall in nose (make sure you rid the shaft of any wear where the seal rides, emery cloth or fine sand paper then polish) and be careful inserting the seal, they do make a tool to install them. I think I have 2, never used them.
10) replace any associated seals
11) put back together setting the air gap properly, I use a business card sometimes when I've been drinking. Some have shims, some don't, make sure you don't loose yours when taking the clutch friction plate off.

I probably left something out, like oiling or what not.

However, if you've been buying condensers, you just need a comb, some acid and flush. Might need a way too weld where it leaks too, but I'm pretty sure you meant compressors though.
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Last edited by mattdavis11; 06-23-2011 at 04:36 PM..
Old 06-23-2011, 04:23 PM
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What do you use to seal it all back up? You seal the engine block with loctite. What do you use to seal the compressor back up? Yes it was compressor and not condensor.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:47 AM
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:47 AM
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