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Old 07-08-2009, 05:22 PM   #1
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AC compressor install

So i searched around and read as many threads as I could on installation of the AC compressor in my 01' 9-3SE (i've been running short belt for a year but bought one a while back to install). It sounds like I can drop it in then use an off the shelf kit to recharge it, at least temp? My questions are- is it safe/environ. to drain it on my own or can i have someone do it before hand? and- can I run the system without charging/fully charging it? I want to do this work at home this weekend but I have a 5hour drive from where I currently live. Any suggestions as to how I should go about this? thanks
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
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You should drop NahumCC a PM. He's had some experience with this.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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When you put in your new compressor whether its charged or not the ACC system will determine if there is a pressure charge of freon via the pressure switch in the condenser. If certain pre-programmed values for pressure are not meant then the A/C compressor clutch will not be energized and the A/C compressor pulley will just be free spinning.

As for freon discharge. You are supposed to have it captured. That is all I will say.

As for actually working on it. You will find that the top left A/C compressor bolt holding to the bracket is the bear of the whole job. It's impossible to get a socket and ratchet onto it with the coolant line from the water pump in place. You can get a wrench on it but because of the length of most wrenches you end up with severly limited turning of the wrench as you either hit the fender or the water pump restricts you. Te bottom bolt is bad but not near as bad as the top there. You can get a socket on it for a bit but you'll eventually be limited by the subframe and be back to using a wrench if you can't hand turn it. Top right bolt close to the turbo you should be able to get a socket onto if I remember correctly.

When you take the compressor out you'll have to lift it up slightly and forward at the same time to clear an notch it locates onto. Best bet for removal is to have loosened the inner fender liner and snake it out past the oil cooler lines. With the turbo and oil filter in place there isn't enough room to snake past the front of the block.

Good luck have fun. If you need a water pump or have the original still now is the bet time to do it as it will make your life 100x easier in doing this job as you'll have enough room to get a socket and ratchet at the top left bolt and won't have to fight the tight confines with the PAD connector for the A/C lines.

I've taken my A/C compressor off both ways on my 9-3. With the water pump at the same time is worth the extra work.

Aireeca your response only beat me because of how long it took to write the above.

BTW south, I'm doing this job for Aireeca this weekend. Depending on your location and if you'd like we can talk about myself performing the work for you.



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Old 07-08-2009, 06:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NahumCC View Post
If certain pre-programmed values for pressure are not meant then the A/C compressor clutch will not be energized and the A/C compressor pulley will just be free spinning.
This is interesting. I leave the T7 suite stuff to PaulH and DeLorean, but I wonder if there's a way to trick the car into thinking it doesn't meet those values.

Why anyone would want to do that, dunno. Just an interesting thing to ponder.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies, i'll be performing this work in ME and i live in CT now for reference...i def agree on your info about the water pump, i decided to do mine when i took it out...and i was glad i did as it def gets in the way. Saab certainly didn't make the compressor an "easy access" piece. I'm less concerned with the draining...as bad as it might be to do so- it sounds like you've confirmed I can run it without refilling it. I'll probably have a shop fill it up just so I'm sure it's at the right pressure etc.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:36 PM   #6
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Ah so you knew already . Have fun then.



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Old 07-09-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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Two things you guys forgot to mention. You should change the receiver drier any time you open the system. Especially with a compressor failure. The system needs to be evacuated (with a vacuum pump) to remove moisture and non condensibles before refilling with refrigerant. Especially with 134a.
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Old 07-09-2009, 03:20 AM   #8
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Well that's a little late for me to suggest to Aireeca. Didn't suggest that as when I replaced both my compressor and condenser I just re-used the receiver dyer. I've had no problems at all.

Though if I had use of a vacuum pump on my car I'm sure it could have gotten the A/C colder but its not bad at all with one of those simple recharge kits.



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Old 07-09-2009, 03:53 PM   #9
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ultimately it's too late to purchase a reciever/dryer so i think i'm going to make a go of it without then have it professionally vacumned/refilled...we'll see how that works
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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ultimately it's too late to purchase a reciever/dryer so i think i'm going to make a go of it without then have it professionally vacumned/refilled...we'll see how that works
Good idea.
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:32 PM   #11
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Here's the scoop on things you should do.
You need to evacuate the system any time it's opened to the atmosphere. Using a vacuum pump lowers the pressure inside the system and then any moisture "boils" off. At the same time air (and other non condensible) are removed. Moisture in an AC system is VERY bad.

Again any time the system is opened, you should replace the drier. But in some cases you don't really need to. If the system had a big leak and was empty for some time, replace Mr. drier. If the compressor overheated and "burned up", replace the drier. If converting from 12 to 134a, replace it.

If the compressor seized up, you may chose not to replace it. If your replacing a slow leaking part (most of the time a hose), you can get away with it.

There is a desiccant material inside the drier and over time it collect moisture. When they get too much moisture and contaminants in them, they clog. Sometimes the tiny little pieces of desiccant stuff start getting into the system. Than you have big trouble. It's a real PITA to get that stuff out.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:12 PM   #12
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That makes a good bit of sense. I'll know for the next time I'm in my own system.

They don't make a cheap vacuum pump for DIY type mechanics do they. I don't mean cheap as in bad quality but as in cost effective. My gut says most of that stuff is probably costly in terms of the proper equipment for doing A/C work.



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Old 07-09-2009, 06:18 PM   #13
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That makes a good bit of sense. I'll know for the next time I'm in my own system.

They don't make a cheap vacuum pump for DIY type mechanics do they. I don't mean cheap as in bad quality but as in cost effective. My gut says most of that stuff is probably costly in terms of the proper equipment for doing A/C work.
Some nice linker sent me info on an air operated vacuum pump sold at Harbor Freight. I don't know if it works or not, but it might be worth a try.
Remember, if your buying tools, you are buying something you might just use the rest of your life. so, an investment in a decent vacuum pump or reclaim equipment might be a good decision.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NahumCC View Post
They don't make a cheap vacuum pump for DIY type mechanics do they. I don't mean cheap as in bad quality but as in cost effective. My gut says most of that stuff is probably costly in terms of the proper equipment for doing A/C work.
Well there's this on Harbor Freight:



But discussing it with DeLorean earlier today, he said that would take a pretty powerful compressor to run it.

I'll let him fill you in on his other solution. It's pretty neat. If you know of someone ditching a refrigerator, Nahum, we could try rigging one up.

Also, drier should show up at your house tomorrow. Even with overnight shipping from eEuro it was still $120 cheaper than if I had gotten it through the parts desk at the Indy Saab service place. (And, yes, they can still get stuff from Saab Parts USA.)
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:28 PM   #15
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Nope, I don't know of anybody ditching a refrigerator anytime soon. Sorry.

You'll get a chance to see how my A/C feels, old receiver dryer from Codesplices car and no vacuum before fill, when we go grab coolant and r134a while it cools down in my driveway. God knows how long codes r/d was exposed but I'm not complaining at all.......and neither is the fiance which is what counts most. It works.

Did you order new O-rings for the lines at the R/D too?



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Old 07-09-2009, 06:33 PM   #16
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Did you order new O-rings for the lines at the R/D too?
***headdesk***

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
Some nice linker sent me info on an air operated vacuum pump sold at Harbor Freight. I don't know if it works or not, but it might be worth a try.
Well, at least Bullseye thinks I'm nice even if I can't seem to remember freaking o-rings. Sigh.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
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***headdesk***



Well, at least Bullseye thinks I'm nice even if I can't seem to remember freaking o-rings. Sigh.
It's ok......I'm sure we can make it work. Otherwise we will have to hope that the local parts stores carry the right size O-rings.



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Old 07-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #18
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Oh, and get to sleep. You have a bit of a drive ahead of you to get here.



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Old 07-09-2009, 06:40 PM   #19
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is the 01 much different than the 99?
(I know my 9-5 compressor is MUCH different than my 9-3 was)

If the 01 is like the 99, I think nahum's making it sound a bit more difficult than it is.
I did a write-up on SC a couple years ago, and I followed the same procedure on a 900, recently.

Also, I know you've been running a short belt, but does that mean that you've had no compressor?
If so, your a/c is trashed.
all the sand/dust/moisture will have ruined the system, by now.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:42 PM   #20
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I have to start looking @ the dates when I reply =0[
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