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Smithy111

Air con acceptable leak rate?

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Ok so theres a better chance of the condenser being intact and leak free on an older car like ours than newer ali units, i rekon its the hoses. Im tempted to just do this myself, gas it up to the correct pressure with some cheap refrigerant as above put the correct type and amount of oil in? and dye and run the system and then look for the leak with uv light (my garage is pitch black as no windows) anyone see any problems with this method?

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The dye is quite easy to spot with a UV torch. even in ambient light - so you will be fine in your garage.    My guess is the compressor shaft seal, but obviously a guess.   However its worth changing out the original hoses anyway.  Cant see any major issues with your plan other than gas is expensive....   It may also be kinder to the  environment and 'more legal' if you run the test with the hydrocarbon gas you were planning to use (the 3 cans illustrated earlier).   Replacing oil is a black art, there is some good reference material available from Sanden online. 

NB I've just bought one of those super cheap Chinese gas sniffers as I'm chasing a leak in my daily driver.  probably be a couple of weeks before it arrives.  I'll let you know if it works

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Agree the shaft seal is the most likely to go, or general corrosion of the mating surfaces on the compressor causing leaks. I have tried to rebuild these before with no success at all.

Best replaced with a low cost Chinese equivalent.

 

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Consensus of views in Esprit forums seems to be that compressor shaft seal will fail with age, so agree with Andy on compressor replacement though I'd try to sniff out a decent quality example. I'm very fortunate to have a massively experienced proprietor/mechanic for generic parts supply when it suits me and would trust his knowledge when I gather up a replacement compressor. Also, if those hoses in your Esprit are original I'd expect they warrant replacing with modern material items. That black goo is as described in this thread, will not cause leaks in any case and I'd not expect leaks to have developed in line/pipe joints as a rule.

Cheers

p.s. - The evaporator appears common to BMW's of the era.

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I’d hope the evaporator is fine as it’s protected in the hvac unit and that’s one thing I won’t be doing if that’s failed! Would the shaft seal be leaking if the clutch has never been engaged though? I’m going to have to pull the compressor out anyway as it’s been fitted upside down 🙄

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The shaft seal needs to be lubricated via the oil/gas in the system and that can only be done by running it.

it's inactivity that kills them they require oil on the mating surfaces to seal you should always try and run the A/C at least once a Month preferably once a week 

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Im going to leak test this myself with some of the cheap hydrocarbon gas and uv dye but how much and what type of oil should i use?

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On 23/10/2019 at 12:30, philcool said:

The shaft seal needs to be lubricated via the oil/gas in the system and that can only be done by running it.

it's inactivity that kills them they require oil on the mating surfaces to seal you should always try and run the A/C at least once a Month preferably once a week 

orson welles applause GIF

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11 hours ago, Smithy111 said:

how much and what type of oil should i use?

I think the correct atarting point is to remove the compressor and see how much oil is in it following Sandens instructions.  Unless someone has done a lot of work to convert your system, you probably still have the original R12 compatible mineral oil.   This is identifiable as a very heavy viscous yellowish coloured oil.   However its incompatible with R134. which is the main gas available to us.

TBH for your 'hydrocarbon' test, I'd probably assume you have not lost any oil (you dont appear to have any physical damage).   Depending on your final choise of gas will determine what steps you need to take.   (I fitted an 'Ebay'  new R134 Sanden type compressor, replaced all hoses & dryer, flushed out rest of system and use PAG oil and all has been fine for 5 years) - new compressors are generally pre-filled with oil and there is then a formula for how much oil to add for each component (including hoses) in the system 

 

 

 

 

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The suction hose had a massive hole in it so as a trial to check for other leaks I cut the hose and rejoined it and a load of thick yellow oil came out I assume that’s the compressor oil as it’s been fitted inverted and probably run out of the unit and into the low point on the hose? How difficult is it to replace the suction line? Was thinking I could replace one hose at a time and that ones in the worse visual condition

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That sounds exactly like mineral oil, don't forget the oil is present in all parts of the system, not just the compressor and 'glides' around while the AC is running.   I'm not an expert, but I would have thought the only way to accurately assess what you need is to measure/top-up whats currently in the compressor, according to Sanden and then add the extra CCs thats specified when you replace a hose.  Again that info is available in one of the Sanden guides.   Unfortunately, I am not aware of any easy way of doing it.  You should also change the receiver/dryer if you have not already done so.

Changing the long hoses is a 7 out of 10 on the Esprit difficulty scale.   You will need a beadlock crimper if you plan to do it yourself  (maybe around £150)

 

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The biggest problem with the hoses is they go through the sill and its difficult to remove the sill without trashing the carpet. The carpet is usually glued on with the strongest glue known to man, and cant be removed without disintegrating. I managed to just about get enough access by drilling out the bottom set of rivets and bending up the sill enough to access with the carpet still attached to it. The hoses run directly under the carpet to the left of the LH footwell so no choice but to remove it here.

I have a hydraulic beadlock crimper which I might be prepared to loan.

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I was thinking of original lotus hoses with the fittings already on that sj sell? Im taking about the suction line from evaporator back to compressor. So the hose passes through the sill and strait into the cabin and is only under the carpet? My carpets been replaced so i can probably get it back up.

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Looks a fair price, I also see its modern 'Parkers' hose.   Have a look under the carpet and plastic cover at the bottom of the left hand A Pillar to see where the hose is routed.

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