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AC Condensing Radiator size


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Does anybody happen to have the dimensions (W x H x D) of the standard lotus condensing radiator C082P4160F for an 83 Turbo esprit? Mine has a slow leak and I’d like to replace it. SJ has a reproduction available, but it’s about 3x the cost of a modern, aftermarket unit. So I wonder if there’s a fitting alternative out there. 

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Hi @Gis, I'm considering re-installing AC on my '85 TE - all parts currently missing except evaporator which has been vandalised by some PO. I'd be very interested to hear of your progress with condenser rad, and any issues with fans/relays etc.

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Rough guide as I found it was 12" top-bottom, 25" across in a modern flat plate type condenser. Found something workable in use on long-haul trucks, eg: Freightliner. This does require adapting hose end connections to modern 0-ring type.

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Thanks guys. Yes that’s the size I found as well @drdoom. It’s also in line with what @Andyww posted in a different A/C thread. About 50cm across and not much taller than 25 cm. I found a modern parallel flow unit with car builders in the UK. Has the #6 and #8 connections. I have replaced all old parts already more then a year ago. New R134 compressor from SJ, all new hoses and modern standard connectors. Put in a compact, new aftermarket evaporator. The old evaporator was mutilated beyond rescue and leaking badly. Needless to say it was a major operation to pull the old hoses and the evaporator. Whole dash had to come out, major work. My car still had the original hoses from 1983, neatly labelled with dates 🙂. Took me a few days to get it all sorted. At the same time, it was a good opportunity to clean up the cable tree and the electrics. Νο issues with fans and relays, the new setup works the same way as the old one @thebartman, fans come on when the AC is switched on. I only kept the old condenser but that, as it turns out, was also slowly leaking. New setup works fine for about 6 months until the gas runs low. So it’s time to address that last, leaky component.

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Here’s a flavour of the job.. that was in 2020, by looking at the pictures one can tell it was a lot of fun. The mantra was, disassemble, document, compare with electrical diagram and label on the way in. Then cleanup and reconnect on the way out. I must say that my original loom was mostly in good shape and original, few PO mods to clean up. I have since updated all the relays and the fuses to modern equivalents too. 

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This looks like a massive job - I was considering the AC replacement as I have to tackle a seized heater matrix (when the weather improves)- btw - is that an in-line fuse holder running behind the A-pillar? If so, what does it feed?

Glad you've found the condenser 🙂 

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Thanks mate. Yes, it’s an effort to get to the evaporator since it’s buried deep below, to pull the hoses wasn’t as bad, surprisingly. Worst part there was to work them around the light pod lift levers on the passenger side. All tight in there. Good news is that one learns the car and how the systems work and where they are. In summary, width proper preparation and mindset, it’s doable and rewarding. The fat connector at the A pillar is the antenna plug for the Panasonic 610. Super piece of kit, looks great and sounds great too 😀

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Pulled the old condenser out. It’s a large piece at 89x26x4.5cm body size without connectors. The new parallel flow one is about half that size. Wonder if that sufficient for our hot and humid climate here. Will find out once the gas refill is complete next week. 

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The best information I have found advises use of the largest condenser which will fit. This makes clear sense as these are heat exchangers for a low differential situation, that is the transfer of unwanted cabin heat plus pumping load outboard to the ambient air. This low exchange process is why the condenser must be placed in front of the cooling system rad. In any case you'll have best chance of success with airflow ducted neatly so as to ensure all inlet air must travel through without bypassing the main rad. Let us know how it works out.

Cheers

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