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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
From the Junkman's Garage, here's another writeup that doesn't appear to be posted on any other Corvette forum. You guys who have found this are in luck. Make sure that you read through this entire writeup BEFORE you do anything!!!

Like some of my other writeup's, I will try and keep this as close to the service manual as possible. Although there may be other ways to do this, I was successful in doing mine the way that I have documented it here. After one month, it is still working and my air is icy cold. :D

Special thanks goes out to Jesse (GMJunkie), who was extremely valuable with his advice in helping me through this project. I would not have been able to complete it without his tips. He was the only person that I could locate on any of the forums who had done his. Thank God for the adventurous! :laughing:

Some of the technical numbers are specifically for my year vehicle (2001), so double check the values for your car BEFORE you proceed. This writeup should be performed along with my accumulator and orifice writeup. If you replace the compressor, you may as well do all three.

With that said, let's get some! :partyon:



Step 1. Recover the refrigerant from the A/C system.

Now if you are an average Joe like me, you probably don't have one of these machines just sitting around in a corner somewhere so you will have to visit a place that does. If your compressor has discharged all the R-134a in your system, you still do not want to just start breaking loose the lines as some R-134a will remain and this stuff is DANGEROUS. You do not want to be breathing this stuff. It is heavier than air so do not be laying up under the car if that is were you decide to break the first line. Make sure that you work in a well ventilated area when you do break that first line.

Here are the cations and notices from the service manual:


Caution

Avoid breathing the A/C Refrigerant 134a (R-134a) and the lubricant vapor or the mist. Exposure may irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Work in a well ventilated area. In order to remove R-134a from the A/C system, use service equipment that is certified to meet the requirements of SAE J 2210 (R-134a recycling equipment). If an accidental system discharge occurs, ventilate the work area before continuing service. Additional health and safety information may be obtained from the refrigerant and lubricant manufacturers.



Caution

For personal protection, goggles and gloves should be worn and a clean cloth wrapped around fittings, valves, and connections when doing work that includes opening the refrigerant system. If R-134a comes in contact with any part of the body severe frostbite and personal injury can result. The exposed area should be flushed immediately with cold water and prompt medical help should be obtained.



Notice

R-134a is the only approved refrigerant for use in this vehicle. The use of any other refrigerant may result in poor system performance or component failure.


Notice

To avoid system damage use only R-134a dedicated tools when servicing the A/C system.


Notice

Use only Polyalkylene Glycol Synthetic Refrigerant Oil (PAG) for internal circulation through the R-134a A/C system and only 525 viscosity mineral oil on fitting threads and O-rings. If lubricants other than those specified are used, compressor failure and/or fitting seizure may result.


Notice

R-12 refrigerant and R-134a refrigerant must never be mixed, even in the smallest of amounts, as they are incompatible with each other. If the refrigerants are mixed, compressor failure is likely to occur. Refer to the manufacturer instructions included with the service equipment before servicing.



I will leave it up to you as to how you perform this step but know in advance that it is illegal to just discharge this stuff into the air. There, I've done my part for the environment. :thumbsup:



Step 2. Remove the battery heat shield.

a) Remove the push-in retainer attaching the air inlet screen and battery heat shield to the plenum panel.




b) Remove the push-in retainer attaching the battery heat shield to the wheelhouse panel.




c) Lift the battery heat shield from the ground stud and remove the shield. There is no nut on the ground stud that holds the battery heat shield in the car.



Step 3. Remove the water pump.

I have another writeup located here which explains in detail how to R&R the water pump. It is a relatively easy job. Before you raise the vehicle, loosen the nuts on the front, passenger's side tire. You will need to remove it in order to get to the compressor bolts.



Step 4. Remove the compressor drive belt (the accessory drive belt should be off because you've already removed the water pump).

Here's the deal. That tensioner is a PITA to work with. Sometimes I can get at it from the top, sometimes from the bottom. Those cooler lines are always in the way so be careful with them. There is a clip that holds them together and you may have to unclip it to get to the AC tensioner bolt. Just don't get frustrated and cut those cooler lines.







Step 5. Disconnect the compressor clutch electrical connector.

I had to unclip one side from the top of the car and then get the other side from the bottom.





Step 6. The service manual has you raise the vehicle at this point but I had mine in the air from the water pump removal.



Step 7. Remove the compressor hose retaining bolt.

Important

Cap or tape the open compressor hose immediately to prevent contamination.


This nut is located in the back of the compressor. It holds the 2 compressor hoses onto the back of the compressor.




This was real fun. I had to buy a 15mm (I think that was the size) wobble socket off of a Snap-On truck ($36), and you know I paid out the wazoo for that. I had to lay under the car and use a long extension to get to it. While taking it off, I knew that it was going to be murder to put it back on. Whatever you do, you don't want to cross-thread that bolt when putting it back on.

Now you may be able to get to it from the top of the car. If you can, you will have to remove the heat shield off the exhaust manifold. It is held on by 4 bolts. Shoot them with some penetrating oil like PB Blaster before trying to remove them so that you don't break one. They may be seized.

Actually getting the heat shield out of the car is an adventure itself. You'll probably have to slightly bend and finagle it in order to remove it. Make sure you wear some gloves when trying to remove it because the edges will cut your hands. Ask me how I know. :rolleyes:




Here's the heat shield out of the car. I took this picture just to prove that it can be done with a little blood and cursing.




Here's that bolt peeping around the corner.






Step 8. Disconnect the compressor hose from the compressor, discard the seal washers and cap or tape the hose end to prevent contamination.

Nothing fancy here. You pull the lines off the back of the compressor, toss the seals and cap off the lines. I bought my all my seals at the dealership before I started this job but your compressor may come with new seals.



Step 9. Remove the lower compressor mounting bolts.

In order to get to these bolts, you are going to have to access them through the wheel well. As a side note, do you see the green dye? That's how I knew that my compressor had spit the juice.





Step 10. The service manual has you lower the vehicle at this point. I didn't, but at the same time I didn't have the car so high in the air that I couldn't work over the fender. This would be an ideal time to own a scissor lift.


Step 11. Remove the compressor mounting nut.






Step 12. Fully loosen the compressor mounting stud.

This is the stud that you just removed the nut from. I think it was a 7mm. Notice that the instructions state to fully loosen it, not remove it because you can't. The frame is in the way.





Step 13. Remove the upper compressor mounting bolt

That would be the last bolt holding the compressor to the engine.





Step 14. Remove the compressor and the mounting stud from the engine block.

You will wiggle the compressor forward and up the front of the engine. That's how it comes out.



Step 15. Remove the compressor mounting stud from the compressor.

Now you can get that stud out. Don't forget to put that stud into the new compressor before you place the new compressor back into the engine! Don't have a DOH! moment!

Now notice the picture below. All the bolts are different sizes so make sure that you put the correct bolt back in the correct hole. Mark them if you have to.




Step 16. Very important!!! If replacing the compressor, drain and measure as much of the oil as possible from the removed compressor:

  1. Drain the oil from both the suction and discharge ports of the removed compressor into a clean container.
  2. Remove the compressor crankcase oil drain plug (1) and drain the crankcase oil into the same container.
  3. Measure and record the amount of oil drained from the removed compressor. This measurement will be used during installation of the replacement compressor.
  4. Properly discard the used PAG oil.


This is very, very important. You must know how much oil you are loosing from the system so that you can replace that loss. If you are purchasing a compressor that is pre-oiled, you may be okay but this is something that you have to know. There is no way to measure the oil in the system and too much or too little is a very bad thing. Also, you will need to add 2 ounces of oil to the accumulator when replacing it so keep that in mind while doing this job.


Now at this point, you are also going to want to change the orifice and the accumulator. At first, I was going to combine the three DIY's but I have decided to separate them for clarity. I will provide links in this DIY to those writeup's once I finish writing and posting them.


Here's another piece of information that you will definitely find useful. I purchased my compressor, accumulator and orifice from Bumper to Bumper for $206.00. In order to get the lifetime warranty that this compressor came with, I had to purchase and install ALL THREE PARTS. From what I am understanding, the accumulator is only good for about 7-8 years of use before it needs to be replaced so you may as well do it and the orifice now, even if they aren't bad. Like I said before, my air is colder than it was when the car was new if you ask me.

I couldn't believe that price, and a lifetime warranty to boot. The dealership wanted close to $800 for the AC Delco compressor. :thud: :surprised

I researched the hell out of a bunch of different compressors because I didn't want to install some crap compressor in my car. After much research and a whole lot of asking questions, I went with V7 compressor by Compressor Works. The V7 is what is used in the C5. All V7's are not equal so make sure you read the description of the one you choose to buy. The better V7's have more pistons or something (I forget without looking it up again), so read up on what that difference is. You want the more robust compressor.



This compressor came pre-oiled. I still added a tad more oil to it and before I installed it, I turned it about 20 times to make sure that the oil was worked around inside it very well. This is very important. You should read the installation instructions that come with your compressor as they are very explicit on how they are to be installed.

One last thing, don't forget to replace all the gaskets in the system. There are 2 at the back of the compressor and 2 at the accumulator. They are cheap so don't be a cheap ass and not replace them. The AC system is a sealed system and should NEVER leak. Don't give it an opportunity to do so.

After I got my system put back together, I had a shop do the evacuation and recovery of the system. The dealer charges $120.00 for this. I had a local mom and pop shop do it for $50.00. My year car (2001), holds 1.5 pounds of R-134a. The amount that your year car may vary. For example, a 1998 holds 1.625 lbs. of R-134a so verify what your year car holds before filling your system. My suggestion is to have it professionally done because those gauges that you can buy to do it yourself can give you false readings. I found that out first hand.


Here are some important numbers that you need to know about oil and R-134a amounts. These numbers are for my year (2001), so you need to double-check and verify exactly what is recommended for your year car. It varies sometimes from year to year.


PAG Oil Amounts

(These numbers for the oil are very important if you have a total system failure and have to completely flush the system)

Accumulator Replacement
60 ml
2.0 oz

Compressor Replacement
60 ml
2.0 oz

Evaporator Replacement
60 ml
2.0 oz

Total System PAG Oil Capacity
266.16 ml
9.0 oz


R-134a Amount

R-134a GM P/N 12345922 (Canadian P/N 10953485) or the equivalent

Refrigerant Charge
0.68 kg
1.50 lb



Here are your torque numbers for re-installation:

Compressor Drain Plug: Tighten the drain plug to 20 N·m (15 lb ft).

Compressor Mounting Stud: Tighten the stud to 9 N·m (80 lb in).

Tighten the compressor mounting bolts in the following sequence:

Front upper, first
Front lower, second
Rear lower, third Tighten

Tighten the bolts in sequence to 40 N·m (30 lb ft).

Install the compressor mounting nut. Tighten
Tighten the nut to 40 N·m (30 lb ft).


Make sure that you lightly coat all the seals with the PAG oil before installing.


Lastly, tighten the compressor hose to compressor retaining bolt to 26 N·m (19 lb ft). Notice: After tightening the compressor hose to the compressor, there should be a slight sealing washer gap of approximately 1.2 mm (3/64 in) between the compressor hose and the compressor.



That's it boys and girls! have at it!

:cheers:

The Junkman
 

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Nice write-up, as always. Your photos are always great as well.

My compressor replacement last year was the first A/C work I have ever done. Not a bad job, but I did some extra work and flushed the whole thing after I saw the gelatinous gunk that was in the A/C lines. The compressor had a seal completely rupture and spit oil all over, so I couldn't use any reference measurements.

If anyone has to flush the system because of a situation like this, be sure to flush all the parts and blow everything out with dry compressed air. I also put the system on a vacuum pump overnight after reassembly to evacuate as much moisture as possible.

Don't know if you cover all that in the other two DIY's, but thought I would add to this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Flushing is necessary if you have a catastrophic failure in which crap is blown throughout your system. As you can see by this picture of my old orifice, my system didn't need to be flush. The compressor just gave up a seal and leaked all the R-134a out.

 

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I just replaced the manifold line (suction/discharge) seals at the compressor. I can attest the bolt is a pain to access. I ended up with a wobble socket and a couple of 12" extensions.
I am hoping the oil/dirt on the low side hose is from the seal and not the compressor halves...
Great writeup!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just replaced the manifold line (suction/discharge) seals at the compressor. I can attest the bolt is a pain to access. I ended up with a wobble socket and a couple of 12" extensions.
I am hoping the oil/dirt on the low side hose is from the seal and not the compressor halves...
Great writeup!!
They should make a pin for those of us who have successfully dealt with that bolt! :laughing:

Interesting repair that you did. Did you know for a fact that your seals were leaking?
 

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Flushing is necessary if you have a catastrophic failure in which crap is blown throughout your system. As you can see by this picture of my old orifice, my system didn't need to be flush. The compressor just gave up a seal and leaked all the R-134a out.

Wow, that thing was clean. Glad you didn't have to do much cleaning. It's messy and makes it a two day job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, that thing was clean. Glad you didn't have to do much cleaning. It's messy and makes it a two day job.
Yea, I lucked out. I finished doing the writeup for replacing the accumulator and as soon as I finished, my web browser crashed and I lost the whole thing. That sucked. Now I have to do it all over again.
 

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Special thanks goes out to Jesse (GMJunkie), who was extremely valuable with his advice in helping me through this project. I would not have been able to complete it without his tips. He was the only person that I could locate on any of the forums who had done his. Thank God for the adventurous! :laughing:
Thanks for the kind words!~!!:thumbsup:


R-134a Amount

R-134a GM P/N 12345922 (Canadian P/N 10953485) or the equivalent

Refrigerant Charge
0.68 kg
1.50 lb
As a side Note here,
2000-2004 require 1.75 Lb. of 134a refrigerant. :thumbsup:

Great wright up Junk!~!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the kind words!~!!:thumbsup:


As a side Note here,
2000-2004 require 1.75 Lb. of 134a refrigerant. :thumbsup:

Great wright up Junk!~!!:thumbsup::thumbsup:
Hey no problem! Thanks again. :thumbsup:

On that side note, double check those numbers. My service manual and the shop's All Data online manual are both reporting 1.5lbs of R-134. The All Data manual list the value in kilograms but had a conversion chart that converted it to 1.5lbs. Thanks!
 

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Hey no problem! Thanks again. :thumbsup:

On that side note, double check those numbers. My service manual and the shop's All Data online manual are both reporting 1.5lbs of R-134. The All Data manual list the value in kilograms but had a conversion chart that converted it to 1.5lbs. Thanks!
I must have a Updated version,But I did make a mistake!~!!:D
I was thinking it started in 2000,But it started in 2002 - 2004!:thumbsup:


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, now I'm going to have to go back and look at all the years! You're making work for me Jesse! :laughing:
 

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Mileage

Yo Junk how many miles do you have on ole blue now? It seems like you have replaced every part on that car. Do you remember or did you wrte the mileages down when things failed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yo Junk how many miles do you have on ole blue now? It seems like you have replaced every part on that car. Do you remember or did you wrte the mileages down when things failed?
:laughing:

It does seem like I have replaced a lot of stuff! I didn't write the mileage down for each repair but I pretty much remember when I did the work. I'm at 130,000 miles right now and driving it every day that I can. :thumbsup:
 

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I found alot of oil & dirt on the forward part of the ac manifold hose. The compressor had a little smudge at the halves (where they are known to leak), but nothing major. I should have said I am hoping the comressor isnt leaking. So far, so good-65 deg air within a min of startup on the hot days recently. (fingers still crossed)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I found alot of oil & dirt on the forward part of the ac manifold hose. The compressor had a little smudge at the halves (where they are known to leak), but nothing major. I should have said I am hoping the comressor isnt leaking. So far, so good-65 deg air within a min of startup on the hot days recently. (fingers still crossed)
Have you looked at the valley cover gasket? Sounds like yours is leaking.
 

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It looked ok when I changed the oil pressure sensor last winter. (thanks for that writeup btw) The ac manifold hose to compressor interface was kinda cruddy as was front facing areas of the aluminum tubes, along with the much less than frigid ac performance led me to the seals at the compressor. I'll take a look at the valley cover next. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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This is bookmarked for me, as I have put this job off for 2 years. My compressor is leaking at the clutch seal. 2 cans
of R134a have been my lazy solution, but next year Im taking this job on. When the A/C works correctly in these cars, it makes my summer enjoyable, plus a move to Florida sometime
down the road makes it all the more important..:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yea, you definitely don't want to be dealing with Florida humidity with no air! :thud:
 

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Or S. Indiana either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, it has been brutal for the last month but it figures... as soon as we get some top down weather, I'm Vetteless. :down:
 
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