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A/C condenser replacement - an easy DIY?

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The climate control on my 1999 986 has never worked in the 6 months I've owned it (the perils of buying a car when it's 3C outside I suppose).

Prompted by another post I had a look around in the bumper air intakes and found (see attached photo) that the driver's side (on my RHD car) condenser is damaged at the lower outside corner and looks as though it's been leaking, presumably through corrosion caused by leaves collecting there over the years.


Obviously I'm looking to sort this in the most cost effective way possible, so can anyone tell me if replacing the condenser is a straightforward DIY job? Looking at the schematic in the parts catalogue, it just seems to attach to the refrigerant circuit with a couple of screws with o-rings to seal.

I've no idea how long this problem has existed and understand that if the leak has been there for a while, the desiccator might need replacing as well. Is this true and if so is this also possible to DIY? Although I can see it on the schematic, I have no idea where the unit actually is - is it near the battery compartment?

If I can get all this done myself then I guess all that would be required would be to get an AC specialist to re-gas the system?



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Although AC is not very difficult work if you have the gauges, a pump and the refrigerant it is best left to the professionals if you have no clue. As the condenser has been compromised there is very little damage you can do to the system. Although I don't know the procedure for the repair of the condenser but if chose to do it yourself (and know what you are doing with fittings) then you can save some money in the labor along with the filter/dryer, check with the website sponsor for the best pricing. Then take it all to a AC pro to evac the system and refill. 9 out of 10 times this is fine unless there has been a failure of the compressor, then you would want a flush.

Luckily in the little hick town I work I can get a evan and refill for $90, most will be three times that. Take the shop the Bentley too so they can find the ports!


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This is a dead easy Job which should take a complete novice no more than 8 cups of tea (4hrs)

Remove the front bumper, take out the side indicators as you have one screw behind each side that holds the bumper on - plus a few underneath the front valance (about 8 IIRC) and three under the plastic cover where the front boot latches.

Once the bumper is removed you will find a plastic cowling over the front of the condensor, remove the cowling (4 screws) Undo the air con gas pipes (One bolt) disconnect the the condensor from the radiator then re-build.

I cant remember exactly how the condensor is attached to the radiator - i think it is two locating dowls and two screws on the outer side of the condensor - Its a couple of years ago when i did mine.

Either way it really is a piece of ***** job, All you will need is a mobile air con to regass the system.

The dryer is next to the battery, right hand side as you look at the car from the front, but in honesty i wouldnt bother changing that

When youve done one you can do the other in just over an hour.

Edited by Glyn

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I agree with Glyn ,should be fairly easy

condensor is held by 2 torx screws on the inbord,,, be sure to get some plastic rivet pins


Edited by juniinc

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