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Aircon pipe replacement


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I had my aircon pressure tested a couple of months ago and a hissing noise was heard beside the cable holder for the intake and pressure lines that run down the right hand underside of the car (just underneath the sills).

I presumed the problem was the pressure line and today removed the front wing liner, rear under trim rhs and then the pressure line. However, it did not lose vacuum when I tested it so I disconnected both ends of the intake pipe (one is just in front of the rear wheel, the other is beside the nozzle beside the battery). It did not hold vacuum (although I had difficulty finding something to plug both ends with), and as the pressure line is ok I presume this is the faulty component. The problem is that it will not be easily removed as it runs behind the fuel filler pipe and a black container below it.

Questions:

Anyone replaced this pipe before?

Anyone had it repaired (the aircon guy mentioned a 'space shuttle' repair).

How is the fuel filler pipe removed? Can access be got under the battery as per the fuel pump?

What is the black plastic unit under the fuel filler pipe (is this the carbon canister, and, if so, what does it do?) and how is it removed?

I have a horrible feeling that to replace the intake pipe I will have to take off the wing, fuel filler pipe and the black canister below the fuel filler pipe...

Edited by Paul Fraser
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OK, I Think I have found out what the black unit is: it is the carbon canister, and it is on PET 201-20, so I assume this is a fuel filter of sorts? Just out of curiosity what does this do? And what are the two weird options for the shut off valve -- OBD2 and ORVR?

Edited by Paul Fraser
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Thanks for that.

When I removed the canister and disconnected the filler pipe I managed to get the intake pipe out. Bit of a struggle to get it out through all the piping in there but doable. The hole was so small in the inlet pipe I couldn't see it or any water leak after I filled the pipe up with water. After five minutes though, I saw a small pool of water underneath.

I think that a lot of cars will begin to have this kind of problem as there was some evidence of bubbling/corrosion on the pipe.

Some photos for the next poor sod that has to do this.

This one shows the rear of the two pipes, they are just forward of the rear wheel. The pressure pipe is farthest inboard. The one you can see hanging is the inlet pipe (still attached at the front when I took this). I found it very difficult to unscrew the hex bolt on the pressure pipe, you need more height than I have here to get good access.

I will be painting my rusty jacking point. :)

post-2280-1147376247_thumb.jpg

This one shows the front wheel well: the front of the pressure pipe joins the rest of the system here. An easy removal once you get the wheel liner out. The left hand pipe is the inlet one and runs all the way up and behind the canister and fuel filler pipe.

Note the Zimmerman discs, the unpainted hubs have become rusted and unsightly: I now wish I had painted them before puting them on the car. Another job to do.

post-2280-1147376602_thumb.jpg

Finally, under the boot for the front of the inlet pipe. I had to remove the carbon canister in the wheel well (only one screw holds it but it took a tug or two to remove -- remember and undo the tubes going to the canister) and move the fuel filler pipe to the front a little (after taking unbolting it, removing the earth wire and the rubber liner).

I see that the top of the air filter box is missing. :( Thank goodness I have a full OPC service history on the car otherwise the whole thing might not be there....

post-2280-1147376644_thumb.jpg

Once I get the pipes on Saturday I'll put it back together and then move on to changing the front aircon radiators (both have the tell tale oil marks on the corner). Then, hopefully, all I will have to do is fit a new dessicator and find an aircon regas company to call. Please God, don't let it leak....

Edited by Paul Fraser
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