The only thing left
to decide is whether or not to retrofit your car to take the new R-134a
gas - which is significantly less expensive and can be purchased by anyone
(no licenses needed!). The "experts" opinion's of the retrofit
procedure vary widely - some say you need a larger condenser, compressor
and evaporator(s) as well as the new barrier AC hose. Other's say you
only need to replace the receiver/dryer, flush the system, install R-134a
compatible oil (Ester oil) and change the service fittings. The deciding
factor for me was that the entire system had to be flushed to get rid
of all the old mineral oil -and with two evaporators, that is not a pleasant
prospect! Apparently, the R-134a gas will react with the mineral oil to
form sludge which will clog up the system, eventually leading to compressor
This is the complete
'kit' you will need to install this compressor. I bought the components
from Alfa Parts Exchange in California. The
price was quite reasonable.
You will need to drain all the
old mineral oil from the compressor and refill it the correct amount of
oil. In my case, this was 8 ounces. Always use new o-rings - for the GTV6,
there are 3 different sizes of o-rings needed.
If you want to buy
a new compressor, then try to find a Sanden SD-508 model number 9529.
I could not find an exact replacement receiver/dryer - so used a more
commonly available replacement (any one of these):
This car is a 1985 model and is fitted with the Tropic-Air AC system. Basically, this means it has an added evaporator in the passenger compartment - and hence the second suction pipe that attaches to the compressor. There is still enough space to remove the oil filter. The hoses do pass rather close to the manifolds - nothing besides major surgery and new hoses will cure this problem. I found though, that there is at least 2.5 cm (one inch) clearance so do not expect any problems.
The installation itself was quite straightforward. Remove the large (17mm I think) bolt from the block and replace it with the threaded stud. I decided to completely assemble the bracket and compressor before fitting the entire assembly into the engine compartment (this included the idler pulley). Slip the assembly over the threaded stud in front, then install the 2 bolts from beneath the car. I had a helper assist to line up the holes here.
Once the AC compressor, receiver dryer and new o-rings were installed, I took the car to my local AC mechanic to have the system charged. Unfortunately, he was unable to find any reference which stated the volume of gas that the Tropic Air system takes. We decided that the average car with a Sanden compressor and one evaporator takes about 32 ounces - and adding an extra 6 ounces for the second evaporator worked well. Just as the last few ounces were being added, the sight glass on the receiver dryer went clear - indicating full charge.
The air conditioner is more efficient now, and certainly smoother. I tested it out on one of our S. California 110 degree days and it worked well - and it really looks a lot cooler ... ;-) than the huge old York compressor!