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Replacing my own air conditioning compressor, and now the rest of the system...help?

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #21
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Evaporator Access?

My compressor grenaded and I'm replacing my compressor/condenser/expansion valve/evaporator and flushing the lines.

The Haynes manual doesn't cover replacing the evaporator or expansion valve, but I see that the evaporator is next to the heater core. To gain access to the heater core, Haynes recommends dismantling the dash (which I've already done) and the next steps are to remove the reinforcement brace (steel tube spanning the passenger compartment) I've already come pretty far with the disassembly, so I'm prepared to take this next step, but I'd rather not if I don't have to.

Is there an alternative?
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:27 PM   #22
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I don't know if the later Tacomas are like this, but removing the evap coil on the mid to late '90s versions was fairly easy. Disconnect A/C lines in the engine compartment; remove glove compartment; disconnect the wiring from the air box; remove 4 mounting screws for the air box, and it slides right out, evap coil and all. It helps to have someone guide the A/C line stubs through the firewall. Replace in the reverse order pay close attention to lining up the condensate drain line.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #23
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2nd Gen the whole dash has to be dismantled to get to the evaporator or the heater coil.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:51 PM   #24
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New to this forum, but have had my 96 4x4 since new (107k miles so far).

The AC has gone out for the second time. I replaced some hard lines and the dryer before (after a minor front end mishap), but I think this time, the compressor seals finally took a poop.

I'm planning to buy another new dryer but was wondering if installing a new shaft seal in the OEM compressor is the way to go? The AC hasn't had a lot of use time, so it should still be good.

Another option: try to locate a decent looking used one from the bone yard? ... or bite the bullet for a new/rebuilt one?

I don't want to invest a ton of money into the AC repair, as I need to replace the timing belt and the water pump ... also replacing the front struts. Living an a fixed income these days, so $ is tight.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #25
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Boneyard is ALWAYS a crap shoot, as moisture in the system corrodes the aluminum and steel parts and causes problems. No way to check it, and a similarly-aged unit is going to have the same problems as yours... not unlike trading in a red 1985 truck with 300k on it in for a blue 1985 truck with 300k on it.

Rebuilt is also a crapshoot, but at least you may get some kind of warranty, and you know it's been gone through and the seals are new.

Balance the budget and warranty between new and rebuilt.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:51 PM   #26
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You're right. Going to try a reseal first ... it's only $20. for the seal and a little bit of time involved.
Thanks ...
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX Tacoma View Post
My compressor grenaded and I'm replacing my compressor/condenser/expansion valve/evaporator and flushing the lines.

The Haynes manual doesn't cover replacing the evaporator or expansion valve, but I see that the evaporator is next to the heater core. To gain access to the heater core, Haynes recommends dismantling the dash (which I've already done) and the next steps are to remove the reinforcement brace (steel tube spanning the passenger compartment) I've already come pretty far with the disassembly, so I'm prepared to take this next step, but I'd rather not if I don't have to.

Is there an alternative?
Nope, the only way is to remove the reinforcement brace, and then you need to unbolt the ducting from the firewall and pull it out a few inches. The evap core lifts straight up where that steel tube is. Just be sure to remove the expansion valve through the firewall first--it will make lifting out the evap core easier.
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Old 09-29-2012, 06:58 AM   #28
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Compressor Removal

Billygoat, in what direction did you remove the compressor? My compressor seems to have locked up also, and with A/C linked defrost it's cold and akward driving to work with my head out the window....haha.

Did you pull it out from the top or bottom?

Marc M
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Old 09-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #29
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If you remove the alternator, it comes out from the top fairly easily.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #30
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I manged to pull mine out from the top after removing the fan and fan shroud
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:42 PM   #31
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Ok,
Sorry, been away too long. So I still have the same problem, Compressor seems to be fine, still same symptoms, I turn on air, its very cold for 15mins then it is not so cold.
I opened up the glovebox, I can see the small fan shroud and there was a little horizontal door. So I opened and what do you know, there is a filter. I was tiold bny many that the 05' did not have a in cabin filter but I pulled it out and there were maybe 5-7 pine needles and it was not too dirty. I looked up into the system and through the little door I can see where all the leaves would have been on Billygoats Tacoma. But mine is clear, so I guess I need to take the dash off and replace the evaporator.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:57 AM   #32
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Hey guys. Just registered but have browsed your comments since I bought my 05 Tacoma last year. My A/C compressor clutch is shot; the rubber that separates the two rings on the clutch face is wadded up. I don't think the compressor has fragged out. If it hasn't, what do I need to replace? Sounds like you can only find the clutch from the dealer for ~$600. Do you have to remove the power steering pump to get access to it? Doesn't look like there's much room down there. Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:59 AM   #33
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Replacing the clutch shouldn't be that hard. I just unbolted the grill and pushed the radiator forward a couple inches, but if you are replacing the clutch with the compressor still on the truck then you might need to pull the alternator to give yourself some room (on the V6, I'm not sure about the 4cyl). Check out Parts at Toyota of Dallas http://tps.toyotaofdallas.com/parts/...mponent=CLUTCH if you can't find aftermarket anywhere.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:18 PM   #34
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So earlier in this thread I said that I would create a write-up. I realized after I said that just how difficult of a write up this would be, but I took a technical writing class last fall and I came up with a 50 page 5.5"x4.25" booklet with photos for each step. I have a personal website with a section on the Tacoma, and I am considering including a subsection on the AC or at least a PDF of the booklet. However, I have some concerns that have stopped me from publishing the booklet in my original beta version of the site:

1) I don't want to encourage anybody to start something they can't finish, or even worse tear their truck apart and not be able to put it back together (it is a beast of a project), and
2) I am concerned about liability, but for the most part this can be taken care of with an abundance of scary disclaimers (I can't guarantee the instruction set to be 100% accurate as I never tested it, which is also why I would have to publish it as a free resource instead of selling it).

So, does anyone have any thoughts on this? I know there is one minor step missing from the booklet (how to unscrew the grill or something, I'll have to check), but other than that the instruction set is pretty solid. I'll have a new beta version of my site up tonight, and could potentially have the instruction set I created up anytime from tonight to a week from now. Are there still people out there who are grenading their compressors and want to tackle the project themselves? Any thoughts on all of this?
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:16 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason84335 View Post
Hey guys. Just registered but have browsed your comments since I bought my 05 Tacoma last year. My A/C compressor clutch is shot; the rubber that separates the two rings on the clutch face is wadded up. I don't think the compressor has fragged out. If it hasn't, what do I need to replace? Sounds like you can only find the clutch from the dealer for ~$600. Do you have to remove the power steering pump to get access to it? Doesn't look like there's much room down there. Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks
I bought the same compressor and clutch assembly that Toyota uses on eBay for around $400.00. It's an OEM Delphi unit.

The seller is "discountacparts"
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billygoat View Post
So earlier in this thread I said that I would create a write-up. I realized after I said that just how difficult of a write up this would be, but I took a technical writing class last fall and I came up with a 50 page 5.5"x4.25" booklet with photos for each step. I have a personal website with a section on the Tacoma, and I am considering including a subsection on the AC or at least a PDF of the booklet. However, I have some concerns that have stopped me from publishing the booklet in my original beta version of the site:

1) I don't want to encourage anybody to start something they can't finish, or even worse tear their truck apart and not be able to put it back together (it is a beast of a project), and
2) I am concerned about liability, but for the most part this can be taken care of with an abundance of scary disclaimers (I can't guarantee the instruction set to be 100% accurate as I never tested it, which is also why I would have to publish it as a free resource instead of selling it).

So, does anyone have any thoughts on this? I know there is one minor step missing from the booklet (how to unscrew the grill or something, I'll have to check), but other than that the instruction set is pretty solid. I'll have a new beta version of my site up tonight, and could potentially have the instruction set I created up anytime from tonight to a week from now. Are there still people out there who are grenading their compressors and want to tackle the project themselves? Any thoughts on all of this?
Hello,

My compressor went to out, and I would be interested in the write up.to get an idea of time involved--mainly the dash work. I've got the total monetary cost to be about 900 - 1000. Any chance you can send post a link to the write up?
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:40 AM   #37
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OP, and to others reading this thread. Don't automatically assume you are going to have to tear apart the dash and go after the evaporator if your compressor fails or other reasons, unless it is truly leaking.

I had to tear apart the entire dash and gut the entire HVAC unit last winter to replace a broken arm on the heater air-mix flap inside and got to examine the guts of everything down to the last assembly screw of the HVAC unit very carefully.

To get to the evaporator, the only thing that was left in my truck was the gas pedal, brake pedal and clutch pedal. Even the steering wheel and the upper two feet of the steering column had to come out. The job is not what I would consider particularly hard. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest, I would rate it about a 5, but it is not for the faint of heart either. On a frustration and time consumption scale of 1-10, I would rate it a solid 15. Don't do this unless you have considerably time to devote. It took me about 35 or 40 hours, but don't use this as a guide. I am excessively particular on how things fit and putting back all the right pieces and not breaking stuff, so I am slower than a glacier. Maybe the OP can chime in on how much time it took him.

However, the professionals are going to quote you a number for labor that will choke you; and the price of parts will similarly choke you again. Plus be ready to live with scratched panels, missing or broken clips and other parts, lost bolts, left over pieces and rattles galore if you farm it out. At least that has unfortunately been my experience in the past.

The evaporator appeared to be a relatively robust piece and sealed around the perimeter with a thick rubber piece. Before I planned a trip into the dash to replace the evaporator I would strongly recommend you first have someone use a "sniffer" on the condensation tube that comes out from under the truck. This is where a leak in the evaporator will show itself.

The inlet screen to the evaporator is extremely fine and it looked to me like any debris that could get past it would similarly be very fine and could possibly jam the TXV valve (thermal expansion valve) but would be fine enough to circulate through the evaporator and could be readily flushed out of the evaporator without removing it from the HVAC unit if you did a really good flush.

The evaporator can be repeatedly flushed and back-flushed without removing it from the truck. Without going into details here, I believe odorless mineral spirits, the flush products found at the auto parts stores, and other stuff have all been mentioned in the HVAC forums; you need something that will remove the oil and particles, safe to you and something that won't leave residues. Search this yourself to be sure before you purchase anything so you get he right product. Be safe, etc., etc.

Once done with flushing you are going to have to repeatedly blow either oil-free/moisture-free compressed air through the evaporator alternating inlet and outlet pipes as you did with the flush in order to thoroughly dry it out, or use compressed nitrogen to do the same. Around here I can rent small nitrogen tanks pretty cheaply. Since the pipes come out the top of the evaporator, you will have to focus on getting every last drip of cleaning product out of there and it is throughly dry inside.

Toyota screwed us on the receiver-drier. Instead of making it a separate inexpensive piece like other auto makers, they incorporated it into the inside of the condenser. Got to buy the whole condenser $$$$.

You will have to replace the same amount of oil back in the system as you took out. The FSM lists how much the evaporator, condenser and compressor hold. For the compressor, especially a used one, it is best to drain it out and measure how much came out and then add back in the same amount of new oil. You are probably not going to be able to find the oil that the sticker under the hood specifies. But there is an alternative that Toyota stealerships are using. If I get a moment I will look and report back what it is.

OP, sorry if it looks like a thread-jack here. That is not intended at all. Rather kudos to you for your thread and trying to create a document to help others. If I can add anything to help you with this project I would be happy to.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:29 PM   #38
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It took me somewhere around 12 hours to take apart the dash, install the evap, and put it back together.

As for flushing the evap core, every mechanic I talked to said it can't be done with the late model Tacomas. I know that many evap cores in other cars can be flushed, but the one in the Tacoma is a plate and fin design whereas most older designs are tube and fin. If any metal bits remain wedged inside the narrow passages of the fins and come loose at a later time, then the new compressor is toast.

As for the filter catching any metal debris in the system, there are three reasons not to rely on this: 1) The filter is not designed to catch a lot of debris and will clog, 2) The filter is not fine enough to catch everything (it's a fine mesh, much like a reusable coffee filter, and any particles that pass through it will cause excessive wear on the compressor and a shortened lifespan), and 3) the filter no longer works when the compressor seizes. There is a very high pressure differential inside the A/C system, and the compressor is the only thing that keeps if flowing in the right direction. If the compressor seizes during operation, then there is an almost explosive and instantaneous backflow throughout the entire system, and this will send debris to the evap through the line without the filter.

One out of four mechanics told me that the expansion valve would catch debris and protect the evap core. He was wrong. I found more metal pieces inside the evap core than anywhere else in the system, and plenty of them were very large (a milimeter or more in length). The backflow that results from compressor failure is powerful enough to force contaminants deep into the evap core despite the constricting nature of the expansion valve.

Taco'09, I am sorry to contradict you on so many things. I know you are trying to help, and I think most people here appreciate that. I also think most people (here and elsewhere) really don't want to tear apart the dash if they don't have to. I agree that it is very time consuming and can be quite frustrating.

To anyone who has had a severe compressor failure on their late model Tacoma, I am very, very sorry to say this, but the this one of the worst vehicles that this could happen to. There is just no easy way to fix the problem. The evap core is not designed to be flushed. A helpful way to look at is like this: When fixing a failure under warranty, the dealership does what costs them the least amount of time and money in the long run. If the compressor seizes under warranty, the dealership replaces the entire system, evap core included, at their expense. I had a long talk with a Toyota tech who switched to a private shop, and he made this point to me. He also was very apologetic--he had apparently replaced several A/C systems on the late model Tacomas.

I'll work on getting the instruction set up, but since getting a degree in technical writing I've started working towards one in mechanical engineering, and between work and school I have been rather pressed for time. I'll post a link when I have it up.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billygoat View Post
It took me somewhere around 12 hours to take apart the dash, install the evap, and put it back together.

As for flushing the evap core, every mechanic I talked to said it can't be done with the late model Tacomas. I know that many evap cores in other cars can be flushed, but the one in the Tacoma is a plate and fin design whereas most older designs are tube and fin. If any metal bits remain wedged inside the narrow passages of the fins and come loose at a later time, then the new compressor is toast.

As for the filter catching any metal debris in the system, there are three reasons not to rely on this: 1) The filter is not designed to catch a lot of debris and will clog, 2) The filter is not fine enough to catch everything (it's a fine mesh, much like a reusable coffee filter, and any particles that pass through it will cause excessive wear on the compressor and a shortened lifespan), and 3) the filter no longer works when the compressor seizes. There is a very high pressure differential inside the A/C system, and the compressor is the only thing that keeps if flowing in the right direction. If the compressor seizes during operation, then there is an almost explosive and instantaneous backflow throughout the entire system, and this will send debris to the evap through the line without the filter.

One out of four mechanics told me that the expansion valve would catch debris and protect the evap core. He was wrong. I found more metal pieces inside the evap core than anywhere else in the system, and plenty of them were very large (a milimeter or more in length). The backflow that results from compressor failure is powerful enough to force contaminants deep into the evap core despite the constricting nature of the expansion valve.

Taco'09, I am sorry to contradict you on so many things. I know you are trying to help, and I think most people here appreciate that. I also think most people (here and elsewhere) really don't want to tear apart the dash if they don't have to. I agree that it is very time consuming and can be quite frustrating.

To anyone who has had a severe compressor failure on their late model Tacoma, I am very, very sorry to say this, but the this one of the worst vehicles that this could happen to. There is just no easy way to fix the problem. The evap core is not designed to be flushed. A helpful way to look at is like this: When fixing a failure under warranty, the dealership does what costs them the least amount of time and money in the long run. If the compressor seizes under warranty, the dealership replaces the entire system, evap core included, at their expense. I had a long talk with a Toyota tech who switched to a private shop, and he made this point to me. He also was very apologetic--he had apparently replaced several A/C systems on the late model Tacomas.

I'll work on getting the instruction set up, but since getting a degree in technical writing I've started working towards one in mechanical engineering, and between work and school I have been rather pressed for time. I'll post a link when I have it up.
OP, no problem whatsoever on setting me straight. You are the one that had the compressor failure not me so I appreciate the feedback. I had to go in to the HVAC unit for reasons other than a compressor failure and it just looked to me like it could be done without pulling the evap. core out of the HVAC unit. If it can't, it can't.

This is one job that few would probably undertake and frankly, knowing what I learned about the necessary surgery of this system, it would probably be a deal-killer for me if I had an eye on a 2nd gen. with A/C problems.

You already know this OP but for others that whole AC system from the compressor to the HVAC unit including the electrical components of it are not Denso like on the older trucks but Delphi (that's right cheap GM components) and the biggest pile of junk you have ever seen, at least IMHO. I'm surprised it works at all.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #40
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Hey OP,

Ever get some time to work on that write up?


My AC just went out and I'm planning on tackling it. By what I just read, I'll need all the help a can get!


Shawn.
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