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JasonQ
[size="2"]I think I have a failed Air-Con radiator (condenser?) on my 55 plate 1.8TDCI. This is the radiator that the refrigerant gas passes through that sits at the front of the engine bay, in front of the normal engine water radiator.

I havenít got a Haynes manual and I canít figure out how to remove it from the car. It looks like itís clipped to the main engine radiator; can anyone shed any light on how to remove it from the car? Can it be removed with the main radiator in place (and for that matter the intercooler as well) or do I have to take the main radiator out as well?

Jason[/size]
artscot79
[quote name='JasonQ' date='28 June 2010 - 10:37 AM' timestamp='1277717238' post='86392']
[size="2"]I think I have a failed Air-Con radiator (condenser?) on my 55 plate 1.8TDCI. This is the radiator that the refrigerant gas passes through that sits at the front of the engine bay, in front of the normal engine water radiator.

I haven't got a Haynes manual and I can't figure out how to remove it from the car. It looks like it's clipped to the main engine radiator; can anyone shed any light on how to remove it from the car? Can it be removed with the main radiator in place (and for that matter the intercooler as well) or do I have to take the main radiator out as well?

Jason[/size]
[/quote]

ive had a lot of experience with aircon and my advice is do not touch it get it done by a garage or an aircon specialist.

the reason why is 1. the refridgerant gas needs to be drained and its illegal to vent it into the atmosphere
2.the condenser has various filters inside it that need replaced and are notoriously difficult to get
3.when replaced the whole system needs to be flushed with a special soloution to remove any contaminents and moisture if this isnt done the compressor will fail within a few months and youll be looking at easily a 500 quid bill
4.the system needs to be pressure tested and refilled whicjh you cant do youreself
5.if you use a second hand one its essential all the moisture is removed from the whole system

an aircon specialist isnt as expensive as you may think and the works gauranteed i did this myself on my old vw trying to save cash in the end i had to spend over 700 quid getting it all done properly as it knackered the compressor
JasonQ
[quote name='artscot79' date='28 June 2010 - 10:44 AM' timestamp='1277721273' post='86393']
ive had a lot of experience with aircon and my advice is do not touch it get it done by a garage or an aircon specialist.

the reason why is 1. the refridgerant gas needs to be drained and its illegal to vent it into the atmosphere
2.the condenser has various filters inside it that need replaced and are notoriously difficult to get
3.when replaced the whole system needs to be flushed with a special soloution to remove any contaminents and moisture if this isnt done the compressor will fail within a few months and youll be looking at easily a 500 quid bill
4.the system needs to be pressure tested and refilled whicjh you cant do youreself
5.if you use a second hand one its essential all the moisture is removed from the whole system

an aircon specialist isnt as expensive as you may think and the works gauranteed i did this myself on my old vw trying to save cash in the end i had to spend over 700 quid getting it all done properly as it knackered the compressor
[/quote]

Thank you for your reply and I'm fortunate enough to work with a guy who is an aircon specialist; he pressure tested, degassed and evacuated the system fully, then weighted back in a full charge of refridgerant for me 18 months ago; so I'm aware of the points you raise :-) The only one I can't conform this time to is not venting the gas to the atmosphere - as its happened already due to the leak - there's no pressure.

So provided I can get the old condenser out and the new one fitted - if that's where the leak is and all signs suggest it is - he's willing to do the pressure test, evacuate, re-gas job for the nominal price of the refridgerant.

So any advise on how you get the condenser off the main radiator and out of the car would be appriciated. :-)

Jason.
artscot79
[quote name='JasonQ' date='28 June 2010 - 02:34 PM' timestamp='1277731452' post='86407']
Thank you for your reply and I'm fortunate enough to work with a guy who is an aircon specialist; he pressure tested, degassed and evacuated the system fully, then weighted back in a full charge of refridgerant for me 18 months ago; so I'm aware of the points you raise :-) The only one I can't conform this time to is not venting the gas to the atmosphere - as its happened already due to the leak - there's no pressure.

So provided I can get the old condenser out and the new one fitted - if that's where the leak is and all signs suggest it is - he's willing to do the pressure test, evacuate, re-gas job for the nominal price of the refridgerant.

So any advise on how you get the condenser off the main radiator and out of the car would be appriciated. :-)

Jason.
[/quote]

i found this on google
[list=1][*]Unclip and remove the radiator's undershield.[*] Step 2 Unbolt and disconnect the refrigerant lines from the condenser, then cap the lines.[*] Step 3 Disconnect the bolts on the sides of the radiator bracket, supporting the radiator's weight with a jack or axle stands underneath it.[*] Step 4 Remove the condenser's upper mounting bolts, which are near those upper radiator bolts, and then unclip the condenser and remove it from underneath.[*] Step 5 Install the new or restored condenser from underneath the car and apply the mounting bolts, starting with the condenser bolts and then the radiator bolts. Use new O-rings and lubricate them with refrigerant oil.[*] Step 6 Connect the refrigerant lines to the condenser, then re-install the radiator undershield.[/list]it states that the dryer must be replaced also
[list=1][*]Remove the right front wheel and unscrew/remove the inner fenderwell liner after raising the car.[*] Step 2 Disconnect the refrigerant line from the compressor and the accumulator/drier--this requires a plastic clamp-type tool from an auto parts store. Remove the refrigerant line screw-on cap, cap all the open fittings and unplug the pressure cycling switch electrical connector.[*] Step 3 Unbolt and withdraw the accumulator drier from the front suspension sub-frame.[*] Step 4 Bolt the replacement accumulator/drier to the subframe and connect all hoses/electrical connectors. Replace any seals that were disturbed.[*] Step 5 Re-install the fenderwell liner and wheel.[*] Step 6 Measure the amount of refrigerant oil from the old accumulator by pouring it into a graduated container. Pour this amount plus 90 milliliters of fresh oil into the new accumulator.[/list]
JasonQ
[size="2"]Your guide was a help but I donít think itís for the model of Focus I have (55 plate Mk2 1.8TDCi Estate); for instance the condenser wasnít held in place with bolts or screws, however as I say it was a good starting point and gave me clues as how to proceed, so thank you :-)

For completeness hereís what I did.

To gain access:
Remove the engine under-tray and the second (more forward) section of under-tray under the front bumper.

Remove the front grill containing and the plastic cover that joins the grill to the panel with the bonnet catch on it.

(At this point it was obvious the condenser matrix was the source of the leak)

Remove left and right headlight assemblies, just to provide better visibility and improve accessibility - Iíd previously worked out how to do this when changing a bulb - and incidentally with the off side headlight out there is much better access to the dryer bottle assembly Ė if thatís its official name.

Remove the two pieces of plastic/rubber trim, one left and one right, which channel air from the bumper to the front of radiators. One screw per piece, nearside a bit of a pain to get to screw.

Removal of condenser
Undo two A/C pipe from top of condenser, covering end of each pipe with a small plastic bag or cling film to stop dirt ingress.

Undo two small bolts on underside of intercooler that hold it onto its mounts. Lift intercooler off its plastic mounts and ease forward on its rubber pipes.

The Condenser has four tabs with which it is mounted to the main radiator assembly. The top two slide into plastic mounts with no locking Ė these can be seen quite easily with trim removed.

The bottom mounts/tabs are harder to get to. The tabs are held in their plastic mounts by a plastic clip on top of the mount, the clip needs to be push (gently) towards the rear of the car whilst the condenser if lifted up clear of the mount; I used a flat blade screw driver to push the clip back whilst lifting the condenser; I was able to do one side at a time on my own.

Once the condenser was out of its mounts I managed to move it down between the intercooler and main radiator and remove it from the under side of the car. It was a case of carefully moving it past the various obstructions, not hugely time consuming or difficult but just needed to be done carefully and patiently to avoid damage to the main radiator and intercooler.

If Iíd bothered to undo the two clamps that hold the intercooler to the rubber pipes and remove the intercooler completely the last bit would have been easier still, but my clamps are a rusty mess and I didnít have any replacements to hand so left well alone (replacement clamps to be fitted soon).

Other than to remove the under-tray I didnít jack the car up at all, but again it may have made it easier when taking the condenser out the last few inches, but I managed without doing so anyway.

Putting the new one in I first taped a layer cardboard to each side of the new condenser to protect the matrix whilst I negotiated its way back up between intercooler and radiator.

Once back in and close to its final position I removed the cardboard and dropped the condenserís four tabs into the mounts, the lower clips doing their job and springing back into place over the tabs - no need to manipulate them when fitting.

Itís was then a case of attaching A/C pipes, remounting and bolting the intercooler back in place and re-fitting headlights and all the panels in the reverse of the above.[/size]
artscot79
[quote name='JasonQ' date='30 June 2010 - 10:07 AM' timestamp='1277888223' post='86554']
[size="2"]Your guide was a help but I don't think it's for the model of Focus I have (55 plate Mk2 1.8TDCi Estate); for instance the condenser wasn't held in place with bolts or screws, however as I say it was a good starting point and gave me clues as how to proceed, so thank you :-)

For completeness here's what I did.

To gain access:
Remove the engine under-tray and the second (more forward) section of under-tray under the front bumper.

Remove the front grill containing and the plastic cover that joins the grill to the panel with the bonnet catch on it.

(At this point it was obvious the condenser matrix was the source of the leak)

Remove left and right headlight assemblies, just to provide better visibility and improve accessibility - I'd previously worked out how to do this when changing a bulb - and incidentally with the off side headlight out there is much better access to the dryer bottle assembly Ė if that's its official name.

Remove the two pieces of plastic/rubber trim, one left and one right, which channel air from the bumper to the front of radiators. One screw per piece, nearside a bit of a pain to get to screw.

Removal of condenser
Undo two A/C pipe from top of condenser, covering end of each pipe with a small plastic bag or cling film to stop dirt ingress.

Undo two small bolts on underside of intercooler that hold it onto its mounts. Lift intercooler off its plastic mounts and ease forward on its rubber pipes.

The Condenser has four tabs with which it is mounted to the main radiator assembly. The top two slide into plastic mounts with no locking Ė these can be seen quite easily with trim removed.

The bottom mounts/tabs are harder to get to. The tabs are held in their plastic mounts by a plastic clip on top of the mount, the clip needs to be push (gently) towards the rear of the car whilst the condenser if lifted up clear of the mount; I used a flat blade screw driver to push the clip back whilst lifting the condenser; I was able to do one side at a time on my own.

Once the condenser was out of its mounts I managed to move it down between the intercooler and main radiator and remove it from the under side of the car. It was a case of carefully moving it past the various obstructions, not hugely time consuming or difficult but just needed to be done carefully and patiently to avoid damage to the main radiator and intercooler.

If I'd bothered to undo the two clamps that hold the intercooler to the rubber pipes and remove the intercooler completely the last bit would have been easier still, but my clamps are a rusty mess and I didn't have any replacements to hand so left well alone (replacement clamps to be fitted soon).

Other than to remove the under-tray I didn't jack the car up at all, but again it may have made it easier when taking the condenser out the last few inches, but I managed without doing so anyway.

Putting the new one in I first taped a layer cardboard to each side of the new condenser to protect the matrix whilst I negotiated its way back up between intercooler and radiator.

Once back in and close to its final position I removed the cardboard and dropped the condenser's four tabs into the mounts, the lower clips doing their job and springing back into place over the tabs - no need to manipulate them when fitting.

It's was then a case of attaching A/C pipes, remounting and bolting the intercooler back in place and re-fitting headlights and all the panels in the reverse of the above.[/size]
[/quote]

it didnt state what year the instructions were for glad they helped in some way though and with youre instructions will help others
alz
Do you know if the rad/cooling fan as anything to do with the aircon cooling, i ask because my aircon keeps going on and off, and the pipe by pressure switch gets very hot..

Thanks Alan


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