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  • #16
    The amount of work needed really depends on the exact circumstances. Brandon did a great job outlining his service and he had the exact outcome one could hope to have.

    The only advice I would have... If you truly want to keep your car and want working ac for years to come... consider replacing most of the components in the system unless they were changed while you owned it and verified they were actually changed.

    The expansion valves are notorious for causing R134 issues.
    The evaporators are known for small leaks that can not be traced with dye.
    The receiver/driers have a change in interior volume that helps with R134 performance issues.
    The condenser changes help with the R134 pressure differences, but if it's not clogged the OE condenser will function just fine.
    The compressor is one of those items that if it works... it works. Doing what Brandon recommends doesn't hurt however.
    The low side line has some small changes and the right fitting for R134. The high side line does not and needs the adapter or you need a line with that very specific compression fitting.

    In short, if you're trying to do A/C on a budget... you're going to become very frustrated and not have a great time.

    We've fixed plenty of E30 M3 A/C systems on S14 or swapped cars. Each one has it's lesson it's taught us, starting with the first one I ever owned. Not all A/C problems on performance have to do with the the A/C components necessarily. There are some gremlins you only learn through experience.

    Comment


    • #17
      At $26and $18 each, respectively, the expansion valve and receiver/dryer should be replaced any time the system is opened. This is a requirement for the R/D as it is responsible for removing moisture from the system, but a "should do" with the EXV because they can become clogged or otherwise cause your entire system to stop functioning properly. It's cheap insurance, really.

      You can buy a pressure testing adapter kit to bench test your evaporator and use compressed air with some castile soap and water in a spray bottle, or dunk the entire thing into a bucket of water and look for bubbles. I don't know exactly what size fitting you'd need off hand, but they're inexpensive, thus worth it.

      This isn't the correct type of connector, but you get the idea - I'm still searching for the proper ones.

      https://www.summitracing.com/parts/f...FcxbhgodRDUKRw

      Last edited by Brandon; 08-17-2016, 08:57 AM.
      Alles Beste!

      B. Wheaton
      1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
      2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

      http://www.bayareamotorsport.com

      Register your E30 M3!
      http://www.bmwmregistry.com

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by NickB View Post
        Ok, that makes sense. I can't find the cap separately, and it seems to be working pretty well so I don't think I'll worry about it. If i get in there again sometime ill just wrap that end with some ac insulation tape.
        If your system works, then I wouldn't "sweat it." #dadjokes If you're OCD like me, buy a new EXV for $26 and use that cap :^)

        https://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Sit...209/ES2803540/
        Last edited by Brandon; 08-17-2016, 08:34 AM.
        Alles Beste!

        B. Wheaton
        1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
        2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

        http://www.bayareamotorsport.com

        Register your E30 M3!
        http://www.bmwmregistry.com

        Comment


        • #19
          Exactly, when you start to consider some of the prices of these parts... it's really a no brainer to change them out.

          The low pressure line and the compressor are usually the most expensive parts.

          Learned a lot getting AC working on a swapped E30 earlier this year. Fabricated this plate (with some help from local hose specialists) for the E30 lines to function as intended with an E36 compressor setup.

          Originally posted by Brandon View Post
          At $26and $18 each, respectively, the expansion valve and receiver/dryer should be replaced any time the system is opened. This is a requirement for the R/D as it is responsible for removing moisture from the system, but a "should do" with the EXV because they can become clogged or otherwise cause your entire system to stop functioning properly. It's cheap insurance, really.

          You can buy a pressure testing adapter kit to bench test your evaporator and use compressed air with some castile soap and water in a spray bottle, or dunk the entire thing into a bucket of water and look for bubbles. I don't know exactly what size fitting you'd need off hand, but they're inexpensive, thus worth it.

          This isn't the correct type of connector, but you get the idea - I'm still searching for the proper ones.

          https://www.summitracing.com/parts/f...FcxbhgodRDUKRw

          Comment


          • #20
            Here's what I was looking for: This kit is about $35

            Last edited by Brandon; 08-17-2016, 09:43 AM.
            Alles Beste!

            B. Wheaton
            1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
            2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

            http://www.bayareamotorsport.com

            Register your E30 M3!
            http://www.bmwmregistry.com

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Brandon View Post
              Here's what I was looking for: This kit is about $35

              This works for the high pressure side, low pressure side or both?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by RDCD12 View Post
                The amount of work needed really depends on the exact circumstances. Brandon did a great job outlining his service and he had the exact outcome one could hope to have.

                The only advice I would have... If you truly want to keep your car and want working ac for years to come... consider replacing most of the components in the system unless they were changed while you owned it and verified they were actually changed.

                The expansion valves are notorious for causing R134 issues.
                The evaporators are known for small leaks that can not be traced with dye.
                The receiver/driers have a change in interior volume that helps with R134 performance issues.
                The condenser changes help with the R134 pressure differences, but if it's not clogged the OE condenser will function just fine.
                The compressor is one of those items that if it works... it works. Doing what Brandon recommends doesn't hurt however.
                The low side line has some small changes and the right fitting for R134. The high side line does not and needs the adapter or you need a line with that very specific compression fitting.

                In short, if you're trying to do A/C on a budget... you're going to become very frustrated and not have a great time.

                We've fixed plenty of E30 M3 A/C systems on S14 or swapped cars. Each one has it's lesson it's taught us, starting with the first one I ever owned. Not all A/C problems on performance have to do with the the A/C components necessarily. There are some gremlins you only learn through experience.
                Agreed. Any recommendations for someone around Boston, MA that could do a proper repair of the AC system as you have outlined?

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • L James
                  L James commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would bring your car up to Mario Langsten up at Vintage Sports Racing in Bow, NH. 603-228-2888. Tremendous knowledge with E30 M3s...

              • #23
                Originally posted by retinasurgeon View Post

                Agreed. Any recommendations for someone around Boston, MA that could do a proper repair of the AC system as you have outlined?

                Thanks!
                Not familiar with anyone in that area personally, but I will see if a friend knows anyone in that area that can help.

                Comment


                • #24
                  Originally posted by RDCD12 View Post

                  This works for the high pressure side, low pressure side or both?
                  I was speaking in terms of testing the individual items (condenser, evaporator and hoses) on a bench out of the car so you can dunk it into a bucket or sink full of water and watch for bubbles.

                  Here is another kit:

                  Alles Beste!

                  B. Wheaton
                  1989 E30 M3, Owner since June 2000
                  2008 E61 535xiT - The DD and work horse

                  http://www.bayareamotorsport.com

                  Register your E30 M3!
                  http://www.bmwmregistry.com

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    Thanks Brandon!

                    Comment


                    • #26
                      For those running R134 in their A/C systems, what viscosity of PAG oil are you using? Just noticed there is PAG 46 and PAG 100 available.

                      Comment

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