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AC R134a conversion: New factory hose routing is ugly!

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  • AC R134a conversion: New factory hose routing is ugly!

    Hi,
    While my car is in the shop with the dash out for clutch hydraulics and carpet rejuvenation... we decided to convert the AC over to R134a. The AC hadn't been pressurized for 15 years. So, every hose is being changed with new factory hoses, in addition to new compressor, condenser, evaporator and expansion valve, all with BMW parts.

    And here is the problem! This is one of the new factory hard lines for E30s these days with the correct fitting for R134a! This is FUGLY! Anyone else encounted this problem?

  • #2
    Hmm that sucks. I would reuse your old hose (maybe vapour blast it to look new again) and fit an r134a adapter for the valve.

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    • #3
      That line is not being replaced just for the fitting or the cosmetics... After 32 years and 110K miles, the rubber under the aluminum shielding is getting brittle... I'm wondering if I should have a custom line made or live with the factory one.

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      • #4
        It's low pressure, I'm reusing mine. And the last 3 or 4 e30s I have recommissioned the AC system with I reused that line. But yes as it's old it could fail at any time. Maybe a custom line where they reuse the metal section?

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        • #5
          When I did mine I installed new original style pipe assembly at that stage you could order either ones I see now it is NLA. Anyway with mine there was corrosion inside all of the pipes and at the ring locations so was not worth while not installing new ones.

          E30 M3 1987
          Mini Clubman GT
          BMW E36 323 Msport
          Toyota Corona
          KTM 200EXC
          Honda CB50 (1979)

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          • #6
            I'm going to be converting to R134a soon. What's the part number for the new AC hose?

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            • #7
              LOL! with all the random bits of wire, hose and metal littering up an M3 engine bay, this one shiny new carefully bent pipe is somehow ugly?

              functionally, that valve offshoot looks like it is asking to be broken off though.
              88 M3 Henna
              95 M3 Orange
              97 M3 Techno

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              • #8
                Mlytle, it is the shiny-ness and the exaggerated routing that stands out. Anyway, I've decided to leave that in and just keep the original hose with me if I ever want to go back. I am more interested in driving my car and enjoying it all year round. I was just hoping someone would say there is a different part number that would be a better option -no such luck.
                Narayan

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                • #9
                  Where is your new high pressure valve located?

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                  • #10
                    Isupcar,
                    I don't have the car yet... I will post pictures after I get it. We ran in to another problem... for another thread.

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                    • #11
                      When I converted, I did not replace pipes, but the hood shock prevents permanent placement of the r134 valve at that location. I just left the r12 valve in place and screw on the r134 valve as needed.
                      Was wondering if new pipes place it in a new location.

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                      • #12
                        I finally figured out why the funky routing! Look at a 1991 318iS. That routing is needed to clear the coil packs! So, BMW picked the routing for the stock 318iS AC line and made it the one standard part they are going to carry for the E30.

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                        • mlytle
                          mlytle commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Nice sleuthing!

                      • #13
                        Four Seasons makes a replacement line that fits a lot better than that and is extremely cheap. It has a Seiko Seiki or Bosch style fitment. The downside is that the heat shielding is ugly, but I put stock style heat shielding on for $10.

                        It's also a great base to modify if you are doing something aftermarket.
                        2011 BMW M3 Alpinweiß
                        2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD
                        1990 325is Brilliantrot

                        1989 M3 Alpinweiß
                        Hers: 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo
                        Hers: 1989 325iX Zinnoberrot

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                        • #14
                          nrubenstein, too late! My car is already running R134a now! It's just as cold as R12 used to be... I was expecting reduced performance.

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                          • #15
                            going through the r134 process now. it appears only the compressor suction and discharge hoses are available. besides custom lines, is there a source for the two interior hoses and and the condenser to drier hose?
                            88 M3 Henna
                            95 M3 Orange
                            97 M3 Techno

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