fixing the AC in my VX - a question - Fuelly Forums

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Old 05-01-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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fixing the AC in my VX - a question

Obviously not exactly a gassaving thread, but the summer temperatures here are sometimes just a bit too much so I am looking to get the AC in my VX going.

I stopped by a mechanica today who was so nice to look at it at no cost at all. He noticed that the compressor had seized and that I needed that new. As you are doing that you usually also replace the dryer he said. Condensor and fan looked newr and good so he said.

So the total cost would come to new compressor from Honda $512, Dryer, estaimted $100 and new pulley around $50, plus labor and recharging the system. All in all it was going in the direction of $900.

Now even though I do believe that it is worth investing an amount like that in a car if you plan to have it for years, I wondered if there were options to make this cheaper, so I looked on Craigslist and found someone who just took a working AC system of his '93 Civic and I can get his compressor/clutch and dryer for $50 plus shipping.

So if I were to use these used parts I would end up more in the neighborhood of maybe $350 or so which sounds a whole lot friendlier.

Now finally my question: are there any drawbacks in using a used compressor/clutch and dryer knowing that these worked fine untill the moment they were (recently) taken off?
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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I repaired the A/C in my 92 VX with a lot of work but fortunately not too much $$$$. I wrote a long story about my experience but Firefox crashed on me and it was lost in cyberspace. Oh well. The following is the best thing you can do instead of trying to repair an old existing system which is hit or miss.

My advice is to try to find a new R134A A/C kit from a 1998 to 2000 Civic somewhere and do a completely new install. You might be able to find one for $500 or so and you can be certain it will work great. It should fit your VX with minor modifications.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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Actually having a honda, you should find plenty of "ricer" forums where they're selling off stuff from "A/C delete, yo! 5 more HP!"

I'd lean towards keeping older R-12 compatible parts and running it with propane in it, for really chilly and more fuel efficient air though. But some people freak at the idea of having propane in it....50lbs of gasoline following behind them, pressurised butane in their pocket (lighter) gas running under their feet and all round the engine bay, gas vapors too, being fed to the charcoal canister... but don't put a couple of pounds of propane in the AC, that's DANGEROUS... yeah like you'd be thrilled to have an R134A leak either.
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Old 05-01-2008, 04:51 PM   #4
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hondapartsdeals.com lists a complete A/C kit that fits a 95 VX for $768. The same kit fits Civics up to the 2000 model year.

Repair is an option - if you can DIY. I can't see paying a mechanic to repair and retrofit the A/C in your 92 VX. Too much $$$$

If you plan on driving it until you get to 500K miles like the VX from New Orleans, then it is worth the investment and is sure to work.
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:34 PM   #5
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you need a NEW reciever dryer any time the system is open or depressurized for more than a few minutes. there's a dessicant inside to remove moisture from the AC system. A drop will destroy the system (compresser and other parts) in less than a season. I had the joy of pulling a compresser off a combine that had moisture in it from nothing more than an open hose for a few hours and the compresser was gone. that being said, there's no reason to spend $100 on them... more like <$30 for most cars. Getting one used off another car is bad!

If someone has a compressor from another car, that's fine to get used.

Try www.rockauto.com.
-compresser $300-450
-Reciever-Dryer for $15-50
-R134a conversion kit: $50 (o-rings, oil, and new fittings)
-in-line filter: $25 (very good idea given the condition of your system)

propane.... works great but it's illegal and basically you'd have to do it yourself because of it. the EPA fines heavily if they find out.
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Old 05-01-2008, 07:15 PM   #6
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I actually have a 1995 VX now (need to work on my garage entry) so the system is already R134A.

Ok, so used compressor is okay, but the dryer needs to be new..check!
Thanks for the advice guys...

Oh and since this VX is new and no one on here as seen it yet (not that it looks much different from anybody elses) here are some pics i took of it today after the needed cleaning







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Old 05-02-2008, 12:21 AM   #7
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Wow McPatrick - that is the cleanest VX I have ever seen. Where'd you find such a gem???
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:15 AM   #8
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Only 40 minutes from home at a time I wasn't even looking for one anymore
Gotta put a $67 piece of weather stripping on the front windshield for it to look really good, but it is definately in very decent shape. So they're still out there.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:22 AM   #9
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Ricer forums or Ebay for that AC. Save yourself some $$$.

Must be nice to have a clean VX like that. I'm ashamed to post a pic of mine. It doesn't even have a D15Z1!
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Old 05-02-2008, 01:35 PM   #10
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We need details on your 95.

Odometer reading
Price you paid.
Known issues other than the A/C that need repair.

A word of warning about repairing an A/C system that had a known compressor failure - you could have metal shavings from the blown compressor in the lines that might have clogged up the expansion valve in the evaporator. Bee careful.

Other than the start of rust in the usual place on the passenger side - the car looks great!
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