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Heater Drier

Ben H

NAXJA Forum User
I have to replace my leaking A/C condenser before summer gets here. Do I also have to replace my Heater Drier? Also what other parts would need to be replaced to ensure a few more years of cold AC?
Searching revealed incomplete threads and repeated information. Need some advice, mechanic wants $900 to do the job and that aint going to happen.

It is a 2000 4.0.

I'd replace the condenser, then get a vacuum pump (for refrigeration) along with the gages. Pull the system into vacuum and see if it holds a vacuum. It would be a bumber to put another load of freon in there and have it leak out someplace else.
The filter dryer should be replaced any time you have the system open. It doesn't have to be the OEM dryer, they have generic types (ALCO and others) that you can flare and don't even have to solder in.
I'm not exactly sure of the setup with the 2000, the nuts and bolts or the piping material may be different.
May want to check at the local college and see if they have an automotive lab. May be the cheapest way to go.
How do you know it's the condenser leaking, oil stain? Or you can see the hole in it?
Replacing the condenser requires opening up the system. After doing so, you will need to draw a heavy vacuum on the system to remove ALL moisture. The proper equipment is expensive, unless you intend to go into the refrigeration business, so you probably won't want to buy the necessary equipment. I'd suggest a complete flush since the system will be open. And of course, you need to replace the receiver/dryer after the flush. The $900 seems steep, to me. You can do the condenser change, flush the system, and replace the receiver/dryer yourself, but most likely will have to pay some one to vacuum and charge the system once you have it back together.
Thanks for the info. Will order some parts.

The leak was found by my previous mechanic last August. I have not run it since.

I will replace the condenser and drier, then take it in to get charged.

Thanks for the clarity.
The Filter/Drier has a bag of dessicate in it, to absorb any trace amounts of moisture left in the system. The pressure/temps of the AC system will cause the water to mix with the oil and form acids that will eat up the system.

If your going to do all the work yourself and then have a professional finish the servicing. I would work out with him to install the new Filter/Drier with the servicing. New Filter/Drier come sealed up with plugs, as soon as you expose it to air the dessicate bag starts sucking moisture out of the air and it can fill up and be useless if you don't install it and pull a vacuum within a short time.

The gauges and even a cheap improvised vacuum pump will cost more than paying a pro to service the system. If your going to do AC servicing several times in the future, it may be worth buying cheap gauges and improvising a vacuum pump from a junkyard refrigerator pump/motor. But just once, just go to a pro.

The Vacuum is vital after opening the system, not only do you have to check for leaks, it removes all the air and moisture which mess up the system, it has to be hermetically sealed. Water Boils at 40°F in a vacuum, that is why a vacuum is so effective at getting every last bit of moisture out of the system.
Just to clarify, are you talking the condensor in front of the radiator or the evaporator inside the heater box ? If the evap is what you mean thats $600-$700 for labor, it's a 7 hour job to pull the dash and get at the heater box on the 97+.
If they want $900 for a condensor thats hiway robbery.
My 98 is going in around may for the evap, got enough 'credits' with one of my customers that I'm only paying for parts....
Condenser in front. I will install everything, then take it in to an A/C service station and have them hook up the drier to everything, then vac and fill. Thanks for the responses, very informative.
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