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The Detailed E30 R-134a Conversion Thread/DIY

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    Originally posted by Z2TT View Post
    Hi Guys.

    2 Questions.

    1 - Any links / part numbers of Parallel flow condensers for E30

    2 - How to test if both low and high speed fan settings work - does pressure switch trigger speed difference?

    Thanks.
    Pressure switch only effects the compressor clutch. Provided your middle HVAC slider is at least 2/3-3/4 to the right (there's a micro switch behind it that has to be engaged) the aux fan should kick on low when you hit the snowflake. If not, it's likely your fan resistor. If no, check fuses,then jump it to confirm high speed works. You can also jump the high temp switch which should also make the fan run on high.

    With the stock,six fan I usually jump it permanently As it seems to help ac performance.
    For the PF check Amazon and keep in mind the pic may be of a serpentine but the condenser is in fact a PF. My cabrio thread has the details (if you can find them :)
    Deck Lid and soft top Shocks on hand

    Seat shocks on hand for immediate shipment
    https://www.r3vlimited.com/board/sho...86#post4944786
    Alice the Time Capsule
    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=360504
    87 Zinno Cabrio barn find 98k and still smells like a barn. Build thread http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...20#post3455220

    Comment


      Did you see my post? That link is to a parallel flow condenser.
      Pulling my hair out with all these friggin BMW's:
      2000 M5 Winter beater
      1984 318i Coupe 2.5 S14 going in the car below.
      1988 M3 Lachssilber: I'm the second owner, currently recommissioning.

      Comment


        I just got off the phone with APG and was told that the brackets for m20 are totally and completely gone. Anyone have one that I could "borrow" and have a machinist friend of mine build some?

        Comment


          Hi Guys,

          I red that the compressor is different on 325i than on 318i has anyone found good deal for aftermarket one. My E30 is 1987 so I think rebuilding the compressor for 134a is out of question. and are all the other parts listed on this write up the same? I got a bit confused.

          planning to rebuild my system soon.

          Comment


            question about heater unit

            hello.

            I have question about heater unit.

            My e30 have not heater box with a/c. I can not find it with good condition.
            Can i install it from BMW z3 ? Is the heater units same?

            Comment


              I am beyond happy this thread was around when I decided to fix the AC on my car. I was definitely more intimidated than I needed to be going into it. This write up was well detailed and if i didnt have this around I probably would have missed a couple of parts. I however want to add a few small comments I feel need to be brought up:

              1. Use oil that has dye in it. Most places sell it because you can put a blacklight light up to it and see where your leaks are easily. I didnt even have a blacklight, but it was neon green enough to see where the leaks were coming from.

              2. If you're someone who needed a compressor because yours isnt compatible, I didnt want to buy a new compressor seeing theyre pretty pricey. Some people like me would have gone to a junk yard or something to find one which is also kind of a risky solution since you probably have no idea if it works. In my specific case I decided to pull the compressor off of my 89 vert which I had no clue if it still worked cause the AC was not working for as long as the car has been in my family. Just to note, the e30 I was fixing didnt have a compressor or condenser when I bought it.

              To relate this to the writeup, how do you test to see if the compressor works? Welp. I had no idea. I didnt even know if the relay was good or why the previous owner ripped the stuff out of the car. I was not getting voltage from the plug, but that was before I filled the system. So my main point is, IF YOU ARE TESTING YOUR SYSTEM FOR VOLTAGE FOR ENGAGING THE COMPRESSOR CLUTCH THE CAR WILL NOT SHOW VOLTAGE UNLESS THE SWITCH SENSES REFRIGERANT IN THE SYSTEM. Basically like a fail safe so youre not burning up the compressor. My solution was to just complete the whole conversion and see what happens. If my compressor didnt kick on then I would have been stumped. Luckily when I finally filled the system the compressor did its thing and I was jumping for joy.

              3. SKIP THIS IF YOU ARE TAKING YOUR CAR TO SHOP TO GET YOUR SYSTEM FILLED. I decided to fill my system myself just to take a stab at it. Now I looked at a bunch of DIY videos since most car's AC systems are generally consisted of the same parts. I bought the manifold gauge set and Vacuum pump from Harbor Freight. I was worried that the pressure stored in the refrigerant can was not enough to push its way into the system enough to cut the compressor on, which is what typically is needed to draw in refrigerant. I saw that most people crated a vacuum in their system using the gauge set and vaccum pump to remove anything left in the lines, to check for leaks, and to also give an extra pull when filling the system to ensure refrigerant hits the switch to cut the compressor on. Now here is what my worry was at this point. While following this writeup I too had filled oil into the compressor and the condenser while replacing o-rings. When I got to putting a vacuum on the system, I was worried that my vacuum pump would suck the new oil out. Long story short, I said fuck it and put the vacuum on. My system wouldn't hold vacuum because I had a leak somewhere, but couldn't find out where. It didnt pull oil out either, so I moved on cause I wanted to find the leak. I had no choice but to just put refrigerant in and this see if the compressor kicks on and to point out the leak. The result was the compressor kicked on and I immediately found the leak.

              TOO LONG DIDN'T READ VERSION- I recommend putting the vacuum on your system before filling just to check and see if you have leaks somewhere and to suck any old r-12 shit out seeing that r-12 shit and r-134a shit wont mix well. This means you dont have to put the oil in the compressor and condenser while replacing o-rings. You may fill it using an oil insert filler you put in your manifold gauge set while youre filling your system with refrigerant. That insert is found at any autozone or advanced auto parts.

              4. While trying to get to the expansion valve on the interior of the car, I think its pretty important to note that getting that stupid fucking bitch black cover thing off is more of a pain in the ass than anything else. The two upper screws holding it on a pretty hard to get to. Either you need someone with small hands or A LOT of patience. I figured putting those two screws back was going to be more of a pain than its worth so i skipped those two, but I applied a bead of RTV around the lip which I figured would suffice enough to keep that thing sealed.




              Thats all my comments which are probably longer and more detailed than they needed to be, but moving on to my question:

              While filling the system and referencing the output results I should be reading provided in the writeup. I realize someone who knows their stuff should filled the system based on the outputted temp. Unfortunately I was worried about blowing out if i went to pressures that were to high.

              If I filled the system to reach the appropriate pressures based on the outside temperatures and was reading a higher vent output temp than what should have been(about 6 or 7 degrees more) what is my problem? Air in the system? Should I have kept filling? I believe I was at about 28oz of refrigerant as well.

              Dont get me wrong, the car is blowing cold air and makes hot days comfortable. This is just me fine tuning or maybe worrying about something that I shouldn't be. Could someone give me some guidance?



              Thanks again for the writeup and I hope my comments arent too annoying.



              With love,

              T-Money
              I don't even own this car anymore, but I'm too lazy to change the picture.

              Comment


                So I'm running into a snag filling up my car with r134a. I went through and replaced all the O-Rings, dropped the compressor and added oil (in the suction side), replaced the expansion valve and ran a vac on the system for 2 hours or so. When I went to add a can of r134a it took maybe half of the can and just stopped. I sat there for about 25-30 minutes trying to make it take the rest of the can to no avail. I'm putting it in the low side (up against the fender) and the high side is closed. It took enough 134a to run the compressor but nothing more. Is it really slow going? A/C was on full cold with the car at idle. Is there some trick to getting the rest of the can in? Vent temp never dropped to below OAT

                Comment


                  Originally posted by 318kid View Post
                  So I'm running into a snag filling up my car with r134a. I went through and replaced all the O-Rings, dropped the compressor and added oil (in the suction side), replaced the expansion valve and ran a vac on the system for 2 hours or so. When I went to add a can of r134a it took maybe half of the can and just stopped. I sat there for about 25-30 minutes trying to make it take the rest of the can to no avail. I'm putting it in the low side (up against the fender) and the high side is closed. It took enough 134a to run the compressor but nothing more. Is it really slow going? A/C was on full cold with the car at idle. Is there some trick to getting the rest of the can in? Vent temp never dropped to below OAT
                  On my 325e, I believe the connection up against the fender is the high side. The one at the shock tower is the low. Someone else should probably weigh in on that but that might be your problem?
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by GoldMember View Post
                    On my 325e, I believe the connection up against the fender is the high side. The one at the shock tower is the low. Someone else should probably weigh in on that but that might be your problem?


                    Yep. Shock tower fitting be the low side. You're filling from the wrong port. You should see vacuum on the gauge even while filling, at least until you've added about half the can. dont hold the can upside down either, upright and in a warm bowl of water.


                    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                    Comment


                      I'm going to look at it later today but if this is the case what should I do? Vac again and then refil completely or just add the rest to the low side?

                      Comment


                        If you already pulled vac there's no need to do it again. Just add the right amount to the low side and fill by vent temp, not pressure. Fill until vent temp no longer gets colder


                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

                        Comment


                          VERY useful thread - thanks OP!

                          So my son is having his 86 es converted by a local shop. We're not doing the condenser yet - mostly seeing if the compressor will still work.

                          They did the dye thing to check for leaks, and they found it at the pipe that wraps around the passenger shock tower and drops to the compressor. It's the very one in GoldMember's post above and I think it might be part # 64538391051. RealOEM doesn't show a shape anything like this one.

                          It has a joint in it from pipe to soft hose - somewhere just above that joint it's leaking, says the tech. I wasn't there - don't know if it's a cracked pipe, or it's coming up from that joint in the hose.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          That pipe seems to list at $180+ most places. $200, 220. Is that right? Seems pretty steep for a pipe / hose. I don't suppose a small city has those shops that fabricate AC hoses - are those still around?

                          Any ideas or suggestions?

                          Thanks -

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by LateFan View Post
                            VERY useful thread - thanks OP!

                            So my son is having his 86 es converted by a local shop. We're not doing the condenser yet - mostly seeing if the compressor will still work.

                            They did the dye thing to check for leaks, and they found it at the pipe that wraps around the passenger shock tower and drops to the compressor. It's the very one in GoldMember's post above and I think it might be part # 64538391051. RealOEM doesn't show a shape anything like this one.

                            It has a joint in it from pipe to soft hose - somewhere just above that joint it's leaking, says the tech. I wasn't there - don't know if it's a cracked pipe, or it's coming up from that joint in the hose.

                            [ATTACH]109515[/ATTACH]

                            That pipe seems to list at $180+ most places. $200, 220. Is that right? Seems pretty steep for a pipe / hose. I don't suppose a small city has those shops that fabricate AC hoses - are those still around?

                            Any ideas or suggestions?

                            Thanks -
                            How about a junkyard or used one on eBay? Or if you DO spend the money, have one made that is r134a compatible (barrier hose).

                            Comment


                              For future searchers - these are available aftermarket for a lot less, $50 to $60. "Four Seasons" seems to be one of the major aftermarket AC suppliers.

                              https://www.amazon.com/Four-Seasons-...ditioning+hose

                              https://www.amazon.com/Four-Seasons-...ditioning+hose

                              http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/198...tion_hose.html

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

                              http://www.rockauto.com/en/parts/fou...rant+hose,6900

                              Comment


                                Great writeup! I have a few questions though if someone could help me out.

                                1. What are you guys lubing your o-rings with? I've heard Nylog or mineral oil works but some say not to use the PAG oil because it attracts moisture.

                                2. I ordered this conversion kit http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pn....FUI9gQodpGUPYQ

                                What are the 2 smaller rings and washer looking things for? Its a universal kit so maybe they aren't needed for the e30. I know I need the o rings and conversion fittings.

                                3. What is the best way to flush out the evaporator and lines? Thought about using brake cleaner or alcohol... not sure if that's a bad idea or not.

                                Thanks!


                                '91 318is - Aluminum block M52/ZF/Torsen 3.15 and fresh paint
                                '05 330Ci ZHP 6MT - DD
                                '03.5 Mazdaspeed Protege - Sold
                                '91 318i Sterling Silver project - Sold :sad:
                                '91 325i auto coupe - Sold
                                '90 325iC - Sold
                                '91 318i - Project/dead engine- Sold

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