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How to: C30 air conditioning condenser replacement

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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 13:47   #1
mattievrs
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Default How to: C30 air conditioning condenser replacement

Firstly, i accept NO responsibility for any damage you do to yourself or your car!

Secondly, this is a how to that assumes you have had your air con professionally emptied of gas and oil and NOT released into the Atmosphere (Thats illegal!!)

Make sure that you get the condenser checked over by an air con specialist to ensure its the condenser thats leaking and not something else. They do this using a vacuum and pressure test.

So, here we go!
Remove headlights by pulling the skewer out and unplugging the connector then remove the front bumper. Red circles show screws and plastic trim clips that need to be removed, and green arrows show underneath screws that need to be removed.There are also 5 screws in the wheel arches on each side that need to come out, then unclip the bumper sides by pulling the bumper outwards from the wheel well. Bumper will now come off off but dont forget to unclip the fog light connectors!



Next remove the front plastic undercover to allow access. The red arrows show 2 screws that need to be removed (located at the rear and screw into the corner of the arch liners) then pull it towards the front of the car and it will come out.



Unbolt the 2 horns and disconnect and put to one side. Remove the upper plastic air guide by undoing the 2 nuts at the top of the guide left and right.Pull the plastic crash panel cover by pulling towards you.It should now look like this.




Remove the upper plastic cover at the front of the engine bay (3 bolts on it) and unclip the air piping by removing the 2 plastic clips and pull out the 90 degree turn from underneath it too.



Put it all to one side



Next up, remove the intercooler and shrouding as follows.The intercooler is held on by 4 bolts and the 2 jubilee clips on the pipes. Unscrew the 2 jubilee clips from the piping on each side (they look like this)



And undo the 2 bolts located on the underneath of the plastic sides of the intercooler



Then unscrew the 2 torx screws just behind the crash bar (PITA to get to!)



Now push the intercooler upwards from the bottom to unhinge it and it will drop down and come out.Put to one side and it should look something like this showing the condenser you want to replace. Be mindful that loads of leaves will probably fall out aswell after being trapped in there.



Now undo the 2 nuts holding the air con pipes into the condenser and lift the pipes upwards to release them (Green arrows), also unscrew the single torx screw (circled in red) to release the condenser from the holding bracket (Easier to do with an extension through the gap down the side of the valve made by removing the top front plastic cover shown in the second pic, circled in green).





Next, push the condenser upwards from the bottom of it and it will slide upwards and release from the clips and drop down. Thats the condenser out!



Pretty obvious where it was leaking from!




You will need to make sure you get the correct condenser for your car by measuring the internal diameter of the two tab holes that the pipes go into (There a 3 types i believe). Seen here with covers on them




Slide the new condenser under the crash bar and up and over the clips and clip it into place ready for reassembly of the bits and bobs



Once at this point, then rebuild the car in the reverse of the above. Once done, go and get it pressure tested and refilled and chilly days will be back again!!

To re-iterate, again, I assume you have had the gas emptied from the system and if you damage your car, its not my fault!!

Cheers for looking!
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 16:14   #2
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Thanks. Brilliant write up. Just off to look at mine!!!

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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 18:07   #3
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The green arrows on the first picture don't need to be undone on certain models. A 2.0l and 1.8l don't require those to be removed. Simply undo the two red arrow screws on a later picture.
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 18:21   #4
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The green arrows on the first picture don't need to be undone on certain models. A 2.0l and 1.8l don't require those to be removed. Simply undo the two red arrow screws on a later picture.

Then you have a heavy cast plastic piece of trim screwed to the bumper that's flexible plastic. You also then have the effort of a heavier bumper to slot back on. In my opinion it makes sense
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 20:22   #5
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Then you have a heavy cast plastic piece of trim screwed to the bumper that's flexible plastic. You also then have the effort of a heavier bumper to slot back on. In my opinion it makes sense
Heavier? How heavier? It is a piece of plastic which weighs (in my case) about 500g... How that can be seen as heavier!? I mean, that is half a bottle of coke in weight!

And it is actually easier, as you only have two screws to line up rather than 6
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 22:56   #6
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Heavier? How heavier? It is a piece of plastic which weighs (in my case) about 500g... How that can be seen as heavier!? I mean, that is half a bottle of coke in weight!

And it is actually easier, as you only have two screws to line up rather than 6
From experience of removing the front bumper both ways, its easier removing it in 2 pieces n my opinion. We shall agree to disagree I think!

Quite a bit heavier, that cast plastic black piece must weigh 3-4 kg at least no joke, and attached to some flimsy plastic aswell = awkward, especially when trying to slide and slot the bottom plastic tabs, not scratch the arches, line up the top of the bumper and reconnect the fogs. I'd say its definately easier my way but hey, what do I know!

Last edited by mattievrs; Jul 17th, 2013 at 23:01.
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Old Aug 16th, 2013, 19:15   #7
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Is this the same procedure for a 2.0 d V50 my2008, the front end looks similar and I have just been quoted 647 by the stealers.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 10:35   #8
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Is this the same procedure for a 2.0 d V50 my2008, the front end looks similar and I have just been quoted 647 by the stealers.
Yep, the process should be virtually identical.
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Old Aug 17th, 2013, 12:14   #9
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Many thanks
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Old Sep 2nd, 2013, 17:08   #10
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The V50 2.0D varied very slightly from the C30.

VIDA recommends dropping the radiator cradle, it did allow more room to move but didn't require touching the coolant system. It also made accessing the two screws that hold the intercooler funnel easier.

The existing condenser had bolts holding the connector pipes on rather than studs and flange nuts.

Rather than trying to access the torques star bolt beside the condenser connectors through the valve hole, I removed the lump of plastic that looks like a spiders web beside it and had far more access.

The old condenser had a thick strip of foam rubber stuck to the top of it, I cut this off with a razor and super-glued it on to the new one.

I found that I am not as agile as I used to be and the knees get sore even with kneepads so I decided to work with the car on front axel stands, made life a lot easier.

I took the front end off as one piece and putting it back on was cumbersome but not too difficult, just slid it into place at the top and held it on the two screws then pulled the sides into place and slotted the under brackets into the run put the two screws into place, then did the wheel arches and the plastic plugs.

To release the plastic retaining plus just push the centre pin down about 2 mm, it will click and the whole plug can be removed intact for reuse.

Many thanks mattievrs, compliments the VIDA drawings well.
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