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-   -   DIY: A/C expansion valve replacement (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=894892)

Nervous 01-02-2012 04:31 PM

DIY: A/C expansion valve replacement
 
Just've done it. Easy enough, everything is doable from the engine compartment, no need to remove dash or do anything from cabin at all. First, discharge the system at nearest shop, don't discharge it into air, please.
Remove cabin filter carrier and so called 'heater bulkhead' (the piece of trim in between the engine and the firewall). So, you'll see this:

http://images60.fotki.com/v778/photo...MG_7943-vi.jpg

Remove the bolt that holds low pressure port.
Detach two bolts which attach two pipes to round double pipe port:

http://images57.fotki.com/v505/photo...MG_7946-vi.jpg

Now you need to close the flap that hides the valve. In TIS they recommend to pull the lock up and feed the flap out. I tried but the lock didn't want to be pulled up and I didn't want to break anything. So, I just turned ignition key on and on A/C unit in cabin I selected 'recirculation' mode: this caused flap to close.

Detach the double pipe assembly:

http://images44.fotki.com/v301/photo...MG_7947-vi.jpg

http://images44.fotki.com/v220/photo...MG_7948-vi.jpg

http://images51.fotki.com/v278/photo...MG_7949-vi.jpg

You may remove the center stud from the valve by using E6 external torx socket for convenience.
Now need to remove the two bolts which are holding the valve in place. For some reasons people drill them out (I read it in several DIYs). No need to drill out at all, just use 3mm hex bit socket and unscrew them:

http://images112.fotki.com/v106/phot...MG_7951-vi.jpg
http://images12.fotki.com/v20/photos...MG_7952-vi.jpg

Basically, this is all about removal. Installation is the reverse of removal. Don't forget to replace all the O-rings by the new ones.

It is a good idea to replace the dryer as well (at least I will, along with a condenser).

After assembling everything, go to the shop to evacuate and re-charge system. I'll do it myself with a vacuum pump and gauges later, but this is out of scope of this DIY.

Big Rick 01-02-2012 05:30 PM

Excellent DIY... You may also want to replace the schrader valves before you fill too... (High and Low pressure sides) That's where you get A LOT of leaks eventually! Cheap insurance and it doesn't get any easier for a DIY... Since you have the system evacuated anyway! They are about .25 cents each... At the most!

Nervous 01-02-2012 06:16 PM

A good idea, agreed! Will do.

Ballistic325 09-29-2012 07:41 AM

Nice write up.... I may need to do this before summer starts here.

Did you do a DIY for the condenser and dryer?

Nervous 09-29-2012 09:55 AM

Condenser and dryer are easy to replace. For condenser you must remove the radiator first and then it will become obvious how to replace it. For dryer - remove the front right wheel and the fender liner to access to the dryer's bracket and unbolt it. But before this detach two hoses from the top of the dryer. As simple as this.


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