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Old 01-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,489
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
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:

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

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:

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:

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.
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