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Old 06-11-2013, 07:55 AM   #1
madeouttaglass OP
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$2200+ for truck A/C repair?

The compressor on my 2001 Tacoma seized up recently. When you turn it on the clutch tries to engage and it smokes. The truck is otherwise in mint condition and I'd like to have everything right. While we only need A/C a few weeks a year it also goes on with the defroster which we need about six months a year. The estimate is about 1/4 the book value of the truck. Any less expensive alternatives besides taking the belt off?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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junk yard
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #3
SamRus
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Be careful with Junk Yard AC compressors.
I got one for my Camry, and it didn't turn out too well.

The body of the compressor consists of 2 large halves, and on the one I got, the gasket between 2 halves leaked. Since the compressors are not serviceable, the gasket is not something you can buy, so the whole compressor was junk. It put out pressure, and ran, just leaked, so the whole exercise was pointless.

And if you don't have your own vacuum machine (to suck the old freon & air out), you'll have to pay someone for the labor twice, regardless whether you're good at wrenching or not.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:12 AM   #4
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If you don't care about AC....Can it be gutted and a new pully put in so it is effectively an idler?
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:55 AM   #5
AZstrommer
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When my compressor blew up last summer (Tucson - 100+ for weeks at a time), I took the plunge and got a new compressor, drier, filter and evap on ebay and installed them myself. I took it to a shop to be charged. Works like a champ! The parts cost $400 and the servicing was about $80.

This was on a 2001 Toyota Echo. YMMV.

AZ
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Are you sure the clutch isn't bad? That happened on my FILs Chevy van and he just changed out the clutch and the AC works fine.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:04 AM   #7
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Repalce the compressor yourself, order a new one from Rock Auto. Hook all both hoses and the one wire back on and find an independant A/C shop to evac and charge and you will be out maybe a total of $400 instead.

Stop by the local auto parts house and see if they have a, A/C bypass pulley for around $30.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZstrommer View Post
When my compressor blew up last summer (Tucson - 100+ for weeks at a time), I took the plunge and got a new compressor, drier, filter and evap on ebay and installed them myself. I took it to a shop to be charged. Works like a champ! The parts cost $400 and the servicing was about $80.

This was on a 2001 Toyota Echo. YMMV.

AZ
I did something similar to an '85 T-15 Jimmy, but I replaced the entire gas loop because I switched to R-134a, so I was out $800 in parts, many of them GM factory parts.

If the OPs compressor shelled, the gas loop may be full of metal. I could see parts + labor for that being four figures. He may be better off doing what I did and just swap the whole loop himself, then have it evacuated, oiled, and charged in a shop.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I've built engines and transmissions successfully but have never touched A/C before. I'm thinking along the lines of AZstrommer and buying new- not rebuilt- parts online and replacing it myself. The two trips to a shop is what had me wondering if that kind of thing was done.
Any advice on what parts should be replaced? I've heard that a bad compressor often fouls other parts.
Sniper- Thanks, I will check the clutch before I buy everything.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madeouttaglass View Post
The compressor on my 2001 Tacoma seized up recently.
About $200 from here: http://www.rockauto.com/

Sounds like a case of Stealership Gouging.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
madeouttaglass OP
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About $200 from here: http://www.rockauto.com/

Sounds like a case of Stealership Gouging.
No doubt. I have done all my own work for decades. The one time I say screw it, let someone else do it and get a quote it drives me right back into my own garage.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #12
troidus
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Originally Posted by madeouttaglass View Post
Any advice on what parts should be replaced? I've heard that a bad compressor often fouls other parts.
You can try disassembling everything and washing the system out with denatured alcohol, then drying it with clean compressed air. The condenser and evaporator will be the PITA parts to get clean if they're fouled. Check the high side line between the compressor and condenser and if it's clean, the condenser and evaporator should be fine. You should replace the desiccant tank, regardless.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:48 AM   #13
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Why don't you look for an independent shop to do it? Should be way cheaper than the dealer and they would have to back their work. One problem with doing it your self & having someone evac & charge, would be if you had a problem. I bet they'd say "not our fault" you did the install. It is easy to roach the new compressor with junk in the system. I don't know how it is where you are but we have a couple independent A.C./ radiator shops that are very reasonable.

Good Luck!

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Old 06-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
Sniper X
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troidus View Post
You can try disassembling everything and washing the system out with denatured alcohol, then drying it with clean compressed air. The condenser and evaporator will be the PITA parts to get clean if they're fouled. Check the high side line between the compressor and condenser and if it's clean, the condenser and evaporator should be fine. You should replace the desiccant tank, regardless.
Spend 20 hours doing all that, with no guarantee it'll work or buy a new one for 400 clams.....I vote new. At least he will know it works.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #15
troidus
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Spend 20 hours doing all that, with no guarantee it'll work or buy a new one for 400 clams.....I vote new. At least he will know it works.
I meant the non-compressor parts of the gas loop, not the compressor itself. A rebuild of one of those is best left to a specialist.
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