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How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:37 pm

:x :oops: Wow, I'm unhappy to resurrect this post, but I think I must.

So today was the big day, I went to the scrapyard and bought the compressor, condensor, and all the wires and harnesses. I get home and the compressor doesn't work. It's the "S" one, not the Mitsushibi or whatever. So it won't even hook on.

I don't know how to explain this.. There are 4 long screws that go through the Compressor onto the engine block area, but the compressor just won't screw on. The 4 holes where the screws should go can't physically align and get flush in order to mount the thing.

So, my question is, did I get the wrong compressor? Or did someone do an engine swap on my CRX before I got it? Can anyone tell from my picture if I had an engine swap or tell me what to look for. Also, by the engine in my car, can anyone tell me the exact model number or where I can find the exact model number for the compressor that I would need..

I fear that I have just lost all my money to the junkyard..

Here is the picture of my engine.

Image
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Postby rex2nr » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:59 pm

go back to the yard and grab the bracket off the block
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:04 pm

Okay, thanks.. sorry I kind of spread this between 2 threads
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Postby bobski » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:34 pm

Yeah, there's a bracket associated with each brand of compressor. The Matsushita bracket is a big, pretty much solid chunk of metal. The Sanden bracket is more frame-like... It has a hole in the middle for the sake of lightness. Either bracket will bolt to the block, but you can't put a Matsushita compressor on a Sanden bracket or vice versa.
Same goes for the soft A/C lines... There are Matsushita lines and Sanden lines. Once you hit the first hard line joint (the condenser on the high pressure side, the larger evaporator-to-the-front-of-the-engine-bay hard line on the low pressure side), the systems should be identical and interchangeable.

So to review: A particular model of compressor, its bracket and the soft lines that bolt directly to the compressor all go together.

Er, wait... You don't have a bracket at all, do you? :)
From earlier in the thread:
Image
In the Sanden pic, see the bracket between the compressor and engine block? The belt tensioner is also attached to it.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:13 pm

bobski wrote:- Compressor
- Compressor bracket with belt tensioner
- Compressor belt (get a new one, $10-15)
- Compressor inlet and discharge hoses
- Condenser
- Condenser fan
- Evaporator with drain hose and grommets
- Blower to evaporator and evaporator to air handler sealing straps
- Drier (get a new one, $30-40)
- A/C hard lines
a. bottom of the condenser to the drier inlet (kinda squiggly, silver)
b. drier outlet to cross-tube in front of the condenser (squiggly, black)
c. cross-tube in front of the condensor (black with elbows at each end)
d. long front to rear line (pressure switch near the front, service port near the back, silver with insulation)
e. long rear to front line (larger tube, service port near the back, silver with insulation)
f. misc hard line mounting brackets
- Complete A/C wiring harness with relays and relay mounting bracket
- O-rings for each and every A/C line connection (get new ones, $20 or so for a kit)



Okay, so I've hooked up all the main components. I have the drier can, condenser, compressor, and evaporator, but I'm missing a few things. I still need the compressor belt, which I'll get new. Also, my evaporator has this thing coming out of the back of it on the bottom that looks like it needs a tube attached to it.. Does anyone know what that is? It might be the drain hose but I'm unsure. Also, I have absolutely no idea about any of the electrical. I have one wire coming off of my Compressor that is red with 3 black lines every few inches, but I'm not sure where it is supposed to attack too. I don't know anything about the relays either.

I do know that when I push the A/C button inside my car, the light goes on, though no cold air comes out yet..

So if anyone knows about the relays and electrical or that thing on the bottom of my evaporator, that would help alot.

Also, there is this wiring harness type thing that isn't connected to anything at this point. It's the white thing on the right side of the first picture. Is this an A/C connector or not?
Image

Image
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Postby bobski » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:33 pm

dtyrrell88 wrote:my evaporator has this thing coming out of the back of it on the bottom that looks like it needs a tube attached to it.. Does anyone know what that is? It might be the drain hose but I'm unsure.

Yeah, it's the drain hose. The fins in the evaporator get cold when the A/C is running, so water from the air condenses on them, like it does with a cold glass on a hot day. If you don't have that drain hose, the water will drip out of the bottom of the evaporator onto your ECU. :)

dtyrrell88 wrote:Also, I have absolutely no idea about any of the electrical. [...] Also, there is this wiring harness type thing that isn't connected to anything at this point. It's the white thing on the right side of the first picture. Is this an A/C connector or not?
Image

Yes, that's an A/C harness connector. Most of the A/C wiring inside the car is built into the main wiring harness. That's the connector between the main harness and the add-on A/C harness.
The A/C harness only connects to two things inside the car: that connector you already noticed, and a 2-pin thermostat connector on the evaporator housing. IIRC, the thermostat looks like a can attached to the side of the evaporator with a small metal tube coming off of it. The tube goes through a grommet in the evaporator housing and snakes into the fins inside. There should be some little tabs in the evaporator housing to keep the thermostat wires from flopping around.
Ok, from the interior of the car, the wiring harness runs to the engine bay through the same grommet that the A/C lines run through. Just on the other side of the firewall, the harness sprouts off a single wire which runs up to the main fuse box. Open the fuse box cover, and you should see a single unused blade terminal next to the 15 and 20 amp fuses.
After sprouting off the fuse wire, the harness runs along the frame rail, behind the brake lines, just above the passenger side engine mount and next to the base of the battery, all the way up to just behind the passenger headlight. Along the way, it's typically clipped to the main harness with some little white plastic holders.
By the headlight, it sprouts off wiring for two relays and a grounding ring, which bolt to the headlight frame/radiator support via a bracket. At the same location on the harness, or maybe just a little further along, it sprouts 2 wires with a large round connector on the end. That connector plugs into the pressure switch on the high pressure A/C line that runs below the battery.
The harness then drops down off the frame rail and runs under the main radiator fan's plastic shroud (it's actually supposed to clip to the shroud), up the far side and over the metal shroud of the new condenser fan you installed. It runs about halfway down the far side of the shroud, and finally splits into 3 sections.
The first section is a fan motor noise filter... It looks a lot like a relay, but only has 2 wires. The filter itself should bolt to a little bracket welded to the fan shroud.
The second section is a connector for the condenser fan. It should be a round, 2 pin, green plastic connector with an O-ring around it if memory serves me correctly.
The third and final section is just one wire with a bullet connector at the end. It runs down and plugs into the compressor clutch.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:02 am

Okay, so lets see if I got this right.

Ok, from the interior of the car, the wiring harness runs to the engine bay through the same grommet that the A/C lines run through. Just on the other side of the firewall, the harness sprouts off a single wire which runs up to the main fuse box. Open the fuse box cover, and you should see a single unused blade terminal next to the 15 and 20 amp fuses.


Is this wiring harness, the one I saw in the picture? Otherwise, I'm a little clueless. Where is the main wiring harness?

Because when I did this, the evaporator was already there. I've added everything from the 2 A/C lines connecting to the ones running through the firewall down to the condenser and compressor etc.. So, the only wires that I am aware of are the one next to my evaporator and one lone wire coming off of my compressor. I'm not sure where either of them are supposed to go.

It sounds like there are 3 wires I have to deal with, but I can't figure out which ones I have (the one in the picture) and the one coming off of the compressor, and I don't know where they are supposed to connect too.



One more main question. I told the the guy that I needed the condenser fan, and he said nope that's the radiator fan and you don't need it so now I only have the one radiator fan on the passenger side. Do I need the condenser fan, and if so, can you get them at any regular auto parts store?
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Postby rex2nr » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:51 am

mine had 2 fans when I had AC...
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Postby bobski » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:57 am

Yeah, the second metal fan is part of the A/C system. You need the A/C harness to run the second fan, not to mention the rest of the A/C system. If the guy you're getting parts from is trying to keep that fan, he would also have to keep the harness, which you can't do without.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:29 am

it was just at a junkyard, but I don't want to go back there.. scariest junkyard I've ever been too.

It sounds like I will have to go back, which is fine.

So my second question is, where does that white harness/wire bundle go too. the one that is by the evaporator.
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Postby bobski » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:42 am

The connector you see in the pic is part of the main wiring harness. The main harness runs along the floor under the dash from one side of the cabin to the other. It extends through the firewall on each side up to the lights, horns and such. Wiring for nearly all of the car's components runs through the main harness at some point.
The main harness does not include wiring for any of the A/C system components in the engine bay. You need the add-on A/C harness that I described above. The main harness connector you pointed out by the evaporator plugs into a companion connector on the A/C harness, providing control signals from the fan speed switch, A/C switch, ECU and coolant temperature switch that switch the compressor and condensor fan on and off.

Here... I just came across this in the service manual:
Image
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:44 am

Well,

I didn't have A/C at all, so I got some parts. I put in the Sanden compressor, condensor, and evaporator. I connected all the hoses and tubes, got a drier, and hooked up all of the electrical. I had to retrofit for r-134 and I did that. I got ester oil because it helps seal as well, and then I put 1 can of it in.

No cold air.. I am completely clueless. I saw no leaks, I didn't see it dripping anywhere, but inside, I got outside temperature air, with the A/C on.



Is there any way to check if individual components are working.. The compressor belt runs, but does that mean the rest of it is working. I'm not sure if maybe one of the electrical lines could be not working, but I have no idea how to tell which one it might be.. :cry: :cry:

I dropped all the money I got from one check on this, and I'm already poor as is. Classes and books are stealing all of my money, and I'm driving from Michigan to South Carolina on Tuesday, and I was really hoping to have a nice cool trip.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:13 am

Okay, so when looking at it. I found that the low pressure connection wasn't sealed completely to the connection in the firewall grommet. So I put a new o ring in there and sealed it off nice and tight. No more leaking,

still no cold air.

I'm wondering if the switch in my dashboard might not be hooked up correctly or one of the wires might be shorted out. I don't know how to check for that, but When I just look at them all, they look fine. But when I turn on the car, the condenser fan never comes on, if that helps, and it blows outside temp air.
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Postby bobski » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:33 am

Is there a fuse installed in the A/C slot (labeled condenser fan) of the engine bay fuse box? Does the little blue A/C light come on when you click the switch on? If the blue light comes on, but the fans don't, check that your pressure switch and thermostat connectors are plugged in solidly. If they are, but the A/C still doesn't work, unplug them and make sure the switch terminals aren't bent up or anything. Check for continuity across each switch's terminals... They both need to have continuity for the A/C to kick on.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:39 am

The blue light does come on. I'm checking on the fuses and connections now.

The one question I have is this, I put 1 can of the refrigerant in the system but a little leaked out. Then I disconnected that low pressure line and put a new o ring in. Then connected it again and a little more leaked out, but there is still some in there. Should there be some cold air blowing or not. Otherwise I could put the other can of ester oil in and see what happens, but it would be sad if it didn't work and I wasted both cans.

Also, when you say fans, are you talking about the condenser fan or the blowers that push the air into the car? The condenser fan hasn't come on yet, but I was unsure if it would come on all the time or just when it started to get too hot.
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Postby bobski » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:42 am

dtyrrell88 wrote:The one question I have is this, I put 1 can of the refrigerant in the system but a little leaked out. Then I disconnected that low pressure line and put a new o ring in. Then connected it again and a little more leaked out, but there is still some in there. Should there be some cold air blowing or not.

If you have a leak, don't bother putting more refrigerant in. Fix the leak, then try charging it. I haven't hooked a gauge set up to it recently, but IIRC, my system has around 50 psi of pressure in it when it's just sitting there. If you don't reach that 40-50 psi of pressure, the pressure switch won't kick on and the system won't work.


dtyrrell88 wrote:Also, when you say fans, are you talking about the condenser fan or the blowers that push the air into the car? The condenser fan hasn't come on yet, but I was unsure if it would come on all the time or just when it started to get too hot.


I'm talking about the condenser and radiator fans at the front of the engine bay. Once the fan and A/C harness are properly installed, the two should switch on together. The fans should run whenever the A/C switch is on, or when the engine coolant temperature gets high enough.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:35 pm

Okay, that gives me hope. So, I won't see any fans come on at all until I've got enough refrigerant in the system so that the pressure is high enough to start up the A/C.

That helps alot.

I hope I can find some kind a pressure gauge at my house.

Thanks
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Postby higguns » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:00 pm

you gotta vacuum the system before you charge it to remove all the moisture or the system wont fuction properly, this will also tell you if you have any leaks.
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Postby dtyrrell88 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:54 pm

How can you vacuum it out without purchasing a very expensive special vacuum? If there is a way.
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Postby bobski » Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:39 pm

You can take a chance and use a venturi pump, but they don't do as good a job as the more expensive electric versions. Pulling a vacuum not only clears the air out, but boils off and carries away any water in the system. Water will combine with some refrigerants (or is it the oils? I forget), forming acid compounds that will trash your A/C system from the inside out.
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Re: How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

Postby Vince MD » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:45 pm

Will this work for my DOHC ZC too? I know it;s a "D" series block but i wanted to check out before i do this.....I have an 88 Crx Si with the swap and my bro thinks putting AC back in the car is dumb....well i don't lol Let me know if i can do the ac deal and about how much you think it may cost.


thanks, Vince
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Re: How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

Postby lunalink » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:37 pm

i just took my A/C system out of my car if anyone wants to take it off my hands PM me.. :-)b
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Re: How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

Postby bobski » Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:22 pm

Vince MD wrote:Will this work for my DOHC ZC too?

Probably. The bolt pattern on the block is the same on most, if not all D series motors.
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Re: How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

Postby border919 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:10 pm

my 89 crx si had ac before i got it.what all do i need to make my ac work again with my b16a
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Re: How to: Add Air Conditioning to your CRX

Postby bobski » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:33 pm

border919 wrote:my 89 crx si had ac before i got it.what all do i need to make my ac work again with my b16a
As I understand it, an aftermarket bracket to bolt the stock compressor to the B-series block.
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