DIY A/C Compressor

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It's the hottest week of the season and of course my A/C quit entirely on my 2001 Chrysler Town & Country LTD (84k).

The mechanic diagnosed the problem as needing a new compressor. Is this a Do It Yourself project that I could do? I don't have $1100 to replace the compressor and flush/recharge the system so if it's possible for me to do all or most of this project myself it would be great.

Are there things I should be particularly concerned with or careful about? Is there a place where I might find good step-by-step guidance? What other associated parts should be replaced at the same time (filters/hoses/whatever)?


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Monday, July 24th, 2006 AT 4:13 PM

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This is a do it yourself project if you are willing to get a little dirty.
You should be able to order a new compressor, and I would suggest getting one with a new clutch and pully installed. They cost a little more, but if you get just the compressor, you will have to swap over the clutch and pulley. This can be done, but it is more work and you will have an old clutch and pulley on your new compressor.
You will also need to replace the accumulator/reciever dryer and the orifice tube at the same time as you replace the compressor.
After you have the system disassembled, you will need to put A/C flush fluid in the evaporator and condensor and flush all of the lines. This is very important if your compressor has gone bad, it will have contaminated the sytem with particals that will destroy the new compressor, or clog the new orifice tube.
If your system still has freon in it, then it is a good idea to find an air conditioning mechanic that will extract the freon and give you credit on reservicing the system when you are done.
Just guessing on parts and the cost of have it reserviced, I would say you are looking at around $500-$600 to do it yourself. But check the price of all parts first.

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Monday, July 24th, 2006 AT 4:52 PM

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