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Discussion Starter #1
My air conditioning compressor is 'cracked'. It's lost all of it's coolant. Other than this issue, the car at 162K+ is in great shape. Dealer says that it'll be just shy of $1000 to fix it. What are my options for a lower $?

I'm not the best on cars, hence I'd probably not do this myself but I'm open to going to a junk yard for a recent crash for Camry LE compressor. [Dealer says a rebuilt compressor is about $100+ less]. The car is my daughter's car to drive and she'd love to have AC. Being in the midwest, we've got about 6-8 weeks left of "AC weather". By this time next year the car will have 180K. No rust, no dents, doesn't use oil, transmission in great shape, cloth interior is in great shape, just replaced rear brakes, tires have about 40K+ left on them. Oil is changed each 3-4K miles.

Just looking for ideas/suggestions on what to do and my risk/reward factors. Again, I might be able to do some of the work but I'm not the type that does the car-stuff each weekend. [Is it easy to remove/replace and then have someone refill the AC coolant?] Like what happens if I buy compressor from a junk yard? Can I purchase the 93-96 Camry compressors?
Other ideas solicited and welcomed!!!
TIA
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Since I'm "green" on the "compressor anda clutch" situation, does the compressor also include the clutch assembly? Is most of the cost in the labor to replace the unit then?
How easy is it to replace?
TIA,
Tom
 

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96 3MZ M/T
Camry
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yes the clutch should be on it since it's part of the pully. should be easy the change you might need a crecent wrench or some large size metrics. remove the old lines and unbolt from the body. bolt the new one in there only 1 wire too it. when it's all back together take it to a shop and have them evac the system and then recharge it. also when you take the compresser check to see what kind of gas it used. if it was r12 you would need to clean the compresser and change any o-rings in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Are there specific instructions with possible pictures or drawings on the sequence to take off and put on the compressor? What are the implications to putting the compressor on partially or how do I determine if the system has a certain type of coolant?
I presume that the coolant type is independent of the compressor unit? [I just don't want to purchase a compressor and then find out that it's not the right type due to something, such as the coolant type etc.]
TIA,
Tom
 

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96 3MZ M/T
Camry
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2,879 Posts
best bet then would be buy/borrow the haynes maual (we recomend that lot).
but in taking it off it would be what ever works bolts holding it to the block last. it wouldnt matter what type of gas it used just what block it was on. i dont think the compressers from ther 92-93 v6's mount to the later 94-96 v6's. also you have to make sure your taking the correct compress for a 4 or a 6 cylinder. ce,le.or xle would matter about the compresser just the size of the engine (4 or 6) coolant type you can find out by the type of connectors the lines have from the car your taking. the old gas (R12) connection ports to refill it look like the air stems on your tires. the new gas looks diffrent(can't esplian) also on the hood it should say at the top R134a (new) or R12(old).

well if you ask the shop to clean it and install it as well (some shops wount carge more to put in if they have to clean it) then that would be an easy job. but if you do put it in then you would have to bolt it good to the body since your belts would need it to keep tight,and the a/c lines from hitting the fans
 

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Yes this is really an easy job to do : only 3 bolts and a wire, plus the two lines. If the car is from 1994 (depending on the month) it might be running on r134 (r134 became compulsory in 1994). What you will need to change is :
- If still on r12 : all o-rings,"retrofit kit" = adapters on both ports, receiver dryer, new oil (pag or ester, preferably ester) and... refrigerant !
-If on r134 : receiver dryer, oil (preferably pag) and refrigerant.

btw do not forget to replace the receiver dryer if you don't want to replace your compressor in 1 month again. It is a kind of metallic bottle located just under your battery : you can't miss it, it is very easy to remove.

You will first need to pull a vaccuum for about 45 minutes before filling. My advice is to do the biggest part (if not all) yourself as labour is very expensive on a/c matters though it can be pretty cheap if you do it on your own.

Good luck !
 

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I suggest a Toyota Factory manual. Well worth the extra few bucks. I retro fitted my 86 with R134 when the compressor finally died. You should be able to replace all the nec. parts and purchase all the tools for less than $400.00. (Those little Mighty Vacs work great for evacuating the system once reinstalled. ) If your tight with a NAPA guy you should be looking at around $265.00 for clutch and compressor unit. (CA prices) R134 doesn't cool as well as R12 so it won't be as cool as when new.

It's also been my experience that after market parts don't come close to comparing in quality with original Toyota parts so I always opt for the lifetime warrenty on parts when available.
 
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