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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I am going to need to put some parts into the A/C system on my VR6. Looking for some recommendations from those of you that have purchased A/C parts and what was good brand and what wasn’t too good in terms of reliability and build quality. Also if you have a good source for said parts let me know. Thanks
 

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A: do you have a manifold gauge set and a vacuum pump and a micro gauge? (these are the bare minimum tools you need to do a full service)
If the system has been opened you will also need a dryer, and a tank of nitrogen with a regulator

Germanautoparts.com or IDparts.com or ECStuning.com are the 3 places i should only shop at for a new compressor or for that matter any parts

You need to establish if the system has ever been opened and if it has not, then does it have some pressure in it. if it does you can do the supper cheap and just charge it up but you DO need a manifold gauge. reading the low is useless without the high side.
if you DO replace the dryer, do NOT install it (remove the plugs on it) until the last possible moment and make sure you have nitrogen purging at a small trickle through the system as you connect it. If you do not, then its trashed after about 10 seconds of being open to the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At some stage it was opened. Condenser inside the cab is a new Valeo unit that is flawless, found that when I broke down the dash to replace the heater core. Appears a new explanation valve was installed at that time. Compressor appears original, dryer the same but I also know the high pressure side line was replaced as well.

I had a friend @ the dealer hook up to the dealer machine and we ran it through the paces. Slightly low on charge but not enough to not actuate the compressor clutch. Full evac and fill but high pressure side isn’t building pressure so it tells me compressor is shot.

My plan was to replace compressor, dryer, low pressure line due to age and switches. I have all the tools I need to recharge. Mostly looking for advice on a compressor brand. ECS has an OEM VW for like $900 and a few aftermarket for mid-$200’s. My mechanic said avoid Niessen.
 

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If you search by part # 357820803R you'll find some other aftermarket brands. Mahle/Behr/Hella makes OEM components, but aftermarket parts by those brands might be of lesser quality.

https://www.europaparts.com/a-c-compressor-357820803r.html
https://www.autohausaz.com/pn/357820803R
I just replaced the compressor on my VR6 Corrado that is converted to R134a I found a brand new Sanden OEM compressor on eBay for a pretty decent price. My OEM original Sanden lasted 20 years so I figured I'd purchase another one as opposed to Behr or a re-manufactured unit.

Here's the link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-VW-Jet...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 

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I went with a Behr reciever/dryer and managed to score a half-price Sanden compressor a while back. autohausaz had the Sanden on sale for... I want to say it was around $220 instead of ~475.


And a Nissens condenser. Still running original evaporator and expansion valve, though I need to change the valve. Got one recently from autohaus, just haven't replaced it yet.

As for servicing the system, yeah.. manifold gauge set is going to be very useful. And a vacuum pump. One thing that is preferred--and most people don't do--is to have a nitrogen tank to pressure-test the system with. Once you charge the system, it will spend its entire life pressurized.. so it makes sense to leak-test using pressure, rather than vacuum like most people do.

I just happened to have a mini nitrogen tank laying around, so I threw a regulator on it and hooked it up to gauge manifold.


See if it stays put for an hour, and also use a spray bottle with soapy water and spray all your joints and connections and look for bubbles. If there's bubbles, you've got a leak--vacuum test can't do that, but pressure will. Fix any leaks you find, test again, and once good, just dump the nitrogen charge and then vacuum it down and add your refrigerant.
 
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