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Discussion Starter #1
Mine is literally green from all the dye on it. While I'm wrapping up this alternator swap, I'm wondering how much more difficult it would be to change the compressor? Problem is, I don't have the machinery to remove the refrigerant. Had I planned this properly, I would've had it removed before I tackled the alternator. I'm considering just letting that be something for the new owner to handle. This isn't a fun car to work on and it seems to be one thing after another. Haven't even put 1k miles on the thing!
 

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I don't think it's illegal to open R-134a lines (but check). You can service your own R-134a after all. A future owner would need to know. I know some parts have to be replaced if you open the lines. Being Phaeton parts, they may be hard to find and therefore expensive.

My Ford was R-12 and I had trouble finding anybody to work on it. The place that topped it off before acted like I was undercover EPA or 60 Minutes. They wouldn't even talk to me the last time I tried to get it serviced. Another place said they couldn't get R-12 and shoed me away. I eventually got it converted it to R-134.

Are you selling your Phaeton? V8 or W12?
 

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Mine is literally green from all the dye on it. While I'm wrapping up this alternator swap, I'm wondering how much more difficult it would be to change the compressor? Problem is, I don't have the machinery to remove the refrigerant. Had I planned this properly, I would've had it removed before I tackled the alternator. I'm considering just letting that be something for the new owner to handle. This isn't a fun car to work on and it seems to be one thing after another. Haven't even put 1k miles on the thing!
I'm in the middle of that job. Actually it started with replacing the thermostat, then figured I get the fuel injectors cleaned while I'm in there and now I decided to replace the AC compressor also. Problem is that one is really hard to access, even with the front in the service position and having the car on a lift it's just difficult to get to. I decided to just go ahead and remove the whole front end so I can now start working on getting it out. It will still require to move the power steering pump out of the way and getting all the hoses and lines in the right position, there's a whole rat's nest of cooling/power steering/AC/secondary air injection lines at the lower LH front!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does the AC still work?
That's the thing. I'd have to put coolant and everything back together again, but it did before I took it apart, but it's leaked quite substantially since then.

But to answer your question yes it does. I just put the thing back together, started it up lastnight and the AC blows ice cold. Even today and it's over 80, ice. cold. So that's that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think it's illegal to open R-134a lines (but check). You can service your own R-134a after all. A future owner would need to know. I know some parts have to be replaced if you open the lines. Being Phaeton parts, they may be hard to find and therefore expensive.

My Ford was R-12 and I had trouble finding anybody to work on it. The place that topped it off before acted like I was undercover EPA or 60 Minutes. They wouldn't even talk to me the last time I tried to get it serviced. Another place said they couldn't get R-12 and shoed me away. I eventually got it converted it to R-134.

Are you selling your Phaeton? V8 or W12?
Yes I am, and it's a W12. I'll look at the laws on that, but it's too late. I already put the coolant back in. I did go to a junkyard today hunting for a bumper with no success, but they did have the compressor just sitting on the floow and it was branded, "VW (insert part number) DENSO". So yeah, you can get them brand new from rockauto for $347. VW wanted over $1,200 for the exact same part.

I also agree the next owner would need to know. The A/C blows ice cold but it will need to be topped off, how frequently? I don't know, but the next owner will likely be able to just wait until some next service or another thing breaks. I don't see what else can go wrong but I won't test it. I feel like I've replaced everything at this point. But that's only because this car is no fun to work on. It could use a valve cover gasket and probably spark plugs. No issues, it's just something I'd do since I bought it with 112K on it. Previous owner was an active member of the forum here though and the owner before that was some high up at VW. So I'm sure its been done.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm in the middle of that job. Actually it started with replacing the thermostat, then figured I get the fuel injectors cleaned while I'm in there and now I decided to replace the AC compressor also. Problem is that one is really hard to access, even with the front in the service position and having the car on a lift it's just difficult to get to. I decided to just go ahead and remove the whole front end so I can now start working on getting it out. It will still require to move the power steering pump out of the way and getting all the hoses and lines in the right position, there's a whole rat's nest of cooling/power steering/AC/secondary air injection lines at the lower LH front!
Exactly! That's why I was wondering whether I should tackle that. The alternator took long enough! It was literal snow on the ground when I started and today it's 81, lol. But at the junkyard today I saw an AC compressor in the backseat of a Phaeton. It's just three bolts and 1 connector. Two are in front, and one in the rear of it at the top, then the connector sits on top of the compressor. I'd think the hardest thing to do would be cleaning the entire system out. Also don't forget to replace the condenser. I think I got mine for $50 off rockauto and it was a VW part.

I put the car back together though. I think it unfair the new owner doesn't get to fix something lol. AC works fine though. Will just need to be topped off over time. It's likely a seal gone bad because its sat for so long. The car literally has some gas from December 2019 in it. I've put a little in since then, but still, you get how often it gets driven. Put thousands into this thing all to sell it less than 1,000 miles later.

I will take it for a few rides before she goes though!
 

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Mine is literally green from all the dye on it. While I'm wrapping up this alternator swap, I'm wondering how much more difficult it would be to change the compressor? Problem is, I don't have the machinery to remove the refrigerant. Had I planned this properly, I would've had it removed before I tackled the alternator. I'm considering just letting that be something for the new owner to handle. This isn't a fun car to work on and it seems to be one thing after another. Haven't even put 1k miles on the thing!
I'm sorry to read you've had so much grief from your Phaeton. I plan to replace the AC compressor maybe sometime this year. I plan on having the refrigerant removed at one of the local workshops. I think over here it's actually illegal to release it into the environment. But since it's harmful, even if it isn't illegal I'll go ahead and do the responsible thing. Good luck!

Robbie
 

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Stories like this help me deal with the occasional desire I have to get a W12 instead of the V8 I already have...... The compressor is easily accessible on the V8. Also, in my experience, it's not strictly necessary to change all the other parts if the compressor has failed. I know it's orthodox to change the condenser, etc, but when my blew up I just did the compressor and the drier and it's been fine since (must be 5 years now).
 

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Having both V8 and W12 I can tell you that both have their peculiar issues but mostly it's not the actual repair but the access to the part you need to work on. Good example would be the crack pipe on the V8, never done that but that sounds like a pretty involved job.

The AC system is identical except for a different model of the Denso AC Compressor and of course the V8 has the compressor below the power steering pump which is a big advantage. The newer style condensers are not designed to be flushed anymore due to the very fine holes in the core so it's now common practice to replace it instead. But at the end of the day it's all about if you have debris from the compressor in the system or not that will determine what to flush or replace. A good idea is the dryer/receiver as fresh one will be able to absorb any humidity in the system that wasn't evacuated before filling the system with refrigerant.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
I'm sorry to read you've had so much grief from your Phaeton. I plan to replace the AC compressor maybe sometime this year. I plan on having the refrigerant removed at one of the local workshops. I think over here it's actually illegal to release it into the environment. But since it's harmful, even if it isn't illegal I'll go ahead and do the responsible thing. Good luck!

Robbie
I agree, I really didn't want to release it. I have a drainage right in front of my house and kids, and lots of wildlife. Not that deep to me and thankfully it still works. BUT it is still leaking into the atmosphere just at smaller dosages. Maybe I might get lucky and driving it will reseal it. Longshot but who knows? I've had that work a few times (mostly not) lol, but a few times it did.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Stories like this help me deal with the occasional desire I have to get a W12 instead of the V8 I already have...... The compressor is easily accessible on the V8. Also, in my experience, it's not strictly necessary to change all the other parts if the compressor has failed. I know it's orthodox to change the condenser, etc, but when my blew up I just did the compressor and the drier and it's been fine since (must be 5 years now).
I agree with that as well. If it just starts leaking and goes out there's no logical reason to replace the condenser. Sure they're cheap but likely the failure was due to a seal having gone bad and not debris in the system. If it was caught early I probably wouldn't have done it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Having both V8 and W12 I can tell you that both have their peculiar issues but mostly it's not the actual repair but the access to the part you need to work on. Good example would be the crack pipe on the V8, never done that but that sounds like a pretty involved job.

The AC system is identical except for a different model of the Denso AC Compressor and of course the V8 has the compressor below the power steering pump which is a big advantage. The newer style condensers are not designed to be flushed anymore due to the very fine holes in the core so it's now common practice to replace it instead. But at the end of the day it's all about if you have debris from the compressor in the system or not that will determine what to flush or replace. A good idea is the dryer/receiver as fresh one will be able to absorb any humidity in the system that wasn't evacuated before filling the system with refrigerant.
Agreed and well said; and that's exactly it. Getting to the part. Having several other vehicles as well, mainly Lexus flagships, I also take offense to the high cost of the parts. It's unnecessary. Lexus of the same vintage made incredibly reliable and easy to work on vehicles. Now... they are indeed apples to oranges. I can't compare to the V8 which would be a lot more comparable, but the comfort of the Phaeton is unlike anything I've ever been in. It's an instant lullaby to my wife and kids when they get in it (that one time we had the privilege to drive it 50 miles). They actually hate the car for that, lol.

Having fixed almost everything on it now I'm tempted to try to enjoy the thing, but I'd need to re-register it. I never got rid of the insurance due to just not getting around to it. But I'd have to pay taxes all over again, title, etc. Due to living in a different state now and I just don't know if it's worth it.
 

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The pipe inside the oil cooler is, for sure, a major pita on the V8 (speaking from experience....). It's bound to fail eventually, and it's a lot of work to get to it. The difference is that the W12 has far more jobs jobs in the "difficult to get to" category, requiring a lot of disassembly. Depends how much time/money/patience you have I suppose. I've been in a W12 a couple of times, and every time I get out thinking I'd like one, but then I talk myself down by reading the stories here!
 

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The pipe inside the oil cooler is, for sure, a major pita on the V8 (speaking from experience....). It's bound to fail eventually, and it's a lot of work to get to it. The difference is that the W12 has far more jobs jobs in the "difficult to get to" category, requiring a lot of disassembly. Depends how much time/money/patience you have I suppose. I've been in a W12 a couple of times, and every time I get out thinking I'd like one, but then I talk myself down by reading the stories here!
The W12 certainly helps to build character if you work on it yourself :) There's no way I'd own one if I had to pay a shop to work on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The pipe inside the oil cooler is, for sure, a major pita on the V8 (speaking from experience....). It's bound to fail eventually, and it's a lot of work to get to it. The difference is that the W12 has far more jobs jobs in the "difficult to get to" category, requiring a lot of disassembly. Depends how much time/money/patience you have I suppose. I've been in a W12 a couple of times, and every time I get out thinking I'd like one, but then I talk myself down by reading the stories here!
LOL. Funny thing is, I found my W12 looking for a bumper for my V8 that I bought at auction. They damaged the bumper when I had it towed home, but the car would never start. Well, I got it to start one time and it screamed saying the coolant was low so I turned it off and it was idling horribly. Turns out that pipe burst and the previous owner wasn't privy to the problem and it caused engine failure. Overheated and blew a head gasket. RIP at 72K.

I found the W12 2 months later though and all my attention went to it. As some of you know I took it to have all the fluids changed as soon as I bought it and the mechanic wrecked it. I've been dealing with that since and still haven't found a bumper.

Anyway, car is back together. I drove it today. I needed a break! Everything works fine and now I feel like I'm ready to sell it. I didn't get to experience anything but the hassle and I don't want another one. Now I need to figure out what this thing is worth. I'd auction it off on carsandbids but I highly doubt they take it with the bumper so messed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How much are you going to ask for your Phaeton and where is it located?
I have no idea what to ask. I'm in Virginia. Once you see pics of the floor mats you'll recognize it from the forum lol. I'm the 4th owner and the last 3 owners (including myself) are all members of the forum. Stig216 owned it before me and he bought it from dovetaildoc
 
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