>Subject: Common Sites of AC Leaks

Christopher Ritchie critchie1 at hotmail.com
Fri May 17 13:39:02 EDT 2002

>What're the most common sites of AC leaks for our 20V/I5 cars?

1. The manifold on the compressor where the hoses go.
2. The compressor itself including the front shaft seal.
3. The evaporator and the condenser are thin walled aluminum.  If air had
gotten into the system, and was not adequately evacuated, acid forms in the
system that eats this aluminum leading to pinhole leaks.  Plus, these parts
are now old.  Very expensive parts. Very difficult to diagnose leaks there.
Ususally need a "sniffer."

The manifold is by far the leading cause.  The others are a level of
magnitude below the manifold.

If you decide to fix the manifold, you'll probably remove the compressor for
a rebuild.  If you do that, you might as well fix #2 while you're there.  A
rebuilt compressor (~$400) will solve both problems.

One of the problems in fixing the manifold is the manifold to compressor
gasket.  It seems to be unavailable.  No matter.  Replace the 8 "O" rings,
and reuse the old gasket with some Permatex.

If you go the rebuilt compressor route, be aware that the leading rebuilder
of these compressors is 4 Seasons.  The quality of these compressors has
been questioned by others.  See if you can find a Delco rebuilt unit.

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