[Vwdiesel] AC compressor AND alternator

Bob Soukup bobs at chemdec.natsci.csulb.edu
Thu Aug 9 18:26:32 EDT 2007


I can't speak to the alternator issue other than to say finding a higher output alternator that will fit in the very limited space you have in you '81 Rabbit Pickup (I have one too!) may be a challenge.  There are others on the list who will help on that score.

But, I can tell you all about how I reworked the AC in my '81 Rabbit Truck.

Before you replace that AC compressor I'd suggest you find out just why the AC is not working.

In my case the compressor had seized, probably from running with too low a freon charge.

I found a new, never used, almost exact match compressor on EBay.  Has flair instead of "O" ring fittings.

Since the fittings on the compressor were different and the hoses were old and stiff, I had new custom hoses made with service fittings for R134 on them.  The hoses cost more than the compressor!

Removed, thoroughly cleaned, and replaced both the condenser and evaporator coils.  Found that inside the big box under the dash (over the hump) where the evap and heater cores are, all the foam insulation had turned to mush.  The muck was clogging the evap drain hole.  That answered why the passenger side floor was always wet after running the AC.

Charged the new compressor with oil for use with R134, installed the compressor.

Put in a new filter/dryer equipped with a pressure cutout switch.  Wired the cutout in series with the compressor clutch wire.  If the original system had a pressure cutout I doubt the old compressor would have seized in the first place.

Used new "O" ring seals when re-assembling everything. 

Pressurized with air, leak checked fittings with soapy water, and then pulled a vacuum on the system for 24 hours.

Charged with R134

Works absolutely great!  And doesn't seem to drag the engine as much as the old one did either.

If interested I could post some photos of the installation.

Bob Soukup
'81 RabbitTruck D.

> I am thinking about upgrading my alternator since I am planning to install
> an audio amplifier, subwoofer, driving lights, and heated seat inserts.  My
> vehicle is a 1981 VW Rabbit Pickup 1.6D w/AC.  Can I simply upgrade with an
> alternator with higher amperage or are there other issues that I need to
> know about?
> Also, my AC system is not working.  Should I replace the compressor with a
> stock VW or are there newer better designed compressors that would put less
> drag on the engine?
> Craig 

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