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Old 06-08-2022, 12:36 AM   #1
C52
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Default AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Recently I replaced my radiator and had the intention to get my AC running. I purchased a new condenser and drier as I would have the radiator out anyways not knowing if they were bad or not.

When I got the condenser out and black lighted it there is no dye showing at all, at least I have a shiny new condenser and drier.

Upon black lighting my compressor, it appears there is some dye mostly on the front of the compressor between the pulley and compressor body, not entirely sure though if it is not just dust fluorescing?

I've read numerous stories here of junk new compressors failing after a short while, so I've decided to get either a used one that seem to be readily available in the $50-$70 range, or a reman such as this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/31378276379...-desc-maincntr

Many of the used compressors on ebay have 30 days return if they are not functional, the reman one looks nice but needs to be professionally installed to have a warranty, so I would like to hear some of your experiences in this area.
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Old 06-08-2022, 08:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Clean it off good, and see if it comes back.
...
Bryan Cotton
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 06-08-2022, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

All great snapshots. Unfortunately, everyday dust from outdoors doesn't glow under a uv blacklight although scorpions do. Live in the desert region where scorpions thrive for a look at 'em at night? Your compressor is fluorescent from wear and tear corroding aluminum working its way to disrupt seals resulting in leaks. Refrigerant is invisible. Oil and dye are visible with a uv blacklight enhancing fluorescent dye used in vehicle ac systems for easier leak detection compared to visual inspection or electronic gas sniffers.

Image #1 - area behind compressor clutch pulley.

Image #2 - dye behind compressor clutch pulley indicates the front seal is worn and allowing high pressures to leak refrigerant oil and dye. Refrigerant oil is indistinguishable from motor oil and motor oil doesn't get onto compressors unless dripping oil from a dipstick or valve cover leak. If you see staining on the compressor, darker areas compared to weathered dry aluminum, staining would be oil and if surrounding the front of the compressor behind the clutch/pulley assembly, its refrigerant oil leaking past the front seal.

Image #3 - at the top right corner of this image of the rear compressor is a large calibration screw, covered by a yellow paper seal at factory assembly (long gone) warning against meddling. This calibration plug eventually leaks r/o/d. Dye markers indicate the source coming from this plug. Do not attempt tightening as all this does is ruin the factory calibration. The seal leaked.

Image #4 - The discharge port may not be leaking but the surrounding area marked by dye is most likely from either the case seals and/or front seal leak.

Some familiar with aluminum rims deteriorating over the years find out once the clear coat chips, exposed aluminium oxidizes, turning the metal dark. Oxidation works it way under the bead area and grows to disrupt the bead seal leading to tire pressure leaks. I struggled with aluminum rims over the years dealing with bead leaks until realizing chipping of clear coating/anodized/epoxy painted rims allowed oxidation to discolor aluminum rims and eventually cause bead leaks. This oxidation occurs on our ac systems using aluminum.

Ac system seals are compromised when aluminum oxidizes and works its way into seal areas similar to rim leaks on aluminum wheel rims when the clear coat or epoxy paint is chipped to expose bare aluminum. None of our aluminum parts on our ac systems are clear coated or painted against oxidation.

Service manuals stipulate when replacing a compressor, the condenser coil, drier and txv are replaced to ensure the new compressor will run without contamination from debris circulating throughout a system. This constitutes a professional repair as previous repair shops returning supposedly damaged new compressors covered under warranty failed to replace parts mentioned resulting in compressor failure. Those warranties were automatically voided for falling to replace crucial parts. And many question why ac repairs are expensive. Good repair shops follows guidelines and charge more because they're forced by warranty issues directly related to new compressor replacement procedures. Remember, repair shops have overhead costs, labor and to stay in business must make a profit, whether or not a repair fixes a problem. Here is where diyers help themselves with self help info, skills, and equipment to save money. Just remember that ac repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.
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Old 06-14-2022, 01:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I bought a used compressor from the junk yard, got it home and it looks like it's no good either.
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I'm going to posit a question here. Are we sure that what is showing up on his UV light test is actually dye? When I was looking for old leaks from my AC system I was shining the UV light all over the place and you'd be surprised what glowed.

My intake manifold glowed near the alternator. All over the manifold.

@OP - does your intake manifold glow if you shine the UV light on it?

My opinion - open for argument - is that what's glowing is the aluminum corrosion.
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Old 06-14-2022, 05:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

^^^^ +1

There is a whole lot of stuff that glows under UV! First step is to clean the suspect area and see what comes back. Yeah, you may have to sacrifice some new dye/oil/refrig to hunt down the leak.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

My problem is that I don't own a vacuum pump or gauges so either I will need to spend money to have a shop do it which would be lost money if it leaks, or try to rent them and end up potentially wasting $25 in 134 and $10 in oil.

I also went and looked at another used compressor locally and that one also had some glowing specks between the pulley and front of the compressor.

This is the reason I was asking about used vs reman etc, but it seems nobody here has ever had this issue before.

It seems at this point it may not be possible to find a used compressor that doesn't have at least some glowing areas under uv light, I may just have to give up on the AC and sweat once again this year.....

Last edited by C52; 06-14-2022 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 06-14-2022, 06:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I found this vacuum pump cheap: https://www.harborfreight.com/air-va...ors-96677.html

It doesn't have a gauge for vacuum, if I were to just hook it up and let it run for an hour, disconnect then connect the charging line and add 2 cans of 134 would that be sufficient?

I'm not looking for the proper way, just some way to get it working cheap without gauges if possible. If I were to do it this way what would be the worst that could happen?
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Old 06-14-2022, 07:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Until GM and other vehicle manufacturers decided to add dye to factory ac systems, I doubt anyone (professional or diyer) are able to find leaks quickly. R12 systems never had dye in most vehicles and any repairs were usually performed by dealer or repair shops. The few diyers capable of r12 repairs used some common sense from more than casual knowledge of refrigeration, bought a manifold set and vacuum pump and performed repairs. Propane and electronic sniffers were available and used by anyone. Dye was hit or miss as it had to be added manually to a system and r12 added to make any attempt at finding the source of a leak. Catastrophic damage aside (being conspicuous), leak detection without dye was done carefully. Personally, I made one r12 repair without a uv light/dye/propane or electronic leak detector by simply looking everywhere. The leak was in the evaporator coils, a factory defect that used......epoxy to join end tubes together (all aluminum coil). Oil was everywhere after looking into the center vents. Once the console was removed for access, oil was everywhere. A replacement made of copper tubing and brazed ends fixed this problem. A recall for this manufacturing defect followed shortly. I had this car approximately five years before the ac system failed.

GM decided to add dye to make it easier for dealer repairs. Please remember, people in vehicle repairs aren't rocket scientists so the easiest method for troubleshooting ac problems is dye and a uv light. The simple addition of dye is extremely inexpensive to vehicle manufacturers because dealers, repair shops and diyers can find dye markers from virtually every ac system suffering loss of cooling. This makes it easier for anyone with an inexpensive uv blacklight to find dye, greenish yellow. To naysayers and doubting Thomas', shine your uv light into the service valves of your r134a system. Loss of ac (in my personal opinion) due to a leak is approximately 99% of vehicle ac system problems.

If you use a used compressor that shows signs of dye, this is a personal choice no one will guarantee to work perfectly since it's your dime spent. That's a gamble with two outcomes. Whether this works perfectly without leaking for the remainder of this car's useful life, begins leaking immediately or leaks slowly, is anyone's guess.

As to gauges and vacuum pump, free loaner tools from Autozone allows anyone to learn refrigeration and repairs without the costs of buying equipment. Advance Auto may have a similar tool loan program. Just be aware of the possibility of equipment damage from mishandling.

As to the HF compressed air vacuum pump, NO. Unless you have an industrial air compressor capable of large volume and high pressure, a home air compressor may not supply the volume needed to operate this pump. And short cuts like using this vacuum pump won't pull a complete vacuum to remove all air and moisture from a repaired system. Not using gauges leaves you blind because you cannot determine if a repair is completely sealed against other leaks. Gauges allows you to see and monitor vacuum and pressures. Ac repairs are unforgiving of mistakes. Do it right or don't do it at all. there are zero short cuts with ac repairs.

Last edited by fdryer; 06-14-2022 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 06-14-2022, 08:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Thanks Fdryer and all.

I used pag 100 oil in my new condensor and dryer and looked at a 4 seasons reman compressor at autozone and it says the compressor uses pag 150.

If I bought that one what would I do, just ad the 150 to the compressor only?
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Old 06-14-2022, 09:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

That's a tough question, a system using 100 pag oil and replacement requiring 150 pag oil. Ask ackits.com, a professional site that should be able to answer this. My guess, and only a guess, is 100 pag oil can be used instead of 150 but check with more experienced people.

Pag oil mixes so a higher viscosity oil would be lowered when mixed with a lower viscosity oil. In theory, this shouldn't hurt the reman compressor. As usual, drain the old compressor to determine the amount of new pag oil for the reman compressor.

At some time, GM used 150 and changed to 100 then 46. This may have occurred from all the way back in r12 days with piston compressors. Saturns use vane type compressors so revising viscosity lowers frictional losses while maintaining proper lubrication.
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Old 06-15-2022, 01:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I tried to install the above pictured compressor and the bolt was tight installing the high pressure line and the aluminum casing where the bolt tightens to broke

It appears the one I got from the junkyard is actually from a 1998 sw2, it bolted up fine.

I've looked into reman compressors and four seasons has a 57526 for the 97 and a 57529 that looks like the one I got from the junkyard for a 98.

The 97 is about double the price of what I'm able to get a 98 for, the only difference appears to be the plug style, all other specs seem to be the same and I already know it will bolt right on and the male end of the plug is the same for both years.

Is there any reason I can't use a reman 98 four seasons 57529 instead of the 57526? $67 shipped vs. $152 shipped.
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Old 06-15-2022, 01:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

My brain is drained after a 2.5hr talk on the phone with a relative. Normal talk - "I demand drug money and extra for an uber to get to your house". No yelling or screaming. Financing training to become an astronaut was totally off the table.

More knowledgeable members may have better input than me as the only difference may be the two fittings with the rear suction port being different and not matching the suction hose fitting. The suction port differences are subtle, rendering them incompatible if the suction hose won't fit into the suction port. A recent member discovered this problem.
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Old 06-15-2022, 02:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I may have found the answer in these old quotes of posts by OldNuc:


Re: Are a/c compressors interchangeable, and are any better than others?

All of the Saturn compressors are basically identical. There are differences in the clutch assembly and the physical configuration of the suction and discharge ports but the guts are the same. I don't think there is even any difference for the r-12 or r134acompresor section. The model number differences are minor and the original breakdown of the model specs is not available AFIK.


There are actually only 2 different compressors but 4 or 5 different clutch connectors so finding a match is usually not real difficult.


There are about 5 different clutch electrical connectors so that has to match and the location of the suction port on the back end has to match. At that point they all swap.
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Old 06-15-2022, 02:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Here's a recent thread about S-series compressors and rear port issues; http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=270410. You'll have to examine the images and read the issues for solutions.
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

My reman four seasons compressor has arrived, it says it's prefilled with ICE 32 oil, but there is also a tag attached that says not to drain the ICE 32 oil and to add the proper amount of oil.

When I purchased the reman four seasons compressor it said it came prefilled with oil so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to add additional oil to the ICE 32 that is pre-installed or not.

Anyone have experience with reman 4 seasons compressors with pre-added ICE 32 oil?
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I just read a bit about the ICE, it sounds like it is definitely an "additive" and should left in, along with the regular PAG oil.
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Old 06-20-2022, 06:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

Quote:
Originally Posted by C52 View Post
My reman four seasons compressor has arrived, it says it's prefilled with ICE 32 oil, but there is also a tag attached that says not to drain the ICE 32 oil and to add the proper amount of oil.

When I purchased the reman four seasons compressor it said it came prefilled with oil so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to add additional oil to the ICE 32 that is pre-installed or not.

Anyone have experience with reman 4 seasons compressors with pre-added ICE 32 oil?
Just a guess on my part as I think minimum ICE 32 was added to prevent dry moving parts sitting on shelves for however long, prevents metal to metal contact. The suggestion to add oil, to me, implies following suggestions given; drain oil from your removed compressor and the amount drained is the amount of new pag oil to add to the replacement compressor.

As suggested previously, your best help and advice might be asking ackits.com. I have no affiliation with them or work for them. You may find other MVAC sites staffed with pros familiar with vehicle ac repairs to pose questions.
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Old 06-20-2022, 09:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

This video says all new and reman 4 seasons compressors come with 3 oz pag pre installed, but there is no mention of the ICE 32, so after over an hour of searching the web, still there is no definitive answer. https://www.4s.com/en/products/compr...ed-compressors

I sent a message direct to 4 seasons, I cant believe it isn't in big flashing letters at the very top of their website if they are pre filled with pag? Why would they not mention it?
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Old 06-20-2022, 10:06 PM   #20
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Default Re: AC Compressor Used vs. Reman or New

I found this video that says that compressors that ship with a pink label as mine did have 3 oz of added pag oil. There still is no mention of the ICE 32 oil, so I will have to assume that instead of the normal 3ozs of pag oil, mine has instead 3ozs of ICE 32 oil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBiLacwbaOw&t=516s

This combined with the 3 ozs total of pag oil I added to the new condenser and drier with whatever remains in the evap I guess I'm good to go.
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