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DIY Air Conditioning
Step 2

First you want to empty the system of all the gas. The proper way to accomplish this is to take it to a professional a/c shop and they remove the gas and store it in a container. However, most people just exhaust the gas to the atmosphere. For R12 cars this is very bad for the environment (hence the cease of production), but R134a is not so bad.

The valve is the same type as a tire valve, you just press it in and the air comes out. If you have the special tool you can remove the valve completely so you don't have to sit there holding it in.

Once the gas is out you can start removing hoses. I started with the compressor hose. You take a 15"mm socket and remove the bolt holding the hose to the compressor. Once this is removed you will find the first two seals that tend to leak.

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Follow the short hose to the evaporator and remove that connection. For this you will need either a 1-1/16" wrench or a good adjustable wrench to hold the evaporator still while you disconnect the host. I believe the hose connection is 7/8".

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Now follow the bigger hose to the condensor. In order to disconnect this one, you first need to disconnect the bottom hose which goes to the receiver/drier. These connections will benefit the most by spraying them down with degreaser and penetrating fluid. I ended up breaking the hard line hose while removing it.
You will need your 1-1/16" wrench again to hold the condensor still while a 3/4" will work for the lower connection and a 7/8" will work for the top connection.

I did have a small problem getting the top hose out of the condensor. It was corroded pretty good. I finally got it off by cutting the hose to make it shorter and then while using the wrench to hold the condensor still, Royce was twisting it back and forth. It did take about 1/2 hour of fighting to get it off!

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Now remove the final two hoses. The space is tight by the receiver/drier, but a wrench will fit in there.

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