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VW MKIII-A3/B4 TDIs This is a discussion about MKIII-A3/MkIII Jetta/Golf (<99.5) and B4 Passats (96,97) TDI's. Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old June 16th, 2019, 16:52   #1
SRHeer
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Default 1996 Passat B4V A/C condenser replacement

With my 1996 B4V - I'm getting ready to replace the AC condenser. Do I go at it from the front and remove the front grill bumper and support there or do I go at it from the engine bay and remove the fans radiator and support there to get to it so that I can change it out with new? What are some tips and or things I should know - thanks for your help!
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Old June 17th, 2019, 04:31   #2
Mongler98
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you can do both, but the eisiest way is to slide id up from underneath, just cover it in cardboard and tape first that you can EASILY remove afterwards to keep things and it from getting jacked up
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Old June 17th, 2019, 12:22   #3
SRHeer
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thanks!
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Old June 18th, 2019, 18:07   #4
Mongler98
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a few tips, use nitrogen to purge the lines, not compressed air
Make sure the dryer is the LAST thing you install and preferably purging with nitrogen as you do once you remove the caps or just do it really fast and pull a vacuum. there is a desiccant packet in the dryer filter and it must stay away from open air otherwise its trash. they are filled with nitrogen from the factory and why they have caps on them. reusing the old dryer is not worth it as it will not do didly squat.
Replace all your orings and dont trust the PAG oil level, purge all the lines and drain the compressor and fill with measured oil.
Weight in your charge, no additives, and make sure you purge your lines when charging or vac if you have a 4 port gauge manifold.
Happy to help but dont half ass it or you will be doing this again very soon.
it helps to charge with nitrogen to test for leaks too
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Old June 20th, 2019, 18:02   #5
TDIDaveNH
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There is a big plastic shroud that bolts to the front of the radiator using the same 4 bolts that piggybacks the condenser to the front of the radiator, assuming this part is still intact and you want to keep it that way, then the only way it can all come out is to pull the bumper and work at it like a gentleman. If you are using an aftermarket condenser one of the mounts will have to be modified to get the correct factory fit of the plastic shroud OVER the condenser mounts. I've done this twice over the years on a B4 and had the same problem each time. Best thing to do is to fit up the radiator, new condenser and plastic shroud flat on a bench and you'll quickly see what needs to be done and be in a much better working position to craft a lasting solution.
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