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Ishay
Monza


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 175



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:41 pm    Post subject: New AC Condensers Reply with quote

I've got some time so a long write up with hopefully some useful info given the time of year.

My 997tt went into Autofarm late last summer for a geo and an air con check (coloured gas put in to look for leaks). They found a hole in the condenser, for which they quoted £1073 to replace the pair. I was due a 4 year round of serving (plugs, belt, the works) at £1800 too, so decided to put it off with autumn rapidly coming around.

I had a look around online and found a chap with a business called Mr Cool in Derby who specialises in air conditioning, and more to the point in AC for Porsches (having a dedicated page on his site about them built my confidence). Such is his expertise and confidence that he quoted a fixed price £350 including aftermarket condensers, dryer and ancillaries. He would do OEM for a little more. He knew it would take 2.5 hours (if the bolts didn't need drilling, which they didn't) and that's exactly what it took.

He does it from home. I think he's mostly a mobile guy going to the region's garages to fix AC when they are prepping a car. He seems a very sound, trustworthy guy and I'd highly recommend him if you have AC issues and don't want to pay OPC or even specialist mechanics who may not do AC day-in day-out.

I've been unable to drive the car much recently (first it, then me) so a sunny drive up to Derby was my first opportunity for road trip for a while. I took the back roads through the Cotswolds then up the Fosse Way. In yesterday's sunshine it was truly wonderful, and on the way back it wasn't too hot either! My knee is healing quickly now and in the warm weather the gear changes were a breeze. Reminded me why manuals are so fun on quiet A roads, something I was questioning after some painful gear changes stuck in my mind (and dwelled upon) in the time between my mishap and yesterday.

Here are some pictures he took for me. Looks like the bumper will be coming off again soon though, he discovered a broken T connector in the headlight washer hose. I'm surprised it hasn't drained the washer fluid tank, but the main windscreen washers seem fine, no leaks. On an old BMW something similar leaked the whole tank on the floor inside 24 hours.

The second photo shows the leak in the condenser. The other side seemed ok but both Autofarm and this guy said to do them in pairs. The first picture is the broken washer hose. Thankfully he hoovered out some of the leaf litter too.
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FZP
Kyalami


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 1900
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write up. I'll be giving him a call shortly. Did you A.C. his at you when it was on?
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Ishay
Monza


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 175



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It made a quiet hiss I suppose, yes
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FZP
Kyalami


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 1900
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine started to hiss and assume I need mine doing. That price seems reasonable in comparison to OPC/Atofarm prices. I was thinking of a diy job but sounds like I'm better off giving him a buzz. Thumb
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slackster
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 315
Location: England - South Yorkshire


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great write up

this is exactly what i need to do as I've put it off for 2x summers now ! with this guy just down the road from me and being a porsche specialist it seems like a good idea.
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crash7
Nürburgring


Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 375



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

£1.1k to replace condensers is a pi$$ take.

A pair of behr hella condensers, a hella dryer and 6 o rings, all OEM can be bought for circa £160

https://www.carparts4less.co.uk/air-conditioning-condenser

Carparts4Less are EuroCarParts

Removing the front bumper is not difficult, just take your time and then its circa £60 for a re-gas.


£350 however is a great deal! Thumb
 
  
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maph
Silverstone


Joined: 01 Feb 2017
Posts: 112



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My AC is working fine at the moment but when serviced in Nov the OPC gave it an amber as it has a dark area on it that they said was a leak.

OPC quoted £867 to replace the one (the other was replaced only 18mts ago by OPC).

I have a quote from an Indy at £366 for the same so £350 for both is a great deal..... I will be leaving it until the AC stops working, if it ain't broke and all that!
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glenwells
Silverstone


Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 111



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:42 pm    Post subject: can be a diy job Reply with quote

Hi
Read with interest.
My last car a 996.2 had a leak in the offside AC condensor. Read up on the tinternet about getting the bumper off and removing and replacing both rads. No issues as the gas was long gone. You can buy replacement rads for about £50 each on ebay. Takes about an hour to get a 996 front bumper off, bit longer for a 997.

No specialist tools needed just a wipe with some remaining fluid on the orings before refitting the new rads. Then took the car to Halfords who did a pressure test and refill special offer was £75 all in.

What was amusing was the crap that came out when the bumper came off. These cars really are vacuum cleaners no wonder the rads go.

Mine smoked and had a drink problem also the odd nibble on chocolate bars!!

You can see bird feathers a strongbow can, chocolate wrappers and all sorts of stuff.

Hope the pic added

Regards
Glen
 



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deMort
Reims


Joined: 21 Mar 2015
Posts: 4475
Location: Brighton


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reguards the picture of the condensor .. that is what we would call a damp spot and a minor one at that .. the black colour is pag oil slowly leaking out which collects with dirt .. to the touch it will have an oily feel to it.

A/C turned on ( any porsche ) temp of 19 and a fan speed of 3-4 .. let the car idle or drive it for 5 mins .. a low a/c gass will cause a whirring type noise or a hissing noise which will go as soon as you turn the a/c off.

996 and you can sometimes here a rumble from the rear .. same thing , turn off the a/c and it will go if its low gass .

You dont have to use Porsche condensors , there are much cheaper ones out there but dont go for the really cheap ones .. they aint so good .. honest !

Time to replace .. hmm .. 1.5 - 2hours .. might have to pay for a regass on top .

Its a pretty easy diy job though .

I will say from the image .. that might not be the main leak you have on the a/c system.


FYI .. ill do a full write up on a/c and checks etc soon .. im still getting pictures of the parts .. waiting for a 996 with rear pipe leaks atm to come in so i can photo it Very Happy
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Porschekit
Hockenheim


Joined: 12 Aug 2014
Posts: 706
Location: North East UK


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It never ceases to amaze me that Porsche have not changed the design of the front bumper/grill and added some mesh to stop all that crap getting in and especially stones hitting the condenser. See picture of a brand new Carrera S in the show room. You can clearly see them.

I had my condensers replaced a while ago and within two weeks the front of them looked like they had been pebble-dashed ! I eventually installed my own aluminium mesh on the face of the condensers as protection. Works great, no reduction in cooling. Thumb
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GARY S
Silverstone


Joined: 06 Aug 2016
Posts: 123



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In May 2016 OPC Chester charged me £1200 to replace the 2 condensers & regas on my Gen 1 997 so the quote you go looks about par for the course.
 
  
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Ishay
Monza


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 175



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deMort wrote:
that might not be the main leak you have on the a/c system.


Whether it was or not, with the new condensers it isn't leaking anymore. As I say it was leak tested separately by Autofarm.

PS - the 2.5hrs did include dropping and picking me up from a coffee shop with wifi so that I could work.
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FZP
Kyalami


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 1900
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a chat with him this afternoon and is coming back to me with pricing over the next couple of days using OEM parts as he says hrs got a lead in on these cheaper than OPC.
I did have a laugh on his website as he states he has "A license to chill" Floor
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drmark
Trainee


Joined: 07 Feb 2009
Posts: 89



PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmm. He did my wife's 997 a couple of years ago. Undercharged the system by 300g as he looked up the wrong figure, and one of the aftermarket condensers he fitted leaked within 2 weeks. He also reused O rings.
Maybe I caught him on an off day.....
Suffice to say I stumped up to get the job re-done properly locally (Derby being a 200 + mile round trip).
 
  
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shabs
Monza


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 172
Location: Teddington


PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Mr Cool too a few years back on my previous 997.1..... it all worked perfectly and I saved a fortune, so no complaints here.
 
  
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FZP
Kyalami


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 1900
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deMort wrote:
Reguards the picture of the condensor .. that is what we would call a damp spot and a minor one at that .. the black colour is pag oil slowly leaking out which collects with dirt .. to the touch it will have an oily feel to it.

A/C turned on ( any porsche ) temp of 19 and a fan speed of 3-4 .. let the car idle or drive it for 5 mins .. a low a/c gass will cause a whirring type noise or a hissing noise which will go as soon as you turn the a/c off.

996 and you can sometimes here a rumble from the rear .. same thing , turn off the a/c and it will go if its low gass .

You dont have to use Porsche condensors , there are much cheaper ones out there but dont go for the really cheap ones .. they aint so good .. honest !

Time to replace .. hmm .. 1.5 - 2hours .. might have to pay for a regass on top .

Its a pretty easy diy job though .

I will say from the image .. that might not be the main leak you have on the a/c system.


FYI .. ill do a full write up on a/c and checks etc soon .. im still getting pictures of the parts .. waiting for a 996 with rear pipe leaks atm to come in so i can photo it Very Happy

From your time in the OPC network, when you conducted a 111 point check, would you check the condition of the condensers only or would you pull the front bar off and conduct a note granular level of inspection.
Out of curiosity do you know who the OEM partner is for them? What I'm trying to ascertain is if I buy the HELLA part and I go to put the warranty back on the car, will I be rumbled for it.
TIA
FZP
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DucatiRob
Barcelona


Joined: 22 Jul 2015
Posts: 1324
Location: Milton Keynes

2006 Porsche 997 Carrera 2S

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Dermot and others said, it's a relatively easy diy job but £350 all in is a great price, £1,100 is just robbery, how can Porsche possibly justify that price!
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Ishay
Monza


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 175



PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DucatiRob wrote:
As Dermot and others said, it's a relatively easy diy job but £350 all in is a great price, £1,100 is just robbery, how can Porsche possibly justify that price!


Just to be clear, that was Autofarm not OPC. They are so well respected I don’t think their rate is any less. It was roughly £500 parts £500 labour
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Ishay
Monza


Joined: 28 Aug 2015
Posts: 175



PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DucatiRob wrote:
As Dermot and others said, it's a relatively easy diy job but £350 all in is a great price, £1,100 is just robbery, how can Porsche possibly justify that price!


Just to be clear, that was Autofarm not OPC. They are so well respected I don’t think their rate is any less. It was roughly £500 parts £500 labour
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martin.997.C4S
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 299
Location: Croydon, Surrey

2012 Porsche Cayman

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd really really recommend to anyone who hasn't done it already.

Get some mesh fitted to the inside of your bumper grills!

They will really protect you rads from debris. A single large stone could easily damage the rad and cause an issue. As well as preventing the collection of damp leaves from rotting at the bottom corner of the rads.

Zunsport do some pop in ones, but in my opinon they look crap. You wan't a proper job, so bumper off and mesh fitted to the rear of the grills so you can't see them as much. 9E did mine and they look great.
 
  
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