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2000 Forester Dynastar
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Discussion Starter #1
My a/c compressor is shot and the shop I took it too says a used one may not last very long because if air gets into the compressor it can react and eat away at the seals while it is out of the car.

Any truth to this? I've already got an eBay replacement but I am wondering if I should buy a new one?

Thanks.
 

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04 Forester X, MT
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1,039 Posts
i believe moisture interacts with the lubricating oil in the system and creates acids. not sure if this is more of a problem for seals or other components. i suppose it's possible to somehow flush or treat a used one when removing it, but you know that one from a junkyard would not be handled that carefully.

after all, it's OK for a new one to sit around on a shelf for awhile before use. for my money i would stick with a new one unless i lived somewhere where i didn't really need A/C much anyway.
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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It's sort of a calculated risk. I used one on our Impreza that sat on a salvage yard shelf for a couple years wrapped in plastic. It worked fine. One recently pulled off a car would likely work ok too. I don't know about this 'acid' theory. What I believe is that the seal is protected by the oil in the a/c system. However, when it sits for an extended period it is possible that oil coating diminishes or dries, and then when the compressor starts to move again it is prone to damaging the seal. I've used two pre-owned compressors on vehicles in my life so far and both worked fine. The a/c shop is trying to avoid doing the same job twice as well as selling you a nice shiny new/reman one. Neither way is really wrong. It is a calculated risk.
 

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i wonder if you can buy a seal kit for the compressor anywhere and rebuild the compressor yourself? i've been thinking about doing this at some point with enough mileage, age, or other A/C issues. still take me awhile to get there, though.
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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That's the key...getting the compressor seal. I don't believe Subaru sells them, so unless you can get it through some a/c parts supplier that sells to rebuilders it won't be easy to get. Pulling the clutch off the front may require a special puller also.
 

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I've installed several used compressors w/o problems. All appeared to have been removed and plugged to minimize air contamination. Oil in the compressor was still clean.

Only bad compressor I've bought was a rebuilt compressor which siezed w/i minutes of startup. I thought it seemed hard to turn by hand and apparently there was some internal damage.

Used compressors are generally <$100. I had my Subaru compressor sieze. I found a split (cracked) rotor when I did a post-mortem. I bought a used for $75 and it's still cooling fine.

good luck
 

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2000 Forester L NA auto
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576 Posts
If you already have a used one in hand then that's what I would use. It will most likely give you several years of use before pooping out.(as long as it was good when pulled) My 2 cents
 

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2002 Forester S
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270 Posts
Used? Sitting dry for some time? Very risky. Seals are probably shot.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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I've installed several used compressors w/o problems. All appeared to have been removed and plugged to minimize air contamination. Oil in the compressor was still clean.

Only bad compressor I've bought was a rebuilt compressor which siezed w/i minutes of startup. I thought it seemed hard to turn by hand and apparently there was some internal damage.

Used compressors are generally <$100. I had my Subaru compressor sieze. I found a split (cracked) rotor when I did a post-mortem. I bought a used for $75 and it's still cooling fine.

good luck

where did you get a used compressor that cheap? i have been looking around and the only thing i can find is a reman from autozone for 400$
 

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2000 Forester Dynastar
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Discussion Starter #13
where did you get a used compressor that cheap? i have been looking around and the only thing i can find is a reman from autozone for 400$
I 2nd the rec on AC Parts House. Got my re-manufactured compressor for $215 delivered - half the price of anywhere else I found.
 

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2004 Forester XT
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I 2nd the rec on AC Parts House. Got my re-manufactured compressor for $215 delivered - half the price of anywhere else I found.
thank you guys for such a quick reply.

i havent quite narrowed it down to failing compressor yet, but at least i know there is hope for being able to afford it if that proves to be the case.

first, i will get a relay (its contacts are indeed burned) and a set of guages.
i want to know for sure that i am not causing my own problem by overcharging it, or undercharging it.

this forum is a gold mine! i dont know why i have only just now found it.


update:
after a quick trip to dad's house, and a lesson on how to use his guages. i find that i had overfilled the thing!
so it probably was reaching its high pressure limit real quick, and shutting off before it had time to acutally cool anything, then kicking in again, shutting off again, again again,,,,,.

this was only happening on the really hot days, anything less than 90 degrees or so and it worked fine.(it does get much colder now, and it was 82 degrees while the guages were on it)

so, the only thing left is for me to find where to get one of those relays. hopefully for less than the 50 bucks that the dealership wants for them. any suggestions?
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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Relays are very likely going to be a stealership only option. You can get them for less from Annapolis Subaru, one of the supporting vendors on this site.
 

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2000 Forester Dynastar
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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
So my new compressor came in but the shop can't fit me in until Friday morning. Can I do any harm by swapping out the parts (Compressor, x-valve, Drier & blow out the condenser) myself and leaving them unhooked until Friday when they can evacuate it and re-charge it?

Anything else I should to to prep my system prior to handing it over to the shop? I'm trying to save a $ here.

--
Darren
 

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You might do everything except install new receiver/drier. System should be evacuated asap after new receiver/drier installation. It's a 10 minute job to install, and should not raise your bill much to leave old one in until they are ready to evacate.

You could probably buy a set of inexpensive gauges and vacuum pump for what they'll charge to evacuate and recharge. Check ebay or harbor freight for inexpensive gauge set and vacuum pump. Should be < $200 for all.


Note, receiver/drier is a good place to install about 1/2 of the new oil charge and compressor the other 1/2. I used 8 oz of BAV100 ester oil.

good luck
 
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