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3.6 - Air Conditioning Condenser & Filter/Drier Repl. ( )

Failure of the condenser is one of the most common reasons for loss of refrigerant, as it is quite exposed at the lower front of the car. The filter/drier is mounted alongside the condenser and needs the condenser to be removed for replacement.

To remove the condenser, first remove the radiator top panel which crosses the width of the car at the front of the bonnet area. It is secured by a number of large torx bolts which appear to frequently seize up. If necessary, they will need to be drilled out, or the heads ground off, but fortunately load on this panel is not high and loss of one or two bolts does not appear to be a problem.

Locate the pipes leading to the condenser as they pass to the left side of the main radiator. The union for one pipe is a few inches into the main engine bay whereas the second is on the filter/drier unit, mounted on top of the condenser and therefore harder to access.

Undo the unions slowly, listening for refrigerant pressure. If there is any pressure, then you donít have a leak and the condenser doesnít need replacement.

The top of the main engine radiator can be pushed gently backwards and the condenser & filter/drier then removed by pulling them upward. On XJR models, the upper hose for the intercooler radiator, mounted in front of the condenser, makes this more difficult but it is just possible without removing the hose.

The area around the mounting lugs for the condenser is a known rust spot and so you may consider treating it with a rust-proofing agent prior to refitting.

If you have to replace the condenser, replace the filter/drier at the same time as these do wear out and otherwise need replacement on their own.

When refitting the condenser, carefully lower it into the space and from underneath ensure it is settled correctly onto the locating posts. Reattach the pipework and refit the top panel.

The system works at high pressure so ensure O-rings are in good condition and ensure unions are tight during refitting. Always use two spanners on the union to avoid stresses other parts of the pipework when loosening or tightening the unions.


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