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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:40 pm 
Saab Nut

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 1629
There have been a number of threads recently on 9000 a/c so i'll share my recent experience.
A few weeks ago noticed my a/c was on the blink. Sometimes it worked but mostly not. Gradually got worse. It had been regassed 12 months ago at Kwik Fit so no point regassing. Suspected electrical signal to compressor. Changed relay which got it working for a short while but it was a red herring.
Drove over to Vanchilla at Maidenhead;
Visit 1; John immediately diagnosed very low pressure so low on gas. Pressurised the system with Nitrogen then went around spraying a soap solution. Found a small leak in the condenser matrix directly behind the horns. Nothing further to do that visit, condenser was u/s. I explained to John that I may be some time getting a replacement and I expected the aluminiun unions to be troublesome. He loaned me a couple of unf thread restorers to clean up the female threads in the union nuts. Back home first job was remove the condenser. This was a nightmare. The unions were locked solid and were taking enormous torque. Applied heat to the bottom union and eventually got it off with some damage to the female thread. Couldn't really get at the top union. Eventually used sufficient torque to break the weld so the spigot came away still attached to the hose. Took the hose to the workbench and eventually got the nut off. Again some damage to the threads. The nuts are Al and not steel. Took a long time to clean the theads so they would spin up to the pinch using only a little torque. Fitted a new Nissens condenser ( after I had returned one as unsatisfactory)..
Visit 2; Went back pretty confident all ok. John evacuated the system and it held vacuum for an hr so he recharged it. At the finsh started the engine and it was obvious I had a leak. It was in the bit of Al pipe going into the top of the dryer. Had to abort once again. Again I knew what to expect with trying to free the dryer. I had a brand new Saab dryer back home and the relevant hose from my rescue project. Back home in the garage was able to free the dryer from the washer bottle with no problems on account I had coverted the stud/nuts to ss some years before. However couln't break the unions in situ. Had to cut the top pipe with the fault near the union, and remove the dryer complete with bottom hose to the workbench. Got the bottom hose off with heat, cleaned up the thread then refitted the hoses and a new dryer. Pressurised the system to 10psi with my Mytivac and left it 8 hrs. No drop in pressure so back to Vanchilla for another recharge
Visit 3; All seemed to be going well but when restarted the engine the gas under pressure was blowing past a blanking plug at the bottom of the new condenser. Cursing from John who blamed himself for not nitrogen pressrue teating the system to 150psi which is what he usually does. He lost the gas. Removed the plug, cleaned the seat and fitted a new o-ring. Pressure tested to 150 and all ok. Proceeded to regas and this time we were successful, System now working fine thanks to Vanchilla. He only charged me for a std regas plus a bit.
What surprised me was that the system develops up to 275psi depending on the ambient temp. He had his pressure gauges hooked up with the compressor running and the pressure was 250 dropping to 150 when the fan cut in and dropped the temp. Little wonder a pressure test at 10psi or a vacuum test didn't do the trick. 15 bar or more may be needed.
Sorted now, just short of the pipe from the dryer to the evaporator for my rescue project now.

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