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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So I'm trying to get the AC compressor out of @andybisnut's parts car, but we need to deal with the refrigerant and we can't quite figure out how.

Any ideas about how to capture the refrigerant so we don't offend the EPA? I guess once we get it in a bottle or something it can be taken somewhere for safe disposal. But I think we'd rather not spend the $100+ on the refrigerant capture systems that I see on Amazon and elsewhere.

Ideas?
 

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you need a vacuum pump that has a connection on the outlet. To that you connect a tank of some kind and put it in a bath of ice.

That'll take the "gas" that comes out of the system and turns it into liquid so it takes up a lot less space in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like the Miltie method is about the same as what's on Stack Exchange. Phew, this is a lot of work - dry ice? Putting a chest freezer near the car?

I suppose not that hard once you've done it once, but getting started the first time is a gumption trap to be sure.

And once it's in the tank, where does it go? Haven't figured that out yet.

My hope was to reuse a part and save a couple of bucks, but the more I understand it the more it seems like it would be about equally cost effective, at least in terms of time, to just buy a replacement compressor. That's a bummer!
 

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My hope was to reuse a part and save a couple of bucks, but the more I understand it the more it seems like it would be about equally cost effective, at least in terms of time, to just buy a replacement compressor. That's a bummer!
Not sure I follow and understand what you are trying to do. No matter what component you want to replace in the AC system will require you to evacuate refrigerant from the system first (except maybe the Schrader valves in the hi-LO ports, if you have the right tool to use). Was your goal to just evacuate the refrigerant and then vacuum the system to get moisture out and then recharge it? Or is it to actually replace a component (compressor, o-rings, etc)? The cheaper and easier route seems (to me at least) to have a shop evacuate the refrigerant for you - you should be able to find somebody to do that for free since they will keep the refrigerant (shop around and I’m sure you can find somebody to do it for free or maybe something like $20). Then go home and replace whatever needs to be replaced, vacuum the system and recharge the system. You will need to charge with 875g of refrigerant, but may vary by model year so check the yellow sticker in the engine bay. So you will need 3 cans of R134a 340g/can, which will cost you $15 at Walmart. If you don’t have it, pick up a digital food scale for $20-25 while you’re at Walmart as you will need to weigh-in the refrigerant when you charge the system). You can rent the vacuum pump and manifold gauges for feee at an auto parts store if you don’t have the equipment.

Edit: I saw now that you’re trying to get the compressor “out”. Well, either follow Mities tip and instructions in the link I provided or the other suggestion above. If you don’t have a suitable tank, valve fittings, dry ice, etc., on hand my guess is that it would cost more to buy those things than finding an AC shop that could evacuate your system for free or not more than $20-30.
 

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I think the challenge is that they're trying to get the compressor out of a parts car that likely is not able to go to a shop to get evacuated

so either you're going to be poor environmental steward and just let the stuff out or you're going to have to find a way to capture it.
 

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Commercial recovery systems use a two-stage pump; one to evacuate the system and a second to compress the charge into a storage tank. You generally don't reuse refrigerant without some sort of reconditioning process because you don't know what you're pumping out of the old system...things like water vapor, incompatible oil, and other stuff.
 

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I think the challenge is that they're trying to get the compressor out of a parts car that likely is not able to go to a shop to get evacuated

so either you're going to be poor environmental steward and just let the stuff out or you're going to have to find a way to capture it.
Ah ok, got it b
 

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?
Just thought of it ...how do the You Pull You Pay type places exist in CA? I’ve picked off some AC components at my local places a few times over the years and every single time the systems were not evacuated and refrigerant escaped...
 

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Auto dismantlers in CA are supposed to remove all fluids and activate all explosive restraints in every vehicle they acquire. It gets complicated in newer autos though. I've seen intact curtain airbags in a few "pick-and-pull" yards in the IE so you know the yard guys are not all-knowing (even when the "SRS" tag is right on the headliner).
 

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YOU know it would be AWFUL to release a couple of oz. of 134a into the atmosphere.!!!!!
The R134a capacity of the 9-5 is approx 31 oz. or 878.8 grams.

Releasing 1 gram of R134a into the atmosphere is equal to releasing 1,410 grams of CO2. So 878.8 grams of R134a equates to releasing 1,239,108 grams--or 43,708 oz--of CO2 into the atmosphere.

If my math is right, that's the equivalent of more than a ton of CO2 (2,723 pounds). If the average car puts 6 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year, releasing the refrigerant in the 9-5 has the same effect as driving for like 2-3 months.
 

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Auto dismantlers in CA are supposed to remove all fluids and activate all explosive restraints in every vehicle they acquire. It gets complicated in newer autos though. I've seen intact curtain airbags in a few "pick-and-pull" yards in the IE so you know the yard guys are not all-knowing (even when the "SRS" tag is right on the headliner).
I've never seen any of the passive restraints "activated" on any of the cars in the pick-n-pull yards when I lived in CA. And I looked at a lot of them. I've even pulled the airbag on one 9-5 to get a clock spring once

But they do remove all of the fluids, they also cut off the catalytic converters because selling a used cat in CA is against the law. (they say federal law but I'm pretty sure that's not true). Not only that, the precious metals inside of them are worth money so they sell the cut off cats as part of the profit stream.
 

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Find a local HVAC company and offer to give it to them. They recycle the stuff.

When my business was in Foster City our neighbor took recycled refrigerant in all the time. Unfortunately they tore down the building and he moved.
 
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