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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, first up MY SYSTEM IS DRAINED OF AIR CON FLUID/GAS/ETC. & I'm wearing goggles. & I'm using industrial gauntlets. So all good here to work on this area!


Leak in air con drier spotted so fitting new one (yes could replace just O-rings but need a new drier due to age so bitten bullet & bought from Stealers).

I having a 'mare of job getting the hex head (6mm) bolts off on top & underside even after applying the magic mover juice that is WD40. So am thinking, could there be a vacuum inside stopping this? The unit is exactly 10 years on the car so usual elements affecting as well such as road dirt, corrosion (not any visible on heads - see pics below).
I've used an extender rod to give me extra torque but getting into the stage where the whole unit is moving in sympathy & know that the air con supplying pipes are only thin aluminium/alloy & heard horror stories of bodgers knackering pipe-work when they 'remove' unsuccessfully!

Stealer want £260 just to fit the part (3 hour job they 'estimate'!) and would rather spend that on other things so...
(1) Is this problem particular to the AIr Con Drier?
(2) Is this just the normal 'bolt on there since year dot so needs a LOT of WD40 + time + patience'?!
(3) What magic trick would the dealership spanner monkeys do that I don't know?!

Need a bit of quick feedback / help as on a bit of a deadline to get this mother off, replaced, re-gasses & cooooooled dooooooown!


Air Con Drier Whole Unit : Underside / Top / Bottom close-up views of hex bolt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank for the quick reply Cheempeej!

So, wadda yer mean; breathe on it
, or point some sorta flame up there
!

If it is the latter, please give me an idea of how to do as heat & bit o' the flammable juice makes me sweat!
 

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Thank for the quick reply Cheempeej!

So, wadda yer mean; breathe on it
, or point some sorta flame up there
!

If it is the latter, please give me an idea of how to do as heat & bit o' the flammable juice makes me sweat!
If its drained you will be ok. Its just because they are both aluminium and they seize up.

Id get a wee blow torch and heat it up. A decent hex drive always helps none of the chinese ones. You dont have that many attempts
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, fully drained, was thinking of all the other petrol-stuff floating about - guess a small blow-torch would be safe!

On this front, think my dad's got an old-skool paint stripper small gas canister blow torch but would you recommend something from Halfords or may be even one of those ones cooks use (dinky ones)? Just asking as may have to pop out & purchase one today...

When you say a decent hex drive are you alluding to a quality single 6mm or a unique tool that might have inter-changable heads?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If its drained you will be ok. Its just because they are both aluminium and they seize up.

Id get a wee blow torch and heat it up. A decent hex drive always helps none of the chinese ones. You dont have that many attempts
Just gonna pop out to car with small barbecue lighter (has long blow-torch like flame) but never done this so should I heat & try moving it very soon after OR heat, leave for a minute (or longer) then try un-tightening? Sorry if bit of a neewbie question, just wanna get it right!
 

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I have recently changed mine.
Use a long extension.
Have a friend hold back on the unit from the opposite end you are working on. If I remember correctly you can hold back on the unit by using a moveable spanner on the boss where the pipe goes in.
Personally I think heat is to dangerous to use there.
 

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I did mine also. When I found the right angle so the hex was right above the bolt it came loose without trouble. Remember to change the o-rings on each end there and lube em up with pag 46 oil before putting it together again with new flter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Right, just finished the job - and what a 'mare it was! What I learnt /advise from doing...

1: WD40 is your best friend - thinking of doing the job, if so spray it on the 3 areas that need undoing (the top & bottom hex bolts & middle Torx screw)THE NIGHT BEFORE & leave overnight to soak in. This WILL save you knackering your thin/weak air-con connecting pipes and quite possible be the difference between success or failure - yes, do it now!

2: The two hex head bolt are 6mm/M8 heads, the middle screw is Torx 30 - thanks VW for varying this and Haynes for not putting ANY info on this in their manuals.

3: The Air Con Drier CAN be removed without taking the whole front end of the car off BUT it means your are going to have to be very bendy/ingenious getting the right tool into the small spaces - look, think twice then try, it can work!

4: Once the bolts & screw are off then found it easy to gently waggle the bottom air con connecting pipe out then the same at the top - gently but persistently & eventually it WILL work loose. A small then large flat head screw driver helped to start prising these off but waggling was the main work here.

5: As said before ALWAYS change the O-rings when working on ANY part of the air con system. A little squashing/nick in them or just the pressure / age they are is good enough reason to do this. Don't ruin a job for the sake of less than a pound each.

6: When done, think about that £260 you've just saved yourself in labour 'costs'. Warm inner VW glow & beer is also your reward!

Thanks all for your contributions - helped me through those rough patches you think it ain't ever gonna go right & the Stealership was gonna get my hefty wedge after all!
 
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