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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011, 02:11 PM
Ethirty Ethirty is offline
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Location: Honolulu
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Mein Auto: 1985 325e
Question AC newbie seeks advice

Hello,

The AC on my 1985 325e has declined in it's cooling ability the past few days. The most recent repair was replacing a cracked metal pipe if some kind, after which the system worked fine for over a year. Compressor is pretty new as is the condenser.

Before taking it in, I'm interested in trying a recharge myself. The posted pics show the inlet. This HAS to be it right? The shop put this inlet with the blue cap on, it wasn't up high like that when the car was delivered.

This forum article http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=453774 warns of picking the correct inlet when charging. Although it's a newer model, it casts a small doubt in me although I cannot find any other inlet.

I don't know what coolant is in there now... does it make sense to go to NAPA and try a (non-sealer) recharge kit? Any caveats?

Thanks =)
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2011, 02:09 AM
Billwill Billwill is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW E30 318i 1991
Check the AC drive belt tightness! It has to be fairly tight to work. Check that the clutch on the compressor is clicking in....there are one or two sensors that sense low coolant level which stops the clutch from engaging thereby minimising damage to the compressor.
It is generally a waste of time re-charging the system without first doing a pressure test to find any leaks.....you probably need a Specialist shop to do that.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2011, 04:33 AM
_Ethrty-Andy_'s Avatar
_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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Location: Humble New Zealand
 
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Mein Auto: E34 Touring AC Schnitzer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billwill View Post
It is generally a waste of time re-charging the system without first doing a pressure test to find any leaks.....you probably need a Specialist shop to do that.
This
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:30 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
This is the simplest ac system in the world ..... you almost can't Fuk it up .
Go get a can of r134a from the auto store, start the engine turn the ac on check to make sure your compressor is turning .....( it might not if the system is complete discharged) add some 134....... its not hard at all . There's a lot more te technical mombo jumbo but ill spare u that ,
Other wise pag oil, evac pumps guage ....... mine leaks slow for years I just throw a can in every year,or so

Also you can jump out the pressure switch to check you electrical system first, make sure your compressor works ..... just a paper clip to jump it out will work

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  #5  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:52 AM
Pennyw1se Pennyw1se is offline
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Location: Phoenix
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 377
Mein Auto: 1988 325e
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethirty View Post
Hello,

The AC on my 1985 325e has declined in it's cooling ability the past few days. The most recent repair was replacing a cracked metal pipe if some kind, after which the system worked fine for over a year. Compressor is pretty new as is the condenser.

Before taking it in, I'm interested in trying a recharge myself. The posted pics show the inlet. This HAS to be it right? The shop put this inlet with the blue cap on, it wasn't up high like that when the car was delivered.

This forum article http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=453774 warns of picking the correct inlet when charging. Although it's a newer model, it casts a small doubt in me although I cannot find any other inlet.

I don't know what coolant is in there now... does it make sense to go to NAPA and try a (non-sealer) recharge kit? Any caveats?

Thanks =)
Most, if not all, E30s originally came charged with R12 and the original inlet was used for this. Since most shops will no longer work with R12 the next alternative is R134. The adapter with the blue cap is your R134 inlet, attached to the original R12 inlet.
Regardless, as others have mentioned, if you are no longer cooling as well as you used to you are probably losing or have lost your charge. You should check for leaks before charging. However, if your leak is very small then you can do what Burning2nd recommends and recharge every year. A can of R134 isn't expensive.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2011, 12:53 PM
Ethirty Ethirty is offline
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Location: Honolulu
 
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Mein Auto: 1985 325e
Thanks guys, for your insight. I'll check out this stuff and report back. In Hawaii we say "Mahalo."
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:06 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
Location: Under the lift arms
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,115
Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
sorry... on the phone diagnostic is difficult, This setup for ac... is one of the "not so good" ones.. compared to other Ac systems of that time
I wouldn't spend the money on my beat winter e30 (which ill knock on wood cause shes been so good to me) to repair or replace ac parts on my car,

If i had a nice e30 like some of the enthusiast around here, I would.. but in general like any ac systems.. its all o-rings so if you wanted to get nit'y grid'y all you would have to do is the seals first then pressurize and hold a certain psi of gas, for set amount of time
then evac the system with a special pump, then recharge with set oil and freon

its hard to detect leaks... those glasses things with the uv lights, are a joke.. they make a "bomb sniffer" (we call it in the shop) its a device thats designed to detect R type gas's
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