How to replace the A/C compressor on a 2nd Gen Rodeo

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How to replace the A/C compressor on a 2nd Gen Rodeo

Postby radare » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:13 am

Last winter, the bearings in the A/C compressor (clutch) began making a grinding noise. To get me through to summer, I installed a short-belt and bypassed the A/C compressor. Now that were bumping July and the temperatures are hitting triple digits, it's time to replace the A/C compressor and get the A/C system working properly. To do this, I replaced the A/C compressor, condenser and drier in my 2001 Rodeo. Because I had bypassed the compressor before it seized, the A/C system was still in good shape and still had a full charge of R134a. The oil in the system was clean and it was still functional (aside from the noise) so I figured I wouldn't need to flush the system.

I began by taking the truck to the local car-wash and power washing the engine bay. The intent here is to clean all the muck off of the A/C connections and components to minimize the chances of getting dirt into the system.
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I pulled the truck into the garage and started by replacing the condenser. The condenser is mounted behind the grille/bumper and in front of the radiator. To get to it, you have to remove the grill, bumper, latch support and condenser fan.

Remove the grill by popping out the clips and sit it aside.
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With the grill off, remove the marker lights and the headlights and sit them aside. Crawl under the truck, remove the four bolts holding the bumper on and pull it forward to remove it. You can now access the bolts to the latch support.
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Remove the four bolts holding the latch and support and then remove the latch. Disconnect the connector for the condenser fan and remove the screws holding it to the condenser.
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Pull the drier forward and disconnect the connector for the pressure switch.
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There are two a/c hoses which must be disconnected to remove the condenser.
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Remove the bolts securing these hoses and pull them free. To protect the hoses from dirt and other such muck, wrap the ends in zip-lock bags and tape them off.
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While you have the front end apart, refresh the paint:
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I used a Performance Radiator condenser. It was very nearly identical to the original except that it was about 1/8" narrower. Because of this, the stock condenser-fan brackets wouldn't fit. Modify them by trimming down the end-segments with a grinder. This will allow them to fit into the narrower condenser.
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Snag the stock lower rubber mounts from the stock condenser, bolt the fan in place and fit the condenser. Bolt the drier in place but do not fit the connections as of yet.
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Turn your attention to the compressor. Access the compressor from the driver-side wheel well. Remove the wheel and prop up the rubber flap to give you access. Here's the compressor:
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Begin by removing the two bolts for and lifting out the steering column shaft. This will provide much better access to the compressor.
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Disconnect the A/C hoses from the compressor and protect them with bags. Tuck the ends out of the way so that they don't interfere with compressor removal:
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Remove the four mounting bolts and disconnect the electrical connector. A 3/8" swivel is absolutely necessary to access the lower mounting bolts. If you don't have one, pick one up when you're buying Freon.
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The only way to remove the compressor is to pull it forward and lift it out through the engine bay. The fan and fan-shroud have to be removed to give enough room to get it through:
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To get the compressor out, rotate it 90-degrees so that the hose-ports are facing upward and then pull it forward and upward out of the engine bay. Do your best to keep the oil in it. When it's free, grab a snack, a drink, and revel in your triumph over that little bastard!

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I used a Valeo (Zexel) compressor. Here's a comparison between the original and the Valeo unit. Note that Isuzu used two different compressors on the 2nd generation Rodeo and they have different rear ports. Check yours before buying a replacement and make sure you get the right one.
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Carefully lower the new compressor in place and install its mounting bolts. Torque the mounting bolts to 14 ft-lbs. Replace the O-rings on the hoses with new ones. I used some from Advance Auto:
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Lubricate the new o-rings with new compressor oil and install them on the hoses. Connect the hoses and install their bolts. Torque the bolts to 11 ft-lbs. Don't forget the electrical connector.
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Install the steering column shaft:
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Move back to the engine bay and install the compressor-to-condenser hose. Use a new o-ring and lubricate it with compressor oil. Torque the bolt to 11 ft-lbs.
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Finish the installation by connecting the drier. Install the pressure sensor first, with a new o-ring, and tighten it firmly. Then attach the drier outlet hose and finally, the condenser hose. Use new O-rings for all three and lubricate with compressor oil.
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And while your at it, fit new Schrader valves. These are the most-common leak points on an A/C system and they are easy to replace:
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Verify that the A/C system is back together and that all connections are tight. Now it's time to pull a vacuum on the system. This will remove the air, remove the moisture and ensure the system is gas-tight. To do this, I used a Harbor Freight vacuum pump:
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Attach the pump using a manifold gauge set and draw a vacuum. Here in Denver, I was able to get around -24 mm of mercury. Leave the vacuum pump on, to draw vacuum, for at least 30 minutes.
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While the vacuum pump is running, reinstall the fan and shroud:
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And fit a new belt:
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And bolt the driver-side wheel back on:
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After 30 minutes, close the valves to the manifold and let the system set, locked in, for another 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the gauge should read the same as it did when the vacuum was connected. If this is true, you have a gas-tight system. If it reads less, you likely have a leak somewhere. Time for some leak repair . . . :roll: . Mine checked out good; no leaks!
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With the system ready to go, connect a can of Freon and charge the system. The Rodeo holds 1.43 lbs or a lick over 22 ounces of Freon. Each can is 12 ounces; you'll need two of them to get the appropriate charge.
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After both cans have been used, the air in the cabin should be blowing cold and the compressor should be cycling. If this is the case, job-well-done. Fit new caps and grab a beer!
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'94 Isuzu Rodeo 4WD, 3.2L V6. 156k miles (Sold); '01 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4WD, 3.2L V6, 108k miles (Sold).
Currently restoring an '01 Rodeo Sport V6
My other passion: My Yamaha XJ600 and XJ600 Scrambler

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Re: How to replace the A/C compressor on a 2nd Gen Rodeo

Postby 5 th rodeo » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:34 am

super writeup and pictures , it should help everyone . snould be a sticky.

i was wondering , you said nothing about lub oil in compressor , did the compressor come with oil in it as you would have less oil in the system .

i think a lot of people would pour the oil out of the old compressor , measure how much and make sure the new compressor had the same amount if the new one did not come with oil in it .

i don't own a isuzu anymore as they become a hobby but your writup should help people change any cars compressor .

thanks
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Re: How to replace the A/C compressor on a 2nd Gen Rodeo

Postby Ssiggy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:00 pm

Nice detail. I can't tell you how many times I've replaced the A/C components in Rodeo/Amigos without removing the bumper or steering shaft. The condenser comes out fairly easily by reaching through the openings in the bumper and the compressor bolts will all come out with a wiggle.
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Re: How to replace the A/C compressor on a 2nd Gen Rodeo

Postby sunman79 » Wed May 23, 2018 1:06 pm

This is really delayed, but I just found this post and wanted to say THANK YOU!!! This is my exact Rodeo and helps so much!

I found a leak on my compressor last night using a UV dye kit and was trying to figure out how to reach it and change the o-ring.

Awesome.
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