I wrote a comprehensive guide on replacing the Evora AC condenser - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Post I wrote a comprehensive guide on replacing the Evora AC condenser

I'm finishing up a 45-page illustrated guide on exactly how to replace the AC condenser in the Evora, including adding a finer mesh grill to the bumper.

Some example pages:








It complements the service notes and provides steps, tips, and photos documenting my process of removing the wheels, undertray, wheel arch liners, headlamps, bumper, condenser cowling, condenser, and drier, then reinstalling all those, and charging and testing the AC system. I wanted to write the guide I wish I had when doing this job, and although the LotusTalk forums were quite helpful, there wasn't one place that covered the million little details that went into it. This guide would've also helped me prevent breaking my headlamp washer unit (up to a $350 mistake), as I tried to follow the service notes instructions to pull the washer hose free, but ended up breaking a plastic spigot. It turns out it's better and easier (at least for cars with stiff hoses) to remove the headlamp washer itself.

I'm nearly finished, but I wanted to see if there was interest in something I'd like to do: I'd like to sell the printed guide in a binder for maybe $20 + $5 shipping. It'd give me good motivation to do future guides too, such as one for replacing the head unit and checking the subwoofer, removing parts of the interior, repairing the glovebox, and other odd jobs I have to do on my car as they crop up. I already removed the seats and center cowling and replaced a failing handbrake, and could do a guide on that job.

Eventually I'd like to release the PDF for free to help as many people as possible, but to start with I'd like to see if there's interest in people buying it. I probably spent more time writing this guide than actually fixing the AC on my car!

If you'd like to buy a copy let me know.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:04 AM
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Do the people on the forum whose ideas and instructions you cribbed get a cut of the proceeds?
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by West-of-Hethel View Post
Do the people on the forum whose ideas and instructions you cribbed get a cut of the proceeds?
The helpful aspects of the LotusTalk forums are that it's a good idea to put a finer mesh behind the grill and that it's possible to find a third party condenser and drier to save money (parts which are no longer available, and I sourced alternatives). Any instructions I found were a paragraph at most, which I didn't copy, and though I tried multiple times, I didn't find any photos of the steps or direct links to the parts you need, including the mesh.

The Service Notes gave the broad instructions, and the forums didn't have the detailed instructions or photos that I wanted for all these steps. The SN and forums also recommended steps that I found more difficult than alternatives, including telling you to remove the washer unit hose rather than removing the unit itself, which I mentioned above.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 04:36 PM
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So you've found an economical alternative for the AC dryer, but you're not going to reveal it unless someone pays you, even though others have done that for you? Wow.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by West-of-Hethel View Post
So you've found an economical alternative for the AC dryer, but you're not going to reveal it unless someone pays you, even though others have done that for you? Wow.
Yup, that's exactly what I said, West of Hethel. See:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGB
Eventually I'd like to release the PDF for free to help as many people as possible, but to start with I'd like to see if there's interest in people buying it. I probably spent more time writing this guide than actually fixing the AC on my car!
It took me dozens of hours to write the guide and about a hundred revisions of publishing it LaTeX, checking the output, tweaking, and repeating it over the course of weeks. I also spent a good amount of time just sitting in my car and writing down datapoints from the vent temperature so that others would finally have a way to compare the performance of their AC system with a baseline.

You accused me of "cribbing" people's content--if that were the case it would've been just a few minutes to copy and paste it into a document. I'm sure dumb for not making it so easy on myself!

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MGB View Post

Eventually I'd like to release the PDF for free to help as many people as possible, but to start with I'd like to see if there's interest in people buying it.
Riiight.

Incase I'm asking for help with something: 2011 Evora N/A C/R 6sp with BOE TVS 1900 S/C kit
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Riiight.
I've posted here for five years. I want to find a way to make it worth my time to make more of these guides--if I didn't keep my word it'd quickly be obvious, especially since this is a small community.

At my local group a guy made Lotus laser-etched glasses and sold them in person for $20 a pop. Is there some aversion people have here to user-created material?

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
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Quote:
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Riiight.
I've posted here for five years. I want to find a way to make it worth my time to make more of these guides--if I didn't keep my word it'd quickly be obvious, especially since this is a small community.

At my local group a guy made Lotus laser-etched glasses and sold them in person for $20 a pop. Is there some aversion people have here to user-created material?
Years ago I did a few write ups on the Impreza forums. I didn't expect anything in return except for a "hey that was a great help" this is a community based forum of people helping people. I get your point of you put work into it. Maybe your post just came off kinda mixed... Perhaps I should have just stayed silent of my opinion too.

Incase I'm asking for help with something: 2011 Evora N/A C/R 6sp with BOE TVS 1900 S/C kit
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Years ago I did a few write ups on the Impreza forums. I didn't expect anything in return except for a "hey that was a great help" this is a community based forum of people helping people. I get your point of you put work into it. Maybe your post just came off kinda mixed... Perhaps I should have just stayed silent of my opinion too.
I didn't think it was unhelpful of me to see if there's a market for printed, typeset guides that go above what a forum can contain. I figured that once it's done, the people who want to support me would pay $20, and for those who don't think it's worth it I'd release the PDF.

A few years back I made a mod for free for a popular game, Cities: Skylines, and though there were numerous promises to donate for the sort of thing I was making (I'm a professional software dev and it took me about a hundred hours to make it), when I put a donate link up about 0.5% of the download-base took me up on that request.

Given the amount of time it takes to make a typeset manual vs. some forum posts, I wanted to find a way to monetize it and feel motivated to do more in the future. Perhaps that's just my approach and not shared by the community, however.

Perhaps my post didn't come across well, but the very first reply was someone accusing me of stealing, which ticked me off, and I certainly wasn't expecting it.

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:29 PM
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If I need this in the future, I wouldn’t mind paying $25. It takes a lot of time in writing a DIY and this document seems to be in-depth with many pictures and details. I hope you continue your work with many more DIY that's not already in the Evora How-to sub-forum. The clutch replacement would be a good one if you can tackle that job.


Moderator, I think this thread should be in the Evora How-to sub-forum.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exira View Post
If I need this in the future, I wouldn’t mind paying $25. It takes a lot of time in writing a DIY and this document seems to be in-depth with many pictures and details. I hope you continue your work with many more DIY that's not already in the Evora How-to sub-forum. The clutch replacement would be a good one if you can tackle that job.


Moderator, I think this thread should be in the Evora How-to sub-forum.
Thanks, I appreciate that. And you're probably right about the subsection, though I wasn't sure if it was only for completed guides

I personally hope I never have to do the clutch one. But perhaps it can be made significantly easier with a lift, space in a garage to hold the partially disassembled car, and patience?

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:09 PM
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I don't see why this should be in the "how to" section -- I would say it would be better in the "for sale" section.

If people should be paid for their write-ups, folks like @2011chromeorange and @agentdr8 could have paid for their cars several times over by now, with all of the assistance, references, and tips that they've provided -- along with scores of others.

This thread leaves a very bad taste. Certainly it's the first I've heard (on any forum) of someone saying they won't share cross-reference part info with fellow enthusiasts.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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If people should be paid for their write-ups, folks like @2011chromeorange and @agentdr8 could have paid for their cars several times over by now, with all of the assistance, references, and tips that they've provided -- along with scores of others.
You act like I haven't participated in this forum for years, the same as everyone else, and given and received advice as others--though no doubt I'm just a relatively small user compared to some very helpful people.

The point is that I've done something that I would've liked to have available at the start of this job: a well-written guide with step-by-step pictures. Footnotes, graphs, a methodical approach, table of contents, cross-referenced figures, etc. Ideally there'd be a printed book that covered every aspect of the Evora, but I started where I could.

Had such a thing been available I wouldn't have had to make mine, and it would've saved me time and uncertainty in how to do the job. And if someone had written one I wouldn't knee-jerk accuse them of stealing, especially when I hadn't even read what they wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by West-of-Hethel
This thread leaves a very bad taste. Certainly it's the first I've heard (on any forum) of someone saying they won't share cross-reference part info with fellow enthusiasts.
It seems to me you're trying to drag this thread down into drama. I never said I wouldn't share what I learned for free--in fact, I said the opposite, twice now.

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:51 PM
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I've posted here for five years. I want to find a way to make it worth my time to make more of these guides
Almost all of what you have posted here has been help-me questions. You finally had a chance to give something back to the forum, and even said the other day you were going to post a thread on it... and then this.

And regarding lifting stuff from the forum for your project, you know exactly what I am "accusing" you of. In June, you posted that you were going to take off the clamshell to replace the AC condenser (like it says in the shop manual). I piped up to let you know that you didn't need to remove the clam, and moreover that I'd posted a method that would also allow you to avoid the work of breaking the power steering circuit. From what you posted above, you obviously thought those suggestions were "helpful" -- since they clearly appear in your how-to. I wonder if the two tips I gave you are the only material variations from the shop manual procedure? A shop manual, by the way, that you could not find until someone on this forum told you how to get it.

Hey, you can do whatever you like. But with all the help this forum has given you over the last five years -- for free -- you shouldn't be too surprised if some of us don't care to show a lot of enthusiasm about your trying to "monetize" this space.

So... what's the part number you found for that AC dryer?
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:57 PM
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I've found https://howtune.com/ pretty helpful for other small works. They typically tend to be pretty thorough and easily searchable while being written up and submitted by common folks like us.

I'm not affiliated or anything, but I do seem to use them every now and then just like how I use this forum for infos and howtos.

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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by West-of-Hethel View Post
Almost all of what you have posted here has been help-me questions. You finally had a chance to give something back to the forum, and even said the other day you were going to post a thread on it... and then this.

And regarding lifting stuff from the forum for your project, you know exactly what I am "accusing" you of. In June, you posted that you were going to take off the clamshell to replace the AC condenser (like it says in the shop manual). I piped up to let you know that you didn't need to remove the clam, and moreover that I'd posted a method that would also allow you to avoid the work of breaking the power steering circuit. From what you posted above, you obviously thought those suggestions were "helpful" -- since they clearly appear in your how-to. I wonder if the two tips I gave you are the only material variations from the shop manual procedure? A shop manual, by the way, that you could not find until someone on this forum told you how to get it.

Hey, you can do whatever you like. But with all the help this forum has given you over the last five years -- for free -- you shouldn't be too surprised if some of us don't care to show a lot of enthusiasm about your trying to "monetize" this space.

So... what's the part number you found for that AC dryer?
I didn't want to dedicate another reply to this, as I'm adverse to drama and we've each said our piece, or so I thought, but you keep bringing it up.

So I see what the issue is. You did this job yourself and posted some tips on the forum in May, 2017. I even replied in that thread and asked some users for specifics, like what mesh I could use behind the grill and if anyone had any pictures, which they didn't.

Though people had some suggestions no one seemed to have pictures or concrete information, "I haven't actually done this though, so YMMV," and "bought this a few days ago...hoping aluminum will be easier to shape than plastic."

And I'd posted in similar threads before, over months, and actually put this job off for a few years because of uncertainty about what exactly I needed. Waiting until I got a lift was definitely helpful.

You told me the clamshell didn't need to come off, true; that was helpful--but the Service Notes don't say to remove it, as you claim. They say to remove the bumper only. I had gotten that misinformation from another thread. Again, a reason why the guide would've helped me. The thread you posted about driers where I asked others about the grill was also interesting and likely helpful to people, though it showed no available alternatives. And the time you dedicated to that thread was, I'm guessing, about thirty minutes.

Again, I wrote the guide I wished I was able to find (and even buy, as I did with John Twist's personal guides for my MGB, or factory service manuals, which I own for all my vehicles) when I was considering doing this job myself or finding a place to do it for me. From the forum posts it wasn't clear to me if I actually had the knowledge and tools necessary to complete it. I saw conflicting information ("You do need to take the clamshell off," "you can get by leaving the bumper on if you're careful," "you need a lift/you don't need a lift," "I don't know how well my AC works, but it blows cold enough," "the SNs list two different capacities for R134a required, I just had a shop fill it," etc.) and what turned out to be omitted information (headlamp washer unit problems, missing captive nuts on the condenser, the specific types of oil needed, etc.).

I researched the job for a long time and finally bit the bullet. As I did the job I wanted to document it so others wouldn't be in my situation. You took some thirty minutes to share your information--that's great, I think it's helpful and what forums are for. I took literally dozens of hours to typeset a well-written, cross-referenced, thorough guide in LaTeX that I'm going to print out and put into binders, and hopefully build a collection of similar guides on my shelf.

So, after all this, perhaps you understand that the last thing I expected, after saying "Hey, is there interest in a guide like this for $20? I'll release the PDF for free but ideally I could sell this, if there's a market for it," is someone glibly replying with "I didn't read what you wrote but you stole everything and now demand money." Then ignoring that I started off by saying I'll make it free afterwards, and dragging this whole thing into drama, at least from my perspective.

So those are my thoughts; in the places where I got information from third parties I cite it with footnotes, but mostly they're citations of the Service Notes, photos, tips, things I learned, cross-references in the document, a graph, etc.

If you like I'll go through the document and make sure I didn't use any information that you provided, which isn't readily available from another source.

2011 NA Evora

Last edited by MGB; 08-26-2019 at 09:12 AM.
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 11:25 PM
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Thanks. Good luck with your monetization project. I look forward to your posting the cross-reference info at some point in the future.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Also, to answer your question, as I said above: people recommended alternative driers but they weren't available. I found alternatives, by which I mean: a third party condenser and a Lotus drier. You can use any drier that has a 5/8 - 18 UNF male thread fitting with a thread pitch of 1.6mm, as specific in PN. 4, p. 12. It's pretty standard, I'm led to believe. Here's one for 22.50 euros, but I only searched for it now: https://www.hattink-thermoparts.com/...a-5-8-18unf-2a

It's just running air over a desiccant.

I didn't know this was going to be a point of contention, but you latched onto this aspect and accused me of refusing to release the guide for free.

I mention what to look for in the guide to find an alternative, and I mention what I use and where I got if from. For the condenser I list the ebay seller, part number, etc., and for the other tools and items too. I list eleven required parts with sources and five required tools, also with sources.

Again, withholding this information was never on the table. Merely for me to finish the guide and get a sense if there's a market for printed, bound, typeset guides that are far more complete than ephemeral and sometimes poorly-image-laden forum posts. I don't appreciate being misrepresented and told I'm stealing information.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-30-2019, 10:38 AM
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Absolutely. Count me in for a copy.

Thanks for making the effort to make this available.

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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 08-31-2019, 03:02 PM
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Dale, this might be of interest.

MGB got his technique from this thread: Replacing AC condenser - some tips. It has:
  • how to avoid taking off the front clam
  • how to avoid messing with the power steering fluid
  • types of protective mesh to use to protect the radiator (you can also Google this; it's common at racing shops)
  • various part numbers / specs to search for if looking for a cheaper aftermarket AC dryer

You can see MGB popping up with questions on that thread and getting help from several people.

For refilling the AC, if you wanted to do that yourself, you could look at this thread: AC Problem. It includes some further information on:
  • the dryer and alternatives
  • the R134a refilling process (pressures, etc)
  • types of lubricating oil to use in the AC system
  • various things to check when troubleshooting AC issues

Again several people contributed to that one, including the ever-helpful @agentdr8 .

It's probably clear from my earlier comments above, but in my very humble opinion you're better off spending your money buying the factory shop manual, and then supplementing it with the (always free!) advice/experience of people here on the forum.

And please share your experiences after you're done with a maintenance task -- every bit of knowledge that can be shared with your fellow enthusiasts is appreciated!
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