AC leak - front clam needs to come off? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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AC leak - front clam needs to come off?

My AC doesn't work, so I tried charging it this weekend. I used some R134A with UV dye in it (in case the problem was a leak somewhere). When I put the refrigerant in, the compressor started cycling, which was encouraging. But then it stopped after a minute and the air warmed back up. I looked all over the engine bay with a UV light and didn't see a leak. When I pulled out of the garage, though, there was a puddle of the dye under the front of the car. I can see where it was seeping through the seam in the undertray below where the condenser would be. But I can't see anything from the top side. Do I have to pull the front clam off just to see where the leak is? Or is it possible to remove enough stuff to see the condenser and lines with the clam still on?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 07:31 AM
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Impossible! Remove the front clam is the first step if you want to fix the ac, base on your story.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 07:46 AM
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There are portions of the A/C system that you can see with the clam installed but parts of it will only be accessible with the clam off. You didn't mention what area on the front end the dye was leaking from but if you remove the right front wheel and liner and right front service access panel you'll see where the lines pass through the bulkhead close to the base of the windshield and continue forward to the condenser. If the leak is in the condenser itself, you can see a good portion of that by removing the grille and looking past the cooling fans. Good luck if you need to break the connections at the condenser, when I tried to remove mine, no amount of penetrant or mechanical force could break the fittings loose, I ended up having to use a cutting wheel which reinforced my decision to delete the A/C on mine.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-09-2019, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Perfect! I know I'll have to pull it to fix things, but this is my daily so I don't want to pull the clam to see what I need, then have to wait to find/order/ship parts. If I can look in from the side and at least see what parts I expect to need, I'll be way ahead of the game. I'll try that tonight.
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