Remove the AC compressor on Exige - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Remove the AC compressor on Exige

The AC on my 2007 Exige suddenly stopped working (on the hottest day of the year, on my way to a local trackday) When inspecting the car, there was a lot of oil on the cover plates/diffusor under the engine, and it looks like the oil have been blown out from the backside of the compressor, towards the engine block. I would like to get the compressor out for an inspection, but i can not get to the 3. bolt (the two lower ones is no problem) that sits on top of it. Is there any way to get this out, without remowing the rear clam, intercooler, supercharger, and alternator, to get to it?


Here you can se from the underside, that the oil has blown out onto the engine block (top right corner)




And here is a picture that i managed to snap by putting my phone up behind the compressor, where you can see the oil between this and the block



And have anyone else experienced this, and know what could have happend with the compressor?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 12:39 PM
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Anything mechanical fails eventually... I love A/C, but A/C and I don't get along. I'd take it to a Toyota dealer to diagnose and tell you what the problem is.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2015, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to fix this myself, i know that the leak is from the compressor, but i need to get it out, to see what the problem with it is.

I have a 1000km roundtrip + an overnight ferry, to get to my Lotus dealer, located in Copenhagen Denmark (we do nat have a dealer in Norway) and there ar not any garages around here that knows these cars.

I just need to know if it is possibile to get it out from the underside of the car.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-14-2015, 09:12 PM
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I was just under my Exige last weekend also about to do a compressor swap so I would like to know the same, if anyone has physically done this before.
My AC slowly goes out over time, (been recharged twice) and was able to determine that it was a shaft seal leak.

It is a very tight fit, but I think it is possible to get all the bolts out from the bottom. The manual also says its possible, but they always make it sounds way easier than it actually is.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have a picture of the AC compressor drain plug.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 09:39 PM
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I literally came here to ask the same question for an Elise SC that I've been working on today . I too got the bottom 2 bolts out no problem and also disconnected the AC lines (that was a PITA).

The problem with bolt 3 is it's tucked under the alternator so you can't get a straight shot on it. I even removed the wheel liner thinking I could get it from the side. Eventually I tried removing the alternator, but quickly discovered that is even harder to remove as the top bolt is seized on mine.

My plan of attack for tomorrow is first I'm going to try putting a swivel on my 1/4" ratchet with the 12mm socket. If that doesn't work then I'm going put the socket on the head of the bolt with a 1/4" to 1/4" adapter sticking out of it, then try turning it with a 1/4" box end wrench. I'm hoping that short stack up will fit behind the alternator space.

If neither of those work, then I'll have to figure out how to remove the alternator. I got the bottom bolt out, but there is a sleeve on the backside that is impossible to access. Plus I have that seized top bolt.

Any other suggestions are welcome.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-06-2015, 11:35 PM
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I swapped an alternator a while back, and needed to drop the compressor a bit to make room. Sorry, I don't recall the details of how to make it happen, but I can tell you that it's possible to remove either or both components without moving the motor. GL.

In theory, there is no difference between Theory and Practice. In practice, there is. - Y. Berra
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luxige View Post
I swapped an alternator a while back, and needed to drop the compressor a bit to make room. Sorry, I don't recall the details of how to make it happen, but I can tell you that it's possible to remove either or both components without moving the motor. GL.
Good info... Thanks!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 07:17 AM
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I took mine out about 4 years ago, but don't recall running into issues getting any of the 3 compressor bolts out. did it from underneath & the side with the clam on & only removed the pass. rear tire to take off the splash guard & under tray.

the only item that took a little time was taking off the clam to get the condenser out then fabbing up a bracket to remount the fans

'05 ST Elise: DHP exhaust, Quantum Zero's, Forge MS radiator, s111 v3 eliminator, s111 DSbrace, ce28n, ic7 dash...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
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I took mine out about 4 years ago, but don't recall running into issues getting any of the 3 compressor bolts out. did it from underneath & the side with the clam on & only removed the pass. rear tire to take off the splash guard & under tray.

the only item that took a little time was taking off the clam to get the condenser out then fabbing up a bracket to remount the fans
Your car is NA (or was at the time). The supercharged cars tilt the alternator so far that it obscures the top bolt of the compressor. The bolt is literally inside of a pocket of the alternator.

EDIT: Here's a very crude illustration of what I mean.
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Last edited by LiveToDrive; 08-07-2015 at 08:36 AM.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveToDrive View Post
Your car is NA (or was at the time). The supercharged cars tilt the alternator so far that it obscures the top bolt of the compressor. The bolt is literally inside of a pocket of the alternator.

EDIT: Here's a very crude illustration of what I mean.

ahhh sorry about that... I suppose I'm not too familiar with how the SC setups change that area

'05 ST Elise: DHP exhaust, Quantum Zero's, Forge MS radiator, s111 v3 eliminator, s111 DSbrace, ce28n, ic7 dash...

Last edited by driftwood; 08-07-2015 at 04:59 PM.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:11 PM
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Update: Whoever engineered this ****...**** you.

Right now I've got about 15 hours invested on one ****ing bolt, my wife and I are now fighting because I'm spending all my time out in the garage while my 1 year old is crying. I've bought every goddamn tool they make that could fit and none work. My wrists are bruised and bleeding.

I'm beyond frustrated. I'm going to have to have the car towed somewhere and I don't even see how a professional mechanic is going to get to this bolt without pulling the engine.

I can't remove my alternator because some genius cross threaded the top bolt and it seizes when loosened. I've removed the lower alternator bolt and hammered the piece of **** as far as it will move...still not enough room to even fit a box wrench on.

Through some miracle I did manage to break the ******* loose with an open end wrench. Took 20 minutes for 1 degree of rotation.

I challenge anyone who claims they have done this on a supercharged car to prove it because I call bull****.

Even if I cut the ****ing bolt head off I can't remove the compressor because I'll have a stud holding it on.

Holy **** screw this car right now. Seacrest out.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 08:29 PM
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Man I know where your at... Give it a shot in the morning. Sometimes that helps when your Chi is higher when your fresh rather than at it's lowest.

I also seem to get punchy and mess something else up when I have worked on my car for many consecutive hours.

Good Luck man. May The Lotus Gods Smile upon you! Peacb

L O T U S

Last edited by Motard; 08-08-2015 at 07:00 PM.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 08:37 AM
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Yeah, take an overnight break. It really does help!
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 08:46 AM
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Haha OK you guys were right of course. I got that SOB off, but holy **** what a PITA!

So the alternator has to either be removed or like in my case loosened so that it can be tilted away. Bottom bolt of alternator has to be removed, the top one has to be backed out really far so the alternator can swivel. I had to use a breaker bar on my top alternator bolt, I don't think that's normal. Hopefully it doesn't snap when I tighten it. Gonna lube it up really good.

So here's a pic of the new $300 Toyota compressor next to the OEM compressor. I was told it will work...we'll find out. Right now I'm concerned about the larger pulley because the belt tensioner doesn't really allow much slack. Does anyone know if there's a way to get a bit more slack? If not, then I sure hope there's a slightly longer belt that will fit. Anyways...one hurdle down. I'm exhausted.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 11:55 AM
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Change out the clutch pulleys if the bearing in the old one sounds good.

196? Seven - long gone
2005 Storm Titanium Elise - sold
2008 blue 2-Eleven - track toy
2011 Carbon Grey Evora S
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2008 white 2-Eleven - track toy too/two
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 02:56 PM
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The clutch went bad in the old one that's why I'm replacing it.

OK UPDATE TIME and yes I'm yelling because I'm on the verge of insanity. I mounted the new compressor then spent over an hour trying to line up the bottom hole of the alternator. Finally got that bolt in then on the home stretch I started tightening that seized top bolt....then snap. Yep the last bolt sheared off inside the alternator.

So I just wrestled an alternator around a supercharger snout and let me tell you, it was NOT fun. So I'm now deciding do I drill out the broken bolt and put in an insert or just replace the alternator? Do local auto parts stores stock this model alternator?
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 04:01 PM
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yo man, (that's what we say in america)
i know it's challenging but,
just go for it, it'll be a little pain, but fun and interesting.
it's do-able, just do it slow with a couple of good beers.
I just did a complete clutch job on my esprit, having never done it before.
Commit to your baby, and give her what she needs.
enjoy!
First rule of lotus ownership: don't panic.
cheers!

tomas
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 07:02 PM
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these cars make certain you can never go fakey when turning a wrench.

Just grit your teeth and dominate until the damn things submits to your will.

You have to break them and show them who is boss or they will just always run back to the barn.

L O T U S
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Motard View Post
these cars make certain you can never go fakey when turning a wrench.

Just grit your teeth and dominate until the damn things submits to your will.

You have to break them and show them who is boss or they will just always run back to the barn.
LOL ain't that the truth!
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