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This weekend's project.

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  • michigan doug
    replied
    Oh, what a flinker of a job.

    I hope I never have to find out if my jetta is that hard. AC still runs cold and it's a 2004.

    A few of the vw's like mine had a weird "coolant migration" problem. Thank Jehova, not mine.

    They had a defective coolant overflow tank. When the coolant tank was pressurized, it would literally pump coolant into the wiring harness through the sensor cable. And since the harness was all sealed from the outside world with o-ring connectors, it would ruin the whole harness.

    The fix involved gutting the interior and replacing the whole dang harness. Reportedly cost over ten grand for the full fix, usually on VW's nickel.


    Glad it's back together.

    doug

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  • mattthemuppet
    replied
    Originally posted by DICKEYBIRD View Post
    I guess earlier models must be different. We didn't do any airbag removal at all. Instead of following the book and taking off the the steering wheel, then the column shroud, yada, yada, we took the whole steering column, shaft & wheel off as a unit to get it out of the way. The other bag stayed in the dash which was removed as a unit.

    It's upper 90's & oppressive humidity here today & daughter's already called to thank me again.
    Could be. I had to take the airbag out to unbolt something behind it to pull the dash out (out something like that, the mental scars are still fresh!), which took me a good hour or so to figure out how to do. Lots of creative swivel extension work and swearing. Then after I finished I found out that you can just unbolt a few things and tilt the whole dash forward without taking it out still, paying a mechanic $1000+ to do it wasn't an option and the kids didn't murder each other on the trip!

    I do think it ranks as the most unpleasant car repair I've done so far, closely followed by changing the timing belt and water pump..

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  • garyhlucas
    replied
    This thread reminds me of a buddy who was an aircraft mechanic. He was having a really tough time replacing the throttle cable on a Learjet, so he called the factory. The guy said it only takes about 30 minutes. My buddy says there isn't much room to work, he can't see how it could be done that fast. The guy asks him what is in the way? He says "The engine!" The guy is incredulous, he says "You mean you haven't removed the engine yet?" He got it done in about 4 hours without removing the engine. I'd bet it was done correctly too. We worked together as electricians and he was incredibly careful and never made mistakes. I'd try to speed him up a bit by saying "Joe, it's not going to fly, no one gets killed if it isn't perfect!"

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  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
    Getting that damn airbag cover out and back in again bent it so it doesn't fit flat anymore.
    I guess earlier models must be different. We didn't do any airbag removal at all. Instead of following the book and taking off the the steering wheel, then the column shroud, yada, yada, we took the whole steering column, shaft & wheel off as a unit to get it out of the way. The other bag stayed in the dash which was removed as a unit.

    It's upper 90's & oppressive humidity here today & daughter's already called to thank me again.

    Leave a comment:


  • mattthemuppet
    replied
    My commiserations! I did that to my 2000 focus last year as there was a hole in the evap big enough to let the whole charge out in about 30s. I already knew that I wouldn't be able to get the hoses off the firewall to get the evap out so I bought new ones and cut the old ones off (also let me put in a variable orifice port too, which is the bomb). Took about 20h by myself, which wasn't bad considering. Would have been trim perfect too, if only I hadn't forgotten to put the passenger airbag deflector in. Getting that damn airbag cover out and back in again bent it so it doesn't fit flat anymore.

    Tell you what though, it was worth every hour and penny when we crossed the country last month and it's been used heavily since we got here!

    Leave a comment:


  • flylo
    replied
    I think they misspelled FOCUS, the O should be a U

    My '47 Bonanza has an ice tray in the ceiling with a flap you can open & it works rather well.
    Last edited by flylo; 08-24-2014, 12:59 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Black Forest
    replied
    If I had to do that job the car would never run again. When I looked at the pictures of all you had to take out of the car to get to the part that needed to be fixed I said to myself, "I would sell that car and buy another."

    Leave a comment:


  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    There's one great thing that has changed, at least we got CF's and LED bulbs for trouble lights now, it beats being backed into a corner under a dash with a 75 watt IC bulb that just fell off it's top perch and landed on the side of your neck complete with steel cage,,, damn I used to hate that, about as close to being tortured as I think iv ever been...

    Leave a comment:


  • DICKEYBIRD
    replied
    Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
    ...I will take a quick look to see what's involved and then make a decision,
    Yup, me too. One decision I almost made a couple months that would have been disastrous was to recharge the thing and add SuperSeal stop leak. I've used their R22 stop leak in my house a/c and it worked a treat. The manuf said on their website if the leak was large enough that the system leaked down in 2 weeks, don't use it. Hers leaked out in 2 or 3 days. I found out later that Focus's (Foci?) have some special type condenser that will not tolerate any kind of stop leak and will just plug up with no hope of flushing the stuff out; replacement is mandatory.

    I would have never tackled this one myself without my bud Mike saying he'd do it. After over 30 years of watching him perform miracles, I had no doubt it'd get done quickly & correctly.

    The thing was actually not too bad, most of it snapped apart like a Lego and most of the screws & bolts easily accessed with power tools. There's 2 b!tch-a$$ dash bolts, one on the left end of the dash, accessed through the door jamb & one in the center front next to the windshield. Both required a unique stack of 1/4" drive extensions & universal joints that Mike came up with without missing a beat.

    The spring-type heater hose clamps required a tool I'd never seen before. It's a cable operated miracle tool. One end snaps onto the clamp and the other end is a pair of pliers with a locking dog. You squeeze in comfort over here and the other end compresses the clamp & locks down. Removing those hoses would've been a nightmare without it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Glug
    replied
    Originally posted by thaiguzzi View Post
    Those pictures remind me of last year when i had to take our Toyota Hilux truck to the aircon fixing shop - to remove a dead rat.
    I thought you said "acorn fixing shop". I guess that's what naturally comes to mind after dealing with red squirrels.

    Leave a comment:


  • A.K. Boomer
    replied
    That is just awful, I cannot believe all the crap you had to go through and there's nothing worse/more confined than under dash work...

    There's certain jobs I just wont do and that's one of them, I will take a quick look to see what's involved and then make a decision, I did have a huge victory quite awhile back on some vehicle that required the entire dash to be removed and disassembled just to get to the temperature probe, I looked it over, drilled one hole in the plastic A/C plenum, got to it's internal anchoring screw or something like that, slipped the old one out and the new one in - installed a rubber plug where I drilled through ------ made unbelievable wage and saved the customer a ton of monies, everyone was very happy and it was a quality job that did not hurt a thing...

    If a car manufacturer has this kind of "build practice" then they should at least be installing evaporators that are Nasa grade and will never fail...

    Leave a comment:


  • PStechPaul
    replied
    Maybe you should try this method:



    Or get a 12V to 120V inverter and mount a window A/C unit for a "Redneck" version. I've seen a picture somewhere... Yeah!

    http://fungur.blogspot.com/2010/08/r...ning-pics.html

    Leave a comment:


  • thaiguzzi
    replied
    Those pictures remind me of last year when i had to take our Toyota Hilux truck to the aircon fixing shop - to remove a dead rat. I could not believe the amount of stuff that had to come out. And the smell !!!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • justanengineer
    replied
    Patience and a butter knife do wonders in these situations. I do similar every few years to wash out the hvac ducts and make sure there arent critters living in them, youd be surprised what comes out of garage kept vehicles.

    Leave a comment:


  • boslab
    replied
    I had the same pain on an audi, i think it took me about 2 days to fix the damage i did fixing the trim back!, never again, ok we all say that shortly after a clutch change, it seems you get to completely disassemble the whole car to do both jobs, I'm surprised you don't have to remove the trunk lid to change the back lights!
    Mark

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