At the evaparator inlet/outlet at the firewall, those spring ring clip connectors are used. It takes a special tool to release the spring rings. I noticed that there are are some plastic rings with several teeth like tips on this ring. I would guess the factory used these to install the AC originally. Can those be used instead of the special release tool to release the spring rings? How is that done? What can be used to push them in and hold to release the spring rings?
The plastic rings with teeth are just indicator rings that are used at the factory which snap off when the springlock connection is properly made. As long as you can hear and feel the click when making the springlock connection, it should be good. On the assembly line, they probably can't hear the click, so these plastic rings serve as confirmation (they won't break off if the connection is not properly made).
The tool to relese the springlock is relatively inexpensive, and can also be used with some fuel injection too:
93000 - Spring Lock Release Tool
Be sure to replace both the o-ring and garter springs on all connectors (available on this site). Also, polish out smooth if the female springlock if pitting or corroded - otherwise it'll leak again.
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