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93 Accord- Leak and Retrofit Q's

Shankenstein on Wed July 14, 2010 11:02 AM User is offline

Year: 1993
Make: Honda
Model: Accord
Engine Size: 2.2L
Refrigerant Type: R12

Hey guys/gals, I'm workin up a partial DIY project on the poor old car. It's got some oily residue on the compressor around the in/out valve and no R12 left, AFAIK. I was told I could either get a new O-ring or a new compressor. The comp's never had any vibration or noise so I'm gonna try to keep it. I'll have to get a shop to do the flush/convert/refill but I like to do the o-ring, drier, and condenser myself for cost reasons. I've done ALOT of reading on retrofits (Chilton's was no help) but I've got a few Q's I havn't run across yet:

A) is it safe/recommended to change the suction valve seal yourself? It looks to be just 4 allen bolts on top of the comp. I'm concerned it'd be alot of $$ gone if it leaks again. Any special procedures like oiling the rubber or sealer?

B) since there's still mineral oil in the system, can I put the r134 drier in before the flush and fill? It's gonna have some POE in it which might get mixed with mineral when they flush and vacuum it.

C) would anybody know if an OE Condenser from a 96-97 Accord (R134) would fit without modification? I can pick up a pretty nice lookin junkyard one for under $20. If it'd take custom piping or new fittings, that's outside my range of talent. Also, do I need new o-rings and sealer for the fittings on the condenser and drier?

THANKS! If I can DIY a few things, it'd save ~$500 from the shop quote (they want $160 for a drier and $185 to install it).

bohica2xo on Wed July 14, 2010 12:12 PM User is offline

I would not retrofit a Honda.

Your car has a Serpentine condensor, with the lines at the bottom of the unit. The 96 has a Parallel Flow condensor, with the lines on one end. Two different animals, and not a drop in part.

Changing the seal on the compressor is not a big job, but you do need to pull the clutch assembly off. Of course, since you have the clutch off, you may want to change the clutch bearing, since it is 17 years old, and spins 100% of the time the engine is running... Inspect the clutch as well, it may be badly worn too. With the clutch off, you can inspect the seal - if you find the shaft recess full of oil, then you need a seal replacement too... Do you see where this is headed?

You can buy a brand new compressor & clutch from the site sponsor 1993 Honda Accord compressor for 220 bucks.

The system should be flushed while it is apart. The new drier should be the last part that is installed after the system is clean & repaired.

Keep the car R12. There is still plenty of R12 available. You can do the work yourself, or have it done. If the shop you are using is charging those kind of prices, you can buy all the tools & parts for much less. That dryer is a 12 buck part.


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

Shankenstein on Wed July 14, 2010 3:54 PM User is offline

Hey, thanks for the reply. I'm still figuring out how to work this forum but anyway...
-that's good to know about the Condenser. I've heard of people swapping to the Parallel Flow ones when they do the retrofit since Serpentine+R134 don't cool as well. If it was drop in, it woulda been convenient.
-on the seal: I stole these pics from somebody else with an identical Denso compressor. The seal is accessible from the top so I'm hoping to leave the compressor in one piece. I assume you dab it with oil like you do the seal on an oil filter.

-on the freon: I havnt found any shops in town that will sell R12. One told me that the car was too old to work on and just roll the windows down... I'm not against the retrofit since there's a possibility the Low side schrader valve may also be leaking and a new one would be safer. Although shops can't stand the stuff, is there any merit to getting the new seal and drier but using POE or PAG and an R12 alternative (Freeze12 or EnviroSafe)? I guess I could get a shop to flush and evac and let me fill it. That might be closer to working with the old condenser. (The shop also quoted $20/lb for R134. Sigh)

Thanks again for the help! I was about to to junkyard diving for a condenser!

Edited: Wed July 14, 2010 at 4:17 PM by Shankenstein

bohica2xo on Wed July 14, 2010 7:59 PM User is offline

Ok, you are talking about the Manifold seal.

When you said O ring I thought you meant the rear case seal.

If you are sure it is the manifold seal, then it can be fixed easily enough. You should still flush the balance of the system (NOT the compressor) to get all of the old oil out.

Then it is a case of replacing the dryer, charging the proper oil charge, evacuate & charge.

For 305 bucks, you can buy all the tools you need to do the work DIY Starter Kit. For simply removing oil from a working system This Unit will do fine. it is not up to the task of cleaning up after a blown up compressor, but with some of Hecat's solvent it will chase out the old oils.

Do NOT use that freeze 12/ envirosafe / duracool / 12 junk. It is a waste of time in that system. They are either propane or a 134a blend, depending on brand. Real R12 is available. You need to take a simple, open book online test to get a 609 certificate. That's it. Some of the places telling you they don't have it? They have it, but you don't have the magic certificate - yet.

It looks like for under 500 bucks you can buy the parts, the TOOLS, and the refrigerant to fix this right. And you will OWN the TOOLS to do this type of job for many more years. The next blown line or rock damaged condensor becomes a simple matter if you can replace it & properly recharge the system.

On a final note, I would not use a junkyard serpentine condensor in a car. It might be ok to lay across a pair of saw horses to spray paint parts on top of, but it should stay in the junkyard otherwise. A new unit for your Honda is 112 bucks - a blocked junkyard unit is a thousand dollar headache...


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

Shankenstein on Mon July 19, 2010 5:20 PM User is offline

Hey! Hate to resurrect a dead thread but I'm FINALLY getting time to get lookin at the car.
I got a hold of the "manifold seal" (the Honda diagram just calls it an O ring, sorry) so that part's ready to go. Adding a few more monkey wrenches to the plan are a few logistical issues.

A) the driers that I've found that are use PAG compatible desiccant are all 180° ported and the ports on the current one are 90°.

Since the lines are metal, I'm guessing this is a problem. The only solutions I can come up with (amateur ones) are to use the old style drier and hope POE oil is OK with it, or get custom lines. I guess the best question is will an R12 (90°) drier be OK with POE oil?

B) my family (financiers) are 100% against allowing me to do the flush/vac/fill myself and are hesitant about the seal and drier work. This isn't cool because every shop in town will only use PAG and R134a. Kinda screws up my plan from point a since they won't be using POE or other compatible-type oils. This is getting confusing AND stressful while the heat index is 114°. Any solutions from people who've done old systems like this? THANKS

Shankenstein on Tue July 20, 2010 7:24 PM User is offline

Hate to do this but gotta BUMP to the top. I'm on hold until I can figure out what drier to use and how to make the best out of a bad dealership that my parents trust so much (they aren't DIY'ers, they give up) THANKS!

bohica2xo on Tue July 20, 2010 9:02 PM User is offline

Any dryer in current production should be dual rated. a 134a dryer should be fine for R12.

If you do convert to 134a, you will lose some performance.


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

Shankenstein on Wed July 21, 2010 5:26 PM User is offline

That's good to hear! I wasn't sure on that since y'alls product page and others like RockAuto never say anything about compatibility A new drier, nylog, and some POE oil are on the way.
Sadly, I'll have to let someone else take over for the flush and fill but this should save a hefty chunk of change in the $250 range for $30 worth of parts and some spare time~
Thanks again, Mr.B! Y'all run a good site here. I'll vouch for you guys over at

Bench on Wed July 21, 2010 5:38 PM User is offlineView users profile

I plug these guys every chance I get on other forums. Nice folks, and great product.

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