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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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320i A/C question

Is it possible to install a new a/c system in a 1980 BMW 320i? If so, what are the steps involved, and would I need to compensate for any power needed to fire up the new a/c? Any suggestions on how to do this or possibly make the stock a/c any stronger would be great!

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, it depends on how adept you are. The very best way to achieve the coldest A/C is to build brackets and mount a 134A compressor, then replace your stock condenser with a 134A condenser of similar size. This coupled a 134A receiver/drier along with your stock R12 expansion valve and R12 evaporator will turn your A/C system in to a freezer. Building your own A/C lines can be tricky. Having a shop make you custom hoses is the best way to go. All in all, you are looking at about $400 to $500 investment. (using mostly used parts)

Similar to a custom A/C system I did in a Studebaker Avanti II, I got 18 deg F at the vents with the outside temp being around 90 deg F. Although having it this cold isn't the wisest, but you should be able to get at least 30+ deg drop in temp.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I wish I lived close to you as well!!! Thank you for the detailed instructions. I'm looking to purchase this 320i from a friend of mine within the next few weeks. The a/c was one of the few problems I was worried about. 'll keep ya posted.
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