Removing Aftermarket AC from an E21 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 10:15 AM
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Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums and I'm new to the world of BMW ownership. I recently got an E21 BMW 320i (4 cyl). I love the car, but a previous owner put in an aftermarket air conditioning system that no longer works, so now it's just adding weight and sapping horsepower. So I set upon removing it yesterday, but it turns out that's not the easiest job around. I got the grille heat exchanger and the expansion valve/canister out, soon the condenser in the dash and the compressor will be out too. But I just wanted to make sure I'm doing it right here, so I've got a question for the E21 establishment:

- Do E21s originally have two fans in the grill, one running off of the motor and a second electric one in front of the radiator? I think the electric fan is specific to the AC, but I'm not sure and I don't want to just throw it out.

I used to have to switch it on if the engine got too warm from idling, but I think without the heat exchanger in the way of the radiator that problem will be solved too.
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-03-2004, 08:42 PM
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The eletric fan will come on if the engine gets too hot. I think somewhere arround the 3/4 mark it will turn on but you can buy different thermostatic switches from BavAuto that make it come on at lower temps. If your car gets any higher than 3/4 while idling you probaby have other problems. With my E21 before I took off the mechanical fan and swaped to eletric my car would get no hotter than just under the 3/4 mark in stop and go traffic on 100deg days. Now that I've done a coolant flush and a cooler t-stat the car will hardly go over half in traffic. The down side to that is durring the winter I have to put in a hotter t-stat otherwise my car will not get to the proper running temp.
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-06-2004, 06:58 PM
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RE: Aftermarket air conditioning system that no longer works, so now it's just adding weight and sapping horsepower.

If the compressor belt is removed, there is no power loss.
Weight cost is minimal, unless you are on the 1/4 mile track.
Repair should be simple, compared to removal.

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#4 (permalink) Old 09-07-2004, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by whunter@Sep 6 2004, 04:38 PM
Weight cost is minimal, unless you are on the 1/4 mile track.
I weighed my A/C stuff when i took it all out. The compressor alone was about 40 pounds, then the condensor, lines, evaprator, reciver dryer, aux fan, and interior fan brought the total close to 100 pounds.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-07-2004, 03:16 PM
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Even if the gains are small I don't like to leave unused parts in the engine bay. I've got everything but the dash heat exchanger out now. I left the electric fan off (no way to mount it right now anyway) and haven't had any problem with overheating. If I let it idle after hard driving for 5-10 min straight it edges up past 3/4 on the temp guage but as soon as I rev it up it drops back down.
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2004, 06:23 PM
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I got the in-dash heat exchanger out today. After I put the whole deal in a box and weighed it, I discovered I had lightened my car by a bit more than 50 pounds. Looks like my AC was a little lighter duty than yours... maybe that's why it wasn't working anymore. Nice to be done with that job.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 01:22 AM
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There were a few different compressors that came on the 320's, maybe mine was the heaviest of the bunch.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 01:34 AM
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i was thinking about taking the a/c outta my car but can i still have the vents and fans? my a/c doesnt work but my vents and fans work great...help plz


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#9 (permalink) Old 09-09-2004, 07:30 PM
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E30iS, your vents and fans should still work. In fact, when I took my AC system out I discovered it had an extra fan in the dash and an extra fan in the grille, both specific to the AC. Mine was aftermarket though, so your case may be different. Just disconnect the fan serving the AC and see if the heat and vents still work. Mine did so I took the fan out.
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