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Discussion Starter #1
I changed out the door ledge moulding on the outside part of the door on my 280zx and noticed that the felt fuzzie material, that the window rides on when going up or down, is mostly gone. I was wondering as it attaches to the inside door panel if anyone had replaced theirs and where I might be able to get some of it. As for the rest of the car it runs great but the a/c has a blockage at the expansion valve as the evaporator is not getting cold. So there is no rush it is just sitting now. Too hot in Phoenix to drive it without a/c.
 

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BEEN THERE DONE THAT. Had to remove the dash to get to the evap and the exp valve. There were about 1/2 dozen fine granules of charcoal from the drier blocking it. You'll need a new drier. I used r-12 BTW. I also removed all the outside lines and replaced the O-rings. You might want to flush out the compressor, condenser, and lines before reassembly. Remember to refill Compressor with the proper oil. R134 and R12 uses 2 different types oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Palladin Thanks for your reply and I am wondering just how long did it take you just to get the evaporator out from the lower portion of the dash. My compressor is good and the receiver drier is new and I flushed the whole system and the evaporator as best as I could but there is blockage in the evaporator as it stops getting cold after the firewall.
 

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eASIER than you would think. I was amazed. Pull the dash of course. Couple connections and a few bolts and it's out. I'd say once the dash is out, you can have the evap out and on the bench within an hour the first time. Within 30 min the next time. The evap came apart pretty easy. The question will be, do you reuse the new drier??? I'll send you some pics tomorrow you you'll know what ur up against. Hope you have broadband.
 

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Chain,

I had these same issues, but I have a '76 280z, so it may differ from the '81. But the concept should be the same.

a) the little fuzzy trim can be replaced. I got mine from blackdragonauto.com
I had to remove the door panel and remove the old trim, since it is attached to it, and used gorilla glue to re-attach the new fuzz trim. The original had rivets, but I don't have a rivet gun. I would imagine the 280zx is somewhat the same, however only you will be able to tell by removing the panel yourself.

b) yes if your expansion valve is not operating correctly, the air will not be cold.
I did a complete stock a/c install on my 280z and everything worked great accept for the valve, which after about 20 seconds of cold air, would frost up at the inlets and the air would cease to be cold. The FSM says that symptom is the cause of a bad valve. So I swapped it out with another old valve and now the air flows cold quite well. Now in the 280, you can access the valve, and the evaporator housing, and can be removed without removing the dash.... according to the FSM. I don't know if it is the same on the 280zx. Check your manual.

c) When I did my system, the car never had a/c from the factory. So everything I bought was used. All lines, compressor, condenser, pulley bracket, evaporator, etc. I bought a new receiver drier. I completely took apart the evaporator housing and cleaned everything inside. Also replaced all of the cruddy foam and insulation.

If I were you and you plan on taking that stuff out, I would just buy a new evaporator and expansion valve.

Hope this helps.

Bon
 

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I did find new evap and exp valve for about $200 somewhere last summer. It is possible for a evap to go bad...ie leak. I had a Ford Taurus once, I am ashamed to say, that had a leak. I replaced every seal in it. Finally took a sniffer and found it leaking out the evap thru the vents.

Not that this is your problem now. It could be crap in that exp valve. You'll never know til you take it apart. Hope you have a way to save your R12. It's real expensive now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bon, Good advice and Thanks. Now I am wondering how much an evaporator would cost. I know I can get a new expansion valve at the dealer. I would just like to know what's involved and the time required to do the job. Right now it is too hot to work on the car for a job like that. I have a garage but even with a cooler it is still too hot.
 

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well like palladin said, probably around 200 bucks. I have seen them on ebay (aftermarket for the 280) they may have one for the zx. my problem is you can't get new stock expansion valves for the 280. You can get an aftermarket one but it is not the same and will not fit into the stock evap without mods.

check out zcar source of arizona. they might have evaps for the zx. i know they have expansion valves (used)

also palledan is right about the r12. it is really expensive, but certain a/c shops can get it and install it, for a price. i would really like to have r12 in my system, but i would have to get another drier, completely flush and clean out the compressor and the rest of the system because r12 is not compatible with r134 oil. maybe next summer i will do that. the colder, the better, right?

Bon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I think both you, Bon and Palladin, are experts at this and I appreciate all the information. From what the dealer here in Phoenix said the expansion valve is still available and I believe it is a stock item. I was advised to use Freese 12 in the system and I have stuck to that. I have a 67 Pontiac Catalina that I have been using it in for over 6 years and it has worked out fine. It is not as cold as R12 and they say you don't have to use as much. The sight glass on my Catalina was clear when we finished refilling it. As for my 280ZX I am sure that the expansion valve is clogged as it gets cold up to the firewall. Inside when you feel the evaporator it is not cold. Please if you have any pictures of taking it apart from the dash I would really like to see them and know just what I am up against. Thanks, CW
 

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Unfortunately I can't provide any pics of the area under the dash cause I don't have my zx anymore (regretfully) and my 280 is a little different. It has a finisher that covers the a/c vent control area that's held on by 4 screws. Take it off and you can see right into the evap core and even put your hand on the expansion valve.
Now, the best thing you can do is what i've already said... download the free factory service manual for your year Z. It will tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about the a/c system.... in my manual, a/c is the first section and it is almost 60 pages long. The '81 zx manual should have an a/c section just like it. It will tell you how to remove everything. Until then, what you can do is go out to your Z (when it is cool, maybe at night with a flashlight) and look at the dash.
Look at the finisher area around the center vents and controls for screws or fasteners. If you can access this area and remove it, you might be able to see your expansion valve and evap. If your valve is frosting up at the inlets and the evap fins are not blowing cold air, then you got a clog.

The best thing I can tell you is to get that FREE FSM! www.xonons130.com

Bon
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bonfire 79 just to let you know I contacted Blackdragonauto.com and talked to Guy. He told me they do now have the fussies for the 280zx's so I am off looking again but haven't been able to devote too much time so will keep you posted when I find them.
 

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Try Zcar source of AZ. They may have them. You may have to resort to a junk yard car. I will keep on the look out for them so If I locate them, I will let you know.

Bon
 
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