A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

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A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Brisvegas » Mon 06.01.2020, 08:53

I am looking at a 1992 series 1 SE which is 1700 kms away.
VIN number says it is a manual car with no A/C built to USA 49 states legislation.
Seller is telling me that the AC wiring and switch was fitted as a factory option so the retro fitting of AC would be straight forward.
Reading the posts about existing A/C it seems as though it would be a costly exercise to buy all of the necessary parts , get them to Australia and then get them fitted.
Is it possible ? What is the availability of new and secondhand parts ? Would it cost in excess of 1000 pounds ?

Regards
Mark
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby robertverhey » Mon 06.01.2020, 14:37

I think it would be a very complex process to install, but your best bet would be to find someone in UK or another colder clime who is pulling “the lot” out and is prepared to give you lots of photos of the removal process

I’m in Sydney and just to have the elan’s aircon updated for R134a has was well over $500. Probably paid too much and should have shopped around but it’s done now. He did say it was one of the tightest installations he’s ever had the pleasure of working on though. So much that he left the receiver /dryer in place, he said he would have had to dismantle the LH guard to get it out. So I effectively paid $500+ for a vacuum, regas, leak check And a couple of bayonet valves. Ouch. Works well though.

Does USA spec also mean it’s left hand drive? Potentially a further complication if the Looms were “handed”. All in all I suspect it might be worth looking for an alternative one to purchase! But they don’t come up that often I know. I got mine in Ipswich, not far from you.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Brisvegas » Mon 06.01.2020, 20:53

Hello Robert
I have an Excel SA that I use as a weekend car.That has AC as standard but it’s not particularly effective.
But I only drive that car on dry days for a few hours and have the windows wide open so not a problem.
With the Elan I was looking for an interesting daily driver but I use air con every day here in Brisbane in my Falcon, so the lack of AC might be a killer .
I think an early Elise would be too fragile and not comfortable enough for what I am looking for and looked at the Modern Elan as a softer option.
It is a car sold new in Australia but there isn’t an option for an Australian spec so it shows on the vin decoder as being made to USA 49 states legislation. It is a right hand drive.
I looked in the UK 2 years ago but current import rules mean that to import one you have to go through the trials of dealing with Canberra.
My friend just imported an 1989 Excel SE and it took 14 months to get it on the approved list, imported and tested.

Cheers
Mark
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 06.01.2020, 22:25

Like all S2s, mine has a VIN of SCC100ZT1*H*2****.
Calypso Red S2 #417

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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby robertverhey » Mon 06.01.2020, 23:05

Gday Mark some uncanny parallels happening here, I also have an Excel (87SE) with aircon, which works well. And I have a BA Falcon wagon daily driver/parts chaser.

Yes given the current (and likely future) nature of our climate I would prob walk away from an Elan that doesn’t have aircon.

I have imported a few cars from UK (including an early Elan and Excel) and from USA. The recently tightened up rules about importation of asbestos have pretty much put the kybosh on importation. Who’s going to pay someone to remove the clutch and brake linings (thereby rendering the car undeliverable) prior to shipping? Bureaucratic madness from the desk jockeys
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Simon_P » Tue 07.01.2020, 03:27

49 States refers to the emissions standard - cat, closed loop and chip in the ecu - which I guess is why Geoff has commented on the vin. Because it doesn't denote a USA spec car.

USA cars are stage 2 with significant differences including bodywork and crash structure... including the A/C.

I have retro fitted A/C. Yes the wiring is plug and play the switch is still available on the aftersales list for about four quid.
As Robert mentioned, if you could get the parts from someone removing Ac that would help, but it's not too hard a job if you like a project. Getting an evaporator would be key as it's a bit tight, quite involved behind the glove box and even then it's a bugger to fit. Other than that the compressor mounting would be useful. The rest can be made to suit.

Robert,
Yes, the engine bay is tight without A/C so working on it can be a little taxing so $500 seems reasonable. Oddly the only part of the system that is in full view and easily accessible is the receiver dryer, but I recall that the clamp screw is masked by something. No need to remove anything and it wouldn't help. For reference the receiver dryer is a generic part. I suppose that the problem is that out there there are few Elans and many A/C technicians. The opposite is true here so when I fitted mine it turned out that the local (only) ac place did the ac work fo Paul Matty.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Brisvegas » Tue 07.01.2020, 07:49

Is the part sale only every few years or is it ongoing.
I bought stuff maybe 10 years ago and thought it was a one off when Proton took over.
I can only find lists from 2016 on the internet.
Please send a link and I will see what is available .
I will ask Lotusbits if they have any parts .

Regards
Mark
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 07.01.2020, 10:11

Brisvegas wrote:Is the part sale only every few years or is it ongoing.
I bought stuff maybe 10 years ago and thought it was a one off when Proton took over.
I can only find lists from 2016 on the internet.


Easy! Click on view active topics tab at top and about 7/8 threads down is the latest list, posted only a couple of days ago by BCN.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Brisvegas » Wed 08.01.2020, 21:25

Is that link oK ?
It comes up with a Chinese page and asks to download some software for a mobile phone that looks a bit dodgy.
Has anybody got a clean excel attachment ?
Or could advise if the main components I would need are listed on there please?

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Mark
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Fredjohn » Wed 08.01.2020, 23:09

I assume you looked at the latest post with the link to a pdf. Worked fine for me.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Simon_P » Wed 08.01.2020, 23:56

Looks like the link to John's old site has been hijacked.

No the main components that you need aren't on the list. Just the switch. The Trinary switch is also listed but what you get is the dash switch. There is the US condenser but it fits the US front end.

You need to first decide which system you want to fit. Then use the WSM and parts manual or a site like deroure and to search the part numbers through Google.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Giniw » Thu 09.01.2020, 00:36

It seems to be OK from here, so I reckon you are talking of another website?
As for the latest PDF, Brit-Car-Nut uploaded it here: viewtopic.php?f=129&t=21104&start=100#p357421
And his website URL is in his signature.
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Re: A/C retrofit for 1992 S1 SE ?

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Thu 09.01.2020, 06:40

Simon_P wrote:Looks like the link to John's old site has been hijacked.

Simon (or Mark),
What site did you try to look at? Please send me an email so we don't have others trying a site that might be damaged.
I am not aware of any of my sites being hacked or damaged.

Thanks!
Please contact me via eMail, not by PM
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