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expansion valve install

This is a discussion on expansion valve install within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; My Ac was not blowing cold at idle and I thought it was just low on freon. However when I ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    maroon
    01 SS

    expansion valve install

    My Ac was not blowing cold at idle and I thought it was just low on freon. However when I took it into a trusted local shop to be recharged the mech. told me the freon level was fine but that the expansion valve was not functioning properly so it was building up about 70 lbs of pressure instead of the desired 40 lbs. at idle/ low RPM. Has anyone installed one of these?? mech told me it was only about a 28 dollar part but the install was going to be 267$ . if anyone has installed and can give me an idea of skill level/ time required that would be awesome.

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    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    70 lbs. of pressure on the low side seems excessive-but what was the high side reading? Outside air temperature is also a consideration-the hotter- the higher the readings. I don't have a labor guide in front of me, but call another shop and compare prices if you don't believe it. Most shops in a given area will be about the same on A/C repair because discounting A/C repair is dumb for any commercial shop. There's too much overhead on repairs like that. I'll try looking it up in the service manual-give me a minute.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    70 psi on the low side could be normal-if the high side is at about 360 psi. Realistically you would only see this if the outside air temp was above 100 F and the humidity level was above 20 % (typical summer day in St. Louis-jk). Looking for more info-hang on.

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    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    OK-these systems don't use an expansion valve-it's an orifice tube type system. Those are the two different types of systems-it's either one or the other. Without looking it up you would'nt know the type on each car. Anyway-it's an orifice tube -located in the tube going between the evaporator and the condenser (condensor is the thing in front of the radiator,evaporator is the thing in the interior of the car). It's the A/C tube going from the firewall to the front of the radiator. Inside the tube when you take it loose from the firewall bulkhead is the orifice tube. It's not hard to replace this if you understand anything about what I'm talking about. Otherwise-maybe you need the tech to do it, since he's going to have to vacuum and recharge the thing anyway. Part of what you're paying for is the freon, and then the labor, and then the part. If you don't have any experience with A/C systems then it's easy to create a leak that's going to create a problem for you (or an immediate one for the tech). Like I was saying-that's why shops won't discount A/C jobs.

  5. #5
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    maroon
    01 SS

    Thanks for the reply and all the info. That makes me kinda wonder about the shop.. saying i need an expansion valve and my system doesn't even use one. It has been pretty hot definately some 100+ days. I definately understood what you were saying about the location of the tubing and hoses. I'm going to read up on it. and maybe ill find some pic of a replace. I wish it was cool enough outside to leave until next year

  6. #6
    Senior Member 02z28ls1's Avatar
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    navy blue
    2002 Z-28 Camaro M6

    Yeah-they should've looked it up before quoting a price-but like he was saying the part doesn't cost much, it's the labor. I don't know how much book time is (labor guide) but it shouldn't take more than about a half hour to 45 minutes to do, then vacuum the system for 45 (he can be doing something else during that) then recharge and test the system. By the time you include freon and shop supplies it can add up. But I don't know what the other readings where (high side)-you may have another problem. Any way read up on it and give it a stab if you feel up to it. Remember to lube the O-rings with the oil!

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