Removal of AC Unit - Pros and Cons - Lexus IS Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Removal of AC Unit - Pros and Cons

Good morning Everyone,

Exploring the possibility of removing my entire AC.

Compressor, pulley, core, condenser, all of it.

Can anyway chime in from experience the amount of work I am looking at.
- This may sound silly but I am sick of looking at a chipped and ugly looking ac condenser behind my grill and want to show off my shiny aluminum radiator.

Granted we could discuss weight reduction and "potential" for more power at the wheels, but I am not doing this for performance but more at this point for aesthetics. Not to mention these gains would be rather minimal.

However I am more interested in any cons this job may introduce.
- Any additional stress on pulleys
- New Belt Part Numbers (for shorter routing minus ac pulley)
- Belt Reroute Diagrams

To further this, the ac servo behind my glove box has been acting a fool and is almost completely fried. I have birds chirping and loud noises coming from the servo.

Also, if I disconnect the AC will I still need to remove the dash and take the servo out? or will all these sounds go away once as is disconnected.

Looking for some cold hard facts or anyone who may have removed the ac on a AT IS300 previously - or anyone who knows what I may run into!

Lastly, while I did some forum searching, I was unable to dig up much. If this has been discussed elsewhere can someone forward me a link?

Thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:45 AM
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I've done it a couple times on other cars. Always ended up regretting it. It makes them hard to sell too.

I'm not clear what you'll put in place of the pulley. Since these cars never came without AC, there is no OEM idler pulley for use.

Quote:
Granted we could discuss weight reduction and "potential" for more power at the wheels, but I am not doing this for performance but more at this point for aesthetics. Not to mention these gains would be rather minimal.
You won't notice with an engine the size of the IS. If you want the power with less effort, just pull the plug on the compressor so it never engages.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks EK

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Originally Posted by Ek9B18 View Post
I've done it a couple times on other cars. Always ended up regretting it. It makes them hard to sell too.

I'm not clear what you'll put in place of the pulley. Since these cars never came without AC, there is no OEM idler pulley for use.



You won't notice with an engine the size of the IS. If you want the power with less effort, just pull the plug on the compressor so it never engages.
Thanks EK.

Always appreciate your down to earth input and wisdom.

Do you know if by pulling the plug on the compressor (which I imagine can be plugged back in at any time without risk of damaging the AC System - other than perhaps an AC Recharge?) it will reduce the chirping coming from my AC Servo?

While I'd love to have an intercooler hanging instead of AC, I need to address all the internals before I begin to move that direction. Is pulling the condenser to expose the radiator a "bad" call?

Would I (Although I am reluctant to ask the question) be better just to replace the condenser to not see the ageing rust through my lower front grill? vs. pulling the whole AC?

Lastly, dont plan on selling the car - are there other reasons you regretting doing an AC Delete? (just a pain to remove?)

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:24 AM
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Do you know if by pulling the plug on the compressor (which I imagine can be plugged back in at any time without risk of damaging the AC System - other than perhaps an AC Recharge?) it will reduce the chirping coming from my AC Servo?
Pulling the plug just prevents the compressor from engaging. It'll have no impact on the freon levels in the system. It won't hurt anything. It'll just prevent the compressor from coming on in the times when the AC isn't on but the car still runs the compressor. Like when you have the defrosters on.

I'm unclear what part is squeaking on your car.

Quote:
Would I (Although I am reluctant to ask the question) be better just to replace the condenser to not see the ageing rust through my lower front grill? vs. pulling the whole AC?
I think condenser replacement is probably a better idea. It won't be cheap though.

Quote:
Lastly, dont plan on selling the car - are there other reasons you regretting doing an AC Delete? (just a pain to remove?)
Do you want to DD the car? Driving a car without AC is pretty miserable. The defrosters don't work very well and in the summer you can't go anywhere without getting there sweaty. I found on the cars where I removed it, I tended to drive them much less and eventually sold them. You tend to lose the love for a DD that's uncomfortable for 1/2 a year.

To me the IS isn't a good enough car to be too attached to it. It's marginally better than an Accord. I found, in retrospect that I preferred my WRX to my IS. I find the chassis construction of the IS to be a bit disappointing. It's one of those things you don't realize till you've owned a car for awhile.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ek9B18 View Post
Pulling the plug just prevents the compressor from engaging. It'll have no impact on the freon levels in the system. It won't hurt anything. It'll just prevent the compressor from coming on in the times when the AC isn't on but the car still runs the compressor. Like when you have the defrosters on.

I'm unclear what part is squeaking on your car.

It's the AC Servo Module behind the glove box. The little bugger that changes air dams within the AC Routing to differentiate between blaring AC at the windows, feed, face, etc.

I think condenser replacement is probably a better idea. It won't be cheap though.

Looks like I'll need to purchase Condenser Core, recharge AC, and replace the bad servo behind the glove box. You're correct, it is adding up.

Do you want to DD the car? Driving a car without AC is pretty miserable. The defrosters don't work very well and in the summer you can't go anywhere without getting there sweaty. I found on the cars where I removed it, I tended to drive them much less and eventually sold them. You tend to lose the love for a DD that's uncomfortable for 1/2 a year.

Not much of a choice up here in Wisconsin. lol Only have about 4 months to drive it anyways. Albeit, you make a good point. Those 4 months are excruciatingly humid To be clear: Defrosters will or will not work with AC Compressor disconnected?

To me the IS isn't a good enough car to be too attached to it. It's marginally better than an Accord. I found, in retrospect that I preferred my WRX to my IS. I find the chassis construction of the IS to be a bit disappointing. It's one of those things you don't realize till you've owned a car for awhile.

I suppose only time will tell. For now I am having a blast considering this my project car. Again, I only get to enjoy it for 4 months-6 months out of the year. Suspension is getting a complete overhaul in the next week or two. I keep telling myself to limit the mods, but that never works. I guess I'm somewhat of a tinkerer at heart. -- Not to get too off topic, but what is it about the chassis you found to be so disappointing?
On a side note, you're doing a SC V8 engine swap? I'm stoked to see how it turns out!

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 01:52 PM
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On a side note, you're doing a SC V8 engine swap? I'm stoked to see how it turns out!
It's done. Manual swap too. I'm probably switching it back to automatic though to get it through emissions and eventually to sell it. Looking for another project. I have a second IS I'm putting back together so I won't be IS'less.



If you disconnect the compressor, it's about the the same as removing the AC. One thing you can do is disconnect and drive it around for awhile and see how you like it. It's a non-destructive way of testing the waters. You can always plug it back in if you decide you need the AC.

The flaps behind the glove box won't change if you remove the AC so it's probably a different issue. Some of that you can get at under the dash. Perhaps by removing the glove box. I'd try that first, remove the glove compartment door and see what you can see.



Looks like the parts you need to look at are in the central part of the AC bits
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ek9B18 View Post
It's done. Manual swap too. I'm probably switching it back to automatic though to get it through emissions and eventually to sell it. Looking for another project. I have a second IS I'm putting back together so I won't be IS'less.



If you disconnect the compressor, it's about the the same as removing the AC. One thing you can do is disconnect and drive it around for awhile and see how you like it. It's a non-destructive way of testing the waters. You can always plug it back in if you decide you need the AC.

The flaps behind the glove box won't change if you remove the AC so it's probably a different issue. Some of that you can get at under the dash. Perhaps by removing the glove box. I'd try that first, remove the glove compartment door and see what you can see.



Looks like the parts you need to look at are in the central part of the AC bits
Looks amazing!

So funny, I read through the at to mt thread from 2004 all day yesterday! What a load of work! Thought about it until I remembered I had no 4 way lift and to do it on jacks seems insane.

Really looks good EK! How much you asking?
And its a good thing you have another IS in the bag.. This site may be lost without you.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:08 PM
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Thought about it until I remembered I had no 4 way lift and to do it on jacks seems insane.
That's how I did it. Jack stands and a regular engine hoist. On my back on a concrete floor.

Fitment was relatively easy. The hard part was the wiring and changing the V8 transmission to match the IS. If I had it to do over, I'd have taken a different route with the automatic.

Realistically, I'd be lucky to get $6500 for it. Most people are afraid of project cars. I'm not sure it's worth more manual than automatic. It won't pass emissions Automatic even though it has no CEL's. The way it's wired prevents the ECU from completing readiness.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ek9B18 View Post
That's how I did it. Jack stands and a regular engine hoist. On my back on a concrete floor.

Fitment was relatively easy. The hard part was the wiring and changing the V8 transmission to match the IS. If I had it to do over, I'd have taken a different route with the automatic.

Realistically, I'd be lucky to get $6500 for it. Most people are afraid of project cars. I'm not sure it's worth more manual than automatic. It won't pass emissions Automatic even though it has no CEL's. The way it's wired prevents the ECU from completing readiness.
You are insane my friend! Mad props for getting it done on jack stands!

I bet it involved quite a bit of custom work. I'll bet, that wiring must have been insane.

So, do you wait a few more years until is recognized as a collection car by the state? and no emissions in required?
- You know, up north in Wisconsin, if you have family that owns land you would never need a car to pass emissions as long as its registered to the boonyville family farmland address.

Wish I could test drive that beast! I'd try posting it on ebay - someone has to nibble.

IF I wasn't sinking money into my current set-up I would snatch it in a heartbeat. How far are you from Wisco? haha

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:10 PM
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So, do you wait a few more years until is recognized as a collection car by the state? and no emissions in required?
1 - If I switch it back to automatic, it'll pass. I've already passed once when it was automatic. Honestly a 1UZ/3UZ is a natural fit on the IS. It's even easier to repair than the 2JZ because the plugs and everything are on top and its "coil on plug". If you want 300 hp of smooth V8, the 1UZ is the perfect engine and the install is cheaper than doing a turbo. You don't even need a custom drive-shaft. It works with the stock DS.

2 - Since I have a second IS and it's also an 01 and black and because we have "drive by" emissions testing in my state, if should be possible to use the V8's tags on the stock IS300 and do the driveby... The V8 has cats, it just won't pass because of OBD2.

Antique tags aren't that great. They restrict how much you can drive the car. I'd probably rather just find a different project to work on. I miss my WRX. Hobbying on the WRX is much easier than on the Lexus because the ECU has been cracked and anyone can reflash it with laptop and cable. Next county over doesn't have emissions testing so, if someone over there bought it as a manual, it would be fine for them.

I might try selling it as a manual and if that doesn't work out, convert to automatic. Parting out the the AR-5 and switching it back to auto might make more sense though. Seems like they're getting hard to come by.


Last edited by Ek9B18; 03-20-2017 at 03:23 PM.
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