Jaguar XJ6: Air Conditioning Repair

Summer has hit, and it turns out that there is another repair in store for the Jaguar: the air conditioning. It doens't work at all and the car won't be driven much until it does. The system is completely original and unmolested, except for the fact that it was converted to R-134a about twelve years ago. After investigating with a UV lamp, it turns out that there is a massive leak from the rear of the compressor, leaks around the shaft seals, leaks around the rear head, as well as some seepage in the high side hose. Since everything is thirty years old, most of the parts are due for a refresh anyway. The compressor and hoses will be rebuilt and everything will be examined and thoroughly flushed.

There are plenty of opinions on R-134a retrofits, but this system was designed for R-12, so that's what will be going back in. The R-134a conversion placard (which will be coming off!) states that PAG oil was used, which is incompatible with R-12. As such, the system needs to be thoroughly flushed, so there's one more reason to tear it down and build it back up to the original specification.


Here's one reason why I hate conversions: every retrofit kit that I've ever seen is complete garbage. The valves are flakey and pretty much everything about them is crappy. The seal in this adapter has completely melted!

Since the condenser has to come out, the hood must come off. It makes working on the car a lot more comfortable, since the latches are strategically placed at head level.

And here's why the condenser had to come out! This was definitely restricting the flow of liquified refrigerant!


Prior to reassembly, the components were thoroughly flushed to get rid of all hints of PAG oil and any contaminants in the system.

The fuel cooler came out to be flushed and cleaned, so the original hoses were replaced too.

And here's the "new" condenser and a new receiver-drier going back in.

The 30-year-old rubber hoses were also rebuilt with new R-134a-compatible rubber, making them even better than new, since these will help keep even more R-12 inside the system.