451 AC Radiator Removal
If you have a split in the air conditioning radiator then you'll need to replace it
The AC system is full of high pressure gas. If you undo any connections it will get out.
Many cars use R134-A gas (1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane) which is relatively non toxic but
should be avoided where possible. However it is bad for the environment (if you care). However...
...the fact you are replacing the radiator means in all likelihood the gas has already escaped.
To be on the safe side, perform this in a well ventilated area and have some tissue ready.
Locate the AC pressure sensor, place a spanner over it and give it a turn anticlockwise.
If you hear hissing, move away until you hear it stop. It's the pressure equalising.
You may also get refrigerant oil dripping from the pipe so clean it up as it drips.
Tighten the pressure sensor back in place.
On the front of the radiator is a nut to remove, cirlced below.
With the nut removed, lift the plastic clip and gently pull the radiator forwards to clear it.
You may get a bit more hissing and oil dripping. Make sure that both rubber seals are recovered
from the radiator. Below you can see that the lower purple seal is in place but the upper seal
is still in the radiator. Check that they are OK before you reuse them. Replace if necessary.
Follow the radiator down on the left hand side and you will find 2 more clips.
Press the tabs together and gently pull the radiator towards you again.
The radiator can now hinge (precariously) from the right hand side.
The radiator can be very easily pulled out of the hinged mounting.
The old radiator is now out the car and is awaiting the reverse fitment of the replacement.
As you have the AC radiator out of the way, check the coolant radiator looks OK,
hasn't sustained any damage that may have caused the AC radiator to split, no
obvious signs of coolant leaks and that the fins are relatively clear of debris.
If you wish to clear the coolant radiator of dead bugs and dirt, you can use a pressure washer
but keep the head of the lance at least 2 feet away and use a fan shape spray. It is very possible
for the powerful water jet to damage the cooling fins and even make a hole in the radiator.
Air conditioning radiator part number A 451 500 01 54 available from smart