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Discussion Starter #1
Well, it's time to replace the condenser. At about 40,000 miles it developed a tiny leak and we massaged it through an entire year with a couple cans of refrigerant. Well, on our 300 mile trip this weekend we got a 4" disk-shaped piece of metal lodged at least 1/2" straight into the condenser. No basic "stop-leak" is going to fix or work for a few months with this one!

Has anyone had an aftermarket condenser installed? They're readily available for $100-180, vs. $255 or so I found online for a Honda unit. Given how fragile the Honda one is, I can't imagine aftermarket condensers are any weaker (and in fact may be stronger). Of course, after this hit I'll be installing gutter guard along with it.

While I'm at it, has anyone done this themselves apart from having a professional A/C shop draw a vacuum and then charge the system? I have the Odyssey repair manual and the replacement looks very easy for my 2007. Nothing major to remove to get at the few things that need to be detached from the condenser. The only thing that doesn't make it completely drop in is you need to replace the o-rings, and I'll probably have to buy a new drier filter if whatever condenser I buy doesn't come with it already (OEM does but otherwise it depends on what and where you buy an aftermarket one from). I'm assuming I shouldn't re-install the existing one.

Skipping self-install entirely, has anyone had an independent A/C shop handle the replacement for them? What did it cost? What parts did they use or did you have them use?

Thanks!
 

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1. Search forum for "Gutter Guard", I wrote a DIY to protect the AC condensor.

2. Since this job involves alot of labor and R134a, buy the Honda AC Condensor. Install it.
Then go to a shop to vacuum the system for 30 min then charge with appropriate amount of R134a and you are done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ordered a TYC replacement from an eBay seller. He didn't list anything other than it being "Made in China," which TYC does bring their parts in from China and the model number matched up. Sure enough, it arrived in the original TYC box. New dryer was already installed.

The overall design and perception of quality of the TYC unit is pretty much 95% of the OEM. Only a couple components of the OEM unit look a little more solid, but not parts that truly matter (i.e. the condenser itself), just mounting points. I'm very happy with my purchase the was net ~1/3 the cost of an OEM unit. Now I just have to find an auto A/C shop in the SF South Bay area to do a leak test, make sure I have no other issues and draw a vacuum so I can recharge the system.

I think the entire removal and replacement took less than an hour. It then took me 2 hours to cut the gutter guard, paint it, fit it, drill a few holes in the original lower grill, and set all the zip ties in the spots where I wanted them. Not all of that two hours was active work, but not far from it.

No special tricks overall, just a little common sense where the Honda manual I have was somewhat incorrect or not clear. It did say to remove the lower grill for access in a 2007. That was incorrect. You can access the lower A/C line bolt with a simple 4-6" extension on your socket. I had to remove the upper grill, remove the upper brackets (which includes the bar, also not shown in the manual), and have my wife hold back part of the bumper (extensions that flank each side of the upper grill) while I slid the condenser up and out of the vehicle. I think for 2008 models my manual said you had to remove the entire front bumper. I doubt that is correct...probably just requires the same extra assistance with the bumper that I needed.
 

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Do you have any details who you bought this from? Did you get it charged (and if you don't mind , how much did it cost) ?. I am also in SF Eastbay, and need to replace mine. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
bigears1 said:
Do you have any details who you bought this from? Did you get it charged (and if you don't mind , how much did it cost) ?. I am also in SF Eastbay, and need to replace mine. Thanks
Hopefully this information won't get flagged, but here you go...

The seller is "discountape" and he has two available in this auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390255006545 About $95 shipped. I installed it myself in less than an hour. Just picked up a variety pack o o-rings from Harbor Freight and some PAG oil (A/C system oil). Took me about 2 hours to fully install a couple gutter guards then to protect my new investment.

The company I used for the charge is GIC Car Clinic in San Jose. Their website is http://sanjosecarclinic.com, and they have an online coupon for the A/C service including up to 2lbs of freon for $59: http://sanjosecarclinic.com/acservicecoupon

Great place...I'll be returning to GIC for the more complicated repairs in the near future that I can't do myself.
 

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Another condenser down !!!

After evaluating all options I am going to get a condensor from Ebay and have my local shop install and charge it for $150.

The cheapest condenser I found on Ebay including shipping was $75 (automotive-cooling), however I went with $100 unit from discountape as there was precidence of it coming with drier pre-installed.

Can't wait to get my shippment, so that the greenhouse in odyssey can be usable again.
 

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Personally I'd stick to Honda Condenser because of the labor involved. Should something happens with the Chinese item, you pay for labor charge again etc.

The Honda condenser is about $250.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Having done the install myself and looking at both the Honda OEM and the one I bought from discountape, I can tell you they are substantially similar (though not identical) and the quality of the condenser itself was 99.9%. Only the mounting points appeared a little less robust and about 98% on alignment compared to the original (mounted perfectly, but you could tell things were just a hair off.
 

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