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Discussion Starter #1
Replaced the compressor and condenser today. Went to replace the expansion valve and the center bolt head stripped right out (this bolts the hoses to the expansion valve - i.e. this is not one of the two bolts that bolt the assembly to the firewall).

Yay!

Going to have to remove the hoses from the chassis, cut off the 'legs' of the Suction line's block to free the liquid line from the expansion valve. This will require a new suction line to go with the newly freed liquid line and the new expansion valve.

I see 'UAC" branded hoses (RockAuto and other websites) at half the price of 'Four Seasons' hoses. I believe Four Seasons is a decent brand for AC parts.

Question: Do you have any experience with this brand? i.e. Are these just crap or actually are they good parts?

Thanks for your feedback.
 

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I did an a/c overhaul last year. This is what I replaced, the brand I purchased, and what I paid:

- Expansion Valve: UAC ($8.84)
- Compressor: ECCPP ($115.98)
- Condenser: ECCPP ($98.29)

I didn't replace the lines, because they seem alright. I ran the vacuum on the system myself, and no leaks were present. Used new o-rings, of course. ECCPP is, as far as I'm aware, about as off-brand as it gets. I purchased from their shop on Ebay. Nonetheless, my A/C works like a charm.

The UAC expansion looked great, fit like a glove, and I haven't experienced any problems with it whatsoever.

I think my expansion valve had hex bolts. Did yours not, or did your hex bolt strip?
 

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Yeah, the two outer (mounting) bolts came out fine, but they were in tight. The center hex bolt (suction line to expansion valve) stripped out the internal hex. All three are 5mm hex. Unfortunately the center bolt is recessed.

The exp valve is original, I really doubt it has ever been removed in 180k+ miles. I imagine the steel bolt and aluminum valve block are going to stay together forever now. Maybe I'll see if I can hammer in a torx bit.
 

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Hmm, can't see how to edit my posts for an update...

Went to the junkyard and took off this idiot bolt, easily, from 5 different Santa Fe there - so I guess i'm just *lucky* with mine. I nabbed the suction/liquid line pair from a 2004 (same as mine) with no obvious leaks. Think I'll just remove/replace the lines on mine and hope for the best.

As a note: The earlier models (2000-2003) have nearly the same liquid line but it has the High Pressure port in that line instead of the Discharge line. The practical difference is the earlier models have the High Pressure port after the condenser instead of before the condenser. I could have used the earlier (pre-2004) liquid line and then I would have two high pressure ports. No real reason to do this as it's and extra place for a potential leak, but I would have used it had the correct (2004+) line not been available.
 

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Yeah, the two outer (mounting) bolts came out fine, but they were in tight. The center hex bolt (suction line to expansion valve) stripped out the internal hex. All three are 5mm hex. Unfortunately the center bolt is recessed.

The exp valve is original, I really doubt it has ever been removed in 180k+ miles. I imagine the steel bolt and aluminum valve block are going to stay together forever now. Maybe I'll see if I can hammer in a torx bit.
That is unfortunate. Almost evil even. You're a better human than I. Ida pummeled it with a crow bar :beathorse:
 
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