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I have a 2004 with 183k miles and the AC has finally given up.

A complete kit from Rock Auto is under $250 and includes a compressor, a condenser, seals, oil, etc...

So, it comes down to labor and do it myself or hire it out.

My mechanic says he drops the sub-frame just enough to swap it out. He also says it changing the condenser is rarely needed. But it seems silly not to replace it since it a new drier in it.

There are youtube videos that make it seem like it's easily done through the front by removing the bumper skin, the radiator, and the condenser. If I remove all the stuff behind the bumper, do I end up getting good access to the compressor mounts and hoses??

All responses are appreciated...
 

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Hi Eric,
I changed the compressor on my 2005 CRV by going the front end route. It really wasn't too difficult once you have basic tools. The one tricky bit for me was accessing the serpentine belt tensioner. I picked up a serpentine belt tool from the local car parts place and that helped.

It took me a weekend taking my time to get the job done.

I just did the compressor which I kkwl was a gamble. But it's been working. I didn't do the proper refrigerant process either, I just did a can of AC pro. So it's not 100% performance overall and it didn't quite do the job in 110 Texas heat, but now the place has cooled down its fine.

My advice would be to go ahead and put in all the new bits and then do the vaccum and precise refrigerant charge to be on the safe side.

I spent about $300 total with a compressor from Amazon.
 

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I removed the two front subframe bolts and loosened the rear passenger subframe bolt and also removed the front motor mount through bolt. I then used a prybar at the front subframe on the passenger side and stuck a long socket in there to hold the space open and pulled the compressor out through the gap in the subframe at the front of the car. Seems like an efficient way to do it, but I discovered there are several ways to do this, so choose your poison.
 

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I did mine through the front. I took that opportunity to do the water pump also (highly recommend OEM or Aisin), the tensioner pulley, the vtc screen/gasket, pcv valve, knock sensor, and a new belt. all of these items are cheap and you will never have a better time to get to them. Definitely replace the condenser, its like $65. make sure to get some pag oil too if the kit doesn't have it. I don't believe mine had new orings for the condenser lines either. buy a bag of the plastic clip insert things off amazon also, you will break a bunch. I did not want to mess with subframe bolts. If i had a lift, maybe I would have. but mine has 181K on it and these parts were due to be replaced. I did a full coolant flush on it also, and had to buy coolant online that was full strength because Honda only sells 50/50.
 

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2005 and 2006 EX AWD
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I have a 2004 with 183k miles and the AC has finally given up.

A complete kit from Rock Auto is under $250 and includes a compressor, a condenser, seals, oil, etc...

So, it comes down to labor and do it myself or hire it out.

My mechanic says he drops the sub-frame just enough to swap it out. He also says it changing the condenser is rarely needed. But it seems silly not to replace it since it a new drier in it.

There are youtube videos that make it seem like it's easily done through the front by removing the bumper skin, the radiator, and the condenser. If I remove all the stuff behind the bumper, do I end up getting good access to the compressor mounts and hoses??

All responses are appreciated...
if your doing the condenser, it's easier to just remove the fans and radiator ,and the compressor is right there,pics. below
 

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'08 CRV EX, White. '19 Pilot EX-L, MSM. '07 Sonata, stick shift, 220k and counting, '10 Kia Forte
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What happened on yours? Compressor grenaded or just stopped working?

on my '04 I did the condensor after a rock took it out. Then a couple months later compressor failed, so I replaced that and did a "flush". I did the front end off remove radiator etc version. Unfortunately if the compressor failed and got metal bits in the system your just band-aiding as you won't get them all out and they will cause the new one to fail again. Honda replaces all the metal lines and hoses for a reason. Soooooo when my new compressor failed again in a short time, I did the FULL thing, compressor, condensor, evaporator, expansion valve, soft lines and removed and cleaned all the metal lines with a boresnake. Amazing how many shiny metal bits were on that and had to do it a couple times until it stopped. There are some links that show what to replace under dash and Honda has the spots marked where to cut the plastic under glove box. It was definitely not easy but my labor for my kids is much cheaper than thousands dealer wanted. Kit was from Rock Auto.

It worked great and I was cool and comfortable driving it to the Junkyard in second gear when tranny failed. 😉🤬
 
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