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Discussion Starter #1
Well...living in the south west it gets pretty hot in the summer time. I've always found that the domestic vehicles always have ice cold AC and the import vehicles have cool AC. I've never been happy with the AC in any of the Nissans I've owned. All of the domestic vehicles I've owned would literally numb whatever it was pointed to.

So...given my engineering nature :D...I decided to see if I could fix this problem. I took a look at some of my coworkers rides and found one major difference; THE LOW PRESSURE AC LINES ARE NOT INSULATED IN NISSAN VEHICLES!!!

So began my experiment. I waited for a hot day in the summer and got a good feel for the response of the AC system and how it performed. Then I went home and insulated what I could reach with some pipe insulation I had laying around my garage. I noticed over the next few days that the performance of the AC system had slightly increased. It would get cooler a bit faster, maintain the cooler temperature, and it seemed that my compressor was not working as hard so it sometimes would turn off.

I'm thinking that due to the heat of the engine compartment, the low side AC line was getting bombarded and causing the efficiency of the system to degrade. Thus, the overall temperature of the system was higher and the system was having to work harder to fight the heat draw from the AC line in the engine compartment and at the same time had to cool the cabin.

I was determined to make my AC work better so I took multiple steps to insulate the rest of the low AC line.

Since I haven't figured out how to paste multiple pictures per post, we'll have to deal with multiple posts for now. :)

Here's the ghetto insulation I started with.
 

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In order to get to the fire wall I had to remove the cross brace at the back of the engine compartment. This area houses the wiper motor, bolts for the wiper arms, windshield wiper sprayers, etc.
 

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I first put blue masking tape on the windshield to help me remember where the wipers were before removing them. It's hard to lift the wipers and tape at the same time so I just put the bottom of the tape on the leading edge of the wiper. Pretty simple...
 

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Next it was time to remove the plastic finisher that sits on top of the brace. First remove the left cover.
 

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Then remove the right cover. Notice that you can now see the wiper motor assembly. We'll get to it later. You must remove the strip insulation first and then the plastic tabs that hold down the finisher.

The insulation is held down by multiple cream colored tabs. Be sure to use a screw driver to gently remove them. They may be brittle from years of being heated up and cooled down. Just be careful and you'll be fine.

Next remove the caps that cover the nuts for the windshield wiper arms. They pop off with a small screw driver. Then just remove the nuts and pull off the arms.

Lastly, there are plastic tabs that hold down the plastic finisher. Just lightly lift up on it and you'll see where it's being held down.

At the same time, you'll have to remove the plastic hoses that provide windshield washer fluid to the sprayers. Gently pull them off and remove the tabs that hold the hoses in place.

It's all pretty easy if you're systematic about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Next is the windshield wiper motor assembly. It's held down by 3 silver bolts. Remove them and the entire thing should come straight out.

Don't forget to remove the plug! Don't damage the head or you might not have working wipers when you put it back together.

Then it's time to remove the cross brace. You'll notice a lot of little 10mm bolts that hold it down all over the place. You can't miss them.
 

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So here's a shot of the engine compartment without the cross brace. Removing it really does open up the engine compartment quite a bit! Now there is room to work with pretty much everything.

You can even see on the lower left of the picture the windshield wiper tubing that I removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here's a shot of the AC line I wanted to insulate. Plus, you can see the ghetto insulating I already did. The original insulation I picked up from Home Depot was complete junk. The adhesive that came with it did not hold very well so I used glue to keep it shut. Doesn't look pretty, but it did the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So here's the piping insulation I used for the project. This stuff is top notch and can be found at your local professional AC supply store. I believe the inner diameter is 5/8". What makes this stuff so good is that it not only has adhesive for the seam but a second strip that covers the seam and takes the stress off. I've been running this stuff for a couple weeks now and it has not come undone.

Great stuff!!! :D
 

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So...now it's time to start insulating.

I ripped off the ghetto insulation and started from there. Simply cut the new insulation to length with scissors and apply it. I used zip ties for the ends of each piece and around the service port. The ties help keep the insulation in place and also lower it enough so the port can be used to check freon levels.

I did not cover the rubber/metal joint! If I ever have a leak in the system, I didn't want to have to remove insulation so find where the leak was coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And the curvy section that goes into the firewall...
 

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And here's everything put back together with the cross brace, wiper arms, etc.

There is no rubbing or anything on the cross brace so all is well! :)

I found that the AC system runs much better now with the insulation!

Overall, I think this took me a couple hours. After I was happy with the results, I did the same thing to my wife's 2002 Sentra. Now she's happy as well. And a happy wife means a happy life. :D
 

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Great job! And it makes perfect sense. I should try this on my MO as well.

I recommend sticky but will not do it myself. Last time I messed with one of your threads I nearly destroyed it....:D
 

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Warhammer-

:29: Nice job! I like your tenacity.

Now that the car is chilled and you are as cool as a cucumber, take your MO around back and hose down that engine compartment. ;) If I was your helper I would have written "CLEAN ME" across the engine cover. :p

Thanks for the photos and the excellent write-up!

-njjoe
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I was thinking about that whole clean the engine compartment thing as I was working on the project. My white work shirt was brown from dirt after I was done. :D

Gotta love the New Mexico sand. It gets EVERYWHERE!
 

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Mr. 3 K, 3/3/5. 5K,10/5/7
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I agree, That was a great Job!!. And as everyone has said a clean car means totally clean: engine, wheel wells, wheels, Everything that can be done. You will feel so wonderfull when it's done.
 

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You're correct about domestic vehicle's AC's being plenty cold. I have to turn the water-mix valve up on either my 1997 or my 2001 F150, even in 90 degree temps.

Wonderful instructions young man!
 

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Muranocon!!
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I cant wait to do this to mine, great thinking....WHOO!:6:
 
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