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Add AC to GL w/ 1996 Ej22 engine swap? Is it feasible?

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i cannot say if there will be room under the hood for the compressor with the EJ swap. If its been done someone here will chime in. You probably will need to have custom hoses made. You will need a NEW condenser, and if the car doesnt have an evaporator, or it has been unhooked and open to the elements for years, you will need one of those too. Sometimes the evaps are the hardest part of any A/C install. They still sell those ugly under dash A/C kits tho. :)



If you are planning on having the A/C professionally installed then it would probably be cost prohibitive.

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Well, this gives me some idea of what's involved. I suspected if it was even possible (and I guess the jury's still out on that w/o knowing what's under the hood, room-wise) that it wouldn't be especially easy, or cheap.  I would love to hear from someone who's done something similar. I've been surprised at how many older wagons don't have AC. For some reason I'd assumed that wouldn't be much of an issue, but it looks like I may not find a car at all if I'm insisting on AC already installed, and I really do need something to cool the car in summer. I'll check out those ugly under dash units, too - just in case. Thanks!

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If the car came with A/C which was simply not carried over during the engine swap:


You should be able to do this with the EJ22 compressor; you'll need both sets of lines. Have a hydraulic supply shop make you a set of hybrid lines using your original fittings, or by using them to match the threads, etc for new fittings. You'll probably use most of the original EA82 lines and just change the engine-side ends to meet the compressor at the right angles. You should be able to adapt the wiring to activate the EJ A/C compressor clutch with the original EA controls. 


If the car didn't come with A/C then you'd have to swap in A LOT of stuff from an A/C car to do this. More than it's worth IMO.

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Compressor will fit fine under the hood.


You'll have to get a hydraulic shop to modify the rubber lines that go to the compressor to fit the EJ ends.

also, if you've got the factory A/C setup for the loyale that has a sensor hanging over the front to check it's spinning, you'll need to rig up that plus the 3 arms it reads from. The system won't work without it. Some of the A/C systems don't have this sensor, if so, then you'll be sweet.

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  • 8 months later...

How did your A/C install go?

I am finishing up the exact same scenario. Here's what I did:

I found a 93 Legacy at the local PickNPull that had the older R-12 system in it and pulled all the parts under the hood (except for the condenser (a/c radiator).

I used my stock Loyale condenser which I left in place. There was already almost no room in front of the engine and I didn't want the expense and hassle of trying to fit the Legacy condenser up front - it would have taken a lot of custom work and I was looking for as much of a plug-n-play operation as possible. I don't know how to weld yet so I'm fairly limited in what shop work I can do on my own...

I had to go back to the wrecking yard and pull the compressor bracket from the 93 Legacy because the one I had in there from a 98 Legacy didn't quite fit the older '93 compressor. I also used the 93 Legacy belt tensioner.

I think I got lucky with the compressor because it was in good shape and all the lines from the 93 donor legacy were pressurized with R-12 when I disassembled everything. I'm assuming that if you find a compressor laying around that hasn't been kept loaded with R-12 and has some rust on it, it's probably going to be bad. New compressors aren't cost prohibitive, maybe $150-250 I've been quoted.

I installed the compressor and hooked everything up and ran the lines as neatly as I could inside the engine compartment. Keep the lines super clean and keep the ends covered with plastic to keep anything from getting inside them. I kept the fittings that go on the compressor attached. I got lucky and found that the high side hose (the smaller diameter one) that goes from the condenser, along the passenger fender and through the receiver/drier/pressure switch actually screwed right in to the fitting on my firewall. 

There were 3 custom fittings that I just paid a local reputable shop to do. They connected the low side coming out of my firewall to the large diameter hose that returns to the compressor, they connected the output line from the compressor to my stock condensor and the line coming out from the stock condensor to the small diameter high side line that I already described. They replaced the drier and all O rings. They flushed the system, pressure tested it and basically got it ready for me to finish the electrical work before they would charge it with R-12. Apparently (they claimed) that if they charged the system and sent me on my way without at least the Sub-Fan working properly when I turned on the compressor that temps and pressures could get too high and the R-12 could be discharged to the environment (bad). They charged me about $525 for everything which seemed a bit high but whatever, I can't weld, they did a thorough inspection and now if it leaks or goes belly up right away I can take it back and they should honor the work they've done. 

I've now spent the last day digging up wiring diagrams and trying to make everything work as close to stock as possible.

The trick has been to try and get the 98 EJ22 ECU to run the show. I've found the Sub-Fan wire which should run a relay to turn on the 2nd fan when the A/C is turned on. (on my engine it's a Green/White wire from Pin 73 and is grounded when the ECU sees the A/C turn on). 

I found a Brown/Yellow wire that goes to Pin 60 and I think that's the trigger wire that should be energized with 12 volts when I push the A/C button  on my dash. I'm going to connect it to the stock Loyale A/C relay and hope that I'm guessing correctly on this one. Hopefully it doesn't fry my ECU.

My guess is that the ECU sees 12 volts on this wire (Pin 60) and does it's job: bumps up the idle a bit with an output to the IAC valve, then turns on the Sub fan and compressor a 1/2 second later. 

I'm looking for a table of my 98 Legacy ECU inputs/outputs so I can make sure that Pin 60 wants to see 12v before I go hooking it up wrong. Then I just need to find the Loyale A/C "ON" wire and get the relays all wired up for everything, install the slim sub-fan on the radiator and head back to the AC shop for a recharge. They quoted me about $200-250 to put 2 pounds of R-12 in it. Damn! I know it will be worth all the effort and money because last summer I drove across the country with no AC and it was miserable! My stick shift bellows aren't sealed at the bottom and it funnels super-heated air right into the sides of my legs, so on a 95 degree day it's about 105 inside my cabin! Then, god forbid, I have to run the ol' "redneck radiator" when climbing up a steep hill. I'll probably have to watch out for overheating and not run the A/C when I'm slogging slowly up a steep dirt road in 90+ degree weather but other that that it's gonna be nice and chilly inside my souped-up Loyale!! Yes!

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