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Discussion Starter #1
Hello AlfaBB,
I'm fairly close to buying my first Spider S4 and am not overly familiar with the particulars of Alfa Romeo (don't worry, I've had Jags, MG's, etc so I'm familiar with classic car issues in general- not a babe in the woods).

I was looking at an S4 that looked like it had AC but I couldn't tell for sure, and the broker selling it wasn't familiar with Alfas and didn't know either. We looked under the hood but I couldn't see an 'obvious' compressor. Is the compressor at the bottom of the engine? Also, this car had a little knob in the center dash console that had a blue swirl around it. Looked like an AC knob but didn't actually say 'AC'. I know this may sound stupid but is that the normal controls for AC on a Spider.

Other question, is I see a number of cars for sale saying they've converted the AC to a different kind of gas- is this necessary.

Thanks for the help on this- I'm really looking forward to Spiderland.
 

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Assuming US spec car:
Compressor is low on the passenger side of the engine, obviously front. Easier to see the hoses near the the passenger side headlight and follow them down to the compressor kind of tucked under the intake manifold. If it is not there, check for a steel mounting bracket bolted to the aluminum block and sump flare. Receiver Dryer is accessed from under the front of the car basically below the passenger headlight. You can see the bottom of it in a bracket there.

That knob is the stock control for the A/C (actually 2 controls in 1, fan speed and temp). Spider came with an r12 system which is now illegal most places, so yes most have been converted to r134a or another gas (that I am not too familiar with).

It is nearly impossible to get the compressor rebuilt although one place that does it is mentioned in a another thread. PolarBear Inc. tells me that even the internal parts for the stock compressor are no longer made so a rebuild is done with 20 year old parts. So only go that route for a concours car. A couple people have had success using a Sanden 507 compressor as a replacement. I am in the process of going that route. DO NOT DISCARD THE OLD COMPRESSOR, YOU WILL NEED THE PULLEY.

The A/C is completely independent of the heating system, almost like an after-market installation.

Sand 507 compressor $289 PolarBear Inc.
Reciever/Dryer $40 International Autoparts Probably will get next one from PolarBear but don't have a price.
 

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Veloce has AC

Hello AlfaBB,
I'm fairly close to buying my first Spider S4 and am not overly familiar with the particulars of Alfa Romeo (don't worry, I've had Jags, MG's, etc so I'm familiar with classic car issues in general- not a babe in the woods).

I was looking at an S4 that looked like it had AC but I couldn't tell for sure, and the broker selling it wasn't familiar with Alfas and didn't know either. We looked under the hood but I couldn't see an 'obvious' compressor. Is the compressor at the bottom of the engine? Also, this car had a little knob in the center dash console that had a blue swirl around it. Looked like an AC knob but didn't actually say 'AC'. I know this may sound stupid but is that the normal controls for AC on a Spider.

Other question, is I see a number of cars for sale saying they've converted the AC to a different kind of gas- is this necessary.

Thanks for the help on this- I'm really looking forward to Spiderland.

Hi, the blue swirly knob is the AC control. Look at the slider for the heat adjustment. Does it have red on one side and blue on the other? Blue is AC adjustment.

The base Spider did not have air conditioning. Veloce is the air conditioned model.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ah- thanks. It must have AC then- it has the blue swirl around the knob and also the bar has blue on one side. Just normal air came out when I tested it so it must need refurb on that. But at least it's got it. Thanks!
 

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Have to disagree with Susan a little. The blue on the vertical slider only controls the amount of heat coming from the heater all the way red = max heat all the way blue = no heat. Basically a fan at that point. There is no interconnection between the heat and A/C system.

Rotate the outer ring of the Blue-swirl knob for A/C temp and inner 4 position switch for A/C OFF + 3 fan speeds. Best to have the heater completely Off (slider pushed to max blue and heater fan off) when using A/C as it is not that strong to begin with. The only time to have them both running is for window defogging as the A/C is a "recirc" system meaning it does not draw air in from outside the car and will help dehumidify the air inside the car in that situation.
 

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Only the Veloce would have that knob. You would still get air from the A/C fan even if the compressor is completely removed. If you don't have the compressor, the pulley is an extra $150.
 

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Have to disagree with Susan a little. The blue on the vertical slider only controls the amount of heat coming from the heater all the way red = max heat all the way blue = no heat. Basically a fan at that point. There is no interconnection between the heat and A/C system.
Thank you JJordan. I had no idea.
 

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If that car does not produce cold ac, could be a bargaining advantage for you. Especially in July!! Beware of people ading some gas to produce cold ac temporarily, until they sell it. Then, a month or even 3 days later, no more cold ac. get it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Excellent information- thanks everyone for that. So the compressor is on the bottom- now I know where and what to look for. Very helpful. If it has the hardware and wiring that's better than none, even if it needs to be fixed. I sometimes have to drive in hot places- the SF Valley and having the top down and getting beaten by a 105 degree sun is just too much. Don't do this often but the times I do, ac is a need. Thanks again-
 

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S4 should be similar
Yes, it is very much like that. The compressor is in the same place.

The drier, no.12 in the S3 diagram, 13 in this one, in an S4 is located forward of the radiator hidden under the front bumper (fender?) so you won't see it unless you look underneath.
 

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Good place to get a sanden 507 compressor rebuilt:
Jensenauto.com
Quoted $89 to overhaul my compressor.
 

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We have a good local shop in LA for our spider compressors -
Star World Co
14233 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Phone:818 782-0034

They rebuilt my compressor for 125.00. 24 hr turnaround.
 

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We have a good local shop in LA for our spider compressors -
Star World Co
14233 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401
Phone:818 782-0034

They rebuilt my compressor for 125.00. 24 hr turnaround.
Yeah, I heard about those guys. Just never tried them. Maybe someday.
 

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Great, now ya tell me, 3 hours after I shipped mine to Polar Bear. $56 just for shipping one way. Heck, I could drive from Escondido to Van Nuys for less than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Just to be clear- if the Spider has these controls- would that mean it's got AC (at least the controls). I'm asking because this car is a few hundred miles away and I can't access it to look for the compressor, and the guy is selling it for his dad and doesn't know much about the car. I'd like to know before I drive up there. Thanks-


Note sure why the image isn't showing up. Here's the straight url.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

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Just to be clear- if the Spider has these controls- would that mean it's got AC (at least the controls). I'm asking because this car is a few hundred miles away and I can't access it to look for the compressor, and the guy is selling it for his dad and doesn't know much about the car. I'd like to know before I drive up there. Thanks-


Note sure why the image isn't showing up. Here's the straight url.

Flickr: WowWhatPhotos' Photostream
Yes, it at least has the controls.

Even if the son doesn't know much about the car, he can start it in neutral and turn the AC on to see if it works.

By the way, you probably already know it, but if that picture is from the actual car, its a CE edition. Last 190 sold in North America.

Good luck.

Vin
 
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