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Sanden Compressor Growling Noise


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E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 2, 2022, 8:49 PM

Post #1 of 12 (277 views)
Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Hello All. Happy I found this forum and this is my very first post.

Sanden compressor is mounted in my 1980 BMW 528i. The newly purchased compressor was installed in July 2020 along with all other components of the system, including hoses and the valve that's located within the evaporator system. The evaporator itself was flushed but this is the only part that wasn't changed.
The compressor has approx 1,500 miles on it. I am hearing intermittent growling noises from the compressor. At times it appears like it want to lock up. I used a screwdriver on the body and bracket to confirm the noise and it sounds like it's grinding inside.

What's noticeable is that it appears to be running g smoothly mostly but interrupted by the intermittent t growl

Air is very cold and cools very well. I'm told that warranty expired after the first year of purchase. I also have a video which shows the noise at the 10 second and 1min and 7 second marker....hope I can add it for clearer description.

Any ideas about what is happening?

Thanks for responses.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 2, 2022, 10:10 PM

Post #2 of 12 (264 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Welcome Trev: Hope I can shed some useful suggestions now for a 42-43 year old car! Between the lines either a gem or just old in general.

First question would help is the retrofitted or still R-12? Sanden is a good name to me also sold as "clones" of new or was new you may not know not sure it matters now.

Nice description finding it making noise.

Basically I'd toss it for new trusting you were hearing this grinding using a screwdriver as a listening stick - right or wrong - guessing or a chance of fooled that it's not an A/C something at all or on that belt system?

Not good of course time to hurry while able to work properly find the noise for sure dump that part try for new not rebuilt things still worry about if a good part new or not.

Are you doing this or sending it out? That matters of course.

I'll bother for now if sure dump just that compressor for new, dump oil out of it, measure what you get out put that much back in replacement plus some more oil that this uses. Check the wasted oil for debris.

Spin new with oil first do a standard vacuum and charge should end this - hope new parts are quality and good.

A/C is fickle - if it's a clutch (won't find one?) or involving refrigerant risk that old job 1,500 miles is low for the time is unknown good or bad for it?

Was the last go thru pro done, retro or OEM matters so does what refrigerant was used parts would be compatible with 134a or R-12 (all costly but a huge difference) in what to do now.

Just a warning if this involves refrigerant or oil beware of misleading products and parts.

BTW if not well marked and know for capacities now is going to take some serious expertise if involving refrigerant gas at all to fix this.

Costs out the window bad luck or parts means doing this all over again or worse do it all wrong makes it harder.

Again - you should seek some serious help if R-12 a total gem find the right help at least to finish it up.

Noise is the warning for now what you do now will matter a lot,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 3, 2022, 4:15 AM

Post #3 of 12 (256 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Some questions here

How much refrigerant was installed and what type?

How much oil was installed into the system and what type?

What were the high and low pressures when the job was completed?

What are the high and low pressure readings now?



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 3, 2022, 5:11 AM

Post #4 of 12 (244 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Thanks Tom.
The refrigerant is 134a.
The compressor is the real Sanden (not clone) .
I did the installation of entire system but a professional did the vacuum and charging.
I'm thinking it's not belt related and more internal because the noise and related movement is only noticeable when the clutch is engaged.


E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 3, 2022, 5:20 AM

Post #5 of 12 (241 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Thanks for your questions...sorry I'm missing your name.

134a was installed and I recall the unit came with oil from the dealer.

For the quantities and pressure etc I'll have to get info from the professional installer and update you.

I only installed the hardware on the car.


E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 3, 2022, 5:39 AM

Post #6 of 12 (233 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Hey Hammertime. Sorry I missed your name earlier.

I'll get a professional inspection and report back on the measurements etc.

Thanks!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 3, 2022, 6:19 AM

Post #7 of 12 (231 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

OK, retrofit to 134a MOST did or would. Problem WHEN compressor is engaged is compressor if when idle is the clutch just idling system off or taking a break.

Yours is compressor. New anything would come with oil expecting 134a or hope said so??

Worry wart - I'd still dump it and put in what BMW uses for PAG oil NEW since flushed have marked how much is in it.

42 years IDK if hoses and other parts lower capacities of oil becomes educated guessing (is ok) if way too much compressor's choke on it or erratic, if to low could burn out a good compressor early and quickly.

New you still spin oil thru one on the bench before installation or when it's charged up and running first time is dry - could be killed or seriously harmed right away or show up later too early??

Good you have a shop to the vacuum and charge they need to know what exactly was done if just handed to them this old.

Last for now: Spray the belt while it makes noise with even water it may slip and quit. If noise is gone or worse you might be fooled by just an incompatible belt they make them that are intentionally different to NOT make noise from a crackle to other sounds that are like something is broken is just pulley wear and belt.

This old IDK if belt is self-tensioned or a real pest but quiet belts do stretch more than OE types - if you go there (I would) put some hard use/time/miles on it and recheck - all if need be.

I live for ancient old stuff cars included those belts are on all but one just BTW are also all easier to adjust than BMWs or other types old belts hidden in with spare tires - a must if you take this too far - your call on stuff like that,

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Aug 3, 2022, 6:28 AM

Post #8 of 12 (227 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In


Quote
134a was installed and I recall the unit came with oil from the dealer.


If anyone read the instructions that came with the compressor the tech is supposed to drain all the oil in the compressor and install the correct amount for the situation. Since you replaced the condenser also, according to your question, it would require more oil than just replacing the compressor.

The amount of the charge is also critical. Since this is a retrofit to R134A, it would require a reduced charge from what the factory called for.

Since you are not the one doing the recharging, you are not the person that should be asking these questions as you have none of the answers to important questions. This makes it impossible to determine what may be going on in the system.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 3, 2022, 6:39 AM

Post #9 of 12 (224 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

As Hammer just said if strong info on what was done isn't available this may need a total redo of what was already done back when not that long ago!

Hose could stay, evap, maybe not condenser now? I'm not a BMW expert IDK if they are all or mostly TXV systems or CCOT there are different things that are one time use also if this all goes to hell,

Tom



E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 3, 2022, 5:09 PM

Post #10 of 12 (204 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Thanks Hammertime. My discovery was super unexpected while checking under the car for unrelated catalytic converter noise. Considering the system is relatively new I was blindsided with this new issue.

I figured I'd research until able to get to the specialist for his inspection. All questions and pointers definitely steer me to the next step and are educating and helpful.

Looking forward to getting the car to the specialist....ill update.

Thanks again!


E12 Trev
Novice

Aug 20, 2022, 1:11 PM

Post #11 of 12 (96 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

Hello again. Problem SOLVED!!!

Turns out that the belt tension was the culprit. The solution was found in the following sequence. When I first reported the noise was intermittent, like twice within a bit over a minute.

I then noticed that the belt tension was very loose (apparently ran slack over time). Tightened it pretty tight and the noise became constant.

Did a series of tests (accompanied with several videos) with the AC on then off and confirmed that the noise was only heard with the clutch engaged. Then I noticed the noise disappeared with higher RPMs.

I decided to loosen the belt tension and set it at the mid point between very tight and very loose, tested again and VOILA!!!! Noise completely disappeared regardless of RPM.

I marked the sweet spot on the adjustment bolt for future reference😁

Coincidentally the well respected and trusted specialist in my area is out of the main mechanic for awhile so all responses here were informative and led to more research.

Thanks a million All!!!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 20, 2022, 1:49 PM

Post #12 of 12 (95 views)
Re: Sanden Compressor Growling Noise Sign In

I suggest toss that belt for new. Over-tight if so isn't an answer could harm pulley's.

Some belt brands plain stink, noise or stretch too fast do once, check tension later they all stretch from new OK to be a tad tight recheck later should be able to forget it for a long time, Tom







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