Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Variable displacement SANDEN compressors

So I decided to take apart a SANDEN PXV16 Variable displacement compressor out of a Land Rover because I couldn't help to wonder, why the hell do they go bad?

First I did some of the research. I came across this youtube video on how variable displacement compressors work:

But there is a catch, compressors in Land Rover do have a clutch. And the control for these "piece of crap" compressors is internal. (BTW I did much more research, watch all kinds of rebuilding compressor videos, and read a bunch of Land Rover and AC literature, but this video sums it up)

Here is what's happening. The disc that you see in the video is not tilting at an enough angle that would allow the compressor to pump the refrigerant required for sufficient cooling. In other words the disc is stuck at what in the video is called "minimum stroke".

Why?! Well that's why I decided to take it apart. Here are the pictures:

Here are all the components:

Here are the clutch components:

Here are the actual compressor components, you can see the pistons in the middle right above the rotating disc:

Here is a nice pic of the pistons:

Here is a pic of one piston:

These are the components from the back of the compressor, they are the intake and exhaust valves. 

This is the rotaing disc assembly:

This is the back cover of the compressor:

This is the block, the pistons go into those bores

Here is the top cover, which has the front seal: 

And here is what screws you over and why the dealer gives you a thousand dollar plus bill, in the left you see the valve that is in charge of controlling how much that disk tilts. This valve is available on ebay for about 45 bucks. But I won't change it since taking out the compressor is a big pain, so I just change it for a new one.

Thanks for reading!


  1. One last question, I’ve noticed on a few other blogs/reviews that a lot of people get the tools free from the manufacturer to review. Will you tell me how I too can participate in that? Charles J. Laws

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