A/C condenser removal...is it worth it?

I’ve never been one to use my AC system since I always have the windows down anyway. So I’ve been thinking about just removing the whole shebang from my car ('88 Chrysler Conquest). It’d lighten 'er up a bit, and gimme some more room to work with in the engine compartment. Plus, I’m not planning on selling this puppy, so resale value isn’t a concern for me.

Removing the compressor and the lines aren’t a big deal. …but the condenser looks like it might be a bit of a chore to get out. Looks like I’d have to remove the header panel, hood latch assembly, a/c fan, and oil cooler in order to get the thing out.

--My question to you is: Engine cooling wise, do you think I’d see any marked improvement by removing the condenser? I can’t imagine having that condenser in front of the radiator is helping air-flow. If I removed it, do you think my electric fan might kick off a bit faster? Or am I just wasting my energy for a negligible difference.

I just wasting my energy for a negligible difference. You said it. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget that if it’s still filled with refrigerant (especially R-12), there could be criminal liability for deliberately releasing it into the air. To be on the safe (and green) side, I’d have a licensed shop drain it and recover the Freon.

Will it be worth the effort? Removing the hoses and the compressor shouldn’t be too hard, and will save some weight. I’m not familiar with the Conquest, so I don’t know if this would be a significant weight savings (percentage wise) or not. If the condenser isn’t easily removed, I’d just cap it (so you can reuse it if you change your mind) and leave it in place. By the way, is the compressor on its own belt, or does it share one with other accessories (and you’ll have to find a smaller belt)?

If I wanted to do this that is probably what I would do; get a shorter belt. The weight reduction would be negligible.

Not worth the trouble. Most of the components in the AC system are made from either aluminum or an aluminum alloy. Not much weight reduction to make it worth it.


I wouldn’t bother with it. Like tester said, it probably weighs a pound or two at the most and if it’s in okay condition without too many crushed fins, air should flow through it just fine. I’d wait until you have to take the radiator out or something, then get it out of there.

Hey thanks for the insight guys.

Just did the removal today.

No, the compressor had its own belt, so that wasn’t a big deal. And as it turns out there wasn’t much in the way of refrigerant either. I might have known that had I ever bothered to use the A/C.
I went ahead and removed the condenser too. Sorry, but it felt kinda half-arsed with that condenser in there. Was a 2.5 hr job. …mainly b/c the turbo’s intercooler was in the way of a few of the bolts.
But hey, when I pulled the condenser out, I found a Pizza Hut take-out menu from, like, 1992 stuck btwn the condenser and the radiator! Can’t imagine that was helping air flow any. …still can’t help but wonder how in the world it got there.