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81 510 wagon A/C Condenser


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Hi everyone! this is my first time posting on the technical side of the forum.

I have TWO 1981 datsun 510 wagons, one i'm using to fix up the other. I know they aren't as popular as the rest of the pack, but hey! it's my baby and I'm proud to be its owner.

That being said..


I can't seem to find an a/c condenser for it! I've seen folks here on the forums using A/C parts for other cars (some not even being nissan!) and wanted to know:


1. which a/c condenser from what car can I use? (that's phrased a little weird)

2. would I have to change out the full a/c system? or just the condenser?

3. If I can buy a universal one, if so... what can go in the engine bay?


There is a stock Z20S in there at the moment.


HELP! or else.... Its gonna be a hot summer!

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A condenser is pretty universal, as long as it's sized properly (too small, it won't cool the refrigerant enough to go back to a liquid state).  The big thing is finding one that fits in front of the radiator, since the clearance up there isn't  much, and has the inlets/outlets in the right place for the hard lines to hook up.  That'll be the hard part.  You won't need to change anything else out (if sticking with the original refrigerant), but changing the receiver/drier is a must if the system has been left "open" more than a few hours.  Having the system open (like a missing or holed condenser) will saturate the dessicant with atmospheric water, rendering it useless.


Any used condenser will need to be cleaned out, most importantly if the type of refrigerant is changed.  The oils used between the different types of refrigerant are not compatible with one another, so you absolutely don't want them contaminated with the wrong type. 

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Great info! Thank you so much. Now I just have to find the type of car that has a ac condenser with the same specs. The AC hoses are made partly out of rubber so I could bend them a bit to make it fit. But its difficult to find the actual dimensions of this ac condenser (14x20). Called Autozone and some other places around here and none can check by size, only by model type.


Wish me luck!


Also, if there are any other folks that already have an ac condenser of relatively the same size, please let me know what car you got it from. It would be much appreciated!

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