You are here:

Cadillac Repair/84 de elegance air conditioning swap


Dear sir.Can I remove my air conditioning compressor from my 1984 deville and or use a different year and or model Cadillac air conditioning compressor?I cannot afford new and is my first car.Please help.


You did not tell me the engine in the car. Most came with the ht 4100 (4.1). I looked up the cost for a remanufactured compressor from Rock Auto with the clutch.
You do not want to get a junk yard compressor because chances of it being good are slim. Lots of work to go through to find out it is bad with the possibility of having to spend hundreds on additional freon if not recovered correctly or if you have a leak. This is the type of job that you don't want to do twice especially when it comes to affordability.

I don't know where you tried to purchase a new compressor, if you tried getting a price from the dealer or what, but the cost for a new compressor is probably under $200.00 or less at a parts store like autozone and if you look on the Internet even less.
There is nothing special about that compressor compared to other GMs of that era other than possibly the pulley and that may be the same between vehicles. The parts store can tell you the interchange capabilities.
You are going to have additional costs though. Freon R12 is banned and if you can get it extremely expensive. You will need someone to change the O rings, evacuate the system and retrofit the system to take 134a freon.
By the time you are done with a compressor the retro kit, evacuation and 134a, it might cost you around $500 to get the A/C working. Hopefully less.
As stated though, I am not aware of a difference between the smaller compressor used in a 1982 to 1987 Cadillac, Pontiac, Olds, Chevrolet as long as it bolts up the same on the engine and that the pulley accommodates the same belt.
Going off of memory, even those that used serpentine belts back then ran a separate belt for the A/C.
As stated, the best thing to do is go to a parts store like autozone or O'Reilys and get the interchange information and price.
Now, I haven't purchased a compressor for a very long time, but the cost was never crazy money like $1,000.
In fact, at the dealer around that time we charged $400 to replace the gut package for parts and labor.
Let me know how it turns out.
If you go on the Internet check

I understand it is your first car and money is probably tight. There are some things that you can use junk yard parts and there are other parts you should never use from a junk yard such as a brake master cylinder and an air conditioning compressor!

If this car has the 4.1 aluminum engine, it is great for performance and mileage however word of warning- never overheat this engine. If the engine hits 225 or hot light comes on turn it off immediately! Do not drive it for a second more! If you do, the engine is literally melting and major damage will occur! I warn everyone I can because these engines overheated can cost thousands to fix if they can be fixed and there are no good used engines of this type in the junk yards.

If you have a diesel, same situation on overheating and head gaskets blow. If you have the 368 ci, it in my opinion is one of the best engines Cadillac ever made.

Good luck!

Auto Theft Claims Master
The solution to auto theft claims resolution either during investigation, EUO or denial with far more success than most attorneys.  

Cadillac Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rob Painter


Alarm system questions cannot be answered on this forum. These systems are not what I can answer. Without being physically at the vehicle and not knowing what kind of electrical service has been done on the vehicle, there is no possible way to give an accurate answer over the internet. My expertise is in Ignition/key based anti-theft systems. These issues include GM VATS (resistor chip in key blade) PASSLOCK (MRD)-ignition lock rotation based, no special ignition key and the PKIII Transponder (computer chip in key) systems. These systems are not alarm based and are integral with the starting of the engine. This is why I cannot diagnose alarm problems without physically looking at the vehicle: Alarm systems are a completely different annimal than ignition key/lock based anti-theft system. Many alarm questions come from vehicles 10 years old, and since older, many hands that had been involved over the years.I am an expert in all GM factory (ignition/key based)systems. Alarm system questions pose to many situations beyond my knowledge as to what has been done to the vehicle over the years. Some guy may have actually wired the stereo into the alarm system. Who knows? Over my past 30 years in vehicle wiring repair, I have seen unbelievable wiring disaters done by guys that consider themselves "mechanics." I have seen stereos and alarms intalled using surgical tape. I have seen modules burn up, un-fused circuits, wiring jambed between the doors and even lamp cord used for a starter kill. To answer alarm questions over the internet without examining the vehicle is like asking; What does it take to remove a dent?


Education/Credentials-ASE certified. 11 years with a GM dealer and 17 years with a repair facility dealing with only the repair of theft recovered vehicles.

©2016 All rights reserved.