Installing AC in a L700

The L700 Mira/Cuore/Domino/Handivan is a popular little car, and unfortunately comes without air conditioning most of the time.
With the temperatures rising AC can be a nice thing.

Because they’re so hard to find with AC for a decent price, i decided to put it in myself.

The stuff you’re gonna need is a 1.0L EJ M100 Storia/Sirion. The AC system from a 1.0L EJ M100 is almost exactly the same as that from a L700.
You could also use a wrecked L700 with AC for this IF you can find one.
You’ll possibly need a relay too. Cause there’re 2 types of fuse boxes which use different styles of relays.

Buy a M100 with AC.
I started out with a 1998 Sirion that i bought for 450,- and brought it to the shop. (After pulling the AC i put it back together and sold it for 350,- as is to the owner of the shop (my uncle), no questions asked).

Recover the refrigerant or get it recovered. DO NOT let it out into the open air!!! It’s extremely bad for the environment.

Remove the handbrake cover. It’s fastened with just 1 screw all the way in the back. If you have a trunk lever, you might want to remove the plastic part before removing the cover.
Now remove the shifter cover. This cover is fastened with 4 screws, 2 on the side at the front and 2 in the back. With the auto shifter in neutral you can turn the cover a 1/4 turn and just lift it off.
And with the manual shifter just unscrew the knob and lift it off.

Remove the trim around the radio, ashtray and the 12V socket. Next is the radio itself (and the clock if applied). And remove the 4 screws that are in the opening. Cause they hold the center of the dash to the frame underneath.
If you have a light in the ashtray you’ll need to disconnect it also.

Remove the airbag from the steering wheel by undoing the 2 torx bolts on the side. And disconnect the connectors behind it.
To disconnect the airbag connector you’ll need to lift up the white piece first.

Remove the trim around the cluster. It’s held in by 2 screws near the top of the cluster. Now remove the cluster itself. The L700 cluster is held in by 3 bolts, the M100 cluster with 4.
Also remove the 3 screws that hold the heater controls in place. The switches on the dash also needs disconnecting. You can disconnect them from the cluster opening or by pulling the switches out.

Remove the glove compartment by taking out the plastic pin in the bottom corner on the side of the radio.
In my case this pin went in from inside the dash in my L700 while on my M100 it went in from inside the glove compartment.

Disconnect the passenger airbag and remove the bolts completely that hold it the frame.
You need to unclip the connector from the frame to be able to disconnect it.

Remove the 2 bolts on the top of the dash and the 2 in the bottom corners. And remove the A-pillar trim.

Now you can pull the dash out.

Remove the ECU that’s mounted on the box on the side of the heaterbox.
Unclip the cable that controls the recirculation flap.
On the sirion you’ll also need to disconnect the evaporator lines inside the engine bay and take out the grommet that the lines run through.
Then unbolt that box. It’s held in with 2 bolts and 1 nut.

Don’t forget to als take out the grommet for the drain. In a non AC car there’s just a plug and no drain tube, these’ll need to swapped too. Otherwise the AC will drain into the car.
There’s also a little rubber tube (that’s not in the photo) that goes through the grommet

Remove the AC lines, Compressor + mounts and condensor.
I didn’t remove the bumper on the Sirion but it would’ve been easier if i did

There’s no need to take out or run new wiring as it’s already in wired in. The connectors might be taped or tucked away though.

Install all the AC parts in the L700.

Check the AC system for leaks. If there’s a leak you’ll need to fix it before you can charge the system with refrigerant.

If leak free you can charge the system.

Side notes…

Certain details and the location of stuff may vary between LHD and RHD versions

On your fuse box cover (in the engine bay) you see MGC in 1 of the squares. It stands for MaGnet Clutch and that’s where you need to put the ‘‘new’’ relay. The fuse should be in place already. The few i’ve checked at the wreckers already had the fuse in them but not the relay. But if not… You can just put in a 10A fuse at the location where it says MGC.

To be able to install the compressor mounts you might need to run a tap through the holes depending on the condition of your engine block.
The taps you’ll need are M8x1.25 and M10x1.25. I used tap extensions get the tap handle past the oil filter and engine mount.
The reason why my engine is on a engine stand is because i rebuild mine. There’s no need to take your engine out to install AC.

One of the mounts from the AC lines doesn’t line up so you’ll have to make a bracket for it.

The ‘‘quick’’ disconnect is told to need a special tool. But you can also use a paperclip. Just push it in 1 of the 2 tiny holes (on the right in the photo) to release it.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Have a COOL ride! :crazy_face:


Appreciate the time and effort that went into making this, thank you!

1 Like

Wow, great write up.

1 Like

Awesome mate! nice work
found this because im looking for a new ac condensor for my L700 but i cant find it anywhere.
You’re saying thaf the ac system of an M100 is the same? This would be very helpfull!

Everything seemed to be the same and fits like it should.
So the condenser should be a straight fit.

But from experience I can tell you that they’re very hard to find.

1 Like

Yes they are! second hand no problem but these things leak often and i want to do it right.
I can get one for a M101s, should be the same.
You dont happen to have a technical drawing or a picture of the inlet/outlet?

I could take some pics of the ports on mine if you want. But that’s all I can do. Cause unfortunately I don’t have anything else.

1 Like

That would be great thx!