Considering replacing the seized compressor and receiver/dryer on a 95 Camaro. Has anybody done a similar job, is it worthwhile trying a junkyard compressor? Even rockauto.com wants $200 for a new compressor.
I've done it, but tore the junkyard one down, flushed it and replaced seals, easy with this particular Ford compressor. Just had a little black gunk on the reed valves, was originally R12 with mineral oil. Seal kit was about $20 off the net. Still cooling 7 years later. Unless you've got a stash of R12, you'll want seals and oil compatible with R134. Depending on what it is, a ready-to-go rebuild can run $150 on up, depending on source. The junkyard one ran me about $12. Just be careful with what you get, look for metal bits in the oil and such. Rubber stoppers to fit the inlet and outlet will keep dirt out. I bought a couple, the clutch on one was worse than the one on the other, pulley bearing was worse on the second. If you can, hunt down the replacement pulley bearing, easier to change the stuff once it's off the vehicle. Biggest job was getting the years of oily gunk off the outside, apparently nobody ever washed the engines off. Look up some Nylog, was what I used on the seals.
If you just want to crapshoot and use a compressor right off a wreck, at least flush it first with some mineral spirits. Blow dry, then add oil. On the one I have, half the oil goes in the pump, the other half goes in the receiver. You're betting that none of the valves leak and the shaft seal will continue to seal.
You'll need a new receiver, about $60 for this Ford. Hope you've got the specs for the A/C as far as charge weight and amount of oil needed. Setting up the Warn electric clutch was fairly easy, Warn had the specs on their website, just had to run down which of the zillion models it was. Around here, Autozone has the specialty tools for free to work on the compressor, deposit going out the door, refund coming back. Took about $200 worth.
A sniffer is handy, HF had one in the last catalog I got for cheap.