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Hey TRB...A6 compressor ? Pages: 12Last

ajrothm on Sat August 11, 2007 11:00 PM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1971
Make: Chev
Model: Corvette
Engine Size: 350
Refrigerant Type: R12
Ambient Temp: 100
Country of Origin: United States

Hey TRB, I bought a new A6 compressor from you guys back in late May. I have put about 1k miles on it since the AC rebuild and now my compressor is leaking. Its not leaking bad yet but its definetly putting a stream on the bottom of the hood. I noticed today the AC was not as cold, it was getting about 48-49* vent temps early this evening when it was about 90*, normally it would be pulling about 44-45*. I got to a car show and noticed the oil under the hood. I was worried that the freon is leaking out. Well on the ride home, it got 41-42* vent temps which is about normal for night driving, about 80* ambient. My question is, is there a certain amount of acceptable oil leakage on the A6 compressor or is any too much? Am I losing freon through the front seal right now? I hate to have to tear it all back apart as my AC guy doesn't recover R12 any longer so I will likely lose it.

What should I do? I had a shop install the compressor/drier/exp valve along with a full flush/vacuum and recharge with R12. If I take it to him, he is just gonna tell me the compressor is bad eventhough its new(not rebuilt)

Thanks!

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1971 Corvette

TRB on Sat August 11, 2007 11:53 PM User is offlineView users profile

Some of these old A6 did throw oil. If you have lost enough charge that it is now low and left an oil sling. I personally would replace the seal or compressor. I would also find a shop that has reclaiming equipment!

-------------------------

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ajrothm on Sun August 12, 2007 12:01 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: TRB
Some of these old A6 did throw oil. If you have lost enough charge that it is now low and left an oil sling. I personally would replace the seal or compressor. I would also find a shop that has reclaiming equipment!

OK so I guess I need to have the shop pull the compressor so I can send it back to you? It should be covered under warranty as its only 2 months old.....Is there anyway you can send me one before I remove this one so the shop can just do a swap and recharge? If not, my car will be down for a couple weeks waiting for shipping/return shipping and no AC shop is gonna want to keep this car that long at their shop.

Why do you think the seal failed on a new compressor?

IT was on invoice 0065186-IN, part number 20-10405. It was the ALMA PRODUCTS brand.

Thanks for any help



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1971 Corvette

TRB on Sun August 12, 2007 12:30 AM User is offlineView users profile

Not sure as Alma/APCO make good stuff.

Give the guys a call Monday and they can work it out. Usually they just need a small deposit which is just authorize on a CC and they will ship a replacement. Card never gets charge. When we get the old one back they void the authorized deposit. They will even send a return tag since this is a warranty issue.

-------------------------

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ajrothm on Sun August 12, 2007 8:49 AM User is offlineView users profile

OK thats cool on the credit card thing. Hey do we have to reflush the system again or can they just recover the freon, and then reinstall it when we put the new compressor on? I know the new compressor will have oil already in it so if they recover the freon, it will have my old oil in it, if they reinstall it, won't that be double the oil in the system?

Would it just be better to flush the system and start over with 3 fresh cans of R12.....

Man this is gonna get expensive keeping this system running with R12. Its only been 2.5 months and its already leaking.

I will call your office tomorrow and talk to guys. Thanks

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1971 Corvette

pottsf on Sun August 12, 2007 3:11 PM User is offlineView users profile

A new flush should not be required. Evacuation, done right, removes little oil, so if oil was right to begin with, putting in a replacement compressor with its own oil should not require adjustment of the oil. Properly reclaimed Freon, put back into the SAME system, should be just as good as fresh (it won't be contaminated unless your system is, and if your system is, fresh won't help).

This matter of oil suggests a possible reason for your leak (although they ARE common in A-6es): if you are running a lube incompatible with the refrigerant (SAE 525 mineral oil is best with R-12), the seal (and the rest of the compressor) won't be properly lubricated, and a leak at the shaft seal wouldn't surprise me in that case. If the compressor was put in full of one kind of lube and the system was topped off with a different lube incompatible with the first, again I'd look for this result. In cases like this, a flush, along with more-careful monitoring of the new oil charge, WOULD be required.

By the way, the shaft seal CAN be replaced without removing the compressor from the car (system must still be evacuated), but I don't think I would go for this with a compressor still under warranty.

ajrothm on Sun August 12, 2007 10:24 PM User is offlineView users profile

Well the compressor came with oil, not sure what it was but it was a type of mineral oil. The system was working great for 2 months. I drove it today, its DEFINETLY leaking freon....today it would barely get under 50* and normally it runs 45*. Normally after I park it, I have an ocean sized puddle under the car from the condensation draining out of the evap box. Well now, I barely get a 6" diameter puddle.

I don't think I will need to worry about saving freon as it will likely be gone before the compressor gets here. I am gonna change compressors, flush the system and pull a vacuum again, then refill with R12 again. I am almost thinking about changing to R134 because I can not afford to keep charging it with R12 every time it springs a leak. This is the second compressor seal in 5 months(although the first one lasted 35yrs).

My question is, do A6s normally leak an acceptable amount? If I see oil on the hood, is that a good bet that I am loosing freon? I can tell its getting low now and its not even leaking that much oil out of the front seal.

Is it possible that constant high RPMS could be blowing the seal(turns 3k on the highway)?

What is causing these seal failures, especially in a new compressor?

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1971 Corvette

oznznut on Sun August 12, 2007 11:52 PM User is offline

I don't know how to link other threads, but if you search for "A6" there are several threads in the archives that talk about A6 compressor acceptable leak rates, seal replacement, part numbers, and the like.

Dave

ajrothm on Mon August 13, 2007 11:50 AM User is offlineView users profile

Talked to the guys at AMA, they think it was just a freak occurrance with this compressor. They are sending me a new one. I already made arrangements with my AC shop to get it in and get the compressor installed, a GOOD vacuum pulled and refill with R12(again).

My ac guy tells me I should make the conversion to R134 because all A6 compressors leak and I am wasting money putting R12 in it. BUT I don't want to change the condensor and mess with the POA. I would like to keep it original but I can't afford to keep recharging it when freon is $30 a can.

I guess if I went R134, the good thing is I could buy the R134 and gauges and learn to start topping it off as it leaks out but man thats a PITA.

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1971 Corvette

ajrothm on Mon August 13, 2007 6:19 PM User is offlineView users profile

Hey Guys, get this....I just drove my car, 100* ambient and I was getting 44-46* vent temps again! I spoke to the helpful guys at AMA and one suggested my oil seepage could possibly be just bearing grease slinging out of the front bearing. I told him where I was seeing the oil stripes on the front side of the pulley between the pulley and the clutch hub and he told me thats where grease could be slinging out. I wiped the hood clean as well as the compressor and I am going to drive it and see what it does a while. I put a hold on the new compressor because now I am unsure if its leaking freon or not.

I am gonna take it to the AC shop and see if they can leak check the compressor, if its not leaking, I am not messing with it. I will keep you posted.

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1971 Corvette

JACK ADAMS on Mon August 13, 2007 6:29 PM User is offline

Please do keep us posted of what the findings are!!

TRB on Mon August 13, 2007 7:32 PM User is offlineView users profile

Need to remember they do not use the felt washer like the old days. So you will see even more oil sling then the already noticeable oil sling. APCO makes a fine product and I don't think you are having a loss of refrigerant at this point.

As Jack mentioned, keep us posted.

-------------------------

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Contact: ACKits.com

ajrothm on Wed August 15, 2007 12:45 PM User is offlineView users profile

OK guys, I just took it to the AC shop. He looked at the oil stream and he thinks its compressor oil. He used a Mac Tools leak sniffer. If was kind of inconclusive bit it did "beep" a couple times around the front of the compressor. Then he put gauges on it and checked it at idle and at 2000 rpms. He didn't tell me the exact numbers but I thought he said it was definetly lower then it was when we charged it originally. He says normally they will be between 35-45psi when they are charged at at operating temps with the AC system ran in about 20 mins. Well mine was both run in and at temp and was around 25psi at 2000 rpms. He told me you don't completely go by pressures to determine how low the system is but he said its definetly low. He said maybe up to 1 can of R12 low. He sent me home with a Mac tools hand held black light and some yellow glasses and he wants me to look for leaks when I have it in the garage. I placed tape on the hood to catch the oil but to me, it looks brownish, also on top of the pulley it looks brownish, not really oily. I am not sure where to go from here. He said they can recover the freon and see how much is missing. He also sniffed all the lines/parts and nothing showed up on the detector. He feels its leaking out of the front seal and he thinks there should be no oil leaking out of a good but he did mention they are common to leak and normally you may have to top off an old unit with freon once a year or two.....but this has only been two months...





What do you guys think I should do? The system is cooling ok as long as the car is in the garage then taken out for a drive....if it has been sitting outside, it takes about a good 40 mins for the vent temps to cool back down to normal, and they are still about 3-4* warmer then it was when we first charged it... I just don't want to have to add freon all the time at $30 a can.

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1971 Corvette

Edited: Wed August 15, 2007 at 12:49 PM by ajrothm

TRB on Wed August 15, 2007 1:49 PM User is offlineView users profile

That looks like too much sling to me. I could see that amount over a longer period of time. Contact Jack and work out a replacement.

PS: While pressure are important. A statement that you know exactly the refrigerant level by a certain pressure is false. If it were that easy we would not reclaim and charge back by weight to get a baseline.

-------------------------

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Contact: ACKits.com

ajrothm on Wed August 15, 2007 7:29 PM User is offlineView users profile

OK Tim, I will call Jack and order it up. Yes this sling you see in the pics is nothing....I have cleaned the hood twice before I put this tape on so I could get a pic. I have only driven it about 20 miles with the tape on there.

Yes, about the pressures, my AC guy told me exactly what you are saying, pressures don't give you any idea of how much is lost, only that the system is not running at capacity. He told me the only way to know how much we lost is to recover whats left and measure it out. He just used the gauges to get a ball park idea how its doing and he said the pressure was too low. Plus this morning when he checked it, it was not near as hot or humid as it usually is.

He recommended I change compressors, recover whats left, vacuum and recharge... He said no need to flush.

Anyway I will call the office tomorrow, THANKS..

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1971 Corvette

JJM on Wed August 15, 2007 11:58 PM User is offline

Tim,

Do you know if your rebuilder is using the double lip seals on the A-6 as part of the rebuild process? If I'm not mistaken, they can be used on the A-6. I know they work on the R-4. If not, is there any way you can urge one be installed - at least in this case - since if I'm not mistaken this guy is halfway around the world?

Ajrothm, aren't you glad you bought from these great folks? Anyone else would've probably told you tough toenails, or would try to blow smoke up your... well you know... about the oil sling. You certainly won't get this kind of support on eBay - that's for sure!

Joe

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ajrothm on Thu August 16, 2007 11:10 AM User is offlineView users profile

JJM, AMA has been great to deal with. I have bought from them a couple times. Its not AMAs fault the compressor seal failed... It just sucks cause I have to eat the $300 for install labor/R12 recharge, I just paid $350 for this back in May....BUT thats how it goes...shit happens.

My AC was working great for a couple months...many were suprised that the ac was as cold as it was for being in an old "hot box" corvette.


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1971 Corvette

TRB on Thu August 16, 2007 12:15 PM User is offlineView users profile

Joe that was not a reman it was a new APCO Air or Alma depending on new or reman. Alma makes the new compressors. I'm not 100 percent sure what they use but would find it odd if they were still using single lip seals. Maybe one of the compressor guys can enlighten us on what they use. I hate to hear about this stuff also. But don't think this stuff does not happen to us also. I just warranted a Hummer Limo for the second time. Our mechanic keeps missing a leak. This Hummer takes a 30lbs cylinder each time it is charged.

-------------------------

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Contact: ACKits.com

ajrothm on Fri May 23, 2008 9:40 PM User is offlineView users profile

Hi Tim, my 2nd new A6 compressor is now slinging oil like crazy. I noticed it about a month ago but it was just a light mist on the bottom of the hood. Now that its getting hot and I have been running the AC more, its slinging it out big time and I can tell the system is not cooling down as fast. I am sure its leaking the R12. I will take some pics here shortly but you can see it on the clutch/pulley assy. I have only put maybe 1500 miles on it with the 2nd compressor and actually only run the AC 10% of the time. What can I possibly do to keep the seals in the APCO compressors? At $400 a pop, I would expect them to last more then 1000 miles. Your thoughts?

I guess I need to send this in to you guys before my 1 yr warranty is up, unfortunately, my AC shop is having a hard time hustling up cans of R12, this will be the 3rd time to refil it in a year.

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1971 Corvette

ajrothm on Fri May 23, 2008 10:00 PM User is offlineView users profile

Here is a few pics, the hood was completely clean today before about a 20 mile drive with the AC on.












Should I just give up on trying to run an A6 and try going to a Sanden or something with a different seal design? Can you run R12 in a Sanden?

After recharging the system each time, the AC works great for several months, then it slowly starts to leak oil, from the time I start seeing a few spots of oil to the massive spraying is about a month, but I only drive it on weekends and only use the AC half of the time so...... I just can't afford to keep taking it to the shop and getting the compressor changed out and recharged, I gotta figure something else out, hopefully with you guy's help.

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1971 Corvette

TRB on Fri May 23, 2008 10:09 PM User is offlineView users profile

A6 has slug oil as long as I have been around. My experience with Sandens is they also have shaft seal issues. If you were to swap out the A6 with a different compressor I would suggest the Seltec. But you're going to need a compressor mount and new hoses to swap. Seltec or Sanden can be ran with R12 with the correct oil.

-------------------------

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TRB on Fri May 23, 2008 10:11 PM User is offlineView users profile

Also should note. That I have seen some A6 compressors leak from the seal because the belt is too tight. It seems to pull on the shaft and cause some seal leaks.

-------------------------

When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com


Edited: Fri May 23, 2008 at 10:12 PM by TRB

ajrothm on Fri May 23, 2008 10:48 PM User is offlineView users profile

Yeah my preference is to stay with the A6 as my car is completely original and thats why I recharged with R12 so I could keep the stock condenser, POA, evaporator and hoses etc. I knew there was a slight level of acceptable leakage, thats why last month when I started seeing light squirts on the hood, I thought I would just let it ride and see what it would do. Driving with the AC off doesn't seem to spray oil, only when the AC is on, compressor is pumping etc. I would really like to keep my stock brackets/hoses etc but the leakage is definetly a problem. The oil is getting absorbed into the fiberglass and already bubbling the paint on my hood. The body shop said there is not much they can do about it once the oil is absorbed into the fiber glass.

Is there something my AC shop could be doing thats causing the seals to blow out? I mean it takes a few months before the compressors start leaking so......? Doesn't seem like a charging problem to me. Last time, when we swapped out the 1st new compressor and recovered the system, they only pulled a little over 2lbs of freon out, so in 3 months we had lost one lb of freon. THats a pretty significant rate but we are confident the lfreon leak was coming from the compressor only. The system was sealed up well. When we put the 2nd new compressor on, we vacuumed the system and it held tight for 1 hr and didn't even budge. Today my vent temps were about 5* warmer then they normally are at the same ambient temp, thats exactly how it was doing last year when it started slinging oil so its definetly losing freon. Summer is just starting out so I need to get a plan of action rolling on this sucker...

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1971 Corvette

ajrothm on Fri May 23, 2008 10:54 PM User is offlineView users profile

Also, as for the belt tension, we can not run the belt any looser, it already dances around so much on the bottom run of the belt that it occassionally hits the lower radiator hose. The 74 and later vettes came with a belt guard from the factory to prevent rubbing of the belt on the lower hose. I could possibly retrofit one of those but....right now, its not really hitting it....or much anyway. The belt doesn't seem overly tight on the top side though, I can grab the belt on the top side and move it up and down about 1-2" halfway between the pullies.

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1971 Corvette

TRB on Fri May 23, 2008 11:43 PM User is offlineView users profile

Only suggestion I can make is put a shaft seal in the compressor. We've had to do this for years with the A6. Along with pulley bearing & hub replacements. We've done this on every A6 manufacture there has ever been. First set of compressor tools I owned was for the A6.

-------------------------

When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com


Edited: Fri May 23, 2008 at 11:44 PM by TRB

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