Automotive Air Conditioning Information Forum (Archives)

Provided by

We've updated our forums!
Click here to visit the new forum

Archive Home

Search Auto AC Forum Archives

Reviving '71 Torino A/C

Torinoguy on Mon June 16, 2008 2:38 PM User is offline

Year: 1971
Make: Ford
Model: Torino
Engine Size: 302
Refrigerant Type: 134A

I'm the middle of trying to revive the "dealer add-on" A/C in my '71 Torino and have run into a few kinks. I"m going to try and make a long story short, but I want to include all the details.

The A/C has never worked since I bought the car. I tore it all apart when I took the front end off (to paint and spruce up... etc.) 6 months ago or so. I taped off all the hoses, but somewhere along the line, the tape got torn off. SO, recently I installed a new expansion valve). While I did that, I blew through both sides of the system with compressed air from inside the car. I know flushing is the correct way, but I was told that the normal joe can't get good stuff to flush A/C systems. So I blew them out then taped them off again.

Now, the compressor has been sitting in a corner with the high pressure port to drier/collector hose attached and the tape fell off that hose as well, so I'm figuring it has some dust in in from the months of welding/grinding/bodywork. My plan was just to take it off and blow it off as well. It's a rather short hose, should I do anything else to ensure it isn't dirty?

The new(er) fiasco. I bought a rebuilt compressor for the system. Got a helluva deal, but when it showed up, I was confused because it had what I later found out were flange fittings instead of the Rotolock fittings that my current hoses have. Well, my current hoses also have built in 134a fittings, so they have been replaced at some time. I did some looking around at the parts store, and found that the correct compressor for my "dealer add-on" A/C was indeed a compressor with these "flange" fittings. Further looking showed that the "factory A/C" compressor used the rotolock fittings. My guess is, the previous guy bought a compressor, got the factory instead of the dealer one and bought all new (Rotolock) hoses to go with it. So in order to go back to the "correct' compressor but keep my hoses (they appear to be in a good shape, there are a few places where the outside paint or something is a little flakey, but nothing looks torn or bad.), I bought flange to rotolock adapters for the compressor.

Onto the nitty gritty.
Question 1: The compressor (and the adapters) came with gaskets that match the shape of the "flange" fitting. However, when I took the covers of the compressor, I found that underneath the cover there was a rubber washer/O-ring that sat in an inset on the compressor. What's the correct way to hook this adapter up? Do I leave the rubber ring in the cutout, then put the gasket on top of that, then the adapter and tighten down???? (that seemed bad to have a rubber to gasket interface)

Here is a quick pic I drew up of the situation:

Question 2: I read the shop manual, and there procedure for oiling a compressor will not work for me because I don't have the (can't remember the name for sure right now) "back sided valves" which allow you to isolate the compressor from the A/C system. My rebuilt compressor says it shipped dry, so is there a set amount I should just add and be happy? I was also told to use Esther oil since I did not fully flush my system. Do you agree?

Question 3: I have found no "o-rings" in the whole system except for that one on top of the compressor under the flange fitting (if I even use that one) and the little white rings that go in the groove of the rotolock fittings. Do these need to be changed to the green ones? Second, do you happen to know, the adapters came with the little white ring that goes in the rotolock fitting top (male), however, IIRC, my rotolock hoses (female) still have a ring in the recess in the female side too. Do I take that out and just use one ring (the new one?

Question 4: Am I going overboard on the dust issue with my A/C. I mean, I've taped the lines off now, but now I'm in the middle of blocking, so dust is in the air everywhere again, like it was earlier when I was welding on grinding. Do I think much can get in? no, but I have no choice as I"ve been waiting on parts. I guess I feel like at least some junk got in the system, and since there is oil all over in these (which I did not know to begin with) I'm sure if stuff gets into it, blowing it out with the compressed air isn't gonna really clean it out. Can I flush the parts I can get to with something like brake cleaner? I'd just really like to be able to flush out some of this stuff I know is dirty (like the hose that has been on the floor.

Question 5: Should I trust the hoses I have? I know they are not original, and seem in good shape. I know that when I opened the system up, there was still pressure, and that has been 5 years ago since it's seen a charge. Once again, I just want to know if I"m being stupid.

Question 6: I still have not addressed my condenser, I have no idea if it's clogged, I was simply going to blow out with the air compressor to ensure it wasn't blocked, then install my new drier, attach the new compresser and try her out.

I guess if you guys have some info on things to do here, please let me know. This is (obviously) my first attempt at redoing an A/C, but I have a few special problems since the guy who owned the car before me obviously did same switching around, and I have no idea how well he did the R12 to 134a conversion.

Any help is MUCH appreciated

Torinoguy on Mon June 23, 2008 1:12 PM User is offline

Anyone care to comment on any or some of my questions???

Dougflas on Mon June 23, 2008 2:44 PM User is offline

Some of those compressors had flange, some had teflon gaskets that were round, some used flat orings, some just used orings. (OEM Ford). Some fittings had service valves that allowed you to back seat the valves and isolate the compressor (the good old days). This allowed you to check and add oil as needed. If you use the flat orings or the flat teflon orings, you do not need the flat flange gaskets. It is possible to remove the head and use the head that matches your fittings. I also have on occasion have replaced the valve plates. Things were serviceable back then.

JJM on Thu June 26, 2008 3:51 AM User is offline

I'm surprised a '71 would have "hang on" or dealer installed A/C; 1970 seemed to be the last year for that. The hang on units on full size fords typically took 2¼ lbs of R-12 (as opposed to 3 lbs for factory). Oil capacity was stamped on the compressor.

Blowing the lines out with air is not going to cut it at all. You need to flush, and the "average joe" can get flushing agents - you can always use lacquer thinner from an auto body supply, but watch your paint job, using an inexpensive flush gun:

Mastercool AC Flush Kit

Make sure your replace the receiver dryer and all the O-rings, preferable with the green HBNR.

Where did you get the rebuilt compressor? With the exception of the sponsor, most are garbage, and you'll end-up highly experienced in swapping out compressors, driers, TVX's, until (or if) you get one right. Been there, done that.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

Back to Automotive Air Conditioning Forum

We've updated our forums!
Click here to visit the new forum

Archive Home

Copyright © 2016 Arizona Mobile Air Inc.