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need radiator: any difference between ac/non ac?

pippo on Wed April 15, 2009 8:01 AM User is offline

Hi Guys,

Need advice on buying radiator for my car: 87 sunbird, no factory ac, I added it on later. So, radiator companies ask me if my car has ac or not for the correct radiator, should I say yes or no? I wonder if it has anything to do with the mounting of either type to the car? Does it matter?

Thanks,
Pippo

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beware of the arrival

Edited: Wed April 15, 2009 at 8:02 AM by pippo

TRB on Wed April 15, 2009 10:25 AM User is offlineView users profile

Would help to list the vehicle in question!!!

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TRB on Wed April 15, 2009 12:18 PM User is offlineView users profile

w/ Air Conditioning; with Maximum Cooling



without Air Conditioning



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

pippo on Wed April 15, 2009 3:07 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: TRB
Would help to list the vehicle in question!!!

Hmmm, I thought I mentioned that, an 87 sunbird. What else would you need (scratching scalp, twitching eye)......

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beware of the arrival

Edited: Wed April 15, 2009 at 3:09 PM by pippo

pippo on Wed April 15, 2009 3:11 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: TRB
w/ Air Conditioning; with Maximum Cooling







without Air Conditioning





OK, TRB.....thanks for the feedback. Now, I gotta follow up with this: I take it my car should accomodate BOTH rads, right? I mean, I looked at the bottom rubber supports for the rad, and there is a bracket for such a support farther out, probably for the larger rad, right?

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beware of the arrival

Chick on Wed April 15, 2009 3:35 PM User is offlineView users profile

It most likely has to do with the upper radiator hose, get the one from Tm with the same configuration as the one you have..Provided you didn't have issues with the AC on.., the cooling capacity is "usually" the same, but you do need your radiator hose to line up..Hope this helps..

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

pippo on Wed April 15, 2009 3:51 PM User is offline

Thanks, Chick. Never had a problem with cooling. My car frame /bracket will take either, as there is a spot for the rubber supports for the bigger 'ac" option.

Thanks

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beware of the arrival

Chick on Wed April 15, 2009 3:59 PM User is offlineView users profile

I believe they are the same (tank size) except for the bend in the upper hose, I would have to see two of them side by side to tell..

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

TRB on Wed April 15, 2009 4:02 PM User is offlineView users profile

Max Cooling

23 5/8 x 15 1/4 x 1 1/4

Non A/C

19 3/4 x 15 1/4 x 1 1/4

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

pippo on Thu April 16, 2009 7:19 AM User is offline

Thanks Chick and TBR. Youve helped me decide on getting the bigger max cooling one. I should be ordering it today......

Now, another problem/decision.....currently, I have the original (aftermarket) R12 condenser with barbed ends on the tubes. I need a new condenser. Im thinking to get a new style /more efficient one but WITH the same barbed ends so I wont have to mess with fitting new tubing to the compressor. Is this a simple thing to source, and where should I call to get one?

Thanks again for your valued halp!

Joe


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beware of the arrival

pippo on Thu April 16, 2009 5:41 PM User is offline

Uh ohhhh, now I cant get off the rubber ac hoses off the smashed condenser. How would you go about yanking the hoses from a condenser with Barbed fittings? Must I carefully cut a minimum amount of tubing off?

Thanks,
Joe

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beware of the arrival

Edited: Thu April 16, 2009 at 5:41 PM by pippo

robs on Thu April 16, 2009 6:53 PM User is offlineView users profile

all you need to do is cut a line down the hose towards the direction of the barb with a razor blade and you should be able to pull it right off after that.

pippo on Sat April 18, 2009 9:53 AM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: robs
all you need to do is cut a line down the hose towards the direction of the barb with a razor blade and you should be able to pull it right off after that.

Thanks, Rob! That did the trick. I cut only the minimum needed, then yanked. Man, they are on TIGHT!

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beware of the arrival

pippo on Sat April 18, 2009 9:56 AM User is offline

Now, 'nother problem......what is best way to clean hoses of spilled oil, which will have residue of the tracer dye, so that when I put back together and test, that old dye wont interfere with my NEW inspection of leak/dye later on? Alcohol? Acetone? Mineral spirits?

Thanks,
Joe

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beware of the arrival

mk378 on Sat April 18, 2009 12:16 PM User is offline

Engine cleaner should remove dye. This is the kerosene-based stuff you spray on from a can, wait, and wash off. Of course don't use it until all the connections are made up so cleaner can't get into the lines.

Using non-barrier hoses with barb and clamp connections is really kludgey, especially with R-134a, but worse things have been done.

iceman2555 on Sat April 18, 2009 1:06 PM User is offlineView users profile

I doubt that you will locate a new condenser (134a spec'd) with barbed fittings. The use of barbed fittings is non acceptable in todays AC market. There may be old stock condensers with 'barbed' fittings.
Along these lines, a suggestion would be to NOT USE barbed fittings with a retro fitted system...the possibility of pressure blow off is drastically increased with the additional pressures of 134a.
Obtain the correct fittings and make the proper repair.
From the description of your vehicle, I doubt that the AC is OE. It is more likely an 'dealer installed unit'. I can not remember a OE condenser in those years that used barbed fittings.
The answer for the hose issue would be to simply purchase an upper hose for an AC equipped vehicle.
The factory AC rad is simply a bit taller than the non AC unit. Notice that the inlet neck also has a different entrance angle.
These vehicles used the same rad core support, so the 'taller' rad could be added to the vehicle. The only problem would be with any shroud fittment. If this represents a problem...and you need to keep the OE configuration, simply have your old rad recored with a 2" in core....additional cooling....no hose problems....problem solved. A competent rad shop should be able to facilitate this repair.
Good luck!!!

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

Matt L on Sat April 18, 2009 2:05 PM User is offline

Competent radiator shops are a dying breed, given that most newer cars use plastic and aluminum radiators.

I did have a radiator recored for just this problem, but it was after putting a turbocharged engine in a car that was NA from the factory. They took my tanks and used a "high-efficiency" three-row core. The "high-efficiency" part made it cost a bit more, but it has tighter fins in the airway. In any case, it did the job. Prior to the work, the coolant temperature would start to creep up when driving at 70MPH, and would continue to climb until speed was reduced to below 70.

TRB on Sat April 18, 2009 2:10 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Matt L
Prior to the work, the coolant temperature would start to creep up when driving at 70MPH, and would continue to climb until speed was reduced to below 70.

That was a federal device to keep you under the 55 MPH speed limit!

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

Matt L on Sat April 18, 2009 4:03 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: TRB


That was a federal device to keep you under the 55 MPH speed limit!

It was better than the municipal device which didn't keep me under the 60 MPH limit last week. Cheaper too.

pippo on Thu April 30, 2009 4:09 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: iceman2555
I doubt that you will locate a new condenser (134a spec'd) with barbed fittings. The use of barbed fittings is non acceptable in todays AC market. There may be old stock condensers with 'barbed' fittings.

Along these lines, a suggestion would be to NOT USE barbed fittings with a retro fitted system...the possibility of pressure blow off is drastically increased with the additional pressures of 134a.

Obtain the correct fittings and make the proper repair.

From the description of your vehicle, I doubt that the AC is OE. It is more likely an 'dealer installed unit'. I can not remember a OE condenser in those years that used barbed fittings.

The answer for the hose issue would be to simply purchase an upper hose for an AC equipped vehicle.

The factory AC rad is simply a bit taller than the non AC unit. Notice that the inlet neck also has a different entrance angle.

These vehicles used the same rad core support, so the 'taller' rad could be added to the vehicle. The only problem would be with any shroud fittment. If this represents a problem...and you need to keep the OE configuration, simply have your old rad recored with a 2" in core....additional cooling....no hose problems....problem solved. A competent rad shop should be able to facilitate this repair.

Good luck!!!

Thanks, iceman!! Man, heres where Im at: I wanna buy a condenser from AC Kits, this sponsor, but they have no #6 and #8 barb adapters. I understand there is such a thing, but not sure where to get them. I cant do a kosher job of proper fittings, as I will have to yank the upper tube out of the dashboard, but would rather simply put barbs into the ends of the condenser tubes, then these barbed ends/adapters will screw onto the new "kosher" fittings on the new condenser, at least thats what Ive been told.

Now, Ive been running R134a for 2-3 yrs with no problems on these barbs with the ancient R12 condenser. Yeah, if I was starting from scratch, dashboard out and all, I would di it the right/best/recommended way, but This seems to be the best approach for now.

Anyone know where to get these barbed "adapters"?? Lastly, will I need a fan even with a new "parallel flow?

Thanks again,

Pippo

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beware of the arrival

Edited: Thu April 30, 2009 at 4:11 PM by pippo

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