Engine Size: 350
Country of Origin: United States
Hello everyone, I'm hoping someone can look over my game plan to check my thought process. The a/c in my Camaro worked when I first got the car in the late 80's. If I remember right, one compressor locked up and broke the belt. I think we put another compressor on it which again locked up. I went without a/c after that and it hasn't seen many miles since then. Now I figure I will get this system going again with R134. I figure my first order of business will be adjust the POA valve, replace the o rings, check the entire system for leaks, then replace the dryer, then pull vacuum and have the system charged. Does that sound ok? My questions and thoughts are should I put the new compressor on to check the rest of the system for leaks or might that contaminate it somehow? Is the dryer different for r134 versus r12?
I am in the middle of testing/checking out the vacuum system and the electrical system now but want a game plan for the rest. I figure as complete and tested I can get things at home the easier and hopefully cheaper it will be when I take it in to have vacuum pulled and system charged.
Does anyone out there want to test and adjust my POA valve for me?
I forgot to mention it is not currently charged and has been open.
Edited: Tue September 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM by crawdaddy
I would suggest the first order of business would be to flush out the guts of the previous 2 compressors and the old mineral oil (maybe more like mud than oil now). If it was mine I would get a new and more efficient condenser and update the cooling fan. Then proceed with the rest of your plan. Be sure to add the correct amount of fresh oil before you button it up.
Thanks HECAT. I wouldn't even try the previous compressors. I only have one and it is frozen. The one I plan on using I just got from a running system. That made me want to get it going again. The guy was doing away with his a/c and I got his working compressor. I'm going to let the a/c guy get rid of the oil and swap that out. I just got the 7 blade clutch fan for it, swapped out the flex fan that was on it. I'm also going to let the a/c guy do the final button up and add oil. I just wanted to try to leak test the system here at home before taking it to him. Thanks!!
Check for leaks before taking anything apart. Is there still any pressure in the system?
No, no pressure in the system. I did take off the old compressor and there was no pressure to begin with. That is why I want to put it all together and try to look for leaks at home before replacing the receiver/dehydrator.
Edited: Tue September 24, 2013 at 10:23 PM by crawdaddy
A buddy has the same car and he upgraded to a full vintage air system and never looked back, says it works great. I switched over a '66 Corvette that had factory air, and my experience I recommend updating your system.
The new Sanden style compressors, mounting brackets are available for your classic car. The A6 style you have is susceptible to front seal leaks, but otherwise is a good compressor. The biggest advantage of the new compressor is that is requires MUCH less HP to turn it, so your car won't be having idle speed issues (if you run carb) plus they are reliable.
Look at various options like Old Air, Vintage Air, etc. Think you only need a POA eliminator, expansion valve for 134a, drier, and a condenser. A electric fan on the condenser is recommended for best performance. Some say a flush is necessary, I am asking about that question right now. I'd hooked up everything and test the Vacuum and see if you have leaks.
Classic and Antique Mechanic
Let me repeat myself for clarity.
The info I have is this system had 2 compressor failures (lock ups) which put metal shards in the system. Probably why the second one failed. The system has been open and inoperative for along time. So the quality of the oil remaining in the system is very questionable.
A flush is needed. Or you can ignore this advice, and just press on.
Thanks everyone. It makes sense to me on the flush....something caused those compressors to fail. I've seen the upgrade kits and it might be something in the future but for right now I think I'm going to try and stay stock (except for going 134 instead of 12). I've just finished checking and fixing the electrical and vacuum system so all that is left is the refrigerant system. I think I will press on with checking out what I have. Will it hurt anything if I mount either the old or 'new' compressor and button up the system just to see if it will hold vacuum? Not apply power to the compressor, just to seal the system. I know in the end I will have to replace the receiver/dehydrator, o rings and possibly the expansion valve but if I find a leaky condenser or evaporator I can decide what to do from there.
Edited: Mon September 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM by crawdaddy
That won't hurt anything. If you test with pressure, keep pressure under 150 psi.
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