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Leperflesh
May 17, 2007







Smellrose

1992 chevy S-10 4.3l v6 z engine, California original vehicle.

Some time circa 2004 ish, the A/C stopped working. At the time we had little spare cash and our mechanic wanted like $1200+ to fix it so we instead opted to have the A/C disabled. He removed the compressor and put an idler pulley in its place. As near as I can guess, the remaining components are all in there, but something could easily be missing and I might not notice that. I don't recall what exactly was broken that disabled the A/C.

I am kinda fixing up the truck, although maybe I'll get rid of it - see the main AI stupid questions thread for discussions of my ongoing smoking/smog issue - but if I keep it, my wife is making noise like hey why not get A/C going again? I have more than two red cents to rub together these days so it's an option.

What I'm wondering is, starting kinda from scratch, what would it take to restore A/C? I'm open to refurbishing/fixing the existing A/C system, or replacing it, but: bear in mind this is a California vehicle, so I'm not sure if that affects things (are there CARB rules about e.g. putting in a new A/C that uses evil refrigerant types?) and given the year, there's a decent chance this was an R/32 system (but I don't know for sure).

Are there like aftermarket swap in this entire A/C system type things? Are most of the bits in the truck probably garbage now, or anything likely recoverable? Just looking for a ballpark kinda opinion on what the likeliest inexpensive approach will be here.

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rdb
Jul 8, 2002
chicken mctesticles?

It was probably R12 and had a big round GM harrison compressor. Those things were pressed together with some big orings and were responsible for a large number of leaks.

If I were doing it I would replace the condenser, flush the evaporator and lines, replace the orifice tube, replace the receiver dryer and find a rebuilt compressor. At this point assuming it holds good vacuum I would recharge with R12 and the correct oil. R12 systems tend to underperform when retrofitted to 134a and your in California where I assume it gets hot.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007







Smellrose

yeah it was like 100 this weekend

Sounds like a fair amount of work.

I do actually have a vacuum pump, in theory, although it's still in its original box never been used 12+ years after it was bought because my wife bought it for a project and then never did the project. I think it's like a 1/2 or 3/4 horsepower pump.

I'll maybe put together a parts list, do a little research on the steps, and then decide if maybe I should just get a professional to do it instead. I'm not really excited about horrifically scarring myself with pressurized refrigerant anyway

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002
Probation
Can't post for 22 hours!


I got a 1997 Ford F250 HD and it's 80 degrees outside right now. In order to get the AC system to stop cycling, the pressure had to get the low side down to 25 psi and the high side up to 225 psi. How can I get a high side too high and a low side too low?

edit: and now that I shut it off and the pressure equalized, the temp gauges are showing 6 degrees C below what it should be.

kid sinister fucked around with this message at 16:40 on Aug 1, 2019

BloodBag
Sep 20, 2008

WITNESS ME!





2014 F150 5.0L I've been smelling the PAG oil from the compressor inside the cab every time the truck starts up and the AC comes on for about 5 days now. This morning it's usual meat locker coldness was not present. I'm guessing I have a leak at the evaporator. I suppose I'll have to roll by the stealership since that's a dash-out fix to replace the evaporator core on these and I'm not loving with something that intense on a daily. I would throw gauges up on the thing but I feel like it'll just tell me what I already know. I guess I could put some UV dye in it so the techs can pinpoint the leak.

This is gonna suck, since it's 90+ and humid as hell in Houston these days. At least the miata AC still works (barely). It also stinks like PAG oil

Stevie Lee
Oct 8, 2007

by Cyrano4747


Since the A/C died in my Impreza at the end of last summer, I've been thinking that I needed a new compressor because that's what the dealership e: stealership mechanic told me when I happened to be there for some recall work. I've been just roasting all summer because I'm too poor to afford a compressor.

July was literally the hottest month on record where I live, and not having A/C in my car was becoming unbearable - especially after I moved twenty miles away from where I work. I decided I was going to be an idiot and just throw it on the credit card to make my life suck a little bit less, but figured I should have one of the trustworthy mechanics at my usual shop take another look at it before I went and ordered any parts.

Turns out all I needed was a couple O-rings replaced. There was an obviously visible leak near the cabin as soon as he looked at it under blacklight.

$140 later and my A/C is fully functional

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

Speaking of O-rings, am I right in thinking that I need special material O-rings for A/C applications (Chloroprene) and that just putting any O-ring in there is not a long term solution?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

MrOnBicycle posted:

Speaking of O-rings, am I right in thinking that I need special material O-rings for A/C applications (Chloroprene) and that just putting any O-ring in there is not a long term solution?

https://www.amazon.com/Glarks-Vehic...ps%2C271&sr=8-3

$9 and you're good for the next decade.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008








Slippery Tilde

I've noticed certain cans of air duster have R134a in them. How stupid would it be to try and charge an AC system with those? Asking for a friend.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

spankmeister posted:

I've noticed certain cans of air duster have R134a in them. How stupid would it be to try and charge an AC system with those? Asking for a friend.

It's fine. I believe somewhere in my OP I describe/advise on charging with R152a from computer duster cans. You just need a side-puncture can tap, and there should be a link to one in the OP.

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?


Cool thanks!

I replaced the line that the A/C shop said was broken. Was really dreading it as their quote to fix the system was like $1250, and I expected a huge labor cost in that. Was super simple even if it was the whole bit going from the evaporator entry, to the compressor and the condenser. Even the condenser was super simple to get out, and I can see where all my gas went, it's missing half of a couple of rows...

The new condeser is still on the way. Anything I should know before installing it (I'm thinking abour the dryer bit specifically)?

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003





The last dryer I got came sealed up, I'd make sure to leave it sealed as long as possible until right before you hook it up and pull a vacuum on the system.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Yep. That's the one.

Also, if you have any doubt about your work pull your first vac with the old dryer to test. If it all looks good put in the new one and vac again.

Applebees Appetizer
Jan 23, 2006



What should the average temps be coming out of the vents? Read the OP and didn't see it in there.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Applebees Appetizer posted:

What should the average temps be coming out of the vents? Read the OP and didn't see it in there.

Oh, good one. I'll have to find a chart and add that.

But basically - windows down, AC on high but NOT recirculate (so on fords do not use "max AC", on pretty much everything else just turn off recirc) and expect to see mid-40s if it about 90 degrees outside (from the center vent).

If you're seeing something in the mid 30s you're probably low on refrigerant. Same if it's low 50s or higher (in which case you probably have a TXV keeping your system from freezing up).

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

IOwnCalculus posted:

The last dryer I got came sealed up, I'd make sure to leave it sealed as long as possible until right before you hook it up and pull a vacuum on the system.

I have to bring the car to an A/C shop for the vacuum and (hopefully) adding of the refridgerant though. The whole front bumper + other small bits have to come off in order to access where it hooks up to the condenser. I guess I have to bite the bullet and ask them to hook the lines up while there and hope for the best as I can't really do the vacuum testing etc at home.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008








Slippery Tilde

They should come sealed up because the dryer is there to catch moisture and if left open it will just absorb moisture from the air.

Fender Anarchist
May 20, 2009

Fender Anarchist



Motronic posted:

Oh, good one. I'll have to find a chart and add that.

But basically - windows down, AC on high but NOT recirculate (so on fords do not use "max AC", on pretty much everything else just turn off recirc) and expect to see mid-40s if it about 90 degrees outside (from the center vent).

If you're seeing something in the mid 30s you're probably low on refrigerant. Same if it's low 50s or higher (in which case you probably have a TXV keeping your system from freezing up).

That's with the car being parked in the shade, right? my car sucks up so much heat from the sun that it takes like 30 minutes to dump it all overboard and actually pull vent temps below 50

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

Fender Anarchist posted:

That's with the car being parked in the shade, right? my car sucks up so much heat from the sun that it takes like 30 minutes to dump it all overboard and actually pull vent temps below 50

Yeah, sorry should have specified that. This is "the inside of the shop is 90" kind of conditions, and absolutely let the cabin get down to temp first. You're just trying to see how it's working when it's at "normal" operating conditions, not how well it struggles itself down from bring rocket hot.

If it's over 90 you probably need to throw a big shop fan in front of the condenser.

In my poking around, automotive AC doesn't really seem to have the same concept of delta T as fixed systems (very roughly - 20 degree differential between intake and output at normalish room temperatures), so I'm actually having trouble finding a chart. This is probably why I've always known it as "be somewhere like 38-48 if the outside temps aren't extreme" as the rule of thumb. Was going to try to get that more specific for the thread, but I'm coming up short at the moment.

Motronic fucked around with this message at 19:11 on Aug 9, 2019

meatpimp
May 15, 2004

Psst -- Wanna buy

EVERYWHERE
some high-quality thread's DESTROYED!



Motronic posted:

Yeah, sorry should have specified that. This is "the inside of the shop is 90" kind of conditions, and absolutely let the cabin get down to temp first. You're just trying to see how it's working when it's at "normal" operating conditions, not how well it struggles itself down from bring rocket hot.

If it's over 90 you probably need to throw a big shop fan in front of the condenser.

In my poking around, automotive AC doesn't really seem to have the same concept of delta T as fixed systems (very roughly - 20 degree differential between intake and output at normalish room temperatures), so I'm actually having trouble finding a chart. This is probably why I've always known it as "be somewhere like 38-48 if the outside temps aren't extreme" as the rule of thumb. Was going to try to get that more specific for the thread, but I'm coming up short at the moment.

I've never seen numbers like that, and I've always assumed it was because there were too many variables -- outside temp, outside humidity, air latency across the coils dependent on fan speed, cfm of the system, etc...

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

meatpimp posted:

I've never seen numbers like that, and I've always assumed it was because there were too many variables -- outside temp, outside humidity, air latency across the coils dependent on fan speed, cfm of the system, etc...

There are absolutely numbers for fixed systems, but I suppose the real issue on auto AC is the difficulty of accurately measuring the intake air temperature. CFM/fan speed shouldn't matter - it's part of what you can adjust in fixed installs and for a vehicle it can be assumed to be "fan on high".

meatpimp
May 15, 2004

Psst -- Wanna buy

EVERYWHERE
some high-quality thread's DESTROYED!



Motronic posted:

There are absolutely numbers for fixed systems,

I know, I've been watching my delta T go down to about 13* at home with a 20 year old unit.

Yes, I'm HVAC shopping.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

meatpimp posted:

I know, I've been watching my delta T go down to about 13* at home with a 20 year old unit.

Yes, I'm HVAC shopping.

Ouch. But yeah, at 20.......you're gonna at least see some decent energy savings to run the new one.

toplitzin
Jun 13, 2003


A/C in the Civic has been keeping up less and less I can hear the gas expanding into the coil short cycling.

Went to go hook up the gauges, got to the high side and.....

https://photos.app.goo.gl/tpKPhPXrTboAFc4i6

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

Am I hearing that thing venting?

Oh well, at least valve cores are cheap.

spankmeister
Jun 15, 2008








Slippery Tilde

Well, there goes another 0.000000001 degrees of global warming

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

spankmeister posted:

Well, there goes another 0.000000001 degrees of global warming

GOOD JOB TOPLITZIN

toplitzin
Jun 13, 2003


Oh well.

Yeah, the high side was hissing away once the coupling barely touched it.

I don't have a vacuum pump, so off to the shop, and it'll need a new dryer anyway if it's open, ya?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

toplitzin posted:

Oh well.

Yeah, the high side was hissing away once the coupling barely touched it.

I don't have a vacuum pump, so off to the shop, and it'll need a new dryer anyway if it's open, ya?

If you let it drain all the way. But if you keep pressure in it you don't need a vac. Of course that also means you'd need the in-service valve core swap tool kit which probably cost more than a shop visit.

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

After looking at some YouTube videos it seems like I'll have a few hours window between installing and hooking up my condenser and needing to the have the system vacuumed. Correct-ish?

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

MrOnBicycle posted:

After looking at some YouTube videos it seems like I'll have a few hours window between installing and hooking up my condenser and needing to the have the system vacuumed. Correct-ish?

Are you talking about hooking up a condenser and replacing the dryer then waiting before you vac? I'd always prefer to vac immediately after breaking the seal on a dryer, but as long as it's installed into a closed system you're probably fine. Gotta do what you gotta do with what you have to work with (which I assume is not a vac pump).

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

Motronic posted:

Are you talking about hooking up a condenser and replacing the dryer then waiting before you vac? I'd always prefer to vac immediately after breaking the seal on a dryer, but as long as it's installed into a closed system you're probably fine. Gotta do what you gotta do with what you have to work with (which I assume is not a vac pump).

As far as I can tell (haven't collected it from the post office yet) the condenser has the dryer built in. Might be some seal you can pull after installing, but I'm assuming that it has some plugs or something that I have to remove in order to plug the A/C lines into the condenser thus opening the system to some air. I'm hoping that I can do this an hour or so before an appointment at the A/C shop without ruining the dryer. If everything goes to plan the system will only be exposed to air outside of what's in the lines (that have been open to the environment) already for a couple of seconds while I shove the A/C lines into the condenser.

But yeah, gotta work with what I (don't) have.

MrOnBicycle
Jan 18, 2008
Wait wat?

Double post but A/C update:

Installed condenser lines 20min before appointment for charge. It held vacuum and they filled it up.Car now has perfectly working A/C again and I saved about $950 by spending a total of 2 hours (1 of which was waiting for the A/C machine just now). Totally worth it.


VVV: Yup. Best thread. Thanks for making it!

MrOnBicycle fucked around with this message at 16:51 on Aug 20, 2019

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


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Grimey Drawer

Woot. Another thread success story.


Edit: Two more

Motronic fucked around with this message at 12:55 on Aug 22, 2019

toplitzin
Jun 13, 2003


Two new Schraeders and a refill.

$200 and it's ice cold

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002
Probation
Can't post for 22 hours!


My truck reeks of BO lately. Well, moreso than usual. Is that a refrigerant leak into the cabin?

BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

kid sinister posted:

My truck reeks of BO lately. Well, moreso than usual. Is that a refrigerant leak into the cabin?

Sounds more like mold/mildew. My 2008 Honda Civic had some serious seal rottage (literally every exterior seal on that car is just gone) and every time it rains the moisture, combined with some stellar Mississippi humidity, makes it reek of BO.

Motronic
Nov 6, 2009


MOTRONIC FOR MODERATOR, MAKE AI GREAT AGAIN


Grimey Drawer

kid sinister posted:

My truck reeks of BO lately. Well, moreso than usual. Is that a refrigerant leak into the cabin?

Check your condensate drains. They're probably clogged.

kid sinister
Nov 16, 2002
Probation
Can't post for 22 hours!


Never mind. My wife decided to leave a gallon of milk in my truck, then bury it in her crap. Yes it leaked.

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BonoMan
Feb 20, 2002


Jade Ear Joe

kid sinister posted:

Never mind. My wife decided to leave a gallon of milk in my truck, then bury it in her crap. Yes it leaked.

Haha oh my God I know that smell. My kid drinks milk on the way to school every morning. And sometimes in the searing Mississippi heat I leave the cup in the car while I'm at work.

I come back to a solid cup shape block of cheese and my God the smell.... The smelllllll.

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