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#1068074 - 09/21/20 03:29 PM Smoked AC compressor  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
tomh115 Offline
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tomh115  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
Russellville, AR
I converted my AC to 134A about a month or so ago. It worked for 2 days and then I lost my belts whole driving (power steering was undamaged, AC belt was gone but shredded from the parts I found, Alt belt damaged but intact, and Air pump belt intact but off the pulleys and wrapped around the fan shaft). Got the belts replaced this weekend and guess what.. AC compressor is locked up (I guess it initiated the event). Outside of replacing the obvious compressor, is there a need to replace the condenser unit near the radiator, hoses, Accumulator (and expansion valve)? If all of this gets replaced why not the evaporator coil inside the car too? I know to go with the heavy duty compressor but how does a four seasons brand compare to an AC Delco? Condenser coil has a lot of options so looking for help on what kind/type or to avoid.

To say the least im pretty bummed. While I don't need the air, I got it fixed so my kids could enjoy the car too. Car idles too low at say 500 rpm but that looks pretty easy to adjust up with the idle screw going clockwise which I plan to do this weekend.


[Linked Image]
1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe
Objects in mirror are losing
https://www.flickr.com/gp/34317731@N08/3xk4xk
#1068075 - 09/21/20 04:12 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 365
Bitflipper Offline
15+ Year
Bitflipper  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 365
Las Vegas, NV
Opinions vary on this topic but I'll give you mine FWIW.

The mistake was going to 134A with that compressor. I used to blow through a Harrison every year with 134A. I took my car to a well regarded AC specialist in my city. He immediately said that if I wanted to use the OEM compressor I would need to go back to R12. So I got one last replacement compressor and got him to do it (he's licensed to work with it and still has some). Guess what - 3 years later and my AC is still ice cold - more immediate and colder air than 134A ever produced in my car. And we're talking about extreme Las Vegas heat here.

Last time I needed a replacement compressor, Dixie still had some NOS ones.

Good luck with it!


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#1068082 - 09/21/20 07:32 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
tomh115 Offline
Member
tomh115  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
Russellville, AR
My problem is finding said R12 shop. It was hard enough to find a conversion shop. And yes, I realize I smoked it with the conversion but that ship has sailed.


[Linked Image]
1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe
Objects in mirror are losing
https://www.flickr.com/gp/34317731@N08/3xk4xk
#1068083 - 09/21/20 08:52 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,183
Hunter79764 Offline
10+ Year
Hunter79764  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,183
Grand Prairie, Tx
My opinion, I'm sure others have theirs too...
At minimum you need to replace the Receiver/Drier since the system has been opened. Replace hoses if you need to based on condition or fitment (if you replace the condenser), flush evaporator backwards if you can but I wouldn't think you need to replace.
Replacing the condenser is probably the best bang for your buck on AC performance if you stay R134a. A parallel flow style instead of a tube and fin style should help the system run at a lower pressure, and even better if you have electric fans. If you want to reduce strain on the system and don't live somewhere that's too hot, you could look into adding a high pressure cycling switch that would cut the compressor out when pressures rise, which will limit performance but should make sure the compressor lives longer. In mild conditions, you will never see it. On a particularly hot day, you might cycle it on and off at idle or in traffic, depending on if you have electric fans and what pressure setting you go with.


Shawn

'85 MC with budget 5.3L swap, TH350 with stock 2.14 rear end
It ain't much off the line, but it's nice on the highway
#1068086 - 09/22/20 12:38 AM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
tomh115 Offline
Member
tomh115  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 750
Russellville, AR
It's a standard fan car and probably the same weather you have in TX. Generally, I'm not driving in stop and go traffic scenarios. U take her out for a cruise or to go to a show. Unless it's real hot or I have kids in the car. It's a Windows down ttops off car


[Linked Image]
1987 Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe
Objects in mirror are losing
https://www.flickr.com/gp/34317731@N08/3xk4xk
#1068087 - 09/22/20 01:26 AM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: Bitflipper]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,893
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,893
Brooksville, Fl
Originally Posted by Bitflipper
Opinions vary on this topic but I'll give you mine FWIW.

The mistake was going to 134A with that compressor. I used to blow through a Harrison every year with 134A. I took my car to a well regarded AC specialist in my city. He immediately said that if I wanted to use the OEM compressor I would need to go back to R12. So I got one last replacement compressor and got him to do it (he's licensed to work with it and still has some). Guess what - 3 years later and my AC is still ice cold - more immediate and colder air than 134A ever produced in my car. And we're talking about extreme Las Vegas heat here.

Last time I needed a replacement compressor, Dixie still had some NOS ones.

Good luck with it!



I disagree. when I purchased my car, I noticed the hoses were leaking, so, in the spring, I purchased a new suction/discharge hose assembly and took my car to work so I would have all the correct tools to work with, I recovered the existing R12. installed the new hose and evacuated the system for 1 hour and recharged it with R12. I found out then that the compressor was noisy and vibrating, but I used it that way thru that summer, it cooled great. I decided to replace the compressor with a new one and switch to R134a. I purchased a new compressor from the Chevy dealer and the correct PAG oil. It comes in an 8 oz bottle. I also purchased a new accumulator and a regular orifice tube along with some duraflush for a/c systems. I proceeded to recover the R12 and disassemble the system to replace the parts and flush out the existing condenser, evaporator and hose assembly with the duraflush. I blew the flush thru the system with one of those solvent cleaning guns, catching any debris and fluid until the system was clean and clear. I installed the accumulator after installing 4 oz of the PAG oil in it and following directions on the compressor, added the remaining 4 oz PAG oil to it and turned the shaft to get the oil distributed in the compressor. Then it was a matter of reinstalling the components and evacuating the system to charge with the R134a. this is on a ttop car and I lived in the DC area at the time. Although I never put a thermometer in any duct, it cooled great, having to reduce fan speed after only about 15 minutes. This was in 2002 and when I sold the car, it was still cooling great in 2009. Using the correct amount of oil is crucial and I have heard that the R4 compressor is trash, sorry, I don't believe that at all. Good luck with your car!!


Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
You are not forgotten
If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1068093 - 09/22/20 04:10 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 365
Bitflipper Offline
15+ Year
Bitflipper  Offline
15+ Year
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 365
Las Vegas, NV
I know you disagree Leo, others do as well. That's fair enough.

For anyone that wants to stop playing Russian Roulette (yes, it's a Las Vegas joke kind of) with their compressor and can afford a road trip to Las Vegas - this is your guy.

Auto Air & More


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#1068098 - 09/23/20 12:55 AM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,893
86ttop Offline
20+ Year
86ttop  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Dec 1999
Posts: 11,893
Brooksville, Fl
thumbs


Leo Paugh
It's not an attitude, it's just the way I am.
POW*MIA
You are not forgotten
If things improve with age, I must be approaching magnificent. thumbs
#1068103 - 09/23/20 01:10 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,645
upflying Offline
20+ Year
upflying  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 5,645
Reno, NV
I have an R4 on my car..seized the first compressor after the engine swap by failing to install enough PAG oil. Live and learn, all good now. Never did a flush because the seizure happened at idle.


86 MCSS Notchback coupe, LS3, 4L65E, QP 9", Eaton Truetrac, 4 wheel disc, column shift, Dakota Digital, silver with maroon bench interior

#1068107 - 09/23/20 03:43 PM Re: Smoked AC compressor [Re: tomh115]  
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 5,394
mmc427ss Offline
20+ Year
mmc427ss  Offline
20+ Year
Member

Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 5,394
Pottstown, Pa
When the 86 was new and a daily driver for the wife my rule of thumb was run the A/C all Summer, don't open the windows and let all that dust and dirt into the interior. 20 years ago the original compressor seized on the 86, replaced with a new Delco unit from the dealer at a great price, a friend worked the counter there. At that time a conversion was done to 134, compressor, accumulator and valve replaced, flush condenser and evaporator, vac'ed and a weighed charge of 134 done at a local shop. Although it worked OK I was never happy with a black car sitting at a traffic light on a hot day.

When the new engine went in more than a decade ago a conversion back to R12 was done. I managed to acquire 20 lbs of R12, a hard thing to do even back then. The Delco compressor was thoroughly flushed, the original condenser was removed and bench flushed, easy to do. Flushing the evaporator while in the car is a challenge to clean the junk out of it because it is a parallel flow and sediment lays in the bottom section of the evap. A new Delco line set (dealer again) was installed along with a new valve, accumulator, O-rings. This time I did the entire process after borrowing the vac pump, an A/C scale, and bought a new R12 manifold gauge set. That was more than 10 years ago and it still throws ice cubes out the vents. Just recently did a vent temp check while idling in the shop at 92 degrees and saw 38 degrees at the center vent. Still very happy I did the conversion back to 12.

The guide lines Hunter suggested if you stay with 134 are good suggestions. Especially changing the condenser to a parallel flow. They are inexpensive and probably the best thing to happen to a 134 system. The higher operation high pressure and need to remove the heat at the condenser warrant it.
Also it the line set is original it is old and not rated for 134. Line set I would replace. Any 134 conversion needs 134 compatible O-rings installed at every connection. The accumulator is a catch all for debris in the system and also can not be cleaned, replacement mandatory. When a compressor fails internally it may dump very small pieces of the vanes into the system over time which goes everywhere, the reason to flush the system.

The orifice tube is in line between the accumulator and evaporator and has a screen on it which may clog, replacement is necessary with a system rebuild.

As far as buying a replacement compressor I would buy only a new one, Delco preferred. I replaced the Sanden compressor on my daily driver with a rebuilt unit from my local parts house. Did the entire procedure, cleaned, new parts, vac, weighed charge of 134 which lasted for several years. One day the clutch seized, replaced the clutch, more special tools. A year later the system was not cooling very well, compressor internals going south. Disconnected the plug to the clutch and running without A/C the past year. I can say that i didn't get the service life expected out of that rebuilt compressor and having to replace the clutch added greatly to the overall cost of that system.

Bob


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