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Thread: AC How To?

  1. #1
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    AC How To?

    I've never done any AC work before. Joy would like AC in vehicles this summer. I'm currently 0/9 on the AC front for the fleet. This presents a problem for my well being.

    So far, I can tell that I need a set of gauges and a vacuum pump. I would ideally like the pump to pull double duty for future carbon fiber projects, so I would like one that pulls an exceptional vacuum and flows well too. Any suggestions in this realm?

    It looks to me like the compressor in my Lancer leaks the oil out the front side of it. The Voyager, I'm not sure about, but I'm assuming the compressor clutch is bad because the previous owner removed the pulley assy. My 05 Neon had the refrigerant carelessly evacuated by a guy who did my heater core over the winter break. I figure if I start with these vehicles, probably starting with the Voyager it would be the way to go.

    Any advice on how to best get this going?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor
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    Re: AC How To?

    Hi Brian,
    I have converted my non AC DD Sundance to AC 5 years ago. I did need to read tons to find out the best way to fix leaks and clean up the inside.
    At first I used a vacuum pump from work that pumps to less than a micron but that is over kill for sure, In a pinch I also used an old fridge compressor as a vacuum source and it was OK. A few years back I bought a 75 micron pump from Harbour Freight and it works nicely https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...ump-61245.html
    You will also need some sort of gauge set such as https://www.harborfreight.com/automo...set-62707.html
    I found that mineral spirits worked well to clean of oil of my old parts and I used compressed air to blow out the solvent. Once cleaned up, I assembled in the car and pulled a hard vacuum until the reading was low and stable. I then pressurized with a bit of refrigerant(or air) and checked for leaks with soapy water. The fittings at the dryer are known issue, there are fixes (hacks) but I decided to try to seal the leak using all sort of sealants..The best by far is RED threadlocker on new gaskets/seals.
    And you need to replace the lubricant...I used ester.
    I cannot use R134 due to Canadian laws but I generally use R12A(propane/butane). Another Brian suggested R152A("duster") as a superior refrigerant so I will try that this year. To use the duster cans you need to buy a special clamp that pierces the can. IIRC it was $15.
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Thanks I'll certainly be checking out those links. I like the idea of the air duster as refrigerant. I've seen Bucar mention that before, but I didn't realize it was superior to something like Duracool. Cheaper, and better? That's the TM way for sure.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor rgl10's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    I have the same thoughts as Miles but I will add that in my experience if you want a truly cold system replace the h-valve and dryer especially if the system has been open very long to atmosphere or not in use for awhile. If the compressor condition is unknown or shows any signs of leaks change it out also. I watch ebay for deals on those parts as you can get them very cheap every once in a while. While you have the system apart flush out the condenser and evaporator like Miles said and use compressed air to get them really dry. Here in the states R134a is fairly cheap and ester oil works well in the older systems. Your Neon though will use PAG type oil as it came with R134a originally.

  5. #5
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor 85lebaront2's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Two things I dealt with on my 1985 K convertible and essentially carefully planned my 1986 K convertible (replacing the totaled 1985). First, with the T2 or similar radiator, even with the 5 blade fan, at a stoplight in our heat and humidity (in the summer they race to see which can get higher, frequently we have high 90s on both) I could not keep a belt on the compressor, it would either flutter into the right motor mount bracket or just burn up. The other issue was the efficiency or lack of it in the original "fuzzy fin" condenser which contributed to the high head pressure under the above conditions.

    As I was acquiring parts for the 1986, I scored a complete 1992 Sundance system which was built to be compatible with R134 as Chrysler started introducing it in 1993. The condenser is a multipass design for greater efficiency. I then scored a 1994 Shadow convertible R134 compressor and lines (lines are virtually unavailable and if you can find them solid gold. With these components located, I set about looking for a better fan system that I could use in the K body front end. Since mine is a Lebaron convertible, the front grille area is a large fiberglass assembly that is originally attached with 4 1/4-20 studs at the ends and a vertical brace that stiffens the center. I wanted to use a pair of pusher fans (modified 1999 Ford Contour unit) which is built as a dual puller system. Reversing the fan blades and the power leads to the dual permanent magnet DC motors, and I had a two speed pusher unit. The P body condenser fits with minor changes to the lower mounts and requires adding two upper mounts (actually about 2/3 of the way up). It is slightly narrower than the radiator opening as the K radiator area was designed to take the wider 2.6L radiator. I closed off one side to balance fan/condenser/radiator + intercooler for the best flow, then used some nice heavy weather seal foam sections to force everything through the condenser and from there through the radiator/intercooler.

    I have a PDC from a later FWD car, 1996 Stratus and also a 2000 Sebring, it is probably used other places. It has two fan relays, a low and high speed. I used the SBEC control circuit for the low speed, high speed is by a high pressure refrigerant switch from a 1993 Grand Caravan. I drilled and tapped the high pressure side of the compressor/condenser/receiver drier at the condenser flange and installed a fitting with a Schrader valve for the high pressure switch. It simply grounds the coil on the high speed fan relay. The Contour fans use a resistor for low, and bypass it for high so there is no need to turn the low speed relay off.
    "growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
    1986 Lebaron convertible to replace totalled 85
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    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor GLHS60's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Do you guy use Duracool type products??

    I really don't know anything about A/C but all my vehicles with A/C have functioning A.C

    Environmentally friendly, compatible with anything, no special tools and economical.

    Superior cooling and no vacuum required, if the system can work, it will!!

    Won't fix a hole or broken compressor but few refrigerants will. lol

    Farmers love it, machinery sits most of the year except when its hot and A/C is needed.

    Slip in a can and were all in comfort for the couple of hot months!!!

    Thanks
    Randy





    Attachment 64747


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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Wow. Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I'll definitely be replacing a lot of the components as I go. There's no reason not to from what I can see on Rockauto. I guess the first step will be pulling everything and cleaning it all up.

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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by GLHS60 View Post
    Do you guy use Duracool type products??

    I currently use R12a (aka Duracool) Yes it works but it is flammable. I had a bird on a hot day when the AC went BANG and a white cloud of vapour surrounded my car sat a stop light. I fixed the gasket but think I will try this summer...
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

  9. #9
    ...if you know what I mean... Turbo Mopar Contributor csxtra's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    +1 on the Duracool. Been using it "for years" in converted R12 and 134 cars. One nice thing is the mercaptan mixed in with it so when you have a leak it smells like a propane or natural gas leak.

    If Duracool weren't available I might look into Bucar's "duster" refrigerant.
    Warren Hall
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  10. #10
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor GLHS60's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Right, I don't think Red Tek etc is widely available in the US.

    I think I've used them all, separately and randomly combined.

    Same thing I do with Engine Oil, mix and match my own blends.

    I'm no scientist but I know when something works, is easier to use and is inexpensive.

    Thanks
    Randy


    There is no logical reason to call an Engine a motor.

    Randy Hicks
    86 GLHS60
    86 GLHS 373 : SOLD, but never forgotten
    89 Turbo Minivan
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  11. #11
    Boost, it's what's for dinner... Turbo Mopar Staff Aries_Turbo's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    duster is 152a difluoroethane..... 134a is tetrafluoroethane. so they want the same type of oil. pag or ester. ester is compatible with mineral oil that R12 used so its a better choice for those vehicles.

    im going to get my AC back in my reliant soon. i have a hose crimper so i can make some custom lines to put a parallel flow condenser in the front of the car without much hassle.

    other tips.... just find and fix leaks. you can put UV dye in the system and find leaks with a UV flashlight. heck you can usually see leaks at fittings or if a rock/corrosion put a hole in the condenser.

    dont overfill. if the car called for X amount of R12, it will take less 134a to be fully charged and even less 152a duster.

    i will put close to what its supposed to have in the system and then use a thermocouple meter (cheap harbor freight multimeter that came with an exposed junction k thermocouple) stuffed in the largest vent to watch the temp as it cycles on and off. itll fluctuate up and down pretty repeatably. i keep adding as long as its falling and the pressures on the gauges are within spec. (find the factory temp/pressure charts) as soon as it jumps up one degree, i stop.

    hasnt failed me yet. my neon had ice cold ac. in the 30's (F) when it was in the high 80's with the car sitting stationary in the sun.

    my 07 town and country has the rear ac blocked off (leaks back there... put blockoff plugs in) and filled with duster. it freezes us out in the summer no problem even with only one evaporator.

    subaru has some corroded aluminum where an oring is supposed to seal so it leaks down slowly.... needs a recharge every spring.... with duster lol. its compressor has 300k miles on it and is kinda worn out so it doesnt cool quite as good as my van but it gets the job done.

    i just bought a 02 Honda CR-V (new turbo project 5-speed and AWD) and at some point it will probably get duster lol. the previous owner had an issue with the AC and had EVERYTHING replaced. yippie for me.


    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by turbovanman
    This one is easy, I have myself to blame, I rush things, don't pay attention to gauges when I should, change to much stuff at once then expect miracles, the list is endless.

  12. #12
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    Re: AC How To?

    I used envirosafe refrigerant in my lancer. Basically a propane type refrigerant.

  13. #13
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aries_Turbo View Post
    duster is 152a difluoroethane..... 134a is tetrafluoroethane. so they want the same type of oil. pag or ester. ester is compatible with mineral oil that R12 used so its a better choice for those vehicles.

    im going to get my AC back in my reliant soon. i have a hose crimper so i can make some custom lines to put a parallel flow condenser in the front of the car without much hassle.

    other tips.... just find and fix leaks. you can put UV dye in the system and find leaks with a UV flashlight. heck you can usually see leaks at fittings or if a rock/corrosion put a hole in the condenser.

    dont overfill. if the car called for X amount of R12, it will take less 134a to be fully charged and even less 152a duster.

    i will put close to what its supposed to have in the system and then use a thermocouple meter (cheap harbor freight multimeter that came with an exposed junction k thermocouple) stuffed in the largest vent to watch the temp as it cycles on and off. itll fluctuate up and down pretty repeatably. i keep adding as long as its falling and the pressures on the gauges are within spec. (find the factory temp/pressure charts) as soon as it jumps up one degree, i stop.

    hasnt failed me yet. my neon had ice cold ac. in the 30's (F) when it was in the high 80's with the car sitting stationary in the sun.

    my 07 town and country has the rear ac blocked off (leaks back there... put blockoff plugs in) and filled with duster. it freezes us out in the summer no problem even with only one evaporator.

    subaru has some corroded aluminum where an oring is supposed to seal so it leaks down slowly.... needs a recharge every spring.... with duster lol. its compressor has 300k miles on it and is kinda worn out so it doesnt cool quite as good as my van but it gets the job done.

    i just bought a 02 Honda CR-V (new turbo project 5-speed and AWD) and at some point it will probably get duster lol. the previous owner had an issue with the AC and had EVERYTHING replaced. yippie for me.


    Brian
    Tell me about this hose crimper of which you speak. I'm intrigued.

  14. #14
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    Re: AC How To?

    I was curious about using AN hose for refrigerant.

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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by thedon809 View Post
    I was curious about using AN hose for refrigerant.
    I have thought the same, it should be OK pressure wise.
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by chromguy View Post
    I have thought the same, it should be OK pressure wise.
    It would look pretty nice and might be a little more flexible as far as routing.

  17. #17
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Making my own hoses going to a new style condenser really intrigues me.

  18. #18
    ...if you know what I mean... Turbo Mopar Contributor csxtra's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    Making my own hoses going to a new style condenser really intrigues me.
    Same here, the increased cooling capacity of a parallel-flow condenser would come in handy for a split system to cool the cabin AND intercooler coolant like Andrew Kane's minivan.
    Warren Hall
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  19. #19
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    Re: AC How To?

    A/C hoses use a different core liner if I am not mistaken. Aeroquip I know makes the specific hose, I want to say Earl's is another one?

  20. #20
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: AC How To?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reaper1 View Post
    A/C hoses use a different core liner if I am not mistaken. Aeroquip I know makes the specific hose, I want to say Earl's is another one?
    That would make a lot of sense to me. I wonder if the PTFE hoses could be used?

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