Think the thingie was the accumulator-dryer. A hole would definately mean no a/c. Good news is that is about a $50 part. I would have the whole system flushed (aluminum debris), the oriface tube checked for clogging and probably replaced ($2 part), and the system converted to R-134A
(Note: prices are what I might expect top pay, YMMV, notary sojac and all that.
Is a picture about half way down the vin code
"C" engine has a horribly restricive cutout on the rear exhaust maniford right where the head pipe connects. A half hour with a die grinder (and really good face and eye protection) should be the start of any exhaust work.
Was a TSB on slow/no shift from 1st to 2nd on the 88 440t4 trans. Does anyone have a copy ?