Installing a new A/C evaporator in the '93 SSEi - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-17-2003, 11:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1992 trofeo
r-12 is legal were you guys are? I still have some cans, but its ilegal to sell where I live
I guess it'* grandfathered in: it'* legal to install the stuff if you're a licensed A/C repairman, but no _new_ production is allowed, if I understand it right, so there'* supposedly a dwindling supply that becomes progressively more expensive over time. Gawd knows what they're charging per pound these days but I guess I'm about to find out.

I hear they're still making and selling it in Mexico and elsewhere, but I'm _sure_ that _none_ of that Mexican stuff is _accidentally_ coming across the border somehow. Nossir.

Okay, as of this morning, I have the correct new evaporator core from Lee Auto, exactly as promised. Came in a sealed AC/Delco box, and is a Harrison service part, the correct original-equipment replacement. This one is dated 1996 and came in a pretty dusty box, but it was sealed, properly packed and looks fine.

But this one has the same huge warning sticker on the bottom in SCREAMING CAPITAL LETTERS telling us that we MUST transfer over, or re-order, the WATER SEPARATION SCREEN. Of course the bozo that put the last one in in 1994 left all that stuff off. Lee Auto made a _bunch_ of phone calls on my behalf and actually got a local GM dealer to fax over a factory diagram showing the screen, which is like an open frame on the front side of the evaporator and some sort of mesh on the back side, apparently to wick condensation off the fins and prevent liquid water from blowing into the ducts. I'm leaving in a few minutes to go to a big GM dealer near here and order it. (I assume it won't be on the shelf.)

I know this sounds like overkill, but

1) I'll be d*mned if some idiot from 1994 is going to leave pieces off _my_ car, so I'm going to replace them while I still can, even if I didn't exactly notice anything wrong (but hey, the factory wouldn't put it in without a good reason, not to mention printing up huge warning stickers about it) and...

2) Speaking of missing pieces, he also left off the blower cooling duct, so I need another one of those anyway. Might as well toss it into the same order.

I've gotta go out of town for a few days after today so it'* looking less likely that I'm going to get the Bonne back together today, but I'd rather take the time and get it done right anyhow. More news as it develops...
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:01 PM   #12
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The R-12 is a function of supply and demand. As more cars become retrofitted or junked, the demand for R-12 will decrease, which may cause prices to decrease. It depends on how the supply and the demand compare. It was last used in 1993, which was 10 years ago.

It'* too bad that it is still being manufactured in other parts of the world. Anything for a buck, I guess.

I heard that people used to use the stuff for blow-horns because it was so cheap. LOL.
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Old 07-17-2003, 04:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
The R-12 is a function of supply and demand. As more cars become retrofitted or junked, the demand for R-12 will decrease, which may cause prices to decrease. It depends on how the supply and the demand compare. It was last used in 1993, which was 10 years ago.
Okay, turns out that the law of supply and demand around here is running about $60/pound.

Anyhow, had a productive visit to the big local GM dealer this morning, and found a Parts guy who had the time to go exploring on the computer. Turns out that my car is missing a large rectangular front seal around the evaporator (what I thought was a frame shown in the fax this morning), along with the filter screen that goes behind the evaporator, and a bunch of mounting clips to attach it with. Basically in 1994 they stuck this replacement evaporator in with nothing really holding it down, and it bounced and rattled around inside the core housing for a few years until it finally sprung a leak.

For some reason the C61 system lists exactly five mounting clips; the C68 system just says "as needed" with no further clues, so we went ahead and ordered five anyway. They were over three bucks apiece! I figured what the hell; I've come this far... I also ordered the missing blower motor cooling duct for another seven bucks.

So the filter and clips were found in the Lansing, MI warehouse and the cooling duct will be coming from Chicago, and they should all be waiting for me when I get back from my trip next week. Total for all the stuff was a little under forty bucks. No big deal; life goes on... will post an update to the saga next week.
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
So the filter and clips were found in the Lansing, MI warehouse and the cooling duct will be coming from Chicago, and they should all be waiting for me when I get back from my trip next week. Total for all the stuff was a little under forty bucks. No big deal; life goes on... will post an update to the saga next week.
All righty, I'm back now. Didja miss me?

(silence)

Ho-kay, so anyway, tomorrow'* going to be a big day. I'm dropping off the '96 Trans Sport for a recall notice about a problem with a pinion seal on the front steering, so I'll be picking up the Bonneville parts at the same time, and then they'll give me a shuttle-bus ride back home again, so I'll be working on the Bonneville while they're working on the Trans Sport, and they'll send another shuttle bus to get me when they're done. That might come in handy if I find I need more parts to get the Bonne finished.

Ironically, I was up in Michigan for the past few days and probably could have just picked up the parts in person from the warehouse if they'd let me, but no... As it was, the parts probably passed me going the other way on I-94 while I was heading eastbound.

Hey, does anyone know what I can use to lube the O-rings on the A/C hose connections between the evaporator and the accumulator? Do I _have_ to use some exotic Ester oil or is there anything I might already have which would do just as well? Lee Auto found a small can of Ester oil that was supposed to be correct for R-12 systems, but I couldn't see paying $8 for several ounces of the stuff when all I needed was enough to basically get my index finger wet and just wipe down the O-rings with it. (Yes, it was a sealed can, otherwise I would have done exactly that...)
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Old 07-24-2003, 10:47 PM   #15
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
Thanks!

I liked this part:

> Typically, one drop of Nylog can be stretched about three feet before breaking.

So in theory, I could just stick my finger in the bottle at the dealership, walk all the way home stretching the Nylog behind me, lube the O-rings as required, and then just let go of the rest. The rebounding ***SNAP*** would probably be heard about three counties away...
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Old 07-25-2003, 01:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
I'm dropping off the '96 Trans Sport for a recall notice about a problem with a pinion seal on the front steering, so I'll be picking up the Bonneville parts at the same time, and then they'll give me a shuttle-bus ride back home again, so I'll be working on the Bonneville while they're working on the Trans Sport, and they'll send another shuttle bus to get me when they're done. That might come in handy if I find I need more parts to get the Bonne finished.
So far so good. Back from the dealer'* with all the ordered parts, and some conversation with one of their A/C guys got me a plastic bag with a few teaspoons of the correct oil in it. (He also said that you can use white lithium grease if nothing else is available, but didn't know how long it really lasted, and I said I'd really rather have the right stuff...)

More news as it develops...
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Old 07-26-2003, 06:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
So far so good. Back from the dealer'* with all the ordered parts, and some conversation with one of their A/C guys got me a plastic bag with a few teaspoons of the correct oil in it.

More news as it develops...
Still in progress. Had some delays yesterday and didn't get started until this afternoon. New evaporator is in, complete with water-separation screen on the back, held in by 5 stupid little nylon fasteners costing over $3.00 apiece for no apparent reason... I feel like the Defense Department Purchasing Office... Anyhow, got the core housing all buttoned up, blower back in with new cooling duct in place, electronic blower control in place, wiring harnesses connected and accumulator bracket hung on. Taking a break to clean up before tackling the new high-pressure line connections and accumulator installation. So far so good.

Oh, yeah, I'm photographing the installation as I go, so I'll have photos of the process to post later on.
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Old 07-26-2003, 08:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Taking a break to clean up before tackling the new high-pressure line connections and accumulator installation. So far so good.
Dinnertime. High-pressure line connection went together beautifully with fresh oil on all sealing surfaces. Did some manual tweaking and twisting of the line to get it lined up better with the port line coming out of the evaporator before making the connection, so it wouldn't be under constant stress after it was tightened up.

Much agonizing over how to route all the wiring that goes behind the accumulator along the firewall. Can't trust anything from the way it was put together before, since that was done by the same 1994 idiot who left his cigarettes in the dash for nine years. Found three correct fasteners to hold blower resistor controller in place of the three mismatched ones he'd used, and routed wiring into the Maxifuse Relay Center so it went through the right holes on the end.

Passenger'* side Maxifuse block and three relays below it must come out when relay center is removed from the firewall, and I put them back in about three times before getting everything to sit the way it'* supposed to. Found a component location diagram in Volume 2 of the factory manual that points to where every component and cable in the relay block is supposed to go, which helped a lot since some things had been routed wrong before. The main cover should fit much better now; it never did sit straight in the past.

Had the accumulator in the house over an air-conditioning vent for a few hours to try and dry it out a bit before installing, since it'* muggy as all hell today. (Is Hell muggy? Maybe it'* a dry heat... whatever...) Now have it sitting in the garage with its ports taped over, to warm it up to ambient temperature with dry air inside before making the final connections. (This is probably overkill but I can take the time.)

Time to go light the grill and pop a beer. Should be finishing it later tonight and see about getting it evacuated and recharged next week. Stay tuned...
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Old 07-27-2003, 12:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Found a component location diagram in Volume 2 of the factory manual that points to where every component and cable in the relay block is supposed to go, which helped a lot since some things had been routed wrong before. The main cover should fit much better now; it never did sit straight in the past.
Yesssss!!! Got the accumulator in late last night, did a final check of everything on the firewall, then pulled the Maxifuse/Relay Center cover out of the trunk and reinstalled it. It'* now a perfect fit; it never was before. Sits flat, with the big conduit to the engine harness coming out through the round opening in the front exactly the way it'* supposed to. I never noticed before how the front edge of the cover is supposed to visually continue over to align with the upper edge of the vacuum reservoir. It all looks a lot neater now.

Used some rubbing compound and wax to polish up the bright white strut towers before reinstalling the cross brace. Should have the car up and running again before lunchtime.
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