Last-minute A/C questions before a recharge - 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 08-09-2003, 05:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
All right! Good goin.
It'* home now... sweeet.

Total was $201.00: Freon, 4 oz. of oil and one hour (minimum) labor. It'* kind of hot and humid outside today but by the time I'd driven a couple of miles home from the shop, the automatic climate control had already dialed back the blower from maximum to about half-speed, and it was getting nice and cool inside. It has been _years_ since it was this good.

Place that did it was Northtown Auto Service and Tire Center in McHenry, IL. Might as well give them credit. Had to persuade them at first that No, I really didn't want to convert to R134a and Yes, I do know that the R-12 costs more, but after that everything went fine.

I had also forgotten about the other cool things the automatic system can do, like purge itself of humid air after a short shutdown by blowing air out the floor vents for 20 seconds before it starts sending conditioned air out the dash vents.

Took the precaution of removing the Maxifuse/Relay Center cover before taking it in, so that some idiot wouldn't break it or lose it if they needed access to the pressure switch on the accumulator, so now that that'* back in place, this project is DONE!

We have a block party this afternoon and I'm going to celebrate...

P.*. I have photos of the whole replacement process but film is still in the camera. As soon as I get it processed, I'll post them here (somehow). Old and new evaporators side-by-side is really impressive...
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:45 AM   #12
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I'm glad to hear your project came to such a successful end.
My '87 needs a new compressor (old one is gone forever).
What'* the name of the big grey metal cylinder thats over by the firewall on the passenger'* side? Usually has a silver pipe coming out of it. Mine has no silver pipe coming out of it (i guess it goes to the compressor).
Woudl that big metal silver cylinder i just mentioned be the Condensor?
Anyway ideally i'd just have to install the new compressor and the pipes that go to it but since the a/c hasn't been used due to no compressor for about 3 years now I bet something else may have gone bad. What do you think?

Mike Diaz
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:54 AM   #13
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No, that'* the accumulator.

How did the compressor fail?

If you have had no A/C for 3 years, likely many of your o-rings could be cracked and dried out. The R-12 may have leaked out, too. What you need to do is replace as many o-rings as you can, or care to get to when you change out the compressor. One of the common places that leaks is the evaporator, and to check it you have to go through the firewall.

Best way to check for leaks is to see if the system would hold a vacuum for an extended period of time. R-12 is an expensive leak tester!
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Old 08-10-2003, 01:34 AM   #14
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it'd be sweet if the R-12 was still in there but I have barely a shred of hope left in that one. This ol' bum mechanic was working on my car (its our fault for finding this moron i guess and paying him to work on our car. ) and whenever the AC went on you could hear a terrible loud knocking (obviously compressor problems) Anyway the mechanic took out old compressor, got new one, got wrong new one, told us to return it, didn't tell us he had given them the old core, we didn't ask for the old one, didn't get it back, didn't have money for the new one without the core.. the end. I was only about 14 or 15 at the time and didn't erally know what was going on, my Mom got duped but anyways since then its come into the right hands (mine) and i'd liek to bring this part of it back to life.

Back to topic, the guy who did the work is just a regular street mechanic type that just gets aroudn people by word of mouth... found his way to my car. What'* the name of the tube that comes out of the accumolator? Woudl this be the orifice tube? and this tube should run from the accumulator to the... evaporator?... there'* an '87 bonnie just like mine over at the local junkyard with its engine in tact so I'm thinking of getting my compressor / pipes from that but then again its compressor could very well be bad since it'* been sitting without even being turned on for a while now... i mean it'* from '87 like mine but yet its odometer reads about 49,000 miles .. so it must have died pretty young for some reason.. might not be safe to use its dried out AC organs on mine... Well nevertheless do you guys think this sort of a job would be feasible to be done by someone like me who has done some minor repairs all around on his car ( i know i'd leave the recharging to the real fellows but how about just the installation of compressor, pipes, and anything else that might need lubrication / inspection)?

Thanks for any input.
Mike D
'87 Pontiac Bonneville
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Old 08-10-2003, 12:24 PM   #15
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Well, if you don't have the money to spend on your A/C and you have nothing to lose, you might as well try working on it. It is not the easiest thing to work on, especially because you have to be very clean and careful. You must use O-rings that are designed for air conditioning systems too.

I would buy an air conditioning manual from the local auto parts store.

The R-12 flows from the evaporator into the accumulator.

If the compressor was knocking, It is possible that there may be metal shavings and junk throughout your system. Be aware that the orifice tube may be clogged. I would change out the compressor, muffler, accumulator, and also the orifice tube. You have to replace the oil that comes out of the existing parts with the same amount of oil in the new ones.

You can check the compressor on the other Bonny by turning it by hand. Are there any places where it binds up? Is it very difficult to turn? These aren't guarantees that it will work, but will help you in diagnosing it.
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDiaz
I'm glad to hear your project came to such a successful end.
My '87 needs a new compressor (old one is gone forever). What'* the name of the big grey metal cylinder thats over by the firewall on the passenger'* side? Usually has a silver pipe coming out of it. Mine has no silver pipe coming out of it (i guess it goes to the compressor).
Okay, you're looking at the accumulator, as others have said. It has _two_ fittings connected to it, for an inlet and an outlet. One line runs from the accumulator to the evaporator in your firewall. The other runs from the accumulator forwards, up front where the compressor and condensor are found, running parallel to the high-pressure line.

Since your compressor is missing, it sounds like the hose set that connected to it is gone as well. If your accumulator has been open to the elements all this time, I'd hate to think of what sort of crud has blown into it, and if you've found a junkyard donor of the same model that'* still intact, I'd bring the accumulator out of that one along with whatever other parts you're missing.

Quote:
Would that big metal silver cylinder i just mentioned be the Condensor?
No, the condensor is the radiator-like thing up front that sits in front of the cooling system radiator. The evaporator is in your firewall, and looks similar to your heater core (and is installed parallel to it so that ventilation air flows through both).

Quote:
ideally i'd just have to install the new compressor and the pipes that go to it but since the a/c hasn't been used due to no compressor for about 3 years now I bet something else may have gone bad. What do you think?
Fix the problems you know of first, which is to replace the missing compressor and hoses. Once you have a sealed system again, have the local shop draw down a vacuum on it to see if it will hold. If not, you've got a leak somewhere to track down.

In your case I would definitely convert it to R134a as well; there'* no point in putting expensive R12 in and then losing it shortly thereafter.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:07 PM   #17
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Thanks a bunch for all of the info. I'll keep it all in mind wwhen and if i go to the junkyard to get the parts. Unfortunetly I'm off to college (first year) in a few weeks so I'm low on time and cash. I think I might wait till late next spring to fully act on this and between now and then I'll read up on all that might be involved. If I get any more questions I'll feel free to ask . Thank a bunch guy and I hope mine goes well.

mike d
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