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Old 07-23-2014, 02:41 AM   #1
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Lightbulb AC questions

First off, Greetings once again. No, I haven't died. I've been extremely busy with playing gigs and building a new database for Shippers West (also known as Navajo, Digby and Act Trucking).
Alright.. To catch up..
The A/C is going out. At best on a 115 degree day like today, it'* blowing MAYBE 85 degrees out of the vents. I've asked around and either nobody and do a flush n fill with these old R12 systems, or if they can they are gouging me by trying to charge $700. So.. It'* just cheaper to make the switch over to R134 and be done with it. I'm being quoted a price of $100. I don't know what all he is going to do, or if that includes parts. It was a quote through a friend to me.
Next, Front brakes. The inset bolts were stripped (THANKS PREVIOUS TECH!!) so I saved my sanity and took it to the shop. For $59.99 I got the rotors turned, new brake pads and a 2 year warranty. Yes I got a huge discount! Helps to look online for these types of "coupons" LOL.
Last sunner the front struts were replaced, the rear brake cylinders brake fluid power steering fluid, and trans fluid were all replaced. The rear right cylinder had a ridge on the piston. That'* why that wheel locked up shortly after I got the car.
Valve cover gaskets were replaced last September. I think I already told you about the water pump going out and replacing the timing belt as well.
Rear shocks are next. The right rear shock locked up and wouldn't decompress. It finally worked itself loose again and has been working fairly well, but I don't trust it. it'* 24 years old, it needs to be replaced.
I need to replace the ball joints on the front. Also the wheel bearings could probably be replaced as well due to age, not anything mechanically wrong with them.
I now have a slow oil leak. I'm going to guess it would be around the intake gasket, although performance is still very good.
Just replaced the battery (for the second time) 2 weeks ago. The volts light came on as I was driving to a gig. Still starts fine and everything worked but the volts light would come on then go off. Alternator is creeping up on 3 years old. Keep in mind it gets hot here in the summer time. 115-118 in the daytime and cools down to about 96 out here in the country at night. Stays about 101 in Phoenix at night.
I'm still having a problem with the lights flaring. I know it'* not the battery, and it'* probably not the alternator.. but those battery cables probably could use a good replacing. The bolt for the POS cable is almost stripped.. as I found out when replacing the battery. Yea.. ouch.
Finally, the front motor mount needs to be replaced. In picture I keep being shown is a square block of rubber with 1 stud on top and 2 on the bottom. The one in my car looks like there is a metal piece that curves around the front of the mount (towards the radiator), definitely not a block. So as soon as I can find the right mount that will be replaced.
The display cluster project has been put on hold for now, until I can get the old parts replaced.
Oh yea.. It just turned 111k this afternoon on the way home!
It sounds like a lot of work needs to be done, but keep in mind the car sat most of it'* life in the garage. These parts are going out because of age, not because of abuse or wear and tear. Poor old car.
So anyway.. If anyone has any tidbits of information, comments or whatever, sure would like to read them.
Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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A brake job for 60 bucks? wow.....

Cost of R12 is through the roof, because you can't find it.....

A conversion for 100 bucks? Don't know how a shop can do it for that....probably will just change the service valves, suck out the R12, and then add 8oz of pag oil and whatever the conversion number for R134a will be....

Remember though, there are consequences to a conversion......the molecules of R134a are smaller than R12, and if you have a leak somewhere, the R134a will find it....the dessicant in your accumulator is shot by now......your condenser is not really designed for R134a, so it will not be as efficient.....most people complain that a converted system is not as cool as the original....this is an old system, that you are are asking to go balls to the wall, with 115 degree temps.....

Rule of thumb is, a system is working ok, if the system drops ambient air a minimum of 30-35F, depending on humidity...even dropping 40F, you would only get around 70-75F out of the registers.....I mean, compared to 115F, that might feel cool....that wouldn't feel cool around here....
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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they do design it for 30 but thats open to outside and i am sure he is using recirc, so its 30 degrees less than inside temp.

i dont think the conversion is all that bad. i would ask who ever gave you that quote if they do these things, it does seem cheap;

1.) COMPLETE recovery of any remaining R12.
2.) Open all serviceable connections (i.e. condensor, compressor, evaporator, etc.), after purchasing a 134a conversion and re-seal kit. These are readily available, both generic and vehicle-specific.
3.) Remove for replacement reciever/drier or accumulator and expansion valve/orifice tube. Both of these components should be replaced, for optimium performance and to properly flush the system. Inspection of the valve/tube will also give you a pretty good idea of the compressor condition.
4.) COMPLETE flush with an approved product. Wynn'* distributes an excellent one. It'* economical, very efficient, and easy to use. The key is to make sure ALL of the old oil is removed.
5.) Install new 134a compatible oil; O.E. specific is best. I normally inject 1/3 of it in the drier before installation, 1/3 in the compressor, and 1/3 in the condensor. Install the new service ports (after removing shrader valves from the R12 ports), and close all connections with new 134a seals.
6.) Evacuate and recharge to 80% of R12 charge. Obviously, there are many variables involved, but 99% of the time the pressure difference will be so minimal as to be unnoticeable, as will the outlet temp
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:50 PM   #4
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Thanks all for the imput.
The A/C is hardly working. With the temp today of 116, I'm betting the "cold" air coming out of the vents was about 86. Hardly any cold air left.
As far as the conversion, it'* just a quote through a friend. The tech has never worked on my car before and if all he'* going to do is change out fittings he can keep the job. I've read up on this. I am going to need new parts, and those parts aren't going to be cheap! I'm not a huge fan of converting but also not a fan of being miserable in this heat. The lines need to be cleaned out, the compressor and condenser totally flushed out so that all of the old stuff won't touch the new stuff. if it does, it'* just like the old coolant touching the new coolant. It will gel up. I've seen this in someones car RIGHT AFTER I told them don't add the old stuff.
Anyway. I am picky about who works on the car and what goes in it. The brake job was a surprise to me. It'* amazing what you'll find online to save money. LOL The cashier was wide-eyed as she typed in the promo code.
Most people would want to sell the car, just because now it requires some parts and labor. WHY??? It'* getting up there in years, and it still has some damn good pull to it! It just needs a little love. Most people crab and complain about parts and the prices. Try owning a VW/Audi, or BMW. $300 for an oil change in a 3 series, and you'll shut up REAL quick when the GM cars need an oil change.
You guys have always been good to me on here, so once again, I'd like to thank you for your input, and welcome more.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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you also need to find where it leaked out and fix that
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Old 07-24-2014, 12:15 PM   #6
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Hey, I'm getting up there is years too....all I need is a little love, but all I get is nasty private messages from Mike!

Please tell me how an oil change costs $300?
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Old 07-30-2014, 03:56 PM   #7
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Hey, I'm getting up there is years too....all I need is a little love, but all I get is nasty private messages from Mike!

Please tell me how an oil change costs $300?
I don't get too many messages anymore. LOL Not sure if that'* a good thing or not.
Anyway. About the $300 Oil Change...

BMW has a very unique way of services. Along with an oil change and filter it depends on which oil service this is. Sometimes you can get away with just the $60 oil change which is the oil change, oil filter and cabin filter change. Other times if the oil service falls after an inspection service it might include something else. Since I used to work for a BMW shop (although I didn't work on the cars, just detailed them) I found out all about the different services and different series of BMW'* had which service.

So as far as I remember, The services go: oil service, Inspection I, Oil service, oil service Inspection II Oil service Oil service oil service Inspection III. By this time the car would have over 120k on it and would go back to the first oil change again.
The techs told me that the car company is strict on inspection of parts and services that go along with inspecting parts. That'* why the services are expensive. VW is expensive and have a similar service program, but I am unfamiliar with that part since my VW'* are old anyway and it'* just cheaper if I do the work myself.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Azimpulse View Post
I don't get too many messages anymore. LOL Not sure if that'* a good thing or not.
Anyway. About the $300 Oil Change...

BMW has a very unique way of services. Along with an oil change and filter it depends on which oil service this is. Sometimes you can get away with just the $60 oil change which is the oil change, oil filter and cabin filter change. Other times if the oil service falls after an inspection service it might include something else. Since I used to work for a BMW shop (although I didn't work on the cars, just detailed them) I found out all about the different services and different series of BMW'* had which service.

So as far as I remember, The services go: oil service, Inspection I, Oil service, oil service Inspection II Oil service Oil service oil service Inspection III. By this time the car would have over 120k on it and would go back to the first oil change again.
The techs told me that the car company is strict on inspection of parts and services that go along with inspecting parts. That'* why the services are expensive. VW is expensive and have a similar service program, but I am unfamiliar with that part since my VW'* are old anyway and it'* just cheaper if I do the work myself.
Why are we talking about BMW'*?
Do you take your Buick to a BMW dealer for servicing?
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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bmw is buicks distant cousin.



gus asked. i was curious too. it doesnt even cost 300 for the yearly service on my 550. i think thats 200 and they drain the water, change the oil in the engine and both diffs, and 3 huge filters

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Old 07-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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Understood, but still I am not sure why somebody would take their Buick to a BMW dealership for servicing, I have never worked for any dealerships, but don't they charge more for basic servicing?
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