re-installing a/c after 5 years - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 10, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
Jon
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 27
re-installing a/c after 5 years

This is a 1969 camaro with factory air conditioning. About seven years ago one of the a/c lines cracked and pretty much all the refrigerant leaked out and I had no money to fix it. A couple of years later I decided to take everything off because it wasn't working and I thought that it would be much quicker. Well, now I have realized that this whole thing was stupid and I want it back in. The compressor, all the lines, condensor and everything else has been chilln in the attic. I am guessing purchasing a new kit would be the best way to go, as far as financially and performance wise?


Any suggestions? Brands? Refurbish the old one?

Thanks,
Jon
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 10, 09:31 PM
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John
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

I would refurbish the old one. But thats me.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 21st, 10, 09:40 PM
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Ted
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny69'302 View Post
This is a 1969 camaro with factory air conditioning. About seven years ago one of the a/c lines cracked and pretty much all the refrigerant leaked out and I had no money to fix it. A couple of years later I decided to take everything off because it wasn't working and I thought that it would be much quicker. Well, now I have realized that this whole thing was stupid and I want it back in. The compressor, all the lines, condensor and everything else has been chilln in the attic. I am guessing purchasing a new kit would be the best way to go, as far as financially and performance wise?


Any suggestions? Brands? Refurbish the old one?

Thanks,
Jon
Jon, my 69 too had an a/c unit in it when I bought the car. But it didn't work. I figured that by the time I had replaced all the needed parts I was almost to the cost of an aftermarket unit. I went with Vintage Air GenIV. I figured with the new technology of today it would be a better cooling unit. Plus you would not have the big suitcase in the engine compartment. If you have all the parts maybe you can sell them to someone that wants all original stuff to help defer the cost.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 10, 11:07 AM
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Michael
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Nothing looks better (or more authentic) inside the car than the factory air setup.

I had mine off too and faced a similar situation, but chose a hybrid solution (partially related to R-134a conversion). I cleaned and restored everything (even separated the suitcase to clean the 40+ years of mung in the evaporator), replaced the wiring harness, relay, fan, vent hoses (2.75 inch) and fan resistor.

Instead of taking a chance on the compressor, hoses and condenser (receiver dryer is always replaced after system is opened), I converted these to R-134a use with a Sanden compressor, receiver dryer, new barrier type hoses and a parallel condenser which Custom Auto Air sells as a kit for about $500. It helps that I live in Tampa, FL and just went in for them to crimp the hoses after I cut and fit them. Also, at no cost they modify the POA valve (1/4 to 1/2 turn CCW) for R-134a usage.

After you get everything hooked up, just take the car into just about any repair shop; have them vacuum out everything for 3/4 of a hour at 30 inches of Hg, recharge with 3 ounces of PAG-100 oil and about 2.5 lbs of R-134a. Voila! Cold air.

Piece of cake, air blows cold.

You can of course reuse everything by getting a R-134a conversion kit ($40?), just follow the directions and roll the dice.

Cold air is what separates us from the cavemen.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 10, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
Jon
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Oklahoma
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

I like the hybrid idea. Although it would be neat to get rid of the suitcase. So basically I am looking at around $600-$700 going in the hybrid direction and probably closer to $1700 for an all new system, like vintage air. Both would be using R-134a, so would performance be much of a difference?
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 10, 07:29 AM
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Ted
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny69'302 View Post
I like the hybrid idea. Although it would be neat to get rid of the suitcase. So basically I am looking at around $600-$700 going in the hybrid direction and probably closer to $1700 for an all new system, like vintage air. Both would be using R-134a, so would performance be much of a difference?
I think you are a little high on the VA system. Ithink you'ld be more at the $1200 figure. Give Frank at Prodigy Customs a call and see what he shoots you for a price. You can find him here at TC. Very helpful.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 10, 01:08 PM
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Michael
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

If you don't want your suitcase, I'm pretty sure someone will make you a good offer for it and that might subsidize your AC repair (maybe pay for all of it).

IMO I wouldn't lightly delete such a desireable factory installed option as AC. Kind of like dumping a JL-8 rear end for a new Moser with Wilwoods (because it looks better?), but the sale of the JL-8 would more than offset the price of the new Moser. To each his own.

By the way, Classic Auto Air's Complete Perfect Fit Kit for a 1969 Camaro that already has AC (removal of AC suitcase required) is $1245.

As for performance, I don't have the parallel condenser and my hybrid AC cools just like the R-12 system did. Having said that, my tube and fin condenser is pretty big (slightly bigger than the radiator opening in the rad support) and relatively new, about 4 years old. I think the real trick to retrofitting R-134a is the POA valve mod, although the parallel condenser would probably ensure that everything cools like it should. I also, have a good 7 blade fan with a new thermal fan clutch coupled with good shroud alignment.

Last edited by mahunt; Jun 24th, 10 at 01:31 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 25th, 10, 01:45 PM
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Tom
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny69'302 View Post
This is a 1969 camaro with factory air conditioning. About seven years ago one of the a/c lines cracked and pretty much all the refrigerant leaked out and I had no money to fix it. A couple of years later I decided to take everything off because it wasn't working and I thought that it would be much quicker. Well, now I have realized that this whole thing was stupid and I want it back in. The compressor, all the lines, condensor and everything else has been chilln in the attic. I am guessing purchasing a new kit would be the best way to go, as far as financially and performance wise?


Any suggestions? Brands? Refurbish the old one?

Thanks,
Jon

NO.
A new aftermarket system is not needed nor less expensive. You just need to fix your leak and reassemble.
Repair the broken line...
Reinstall the removed components.
FLUSH the condenser, evaporator.
Install a new drier
Drain compressor oil and refill to proper specs with Ester Oil.
Remove schrader valves and discard. Install R134a fill fittings.
Evacuate and charge to 80% of the R12 charge weight with R134a IE: 3 lbs (48oz) R12 = 2.4lbs (38oz) of R134a

71 Camaro 355 NA
11.1650 @ 119.30
1.5028 60'
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 10, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
Jon
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 27
Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Tom,
You are suggesting another approach? If I went with your approach, after I re-installed everything and replaced a hose or two then I would purchase a R-134a retrofit kit. Then take it to a shop and have them charge it? Any more thoughts on this?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 10, 06:24 AM
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Michael
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

hhott71,

New hoses, the POA valve adjustment, a flush (ester oil mixes with the old mineral oil, so not absolutely required, but a flush is usually never a bad idea) and a quickie R-134a conversion kit (R-134a, green o-rings and oil, $40) would be the LEAST expensive way to go. Just make sure the replacement hoses are the barrier type.

It also requires that you keep your fingers crossed concerning the old A-6 compressor (front seal and clutch condition) and hope the higher temperatures and pressures that come with R-134a usage don't knock it out.

Still, if it all just happens to work, great.

But still a roll of the dice.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Jun 28th, 10, 11:29 AM
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Tom
 
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Re: re-installing a/c after 5 years

Like I said, fix your hose, or other leak. Get a New drier. Convert to R134a and try it.
If it is going to leak in a different spot, better to leak cheap R134a than expensive R12.

Then find the leak and fix it.

The "of unknown Origin, I found it in the trunk" A6 on my 71 works fine on R134a.

Pressures aren't much different with R134a than they are with R12.

There are new more efficient bolt-in condesers available if cooling isn't up to par in that Okla heat/humidity.

71 Camaro 355 NA
11.1650 @ 119.30
1.5028 60'
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