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  1. #1
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Smile Air Conditioner Repair Videos - Full System Restoration...

    Here is a series of two videos where I show how to fully re-do the air conditioner system on an 80's GM car. Includes the repairs, system flushing, compressor failure inspection, and alternative refrigerant charge amount formulas.

    The video got long and I broke it into 2 parts. Hope this is helpful to folks here. If there's enough interest, maybe our admin can make this a sticky post.

    Sincerely,
    David

    Part 1:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVA5LPS34MA

    Part2:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S1wjsIGWZQ

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    Senior Member Drop Top Olds's Avatar
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    Thanks David. I'm sure this will be beneficial.

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    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    All the effort to document this is appreciated! There are no short cuts in A/C cleanliness.

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CorvairGeek View Post
    All the effort to document this is appreciated! There are no short cuts in A/C cleanliness.
    Glad you found it informative. E-mail sent, by the way.

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Here is a link for a video showing how to repair the aluminum lines if they get rubbed and leak.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hLBAUKqP4M


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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Here is a link for a video showing how to repair the aluminum lines if they get rubbed and leak.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hLBAUKqP4M

    Just got around to watching this one. Well worth the time. I paid $600 to replace a "fractured" aluminum line at the compressor on my 2001 S10 several years back. Had I known then what I know know, I could have attempted this for pennies on the dollar. It would have been worth a shot.

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    Just got around to watching this one. Well worth the time. I paid $600 to replace a "fractured" aluminum line at the compressor on my 2001 S10 several years back. Had I known then what I know know, I could have attempted this for pennies on the dollar. It would have been worth a shot.

    Ken T.
    Wow that is brutal. Alumalloy and its variants has been around a long time. Surely it was available back then.

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    Wow that is brutal. Alumalloy and its variants has been around a long time. Surely it was available back then.
    I had no idea you could do such a repair at the time. I understand why you can't weld aluminum without MIG; it just never occurred that you could do braze with it. I know now though! Thanks!

    Ken T.

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    Newbie/first-time poster here with some questions on orifice tubes & a/c compressors for Oldsmobile Cutlass Cieras.

    1.) Anyone care to weigh in on whether or not VOT's (variable orifice tubes) were ever used in any Cieras (up to '93) with the 3300 engine? In either virgin OEM or serviced/overhauled R-12 systems? I read that these cars used Harrison HR6 a/c compressors. BTW, what's the difference between HR6 & HR6-HE?

    2.) Same question about orifice tubes for the '94 and up cars with 3100 engines using R-134a refrigerant. Apparently these models used V5 a/c compressors. On tap is my opportunity to check out a "grandmom" '96 car, but I won't be able to inspect it for a while yet on account of the owner being away. I don't know what kind of orifice tube is in the a/c system currently, but would the VIN tip me off to the OEM original?

    3.) Can V5 compressors be used in '93 & earlier Cieras in place of OEM HR6 compressors without incurring compatibility issues that require major tweaking or work-arounds?

    4.) Anyone have real-life experience with VOT's and thus feel that they're a superior choice over fixed tubes? Or are the touted benefits negligible and over-hyped? Each type seems to have its advocates and detractors.

    5.) If any, what are the differences between OEM GM-numbered a/c compressors and their ACDelco-numbered equivalents?

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93CieraDude View Post
    Newbie/first-time poster here with some questions on orifice tubes & a/c compressors for Oldsmobile Cutlass Cieras.

    1.) Anyone care to weigh in on whether or not VOT's (variable orifice tubes) were ever used in any Cieras (up to '93) with the 3300 engine? In either virgin OEM or serviced/overhauled R-12 systems? I read that these cars used Harrison HR6 a/c compressors. BTW, what's the difference between HR6 & HR6-HE?

    2.) Same question about orifice tubes for the '94 and up cars with 3100 engines using R-134a refrigerant. Apparently these models used V5 a/c compressors. On tap is my opportunity to check out a "grandmom" '96 car, but I won't be able to inspect it for a while yet on account of the owner being away. I don't know what kind of orifice tube is in the a/c system currently, but would the VIN tip me off to the OEM original?

    3.) Can V5 compressors be used in '93 & earlier Cieras in place of OEM HR6 compressors without incurring compatibility issues that require major tweaking or work-arounds?

    4.) Anyone have real-life experience with VOT's and thus feel that they're a superior choice over fixed tubes? Or are the touted benefits negligible and over-hyped? Each type seems to have its advocates and detractors.

    5.) If any, what are the differences between OEM GM-numbered a/c compressors and their ACDelco-numbered equivalents?
    I'm not familiar with the term "variable orifice tube." I do know that the V5 compressors were "variable displacement" depending on load, and those systems used a standard cap tube / orifice tube at the condenser. Perhaps you are referring to the "expansion valve" systems.

    Can you put a V5 on the earlier cars? The V5 came with many mounting options, but I suspect the challenge may be in the hoses, but not being familiar with the HR6 compressors, I don't dare speculate.

    I've got 3 V5 systems in service now, and I have found them to be quite reliable and perform well. I especially like the fact that they do not cycle, a big plus on small motors. Maybe this is what you referring to as VOT.

    I don't believe GM vs. Delco numbers are an issue, but I understand that Chinese manufactured units are to be avoided, and rebuilt or new American compressors from GM are preferred. That's from David, the author of the video; he's done many systems!

    Ken T.

  11. #11
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Hi there. I can answer a few of your questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by 93CieraDude View Post
    Newbie/first-time poster here with some questions on orifice tubes & a/c compressors for Oldsmobile Cutlass Cieras.
    I don't believe the factory ever used a variable orifice in any of the A-cars. I have used them. About 6 or 7 years ago, when those were first seen in the aftermarket around here, they were good. I would use the 4-Seasons VOV brand and had great success. They were made in USA. Then; the stores began selling a Chinese knock-off under the same brand and part number. These don't seem to perform the same. Now, I don't use them unless I have an older USA-made one.

    The 3300 does have an HR6 compressor. Not sure what's the difference with the -HE model.

    I have adapted V5 compressors to many different engines. The LG3 3.8 and the LN3 3800 can use a V5 but there are some minor modifications to the brackets. The compressor requires spacers on the bolts to get the pulley alignment correct. Furthermore, the holes require a slight (about 1/8") slotting to accept the wider width of the compressor. The rear bracket (tail support) also requires modification to reach the tail support bolt hole on the V5.

    In the end - it is very much worth it. To agree with Ken; the lack of cycling (which you CAN feel, even with a big engine) is a great thing. Also, it seems the V5 cools better at low engine speeds and around-town driving. On the freeway they all work about the same.

    As far as I know there is NO difference in the OEM and ACDelco compressors. The parts distribution system is different for factory production and parts sales; so the numbering is different. I don't believe the units are internally different.

    Hope this helps!
    Sincerely,
    David

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    Senior Member CorvairGeek's Avatar
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    Interesting, but not surprising, the variable orifice tubes went to crap when the production went off shore. I was only aware of them being aftermarket.

    I love the V5 myself. The HR6 cycling is very noticeable on our 3300. It cools fantastic and is very quiet (was new from a GM dealer along with a lousy refrigerant conversion) but the load with a proper R134a is significant.
    Jerry

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    Thanks David. Good stuff. I may try to tackle an R12 to R134a switch this summer.

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    David,

    I saw your videos late last week, but didn't have time to comment on them. These are FANTASTIC! I thoroughly enjoyed them, and am very appreciative that you went to the time and trouble to make them!

    A couple of questions and comments:

    1. Where did you source your green o-ring kit?

    2. How critical do you think it was to have hot water for the pressure washer? Could you do as well with a standard pressure washer followed up with some hot water rinse poured through, and maybe let to dry in the sun?

    3. I had seen that NaOH solution used before for cleaning the *outside* of the condenser after a fin job. The result was a lower high side pressure, so I can only guess that would help compressor life.

    4. Really appreciated the extended dissertation on the accumulator and the condenser. It really helped me gain an understanding of what's doing on with my '95 Century. When I get the time I'll do some temperature checks to see where we are.

    Haven't seen the Al repair yet, but will do when I get some time.

    Thanks,
    Ken T.

  15. #15
    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Hi Ken. I'll answer your points one by one below...

    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    David,

    I saw your videos late last week, but didn't have time to comment on them. These are FANTASTIC! I thoroughly enjoyed them, and am very appreciative that you went to the time and trouble to make them!

    A couple of questions and comments:

    1. Where did you source your green o-ring kit?
    I bought them from a local auto parts place Northport Auto Supply. You can get a kit assortment from Advance Auto or any of the other DIY stores. Just make sure to bring the old ones because there are different styles and they are mixed and matched by GM over the years. There really isn't one master per-car kit you can buy. There are really just a few O-rings. Six on the lines, and possibly 2 on the compressor.

    2. How critical do you think it was to have hot water for the pressure washer? Could you do as well with a standard pressure washer followed up with some hot water rinse poured through, and maybe let to dry in the sun?
    It is very important to use a large volume of water, so that all the crap is removed. The soap will break up the oil and sludge, but the violently flowing water is what carries the chips and shavings out of the system. Also, I believe it's important to get the condenser hot, so that the water will evaporate faster.

    3. I had seen that NaOH solution used before for cleaning the *outside* of the condenser after a fin job. The result was a lower high side pressure, so I can only guess that would help compressor life.
    Yes. You have to be careful because it does absolutely remove aluminum. The inside of the tubing is smooth and the tubing is thick-walled. It won't make the tubing appreciably thinner. But, on fins, it can remove a significant amount of the fin thickness. The fins are thin and they have a lot of surface area to react with the NaOH solution.

    4. Really appreciated the extended dissertation on the accumulator and the condenser. It really helped me gain an understanding of what's doing on with my '95 Century. When I get the time I'll do some temperature checks to see where we are.

    Haven't seen the Al repair yet, but will do when I get some time.
    Thanks, glad you liked it. Also, I appreciate the feedback on the videos. It is always encouraging to do more when people indicate they are pleased with them.

    One thing I didn't really stress enough in the video is how important it is to get all the water out of the system. Water causes internal corrosion and acidification of the refrigerant and oil, so it's critical that ALL the water is removed. Using water as a flush is an extreme measure. This is necessary when there is extreme contamination, and you have to understand that it's extreme and you have to take extra precautions to remove all the residual water.

    This is why I like to use hot water for rinse, that way the air blowing will remove most of the water. The vacuum pump will remove water but it takes at least an overnight evacuation after use of water flushing. Furthermore, the hotter the system during the evacuation, the more effective the removal of water.

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