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Thread: Air Conditioner Repair Videos - Full System Restoration...

  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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    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.

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    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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    Senior Member Drop Top Olds's Avatar
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    David thanks for the extra details above.....That really helps put this into focus.

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    David,

    Definitely see the need to get rid of the water. I wouldn't be able to deliver hot water and pressure at the same time, but I suppose I could jet it out with the pressure washer, then pour boiling water through the hoses for a follow up rinse, and let the sit in the Texas sun for some oven action.

    Thanks for the clarification on the o-rings. I had a feeling that it wasn't going to be super simple.

    I'm hoping to take some of what I've learned from you to take a closer look at my '95 Century. At idle on a hot day, the temp at the vent can get up to nearly 60ºF. That's just not good. Usually once we get the car rolling we get down to about 43ºF on low fan. That's not super at all.

    When I bought the car almost 7 years ago, I could tell that the compressor and one hose had been serviced. What I am wondering is if the orifice tube is clogged. I just haven't take a close enough look at it. I don't know if it's a wind against the condenser or a compressor RPM issue.

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member Drop Top Olds's Avatar
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    Ken, before cracking into the HVAC I would recommend the following. If you have an air compressor, or access to one. Take a piece of rubber fuel line hose about 2 ft. long. Buy a plastic Tee that will fit into the hose and a hose clamp. Place the tee in the hose and clamp it in. Remove the blower motor from the evaporator housing. Power up your compressor, secure the hose on a blow valve (maybe with another clamp) stick the tee end of the hose inside the evaporator housing and blow air into the area. If possible have a helper use the wand of a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the loose leaves and dirt that the air will blow out of the evaporator housing. Just be careful with the tee fitting and don't damage the evaporator.

    This is a "David" aka Turbokinetic method to clean out the evaporator housing. It might help with the air flow and cooling of your system. It sounds like your system is working, but not at optimum levels. Another thing to consider is carefully blowing out your condenser fins from the inside of the engine bay. Just be careful that you don't damage the fins. Blowing out these areas may help with keeping you cool in the Houston sauna this summer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Got that covered! The Evaporator core was replaced about 4 years ago. They showed me the old core. I definitely am a believer in what David was talking about. It blows pretty good, it's just that it struggles at idle on a hot day.

    I'm told that you can't really tell the charge from the gauges ( a limitation of the orifice tube system?). I don't know if I am under charged, have a restriction, or maybe a sad compressor, or maybe....too much oil!

    When the evaporator was replaced, the system improved considerableably dropping 10 degrees at the vent, but was still 8-10 degrees hotter than the '96 Century. So, it's a mystery, and of course I'd love to get to the bottom of it without opening it up. But, it may come to that. I'd really like to handle this on my own, since they took my money for the evaporator job....and broke e the plastic cage on my blower! The only thing that is really holding me back is recovering the refrigerant.

    I want my A/C to serve snow cones.

    Ken T.

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    Got that covered! .....When the evaporator was replaced, the system improved considerableably dropping 10 degrees at the vent, but was still 8-10 degrees hotter than the '96 Century. ...
    One more thing that can impair the A/C is if the heater blending door is not fully closing off the heater core when the lever is in "full cold" position.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    One more thing that can impair the A/C is if the heater blending door is not fully closing off the heater core when the lever is in "full cold" position.
    A possibility that needs to be looked into. I should have checked when I did the heater core 5 years ago.....

  15. #15
    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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