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8/5/13 2:15pm - Original Message: 'AC dilemma'
VinD'74
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Alexandria, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 - 4 speed Stingray Convertible

Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25

Fixing the AC system for my '74 in stages.

 

Just replaced the radiator and decided to do the condenser since I was there.  Nitrogen tested the lines and go figure the compressor leaks so that needs replacing.

 

I have been told that the rebuilt compressors are hit or miss and that these rebuild companies have poor QC.   Also originally these compressors were leak monsters lasting only a season at a time to begin with before requiring a recharge, probably why they were only warrantied for 1 season (meaning 4 months) when you bought the car brand new.

 

There is a new all aluminum compressor (silver in color) that runs about $600 that I have heard good things about them but they definitely do not look original and unfortunately this is the look I am going for.  Anyone have any luck with the alluminum or an OEM new replacement like on Zip?  

 

Also this is my first Vette, is the AC even worth pursuing, does it actually blow cold when working or even when it was new?  Most AC units work well when it's recycling cooler passenger compartment air, a convertible kind of defeats that! I also wonder if it will be even noticeable with the top down in 95 degree heat.

 

Thoughts?

 



|UPDATED|8/5/2013 11:15:25 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Vinnie
 
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8/5/13 4:01pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
dbarnesid
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Boise, ID - USA

Vette(s):
1972 mille miglia red corvette convertible. This is a car currently under restoration. The pic above is of me and my Ph.D. candidate daughter. She, not my Vette, is my pride and joy. Smile...

Joined: 5/29/2013
Posts: 159
I do intend to replace mine when my bank account comes back to life. Probably some time next year or even 2015.
 
Why? Well, it was built that way originally and I want to keep it as good as or better than the original. AND... in southern Idaho it does get pretty darned hot at times. So in the afternoon I'd like to put the top up and turn on the AC.
 
Problem is... I could see this causing an overheating problem. But that's life for the owner of a classic Vette.
 
By the way, this is my first Vette too. And yours looks MUCH better than mine. Thus the upcoming appointment with a local painter and body man (hairline cracks in a few places and front end bulges that you don't get because you have rubber bumpers).
 
The prior owner tells me that yes, the Vette did blow cold air when newer. That Frigidaire unit was actually very good.


|UPDATED|8/5/2013 1:01:32 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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8/5/13 4:27pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
VinD'74
Former Member
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Alexandria, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 - 4 speed Stingray Convertible

Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25

When I swapped out the radiator and condenser, I put in higher flow/capacity/larger units.  The running temp is 190 degrees all the time now.  Prior to the swap out it was 210 degrees.  I don't think I will have overheat issues Wink

 
I found a brand new OEM A6 compressor at Zip Corvette for $399 with the felt washers and all.  I called them and they verified that they are indeed new and not refurbed. 
 
Thanks for the compliment on "The Beast" as I call her. I took off those crap polyureathane bumpers and put on fiberglass......didnt like the waves. 

 

Got any pics of yours?



|UPDATED|8/5/2013 1:27:25 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Vinnie
 
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8/5/13 9:10pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
I have never had any luck with reman A6, OR R4 compressors. Might get one that survives for a couple of months, might get one that don't work from the git-go. I only buy New ones now. $400 sounds a little steep to me, but I get good prices from my suppliers. My suggestion is to go ahead and bite the bullet, get NEW, and don't worry about it working, or surviving. Of course, I'm found of saying new don't mean diddly, but there's much better odds in this case than using remans.
As far as causing the engine to overheat, it really shouldn't, if the engine cooling system is in good working condition. Yeah, the temp might climb a bit higher in traffic, but not enough to really be a problem. With the A/C working on my '74, I never saw engine temps over 200*, even in traffic.


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Joel Adams
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8/5/13 11:24pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
VinD'74
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Alexandria, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 - 4 speed Stingray Convertible

Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25
Adams' Apple said: I have never had any luck with reman A6, OR R4 compressors. Might get one that survives for a couple of months, might get one that don't work from the git-go. I only buy New ones now. $400 sounds a little steep to me, but I get good prices from my suppliers. My suggestion is to go ahead and bite the bullet, get NEW, and don't worry about it working, or surviving. Of course, I'm found of saying new don't mean diddly, but there's much better odds in this case than using remans.
As far as causing the engine to overheat, it really shouldn't, if the engine cooling system is in good working condition. Yeah, the temp might climb a bit higher in traffic, but not enough to really be a problem. With the A/C working on my '74, I never saw engine temps over 200*, even in traffic.



Joel, New OEM A6 like on Zip corvette or new aluminum type like on ecklars? Your experiences with the reman models is exactly what I have heard........not good So does your system blow out noticeably cooler air? I have read that you can run R134 thru the OEM A6 like the new one they sell on Zip, any truth to this?

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Vinnie
 
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8/6/13 7:27am - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
I have no experience with whatever aluminuminum compressor Eckler's has, so I can't comment on those. You can absolutely run 134 in the A6, as long as you use the correct oil(PAG, or whatever the manufacturer specifies).
I have had only one car that I converted to 134 from R12 that did not cool as well as R12....all others have cooled as well or better. The best suggestion for getting a Shark to cool best is to make sure all of the ductwork is sealed, as well as the various air handling doors.


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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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8/6/13 12:42pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
Is the aluminum one a Sanden like on most newer cars? 

Also, does R134 cause more or less drag on the engine when running.  Don't they run at a higher pressure?


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8/6/13 1:13pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
The Eckler's compressor is just an aluminuminum "copy" of the steel A6 compressor.

Yeah, the 134 systems do run a little higher pressures, which also makes the temps in the system a little higher on the condenser side. You need a good fan/fanclutch, and an unrestricted air flow path over the condenser & radiator. As I said earlier, I've only had one car that dint cool as well as it should have, and it was a Cad Fleetwood I used to have. But even my big ol Suburban with rear air cools better with the 134 than it did with R12. After a few minutes, I have to turn the temp up on it, or it'll freeze me out. None of them have ever run much, if any, hotter, engine-wise, than before.

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Joel Adams
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8/6/13 3:17pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
The A6 in my '75 is a new unit that has been converted to 134. Make sure you replace your high pressure hoses as well. Had an old one pop and learned my lesson. I don't use the air very much but cycle it once in a while to keep it functioning. No issues with overheating. Car runs along at about 190 degrees most times. I wouldn't say that the AC is very effective but then mine probably needs a recharge. I've had the whole dash apart and made sure that all of the duct work is sealed up good to the vents; it wasn't when I bought the car.

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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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8/6/13 8:50pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
VinD'74
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Alexandria, VA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 - 4 speed Stingray Convertible

Joined: 5/8/2013
Posts: 25
Good advice on the 134, hoses, duct work and the rest. This may end up more money and work than its worth.

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Vinnie
 
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8/7/13 1:12pm - Reply: 'Re: AC dilemma'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
I still have 9 lbs of R12, so I'll just stay with that for now, but my car won't idle with the a/c compressor on.  Just drags it down and it dies.  I've tried to use the idle stop solenoid (anti-dieseling solenoid) as an idle bump up solenoid, but it's now really designed for that.  Car is at a hot rod shop right now to figure out my carb problem.  Maybe that will solve my a/c idle problem too. 

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