A/C System Replacement Project

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
I finally started this project.

I've got a whole new "factory" type replacement system.

upload_2020-9-26_20-37-4-jpeg.104730


I wasn't sure where to start as this is going to be a tedious, time consuming project.

I decided to start with the condenser.

Tip: The Condenser CAN be removed/installed without removing the radiator.

You need to take the top plate off, unclip the shroud from the radiator support and you can tilt the radiator back enough to pull the old condenser out. (After disconnecting the lines and removing the nuts from the four mounting points.)

The top mounts are simple to reach but the bottom ones don't look possible to reach from the top side.
However... They can be removed through access holes at the bottom of the radiator support. :D
This leaves the upper rubber mounts attached to the radiator support and the bottom mounts come out with the condenser.
(You attach lower mounts to the new condenser and the studs drop through the holes in the radiator support.)

A piece of heavy cardboard between the radiator and condenser minimizes the risk of scuffing up the fins on either part in the process.

The only problem I had with this job was one of the lower rubber mounts on the old condenser decided to peel away from the stud.
40 year old hardware and rubber will do that. :mad:

I reached my Dremel down between the radiator support and radiator to cut a slot in the remains of the mount so I could hold it with a large screwdriver from above while spinning the nut off the stud with a ratchet from below. That was not a simple one person job.

More to come as I get the time and energy to continue with this project
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
Good info!
That’s a pretty slick system!

Yes, I bought pre-assembled hoses.

The easy clip system would be a great option for anyone building a custom fit A/C system.
 

8pack

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Aug 29, 2007
3,040
Western, MA
Looks like your hoses are already crimped at both ends. If your going to have to make up your own hoses you might want to consider the EZ-clip system made by Eaton. Vintage Air sells it. https://www.facebook.com/Affordable...or-air-conditioning-systems/2626891830877752/

Awesome product. I need to re-route one of my AC lines so I can install my G-braces and trying to find someone who will measure and crimp it right was going to be a challenge. Now I can do it myself....just plain fantastic. Thanks for the tip.
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
The wheel, inner passenger fender, battery tray, coolant reservoir and heater hoses have been removed for better access to the evaporator box. (My son was helping me last night. :) )
We quit for the evening after we broke the heads off two bolts which hold the inner fender to the radiator support. :mad:

One blind hole bolt isn't fixable but I don't think it will matter for reassembly as the battery tray is also bolted to the inner fender and the same area of the radiator support.

Tonight... It took me an hour to drill the other broken bolt out and retap the hole.
(5/16x18 bolt... 17/64ths drill bit)

I had to CAREFULLY turn the tap by holding it with a vise grips (lengthwise) because the tap handle had no room to rotate in this area.

When the right tools don't fit the work space... You get creative. :D
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
Not very deep on the Camaro, yet. (Except for buying the parts.)
Everything I own seems to need attention as soon as I started working on the Camaro.
(Two battery issues, a blower motor and a fuel leak have all cropped up in the past few days. :mad:)
 

Coadster32

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 2, 2013
2,334
Milford,CT
Not very deep on the Camaro, yet. (Except for buying the parts.)
Everything I own seems to need attention as soon as I started working on the Camaro.
(Two battery issues, a blower motor and a fuel leak have all cropped up in the past few days. :mad:)

That is aggravating for sure!! I suppose it's good to know that it doesn't just happen to me though.:D
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
I believe I found the problem with my lawn tractor. (shorted wire to the lights)
The Jimmy battery was a 10 volt (dead cell) and that has been replaced.
The Jimmy fuel leak is being dealt with by a local shop.
The blower motor replacement is awaiting the return of the vehicle.

So... I'm working on the Camaro A/C project again.
The fender well has been repainted and I'm beginning the real work of this A/C system and heater core job.

The A/C blower wiring, lines and accumulator are disconnected and the screws which connect the two parts of the evaporator case have been removed.
The two screws at the bottom of the case are a PITA. Header clearance is minimal and complicates the job.
(It takes a 1/4" drive ratchet, 3/8" 12-point socket and 1 ratchet click at a time to turn them out.)
Two simple screws should NOT take an hour to remove! :(
The only good thing about a leaking evaporator is those screws have been well lubricated.

I don't know why the engineers of this system decided to put the bolts in from the engine side. :screwup:

My next task is removing the blower motor and the screws holding the evaporator case to the firewall.
All the hardware looks to be accessible with the fender well removed.

I'm planning on pulling the fender side of the evaporator case. (Leaving the engine side connected to the firewall.)
I might pull the other side of the evaporator case just to clean and reseal everything.

The heater core replacement can be done completely separate from this A/C replacement job.

The only common work between the two systems is removal of the fender well, removing one heater hose (upper one) and getting the two nuts off the heater box studs which run through the firewall on the engine side of the evaporator case.
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,233
Bloomington, MN
The evaporator is out! :D

I was able to finagle it out by removing the outer side of the case.

Engineers didn’t leave much room to get that side of the case out with the hood hinge and fender in place but it can be done with a little finesse.

I even managed to get it out without breaking anything but it has to be wiggled and twisted in ways I can only hope to repeat in reverse for reassembly.

upload_2020-10-18_14-11-58.jpeg
upload_2020-10-18_14-11-58.jpeg
upload_2020-10-18_14-11-58.jpeg


It’s pretty obvious why I wasn’t getting much air flow through the oily, fuzz caked evaporator. :eek:

That’s enough for today... I have yard work to do.
 




Top