A/C System Replacement Project

Discussion in 'Project Progress' started by Twisted_Metal, Oct 3, 2020.

  1. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The dash ducts, lap vent, kick panel and new glove box insert are all reassembled.

    Why does it always seem to take 5 times as long to reassemble these cars than it does to take them apart. :mad:

    Todays cars' interior actually seem harder to disassemble because they were designed for rapid assembly and there aren't any visible fasteners once they are all snapped together.
    Automotive assembly techniques sure have changed in the past 40 years.

    Update on the A/C line from Original Air...

    Original Air never called or emailed me to let me know what they decided to do but a new line (and return shipping tag) showed up on my doorstep a week ago.

    When I checked the fitment of the replacement line, it wasn't much better.
    It still felt a little loose when the couplings butted up to each other.
    (Slightly better fit, but I still didn't trust it to seal.)

    I decided to reassemble the last of A/C system using the high pressure line with the copper spacer I made.
    It felt very solid when I tightened the fittings.

    (I'll return the extra line to Original Air since they already paid for shipping it, both ways.)

    Looking at this pic... I need to reroute the blower motor wires.
    I think they should go under the upper heater hose.
    [​IMG]

    I had to slightly "tweak" the lower tube on the accumulator to get it to align properly with the upper evaporator fitting and brackets but that was easy enough to do by hand.

    Using my vintage "Yellow Jacket" gauge set and a "KozyVacu" pump (ebay), it pulled the vacuum down to 30 on Tuesday evening.
    The vacuum pump ran for a full hour but the gauge didn't seem to go any lower than 30 after the first 20 minutes or so.

    upload_2021-2-21_12-45-12.png

    I checked it today and it was still holding vacuum with no noticeable change. :D

    I ran the vacuum pump for another 15 minutes to see if it would pull down any further but 30 is as good as it gets. (Not sure of gauge accuracy so I figured a little more vacuum pumping couldn't hurt.)

    The O-rings, fittings and various components of the system seem to be leak free... Under vacuum.
    (There's U/V dye in the compressor oil so I will be able to spot any leaks very quickly, with a black light, when the system goes under pressure.)

    When you consider this A/C replacement system is comprised of repopped and redesigned parts from multiple sources, everything seems to be a good fit.
    (The evaporator is the only thing which isn't repop… It's a NOS Harrison part I found on eBay.)

    The high pressure line is a little longer than factory so it's routed under the low pressure line now but it's not something most people would notice.

    The biggest difference is the high pressure line is a hose and not the slimmer, plastic covered design like the factory part.

    It should work fine but it's a little large for the clips on the fan shroud to hold it properly.

    Reinstalling the fender well and battery are next on the major task list.

    I'll reconnect the new heater hoses to the water pump and intake when I can get the car out of the garage and properly flush the entire cooling system.

    I'll recheck the vacuum on the A/C system in a month (or two) and recharge it if it still looks good.

    I'm still on track to have this project completed this Winter.
     

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  2. clay's70

    clay's70 Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    looks like you have it!!
     
  3. green 1977

    green 1977 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Awesome work Terry!! I dont suppose it would have any trouble blowing cold air today :)
     
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  4. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    29"-30" of Hg is pretty good for a single stage pump
     
  5. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I tested the blower motor and tidied up the A/C wiring before putting the wheel well back in place.

    So... Everything is finally reassembled for the interior and under the hood.

    Flushing the coolant system and connecting the new heater hoses is next on the list.
    (The heater hoses you see in the pic are for the heater core bypass which has been there for a few years now.)

    upload_2021-3-6_10-41-30.jpeg

    Apparently... This is the collection of tools needed for this A/C and heater core replacement job.
    You don’t need EVERYTHING in the pic but these are the tools which found their way out of the tool chest and into the proximity of this project. :confused:

    upload_2021-3-6_10-41-30.jpeg

    This doesn’t include the tools to jack up the car and remove the front wheel.

    It’s time to reorganize the various socket sets and reload my tool chest. :crazy:

    A charge of R12 should be the final step, later this Spring.

    <fingers crossed everything works>
     
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  6. clay's70

    clay's70 Moderator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I'm not happy until I have pulled out every tool I own!!

    Terry, glad you got everything buttoned up.
     
  7. green 1977

    green 1977 Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Terry... are those crescent wrenches metric or standard
     
  8. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    The large "Craftsman" one is dual purpose.
    (It has 300 mm on one side of the handle and 12" on the other. :p )

    I rarely use them but I didn't have the proper sized open-end wrench for the largest A/C hose fittings.
     
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  9. RickM

    RickM Veteran Member

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    Great Work Twisted, I'll be doing this sooner or later. Looking forward to it now that you have walked me through it.

    I have already got the heater box and condensor box installed, I did that years ago when I changed out my heater core.

    RickM
     
  10. Twisted_Metal

    Twisted_Metal Administrator Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    ^ You already have the hard parts done!

    Your 81 has the exact same A/C system as my 80.
    (There were a few variations of that system during the 2nd gen years.)

    If needed... The condenser, in front of the radiator, is simple to replace.

    The compressor, hoses and accumulator installation are all pretty straightforward with the parts I used.
    Details for those parts are very dependent upon the type of compressor, bracketry and how you choose to route the hoses.

    Be sure you are using the correct O-rings and lube them with compressor oil when you assemble them.
     

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