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Need some advice as I add AC to my Ambassador

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fhpdave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fhpdave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Need some advice as I add AC to my Ambassador
    Posted: Jan/17/2016 at 10:38am
As I have been rebuilding my 67 Ambassador convertible, I have been on the lookout for the required parts to add factory AC to the car. While the car will be nice, in fact much nicer than what I was planning when I started, I intend to drive this car when the weather is nice so AC will be a nice addition. Right now I have all of the AC components off a 68 Ambassador, an extra evaporator and heater core box off a 67 parts car, and I just purchased a 67 4 door with no title that has AC and a nice drivers dash pad that was the holy grail that I have been seeking for years. So in essence I will have 2 complete old systems as well as third condenser/air distribution box that mounts behind the dash to the firewall. I have already rebuilt my current heater box using the Detroit Muscle car kit, so my first plan of attack was to disassemble one of the evaporator units and see what needs replaced in there. I far as I know there is no rebuild gasket kit for big body AC units, so I am planning on having to make all the gaskets and such myself. I am fine with rehabbing the blower motor  and with the TSM and an unmolested (I hope) parts car I feel confident in hooking up and adjusting all the control cables and switches. Where I get out of my element and am looking for some advice/help is with all the under-hood components. Basically I am dealing with almost 50 year old stuff and I am torn as to trying to reuse what I have, get one of the under-hood kits that are on ebay for 900 bucks, or maybe do something in-between like a new compressor with the original condenser. I have some residential AC knowledge, and just enough automotive AC knowledge to  get in over my head real quick. I also have a full jug of R12 as well as a buddy from church that has a vacuum pump, gauges and other HVAC stuff that I can use as needed. The car is totally disassembled right now and I only want to do this once. Keeping it stock would be a plus, but it will not be a 100 point show car so a Sanden compressor would not be the end of the world. Any thoughts or advice will be appreciated. Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White70JavelinSST Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2016 at 9:26am
Dave,

That R12 is almost irreplaceable. I think you are on the correct track. A couple of suggestions if I may. Convert as many connections to o-ring as you possibly can, flared connections are leakers. Search my posts on installing AC in the White70JavelinSST. They should help. To ensure you don't loose that invaluable R12, go to a real Sanden compressor, not a chinese knock off. Install a new expansion valve, have the drier rebuilt or install a new one with o-ring fittings. Use the correct hoses. Test the system with dry nitrogen before you fill it with R12. The White70Javelin's AC system held 150 psi of nitrogen for nine months without any loss. The car's FB page has more photos and stuff on AC in the car.


https://www.facebook.com/1970-AMC-Javelin-SST-189833261059069/?ref=hl
(for some reason I cannot get the hyperlink to work today....please copy and paste.)



Test the system with vacuum first to determine if it will hold at all. Then with dry nitrogen for at least 24 hours.

Good Luck.

Armand


Edited by White70JavelinSST - Jan/19/2016 at 1:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uncljohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2016 at 10:33am
The very first thing that I would do is sell the R12 to some one that is willing to pay big bucks for it and use 134. There is nothing wrong with using it and it works well with out changing anything other than itself.
Now a statement like this will probably start a huge amount of arguments but in AZ which has 100+ degree days a full third of the year, A/C in important.
I have changed every thing I have that was r12 to 134 and my Spirit which was assembled in 1999 is still working cold as an example of one car that was changed over.
As to what it took to change it over? 3 cans of 134
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White70JavelinSST Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/19/2016 at 1:14pm
Note, if you go unclejohn's route, you will need to impeccably remove all the foreign matter that does not combine easily with R134a, I did do  this on the 70Javelin.

So far I have not achieved the results that uncljohn claims he has by only replacing refrigerants.
I've heard claims from some of temps at the air outlets of nearing freezing, so far with a 1974 NOS o-ring condenser, Sanden style compressor, new drier and a 1970 evap coil I get low 50 degree temps at the outlet.

John, what are your air temps at the outlets?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fhpdave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/20/2016 at 9:32pm
Thanks for all the advice. I have read through multiple posts, and the TSM so I think that I have an idea what I am doing. I will be starting with all the under-dash stuff first, and go from there. I guess that means the first order of business will be dealing with the connections on the evaporator and expansion valve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote White70JavelinSST Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan/21/2016 at 12:47pm
fhpdave,

I had a machinist friend make a female o-ring fittings from a brass flare fitting. He also machined the male iron pipe end of the Flare x MIP fitting to fit over the copper tube of the evap coil. I silver soldered (sil-flos) sections of different diameter soft copper pipe together then media blasted them (copper softens when heated and work hardens by media blasting) and my machinist turned them down so it was like the male end of an o-ring fitting. I also swaged the end of this fitting to fit over the tube of the coil. I heated up the original ends to remove them from the evap coil. If you are not familiar with these processes, I suggest to learn how first, or find someone that can do it for you. I am an old plumber/pipefitter so this stuff was old hat to me.

Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TVG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/04/2016 at 1:46am
Originally posted by White70JavelinSST White70JavelinSST wrote:

Dave,

Search my posts on installing AC in the White70JavelinSST. They should help.
Good Luck.

Armand


I don't know why but it took me a few searches to find Armand's post.
Here's a link to it.
http://theamcforum.com/forum/a-c-in-70-javelin_topic42750_page1.html



Edited by TVG - Jul/04/2016 at 1:52am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mramc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/04/2016 at 4:36pm
You need to get the old system rebuilt and upgraded with newer seals and cleaned. There are a couple outfits that does this. I used the Florida/Texas outfit. They do most of this type of work I'd have to look up there name, as it's been a while since I've dealt with this. Also you need to also have barrier hoses made up and I believe this can be done also by various people. There are option on R-12 replacements besides converting to 134A. But 134A be more common is just easier to get fixed in the here and now. Good luck. LRDaum
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/05/2016 at 7:48am
I've used a product called "Enviro-Safe" to replace R-12 and R-134a... in my Rambler and a 203 Ranger that had a seal leak. Worked fine in both -- look it up. I've run R-134a in my Rambler too, with bout the same results. I've got a hybrid system -- Sanden compressor (1988 4.0L, but compressor was replaced in 2005 or so with a new one), 1963 original evaporator/housing in car, original expansion valve (probably need to change that out, recommend you get a new one calibrated for R-134a if you change to that), generic drier, Chrylser LS parallel flow condensor (it was the right size, had to make mounting tabs that bolt through the core, could have made saddles for the rubber mounts though). I had custom hoses made with flare ends for the old evaporator, o-ring ends for everything else. No leaks.

One thing -- if you use anything made before the mid 80s make sure the seals and hoses have been replaced with R-134a safe types. The molecules of some of the components of R-134a are much smaller than R-12 and will eventually leak out. Might take 2-3 years before it's noticed, but it will happen. Any new seal kits will be R-134a compatible, doesn't have to say so on package. Any new hoses are "barrier hoses" as well. Most hydraulic shops can make new hoses, but may not have flare fittings. If your fittings are in good shape carefully cut the sheet metal crimp ring off with a dremel or hack saw then slit the hose and remove. The shop can put a new crimp shield on the old fitting. Some may not, as they can't warrant the old flare fitting not to leak. If you can get an o-ring fitting best to use it instead. These guys can probably answer all your fitting questions, and should have new o-ring connections for your old York compressor:
https://coldhose.com/
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fhpdave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/17/2017 at 8:47pm
Now that my car is running and drive-able, I am working the bugs out and taking it on some short trips. Initially I had warm air coming into the car whenever it was moving and warmed up, so naturally the A/C was not working very good either. A quick check of the TSM showed that I had one of the slotted links on the heater box installed upside down. After correcting that and making sure that all of the cables were adjusted properly, the warm air problem went away, and on the short trip that I took tonight, I was getting a nice 35 to 40 temperature drop at the A/C outlets, and lots of condensate dripping under the car. So at this point I am pleased with the results of my efforts and the capital outlay that adding and upgrading the A/C system on my car. Time will tell how it does sitting in traffic in the blazing sun.
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