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I inherited my '84 about 6 years ago when my father-in-law got too old to drive and the A/C has never worked. I jumped the pressure switch and got the compressor to spin up and the bearings sound like they're grinding rocks. I was thinking about replacing it with a rebuilt R4 from Four Seasons and trying to charge it myself with a kit from Enviro-Safe. What else would I need to replace before I try to recharge it? Opinions???
 

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Receiver-Drier and or accumulator. I would also replace all hoses and switch to R134A refrigerant and a more modern compressor.

Your system will also need to be tuned for best use of this modern refrigerant because its properties are different than R12 refrigerant.

Your system will also need to be vacuumed down to pull all moisture out and check for leaks.

It also needs to be flushed to remove all oils and debris from the evaporator.

And finally, you need a parallel flow condenser and not your current condenser for best efficiency.

Rick

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Rick gave the ‘right’ way to do it. But you could try your original plan, keep all the old hoses and condenser, but change the drier and use the conversion kit. Thousands of R-12 cars have been converted this way and work pretty well. You may have a slow leak, but R-134 is cheap enough that you can recharge once a season or so and not go broke.
Patrick
 

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Rick gave the ‘right’ way to do it. But you could try your original plan, keep all the old hoses and condenser, but change the drier and use the conversion kit. Thousands of R-12 cars have been converted this way and work pretty well. You may have a slow leak, but R-134 is cheap enough that you can recharge once a season or so and not go broke.
Patrick
Don't forget you will still need to use a vacuum pump to evacuate the moisture in the entire system if you go this way and 134a works but is less efficient. I did this on a 93 blazer and the air was "cool" not cold, but still better than the window down.

Joe
 

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If the old compressor is bad, then likely there are metallic particles from that compressor in the lines and in the condenser. Those particles need to be flushed out, or you'll just destroy your new compressor in no time. It's hard to flush them out of the evaporator or condenser but it can be done. Switching over to a new parallel flow condenser not only eliminated the need to flush and risk of the particles, but it also works better with R134a, giving you a cooler cab. AS stated, a vacuum will be required. You may be able to rent one from your local auto parts store, and maybe rent a set of gauges as well. R134a is tricky- 1 oz too little, or too much, can cause poor performance. It's best installed by weight ( 4 12 oz cans works for my setup), but having gauges installed helps to perfect the charge. Be sure to purge air out of the charge lines as you switch cans, so you don't re-introduce air back into the system.
 

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clean, wash out everything
who knows whats been added over the years,
some oils and refrigerants are not compatible..

orifice tube too, check it, replace it
if you change refrigerants a different size may be needed too...

new compressors are not that much more than rebuilt..
should have a better warranty too..
get one made for the refrigerant you'll use,,
they come filled with different kind of oils..

sometime all the replacement parts need to be on the
compressor receipt for the warranty.. read the fine print..
 
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