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Discussion Starter #1
i just acquired an 87 choo choo car. Here in AZ the heat is intense, and i have some issues with my AC system starting with the compressor. Although i like to keep the stock look, for the AC im not opposed to upgrading the system something more efficient and will keep an eskimo cool.

Any advise related to upgrading the AC? or not??
 

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Try a modern parallel flow condenser up front. Is it still an R12 system or has it been converted to R134A? If converted, was it converted completely and properly retuned for R134A and equipped with barrier hoses. Is your fan / fan clutch / fan shroud in good condition?

And drafty holes for hot, humid air to get in - these should be blocked.

Any chance the heat - cold blend door is stuck to the hot side?

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe the overall AC system is orig to the car - so no upgrades done.

I did replace the heater control valve as the old one was stuck.

I do need to make sure the flap door is free as well.

Having said this - i would upgrade to the 134A and redo the hoses etc.....just dont know what the best change of components are recommended to get the max cooling.
 

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88PC, if you are handy with tools and able to take apart/put things back together, you could try rebuilding the AC box or having it redone by someone. Also,if none of the major components have been replaced, these pieces are over 30 years old and probably not functioning at peak efficiency.

I currently am in the process of rebuilding the AC box for my 87 El Camino. Parts are readily available from Amazon as well as eBay; I purchased a complete gasket set from Dixie Restoration Depot. The most difficult part of the rebuild is not breaking the old parts during disassembly then cleaning dirt and debris from within. I found some very good and easy to follow videos on YouTube prepared by and available under "HutchHiPerf".
 

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if its a air-flow problem ??
pull the blower motor and clean out the Evaporator Core, and drain,
clean the fan blades, maybe a new motor- sometimes helps a lot..
you will be amazzzed what can collect in the AC/Box..

make sure the Recirculate Door [in/outside air] is closing in Max-AC too..
 

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If your system is original, and still cooling, I would guess it is still an R12 system. It may be down a little on R12, and a top up could really help. R12 will keep the cab cooler than R134a if it is done right. Good to check the airbox and the fan as well. Not easy to find an AC company willing to "Top Up" a system, but if you can buy a can or 2 off of ebay, you could do it yourself, or have a friend with gauges help. It might be the cheapest fix, so worth considering.

Converting to R134a can be done cheap, or it can be done right. Cheap will come back to bite you. To do it right, you need new parallel flow condenser, new Accumulator and Orfice, a good flush of the hoses ( New hoses would be better), flush the evaporator, drain all of the oil from the compressor ( good time to think about a new compressor if this one is 30 years old). Replace the oil with Ester oil ( compatible with any mineral oil remaining in the system), add some dye, vacuum and recharge. I also switched from the R4 compressor to a Sanden ( The R4's only lasted me about a year using R134a).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
yes i assume it has never been converted - looks like nothing is touched under the hood.

I am very capable to doing the work - so ill start with the air box first as to make sure it is functioning properly - then move to the ac components. Here in AZ we need very good ac.

all your comments on the replacement items seem right on to me......are there kits out there that sells everything together?
 

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all your comments on the replacement items seem right on to me......are there kits out there that sells everything together?
None that I can find. Cheaper to buy individually anyway. Hardest to find will be the hoses, but you can find a hose shop locally that can convert the rubber parts of your hose to "barrier hose", which will help prevent the R134a from seeping out through the hose. Rock Auto is a good source for everything else.
 

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Aren't new O-rings (different material) required if converting to R134a?😃
 

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Aren't new O-rings (different material) required if converting to R134a?😃
Yes, you are correct- I forgot. They are the Green ones. Also, if you pull off your hoses for a flush, and intend to re-use the compressor, then you will need new seals for the compressor ( new one's may come with a new compressor).
 

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Hi 86,
I'm in the process this week of changing out my A/C in my 86.
I bought a compressor kit for $260 off ebay from a company called Pit Stop Automotive.
It came with everything you needed to change out all the major components of the A/C system,
  • Compressor & Clutch
  • Receiver Drier or Accumulator
  • Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube or Liquid Line /w Orifice Tube
  • 8 oz bottle of PAG Oil
  • Seal Kit
I'm going to install myself, my friend has an evacuator to vacuum the system that I'm going to borrow.
Make sure you evacuate the system, you don't want any debris or failed compresor junk screwing up your new system.
I'm actually going to Go Pro the process and post it on you tube at some point.

I've owned this truck for 20 years, and the A/C has never worked. It used R-12. I think at some point way back I tried to put some 134A into the system. It held for about 24 hours, and the compresor ran, but sounded really bad. So I just dealt with 55MPH air for a while now.

Get the Kit if you are going to change out..., it will be a lot easier in the long run.
Oh yeah, most importantly..., make sure you get the compresor with the 9 o'clock position for the power hook up. The other is in the 12 o'clock position and will not work.
I've included a photo below of what the kit consist of.
Good luck, if you have questions, just drop me a note.
Jonesie
131659
 

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Jonesie, thanks for stressing to check the point about power hook up position. I saw that annotation when looking to purchase a replacement R4 compressor and wasn't familiar with those distinctions. Because I wasn't sure, I did not submit an order. To be honest, I had not focused on power hook up position but rather had been more focused on the orientation of the hose connection.
 

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one other thing, I would not buy the components piecemeal as it may affect your warranty. Advance auto will not warranty any component unless you buy it all from them at the same time to ensure that you are replacing the necessary components.

shop.advanceautoparts.com/o/warrantyaccompressors

  1. With every compressor replacement, the system must be flushed thoroughly with the proper flush solvent or provide a receipt showing it was professionally done.
  2. Also, the receiver dryer or accumulator must be replaced.
  3. If your vehicle is equipped with an orifice tube, you must replace it as well.
  4. Vehicles equipped with expansion valves require that they be checked and cleaned if necessary, they do not have to be replaced to validate the warranty.
  5. Once the system is flushed, and the new parts are installed, the system should then be evacuated, then recharged with the proper amount of refrigerant and oil. Please retain all receipts for this repair.
Remanufactured compressors are warranted for a period of 1 year from original purchase date provided the required parts are replaced, orifice tube and receiver dryer or accumulator.
  • If a compressor is installed without the required parts, dryer and orifice tube, the warranty is void. The part cannot be replaced without the proof of purchase and installation of these parts.
 

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i just acquired an 87 choo choo car. Here in AZ the heat is intense, and i have some issues with my AC system starting with the compressor. Although i like to keep the stock look, for the AC im not opposed to upgrading the system something more efficient and will keep an eskimo cool.

Any advise related to upgrading the AC? or not??
I have an 83' SS (SS was a joke in 83' no bucket seats etc) Does the 87 have a clutch fan or electric fans ??
Adding electric fans replacing clutch fan will lower the system output by 5 degrees. It is a certainty you have an R4 compressor. I have been lead to believe the A6 has a higher BTU rating but there are different models of both.
Here is a link to some info on R4 and A6 compressors: A/C Compressor Upgrade: Stock Appearance, Modern Design Remember you are cooling quite a bit less interior volume with an El Camino.
 

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86,

I have an 86 non-SS car, just bought out of Wisconson (I'm in Atlanta) w 55k on it. Car is a time capsule, pretty much fully loaded w buckets and center console....thing set in heated storage for 9 years. No rust at all. Dealing with the AC now....truly frustrating. Converted to 134a, accumulator is ice cold but no cold air flow. My next challenge is the 9 port vacuum thingy behind the head unit as a few here have determined it may be vacuum related. My airbox looks factory fresh by the way, everything works there. Hate that I can't really drive it right now, but we are averaging 90+ with humidity here. Good luck to you. 🏁
 

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Hi 86,
I'm in the process this week of changing out my A/C in my 86.
I bought a compressor kit for $260 off ebay from a company called Pit Stop Automotive.
It came with everything you needed to change out all the major components of the A/C system,
  • Compressor & Clutch
  • Receiver Drier or Accumulator
  • Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube or Liquid Line /w Orifice Tube
  • 8 oz bottle of PAG Oil
  • Seal Kit
I'm going to install myself, my friend has an evacuator to vacuum the system that I'm going to borrow.
Make sure you evacuate the system, you don't want any debris or failed compresor junk screwing up your new system.
I'm actually going to Go Pro the process and post it on you tube at some point.

I've owned this truck for 20 years, and the A/C has never worked. It used R-12. I think at some point way back I tried to put some 134A into the system. It held for about 24 hours, and the compresor ran, but sounded really bad. So I just dealt with 55MPH air for a while now.

Get the Kit if you are going to change out..., it will be a lot easier in the long run.
Oh yeah, most importantly..., make sure you get the compresor with the 9 o'clock position for the power hook up. The other is in the 12 o'clock position and will not work.
I've included a photo below of what the kit consist of.
Good luck, if you have questions, just drop me a note.
Jonesie
View attachment 131659
Don't put the radial comp back on . Check with classic air for comp kit . It will be a sanden 508 rear ports .
 

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I think you'd better go to the air conditioning repair. Trust me, it's better not to fix anything yourself. I broke half the appliances in my house. And about the air conditioner, you do not need to contact car repair, you can just choose any air conditioner repair, and they will do everything for you in a chic way.
another fake account. Vertical Scope needs to figure out how they are registering and block them
 
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