Air conditioning upgrade photos/details

Discussion in 'E9 Projects and Restorations' started by Stevehose, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    For those contemplating such a project, I recently completed my York to rotary a/c compressor upgrade. Keeping with R-12. In prior posts on this subject there weren't a lot of specifics so I am trying to offer some here for the novices like me. Project included:

    -switch from old York boat anchor to "Sanden style" 709 compressor and York mounting bracket from Johnjoysyl eBay seller ($190 for both and must be at least a 15lb weight savings):
    [​IMG]


    -replace old crusty condenser with modern 16x18" parallel flow version from nostalgicairparts.com ($90):
    [​IMG]

    -new dryer from RMEuropean ($30) and
    -new a/c hoses from local hydraulic hose shop ($75) - wish they were like the cool oem red ones but such is life (the red and blue shown here are the gauge hoses):
    [​IMG]


    -recored the radiator to triple core by local radiator shop ($350)
    -new water pump from RMEuropean ($45)
    -new fan clutch found NOS online bargain ($35)
    -hose fittings and copper flare washers from NAPA ($40)

    It's not a difficult process, but it took 2 full weekends to complete.

    Fabrication included making some bracket extensions for the condenser to fit the existing one seen in this pic:
    [​IMG]

    and having a machine shop extend the compressor mounting bracket bolt slots so the pulley would line up correctly:
    [​IMG]

    The evaporator and dryer have flare fittings, the new compressor and condenser have o-ring fittings so you have to get some hoses made that mix/match the fittings. So for my setup they were:

    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]1. Compressor to condenser: 40” total length, 45 deg #8-8T O-ring compressor out to 90 deg #8-8T O-ring condenser in. #8 hose.

    2. Condenser to dryer: 39” total length, 90 deg #6-8T O-ring condenser out to 90 deg #8-8T flare dryer in. #8 hose.

    3. Dryer to evaporator: 19.5” total length, straight #8-8T flare dryer out to straight #6-8T flare evaporator in. #8 hose.

    4. Evaporator to compressor: 33” total length, straight #10-10T flare (with separate #10 R-12 port spliced in) to 90 deg #10-10T O-ring. #10 hose.

    Total length = hose plus fittings. I installed an R-12 port into the low side evap-to-compressor line for convenience and 3rd degree burn elimination. I thought my dryer came with a high side port but it didn't so at some point I will replace with one that does.

    Basically the order of work was:
    -had freon evac'd by a/c shop
    -remove radiator and brought to shop for recore
    -remove front grilles and headlight assemblies (I removed the bulbs and cleaned the glass insides with rubbing alcohol - huge difference)
    -disconnect hoses and remove old condenser
    -disconnect and remove York (a major PITA with hidden bolts and 40 years of gunk)
    -disconnect and remove dryer and vibration damper
    -clean as much as possible with newfound access to areas (I also sprayed Penetrol into the nose, bumper, and headlight areas for rust protection)
    -install condenser after making some bracket extensions from metal strip from Lowes
    -lengthen slots on compressor bracket as much as possible (machine shop) and install compressor to stock York bracket on block.
    -mount dryer but keep caps on until ready for hose fitting
    -measure and re-measure (I used rope) the lengths you want for hoses
    -source fittings and bring to hose shop and have them make up the hoses (they can probably order the fittings you need if NAPA doesn't have them)
    -install hoses and tighten carefully
    -bought cheap suction pump from Harbor Freight ($100) and some nice R-12/R-134a compatible gauges from online supplier ($50) - draw vacuum to -30 for an hour or so and then
    [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]tighten gauges and [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]turn off pump and see if it holds vacuum-mine didn't at first so I tightened everything a little more - this is why you don't install the radiator yet in case you have to get to condenser again - vacuum now stable
    [/FONT][FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]-installed water pump, fan clutch and new radiator[/FONT]
    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial] -I put in about 1/2 lb more freon than spec to account for bigger condenser capacity - no sight glass bubbles.

    NOTES ON COMPRESSOR CHOICE:
    [/FONT]The 508 and 709 is the designation of pistons and displacement, the 508 has 5 pistons and 8 cc or something, the 709 has 7 pistons and 9 cc. Both have the same body size and would fit. The other designations pertain to the type of clutch and fittings and where they are located on the compressor, some come straight out the back, others go up, I chose the latter for clearance reasons. Depending on which refrigerant you are going to use, you'll want it to come with the right oil in it, fittings that come up not staight back, and the correct service ports for your refrigerant (they are different for r12 vs r134), and a double pulley clutch not serpentine belt. The 508 probably takes less hp to run than the 709 but that's just a guess.
    [FONT=Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial]
    The upgrade is like night and day - the compressor is smooth, no vibrations, and silent, only reduces the idle rpm slightly when on, and the new system cranks out frigid air into the cabin - I can drive in 95 degree heat/humidity and be fine inside the cabin, and the system will actually cycle because it gets plenty cold. With the more efficient radiator, there's no going past halfway on the gauge with the a/c on in the broiling heat here.

    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  2. DaveG

    DaveG New Member

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    Now THAT's a great writeup!!!!! Thanks for that effort. It will make many of our lives so much easier!!!!
    Thanks again!
    DaveG
     
  3. Blinkling

    Blinkling Member

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    Thanks!

    Very much appreciated, Steve!
     
  4. bill

    bill Member Site Donor

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    A most amazing write-up! Can one still get R-12? Was your system working before the conversion? Do I dare to re-activate my AC if it hasn't been used in more than 10 years (and it came from the PO not working, either)?
     
  5. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Craigslist is the place to find R-12 here, I can get it for around $12-15 a can, also I was offered some by a worker at my local run-down Carquest - they "still had some in the back" so if you know a shady auto parts guy he might steer you to some. My system was working, but when the York kicked on it was noisy and vibrated through the car, I had replaced the bushings etc. but even still it wasn't quiet or cooling to my liking. The Sanden style 508 compressor is an option too, the 709 has more output (maybe overkill given our small evaporators) but either will work. Others here can speak better about how to approach your situation, but I would vacuum test first to see if it holds if not then I'd test your evaporator to see if it is sealed and not needing repair before embarking on replacing the other components. Also when I had the transmssion out I installed a small hose into the evaporator drain from below to make sure it exits the car and isn't clogged and soaking my interior with condensate.

     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  6. steve in reno

    steve in reno Active Member

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    steve
    I have been watching your posts on this subject and am going to do this for a winter project.

    a few questions
    1. Why did you stay with r-12 since you increased the size and efficiency of the condenser?
    2. Which direction and length did the mounting slots have to be enlarged?
    3. could you explain in more detail the in and out ports that you refer to and their positioning. Are these for the injection and evac of refrigerant?

    My a/c has been disconnected for over 26 years due to leaks.
    I am taking a trip next May to Dallas for my sons graduation from SMU law and I figure I just may need a/c.
    Thanks for the great pics and info!!!!!
    reno
     
  7. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    1. I think you answered your own question with your forthcoming trip to Dallas! It's over 105 degrees there now, here it's high 90's with smothering humidity so I stayed with R-12 because I wanted as much cooling power as I could squeeze out of the tiny evaporator which now is the weakest link and R-134 is not as efficient and more prone to leaks.

    2. Two of the slots have to be lengthened as close to the welded bracket as possible - $30 at the same machine shop that did my flywheel. This will be clear when you mount the compressor to the bracket - the slots allow for some back and forth adjustment to line up the pulleys, without the mod it's about 1/2 inch short of lining up, with the mod it's just enough. An alternative would be to use a different bracket, but I could never find the right one that I felt would fit the Sanden to the M30, there seemed to be several different ones and I didn't want to buy blind off eBay I just went with this York adapter option.

    3. Yes the addition of ports is a convenience so as not to have to reach down the hot engine block and attach/detach the hoses to the compressor fittings (although the Sanden's ports are much easier to access). I put a suction fitting in the evap out line (the thick one that goes to the compressor - you can see this in the pic with the blue/red hoses - it's the lower of the 2 hoses and the blue hose crosses on top of it) for the low pressure/filling gauge and I thought the dryer had a high pressure fitting for that gauge but it doesn't so I used the compressor's - it's nearest the side so it's not too bad to get to but will add a high port at some point so I don't have to put my hand down there.

    Hope this helps.

     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  8. ccr2002

    ccr2002 Active Member Site Donor

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    Great!

    Wow! Thank you so much...doing this on mine asap.
     
  9. G

    G Member

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    Fantastic !! Thx for sharing your knowledge & experience.
    Just got myself a winter project, been wanting to do this for years !
    Cheers
    Giorgio
     
  10. steve in reno

    steve in reno Active Member

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    steve
    Did you continue to use the original fan for the condenser? The Nostaligic.com site also has a 14x18 with a shroud and fan ($159). It does say it is a serpentine not parallel. Anyone know what the difference is? I would think that it may be a little more efficient with a shroud/fan combo.
    Using a 40 year old fan is asking for a problem.
    Did you install a new fan/heat sensor unit also?
    Did you use the York Compressor Adapter Plate / Universal Mount - $39.99, or? And was it the plate that needed machine work?
    I want to start accumulating the parts for this upgrade and am sure I will come up with many more questions.
    Thanks again for this timely post!
    reno
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  11. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    I used my existing fan, it runs fine and I was tired of shelling out $$$ and having to fabricate another piece to fit, I considered replacing it but it's easy to get to behind the grilles, if it kicks on me I'll replace it then but I don't think my engine will overheat because I've overkilled the cooling system too :mrgreen:

    Parallel is 25-30% more efficient than equal size serpentine, I'd take the parallel + crappy fan over an equivalent serpentine with the fan, especially since most of the time you'll be moving. But I am not an engineer so that may not be correct. If you decide to go with that take accurate measurements to see if the unit will fit - it might not with the fan outside the edges like that.

    My fan only turns on when the a/c is on and I didn't replace any electricals relating to it, just cleaned it up and oiled it.

    I used this bracket, see if he has more, he was very helpful and responsive to my numerous annoying questions:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/_W0Q...emZ310284097763QQsspagenameZSTRKQ3aMEWNXQ3aIT



     
  12. dp

    dp Active Member Site Donor

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    First time I've seen enough clear, useful info on this tough weakspot in our cars...makes me seriously glad I kept so many ac bits over the years, I am gonna do this on the 74 and likely 2270011 too! Thanks for posting!
     
  13. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Update - temperature thermostat adjustment

    If you need to adjust the temperature at which the compressor cycles on and off, it can be done by accessing the back of the a/c thermostat temp switch (careful with the capillary tube) and using a small hex key to turn the screw. Clockwise will allow the compressor to stay on longer before cycling off, this will allow cold air to come through longer, however allowing too much will freeze up the evaporator. I found that a quarter to half turn allowed me to have the temp switch at half way in hot weather. If I need cold air longer I have more clockwise headroom to play with before the switch maxing out. Experiment with it and you will be able to dial yours in to your climate and delay the compressor cutting off.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. bern-GEE

    bern-GEE New Member

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    A/C for me....

    So what was your final tab for conversion to th new A/C?
     
  15. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    Not including the vacuum pump and gauge set (about $160):

    compressor and bracket - $190
    condensor- $90
    hoses and fittings - $120
    dryer - $30
    machine shop work - $30
    misc brackets and bolts - $15
    freon - 3 cans @ $15 each

    driving in comfort on an August day in New Orleans - priceless



     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  16. HB Chris

    HB Chris Well-Known Member Site Donor $$

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    Steve

    With the fixed bracket, how do you adjust tension on the belt? Which belt did you use? I am going to follow your recipe.

    Chris
     
  17. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    It's not a fixed bracket, it mounts and adjusts on the original hinge bracket like the oem york does, the issue is that the normal size belt with the adapter bracket is just barely tight enough, my next belt will be the next size smaller to allow better adjustment. There are other bracket options that will work but I couldn't be certain they would fit when buying without seing them first hand, I used the york adapter because I thought it would fit easily, even then I had to modify it some. Others may chime in with suitable options.

     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  18. Stevehose

    Stevehose Well-Known Member Site Donor $

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    A note on hoses and fittings - when you have the shop put the fittings on, try to mimic the way the hose bends and twists through the bodywork - some fittings will be point 90 degrees or so from one another - this will minimize torquing/twisting of the hoses when installing - they are stiff and not very flexible.
     
  19. deQuincey

    deQuincey Well-Known Member

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    very interesTing, steve
    well done!
     
  20. jamesw

    jamesw Active Member

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    Hi Steve,

    This thread is incredibly useful.

    I'm in TX so I just ordered the Sanden compressor and bracket from Johnjoysyl

    I also need to replace my driers. Does anyone know a good interchange part that has the same type of fittings so I can keep my hoses as-is? They are still in good shape.

    Thanks
    James
     

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