: Orifice Tube Repair Kit



turbojimmy
04-25-13, 02:09 PM
So my A/C repair job went to hell in a hand basket.

Like a good boy, I replaced both the stock and the aftermarket driers before installing the new a/c compressor. I also wanted to replace the orifice tube because I'm sure it's original and icky. Of course the orifice tube broke off inside the line. So I ordered a repair kit which consists of a short piece of tubing that splices in front of the stock line with a provision for a new orifice tube. Seems simple enough. But....how do I get the remnants of the old tube out? Drill? Other mechanical means? No matter what I do the line is going to be full of debris so I'm going to have to remove it, clean it and put it back on. I looked for new lines but couldn't find any.

jayoldschool
04-25-13, 02:40 PM
You get the old one out with needle nose pliers, and if that doesn't work, a wood screw will take it right out.

turbojimmy
04-25-13, 03:49 PM
Did I mention that the fitting was frozen to the line so I used vise grips to keep the line from twisting? That crushed the tube where the orifice is. So, my pain is self inflicted. I tried a variety of screws but it's not working. There's nothing left to grab onto anymore.

The repair kit won't work unless that tube is clear. I ordered a new line for $30 from GMPARTSDIRECT. GMPartsGiant showed it as discontinued, but all the other GMwhatever sites would let me order it. We'll see if I get one. If not, I'll have to go the used route.

It's complicated by the fact that the coach builder spliced in a "T" for the rear HVAC system. It's a few inches long so they did some custom bending on the stock tube to shorten it. I don't think adding the additional tubing from the repair kit would work anyway.

jayoldschool
04-25-13, 08:40 PM
If I can help, LMK. I still have the parts car here. Haven't touched any AC components.

turbojimmy
04-26-13, 05:36 AM
If I can help, LMK. I still have the parts car here. Haven't touched any AC components.

Awesome! Thanks. I probably should have checked here first before blowing the $30, but I get impatient when things are broken.

I haven't had one yet with decent A/C. Hopefully it's just the fact that I haven't done a decent overhaul like I'm doing now. I'd like to think that the stock compressor can handle the additional capacity of the rear system. I've never seen a limo built with a 2nd compressor, so it had to have worked with one compressor.

turbojimmy
04-29-13, 02:24 PM
It turns out the orifice repair kit will work. I thought you jam it in-line with the existing line, which baffled me because how could you do that if the orifice is stuck in the original tube. But no, you cut the old tube out and the repair kit comes with a compression fitting. I'm going to try it and keep the new line around just in case it leaks.

jayoldschool
04-29-13, 02:52 PM
It's only 70 bucks for a new set of lines, mine included the compressor o rings. You might want to replace the set. I did this on my Caprice when I got it. It won't have the T for the additional limo part, though.

turbojimmy
04-29-13, 03:06 PM
Yep - RockAuto has the compressor lines for $40, but I needed the condenser line (the one from the evap core to the condenser). The limo has all sorts of extra plumbing, too. I don't want to mess with anything that isn't broken. It didn't leak before and with my luck it will after I "fixed" it.

turbojimmy
04-30-13, 03:35 PM
So I was goofing around with that line today. The line gets smaller after the orifice tube part of it. Being a horrible judge of time, space and distance, I cut the line in the wrong place. I cut it where it was smaller, not where it was larger by the orifice tube. That renders both the line and the orifice tube repair kit useless. I could put compression fitting on it where I cut it, but I'm skeptical of that repair kit anyway. I'd have to install it where the line already has a good bend in it - I'm not sure it would have ever sealed anyway. I'll never know....

The new line is still "on order" from GM Parts Direct. Hopefully they can get it. Otherwise I might hit you up for the one you have, Jay. It looks fairly easy to get out. May have to swing the PS reservoir and coolant tank out of the way. My car has a bunch of other limo-specific hoses and wires in the way, too.

jamespowers
04-30-13, 03:47 PM
So I was goofing around with that line today. The line gets smaller after the orifice tube part of it. Being a horrible judge of time, space and distance, I cut the line in the wrong place. I cut it where it was smaller, not where it was larger by the orifice tube. That renders both the line and the orifice tube repair kit useless. I could put compression fitting on it where I cut it, but I'm skeptical of that repair kit anyway. I'd have to install it where the line already has a good bend in it - I'm not sure it would have ever sealed anyway. I'll never know....

The new line is still "on order" from GM Parts Direct. Hopefully they can get it. Otherwise I might hit you up for the one you have, Jay. It looks fairly easy to get out. May have to swing the PS reservoir and coolant tank out of the way. My car has a bunch of other limo-specific hoses and wires in the way, too.

And to think, I was going to buy a limo. :p

turbojimmy
04-30-13, 03:53 PM
And to think, I was going to buy a limo. :p

Yes, it does get complicated sometimes. Particularly on the already-crowded right side of the engine bay. They splice into the heater hoses and a/c lines over there and add hoses for the rear HVAC system. I added some 0-gauge and 4-gauge wiring too, which is tough to navigate around. I'll get it sorted out eventually :)

jamespowers
04-30-13, 10:05 PM
Yes, it does get complicated sometimes. Particularly on the already-crowded right side of the engine bay. They splice into the heater hoses and a/c lines over there and add hoses for the rear HVAC system. I added some 0-gauge and 4-gauge wiring too, which is tough to navigate around. I'll get it sorted out eventually :)

I suppose it depends on what coach builder makes the vehicle. I have seen some real disasters---stretched with no frame reinforcements between the cut sections and all kinds of Rube Goldberg designs. I settle for a Brougham that I could understand. :p
I am sure you will get it sorted out. Good luck.

turbojimmy
05-01-13, 06:13 AM
I suppose it depends on what coach builder makes the vehicle. I have seen some real disasters---stretched with no frame reinforcements between the cut sections and all kinds of Rube Goldberg designs. I settle for a Brougham that I could understand. :p
I am sure you will get it sorted out. Good luck.

Thanks.

This one is a Federal. My last one was a Superior. Both are examples of the more mass-produced limos. Most of the wiring and HVAC stuff is done almost identically on the two. The middle seat on the Superior was nicer - it was made to look like the rear seat and had the crest stitched into it like the stock seat. The Federal seat is more squared off and has less cushion.

Back to the topic at hand, because the Superior was a smaller stretch the HVAC module was in the trunk. The A/C and heater hoses ran the length of the car. Nevertheless, it seemed to work fine with the only problem being that the air output was through the package shelf only. On this bigger Federal stretch, the HVAC module is behind the passenger seat. It doesn't heat or cool as well as the Superior did, despite having the outputs more strategically placed in the rear - one on each side in the middle and another pair in the back. It takes forever for the air to get hot or cold.

turbojimmy
05-11-13, 08:29 AM
Predictably, GMPARTSDIRECT canceled my order because the orifice tube has been discontinued by GM. But I found this guy that has lots of NOS GM parts. He claimed to have 20 of the lines in stock so I ordered one:

http://www.whiteracingproducts.com/search_custom.php

I followed up with an e-mail to make sure and he said that he doesn't list things he doesn't have, he indeed had it and it will ship Monday.

jamespowers
05-12-13, 06:35 PM
Predictably, GMPARTSDIRECT canceled my order because the orifice tube has been discontinued by GM. But I found this guy that has lots of NOS GM parts. He claimed to have 20 of the lines in stock so I ordered one:

http://www.whiteracingproducts.com/search_custom.php

I followed up with an e-mail to make sure and he said that he doesn't list things he doesn't have, he indeed had it and it will ship Monday.

I hope you get what you need this time. You can get the limo on the road again soon.

turbojimmy
05-25-13, 02:16 PM
After 2 weeks the guy finally came through with the tube I needed. And it's wrong. Not that the part is wrong, but it turns out that the coach builder modified the a/c lines. I also tortured jayoldschool for the past week trying to get the right part from his parts car, but again, stock cars don't have the right part.

It's like this: the coach builder needed somewhere to tap into the system on the high pressure/vapor side of the system. So they relocated the orifice tube - which is the bridge between the low pressure and high pressure sides. Normally it's in a tube attached to the condenser. But noooooooooooo. They modified one of the stock lines to install a provision for the orifice tube - welded it on. This allowed them to install a tee (circled in the picture below) ahead of the relocated orifice valve where there was still high pressure. The orifice valve was seized in that custom fabricated tube - I had to cut it out. Of course I didn't know any of this until yesterday when I realized that my system didn't resemble the diagram in the factory service manual.

Remember the orifice tube repair kit? It did save the day after all. I used a compression fitting to splice it into what was left of the factory line, duplicating what the coach builder had done but without the welding.

http://i1263.photobucket.com/albums/ii636/jestoltz/limo_ac_line_zps71ce6a61.jpg

It's not pretty, but it's holding a vacuum as I type this. Since the compression fittings are on the low pressure side, the highest pressure they'll have to deal with is 100 PSI when the 2 sides equalize when you shut the system off. Otherwise, it's only around 55-65 PSI.

I have to get under it to change the compressor now, but I wanted to make sure the Frankenstein line was going to hold before I went through that trouble.

Thanks again Jay for trying to help. I owe you one.

turbojimmy
05-27-13, 12:21 PM
So I charged up the system and it leaked down overnight. All 3 joints at both compression fittings are leaking. I hate compression fittings. I tightened them back down, but I'm sure there's still a slow leak. If it gets me through next weekend, I'll be fine. Even with it apparently low, the a/c is pretty cold. Which brings me to my next line of questions:

1) Stock system capacity is 1 lb. 12 oz. or 38 oz. Each can of R134a is 12 oz. I put 3 in it and it was pretty acceptable - the compressor stopped cycling and would run continuously. It's supposed to run continuously, right? I ask because it leaked down overnight to where the compressor was cycling again. Pressures were pretty low. I put a 12 oz. can in it and the compressor was running continuously. I ran an errand and the a/c felt great. It was dropping off at higher RPMs, though. I found that this was because the compressor is cycling on and off. At higher RPMs, the low side drops and it shuts off. Idling in the driveway it was cycling again. Outside temps are about 70 degrees. I know it didn't leak enough on the short trip to be cycling again - it must have been on the edge. So: should the compressor run continuously or does it cycle? I was under the impression it only cycles off when it's low on refrigerant.

2) Stock system is 38 oz. I have about 36 oz. in it. I also have lines that run to the middle of the car, a second evap core, a second small condenser and a second accumulator. Question is how much more would this add to the capacity? Double? I have no way to guess so I'm watching the pressures. Trouble is, when the fans come on, high side pressure will drop 100 psi when they're on, and go back up when they're off. Do you measure the pressures fan on or fan off? My primary cooling fan is apparently not working, so I'm not sure if the pressure would remain more constant if it were. The 2nd fan kicks in, then the other 2 aux fans kick in and the pressures drop.

3) Is the fact that the outlet temps warm up at higher RPMs an indication of an undercharge? It's odd because the issue I had with it last season was that it would heat up at lower RPMs. But this year I have 2 new accumulators, a new compressor and vacuumed it down with a "real" vacuum pump.

I really need to have a custom line made up. Refrigerant is expensive to keep leaking into the atmosphere.

jayoldschool
05-27-13, 03:07 PM
If it were my car, I would eliminate the add on lines, and just run it on the stock system.

turbojimmy
05-27-13, 03:27 PM
I would, but the stock system doesn't come close to cooling the rear down. When it works, it works well. I need a custom line welded up.

MoistCabbage
05-27-13, 03:54 PM
How much the compressor cycles depends on how much load is on the system. If it's running constantly, the pressure is most likely low.

When the system is on, the cooling fans should be running whenever the compressor clutch is engaged.

If you don't know the correct capacity, fill by pressure. System on max cool, temperature all the way down, all interior fans on high. And again, the exterior fans should be running.

jamespowers
05-27-13, 04:18 PM
I would, but the stock system doesn't come close to cooling the rear down. When it works, it works well. I need a custom line welded up.

I would do that then. It might cost more but it is worth it considering all the head aches you have had trying to rig it up yourself.
Did I mention how glad I am that I didn't buy that limo? :p Then again, there is this for sale:
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/3799763061.html

turbojimmy
05-27-13, 05:56 PM
The compressor is still cycling but I doubt it's low on refrigerant. I put another 12 oz in it and my manual thermometer (my hand over the vent) says it may have actually gotten a bit warmer (over charged). It's only 70 degrees out so it may not need to run continuously. A/C isn't ice cold, but it's colder than it's ever been. The left fan is only supposed to come on when the coolant temp reaches 232 and/or the A/C head pressure is above 248 psi. It's operating like it should - it comes on when my gauge reaches 250 PSI. The right fan (primary) is supposed to come on at 225 degrees and/or when a/c head pressure is 225 PSI. It's not running at all. It ran last year. I swapped out the relays and they're good. It has to be the fan motor, which you can still get from GM apparently. It has the V03 cooling package so it's naturally the more expensive motor (grrrr).

It's sealed up decently - held the same charge all day. I'll check it again in the morning but I'm not going to do much more with it until I get the primary fan working. That's a big factor in the equation (keeps the pressure steady).

turbojimmy
05-28-13, 01:05 PM
Having a bit of OCD, I took the car to a place called American Coachwerks today. I found them on the Internet and they're 15 minutes from my house. They build and repair motorhomes, buses, ambulances, etc. They specialize in custom A/C systems. The guy was really nice and spent a lot of time looking over the car. He was impressed with what I had done (offered me a job :-) but ultimately said to just leave it alone. It doesn't appear to be leaking now, and if it does leak don't be afraid to crank down really hard on those brass fittings. I have dye in the system so he said to wash everything down with Brake Kleen and check it once in a while. He said if I get in a bind he'd be happy to take my money, but it doesn't appear to be necessary at this point.

It's nice driving around in the rain without the windows all fogged up!

In other news, I took out the failed primary fan. I figured I'd wire up one of the 2 aftermarket pusher fans to come on when the factory fan would while I'm waiting for the new motor. All I'd have to do is take the ground from the PCM and run it to the relay for the right-side pusher fan where the factory fan should be. I fired up both fans and yanked one of the relays to see which one stopped. Neither did! They're both running off of one relay! I can't believe I screwed that up somehow. When I first got the car I had to yank out the stuff that the coach builder had installed (fans and controller) because it was all cooked. I went through great pains to duplicate that arrangement with new fans and a thermostatic controller. It's been working, but evidently off of one relay for both fans. Now I have to remember how I did it so I can dismantle it and wire it up correctly.

turbojimmy
05-29-13, 08:54 AM
I know this is turning into a one-sided conversation, but typing this stuff out helps me noodle through it. As always suggestions would be welcomed.

So I got to looking at the auxiliary fan wiring. It was one of those things where you look at it and wonder what kind of idiot would do such at thing. Except the idiot was me about a year and a half ago. I don't know what I was thinking, but I gotta lay off the Bud Light when I'm wiring things up. Without getting into too much detail, it was all wrong. It's a seemingly simple arrangement so I started over - disconnected everything.

There are 3 wires running from the limo fuse panel:
1) constant hot from a 25A fuse marked COOLING FANS (simple enough)
2) one black/red wire that I tested as being grounded but now is not (more on that in a minute)
3) a light blue wire that runs to a switch under the dash for manual control of the cooling fans

I ran the hot wire to the fan motors and to the relay coil.
I ran the grounds to activate the relays to 3 switches: thermostat, A/C pressure switch and the manual fan switch - all switch to ground (or so I thought)
I ran one side of the switched relay circuits to the fans; the other side to ground

With the above arrangement, when any of the 3 switches go to ground, the relays close and the fans run. No problem, right?

I checked all 3 individually: thermostat works, a/c switch works, under dash switch works. Here's where it gets interesting.

While testing, I only had one relay installed. With the manual dash switch thrown and the one fan running, I installed the second relay. POP! Fans stop running. I checked the fuse and it was good. BUT, the fuse under it, marked "VANITY & READING LIGHTS" was baked. Dead short. But why? There shouldn't be anything on that circuit (it was an option for the "real" limos, mine's technically a 6-door). And the red/black wire that checked out as being a ground is no longer grounded.

Now I'm scratching my head. I removed the relay that caused the short, shut off the manual switch and there's STILL a dead short somewhere. It has something to do with that manual switch. I can't figure it out. I unhooked it and there's STILL a dead short. Now in addition to the fan wiring, I have to look up under the dash to see where that light blue wire goes.

I guess the good news is that I got the fan wiring simplified. I just bypassed the manual switch for now. I'm going to do some more detective work on my lunch break, but this one is baffling.

The Ape Man
05-30-13, 11:23 AM
Could be your "ground" wire was really showing low resistance to ground because it was going through the components on the load side of the fuse which blew with the relay plugged in.

Just use tin for a ground and/or engine block for high current loads.

turbojimmy
05-30-13, 11:32 AM
Could be your "ground" wire was really showing low resistance to ground because it was going through the components on the load side of the fuse which blew with the relay plugged in.

Just use tin for a ground and/or engine block for high current loads.

It could be. I rewired the whole thing - grounded it at the rad support instead of wherever the original ground wire went. It's functioning as designed now, with each fan operating off of a separate relay.

The fuse is still blowing though. I just left it out - everything seems to work. I don't have time to mess with it anymore this week.

turbojimmy
05-30-13, 03:38 PM
I might have to seek professional help with the A/C. Any advice would be appreciated...here's the deal.

When I first got the car the compressor was dead. I swapped it out with a used one without replacing anything else, vacuumed it down and recharged it. It sort of worked - took forever to get cool but was never cold really. At the end of the 'warm season' last year, the compressor stopped compressing. Clutch worked and it turned, but the pressures didn't change at all.

So over the past week or so I replaced the compressor, orifice valve, accumulator and the drier on the rear system. I recharged it and I'm trying to get the pressures where they need to be. Stock system is 38 oz, or a little more than 3 cans of refrigerant. The rear HVAC system has to add capacity approaching the size of the stock system - meaning that the actual capacity of the system is probably closer to 6 cans - but I don't know for sure. I have about 4.5 cans in it now and I *think* it's getting WARMER with every can. But, the high side is only 200 PSI and it's 85 degrees and humid out. Should be well over 300 PSI. Low side is around 35 PSI but the compressor is cycling at idle. Seems to me that means it's under charged? But, I'm questioning my high pressure gauge. The secondary coolant fan is running and so are the aux fans - both come on when the high side reaches 250 PSI.

The real issue is that I pretty much lose all cooling at idle. Air gets warm until I start moving again, and even then it's not "cold". At first I thought it might be a capacity thing - the system just can't handle the front and rear systems at idle. But if I shut the rear off and just try to cool the front, it's the same thing (when you shut off the rear a valve closes and stops the circulation of refrigerant to the rear evaporator core). Warms up at idle.

I don't know whether to keep putting refrigerant in it until I see the high side go up or if I have some other problem? Based on my estimation, it's probably still low on refrigerant but it's a guess. Like I said, the rear system adds another drier, 12 feet of lines and another sizable evaporator core. That's a lot of volume.

MoistCabbage
05-30-13, 04:25 PM
It does sound like it's still low on refrigerant.

Are you using a thermometer in the vents, or just your hand?

outsider
05-30-13, 04:25 PM
Are you sure your fans are working properly? For it to get warm at idle or stop would sound like it's not getting enough air to keep it cool, but when you're driving there is more air being caught and that's cooling it.

Just a thought, I know you've been working on the fan systems.

turbojimmy
05-30-13, 05:07 PM
I'm just using my hand, but the difference is noticeable. Digital thermometer is on the list.

3 of the 4 fans are working. The primary fan is removed (waiting on a new motor), but it's staying cool with the secondary fan and the 2 limo-installed fans. The limo fans are effective - when they turn on the stock secondary fan shut off immediately.

turbojimmy
05-30-13, 10:16 PM
I guess it's still low on refrigerant. It feels warmer, but it's also warmer today than it's been all year. As soon as the temps dropped to 75 or so the a/c got ice cold. So I'm going to keep pumping R134a into it until either the high side comes up into range or the low side gets too high.

turbojimmy
05-31-13, 11:49 AM
So the plot thickens.

Today is a carbon copy of yesterday weather-wise. mid/high 80s and humid. I hop in the car to get more R134a and the a/c is ICE COLD the whole trip. I had to turn it down because it was so cold. It does warm up a bit at idle, but it's acceptable.

I think the only logical explanation, therefore is that I still have leak and it was overcharged.

jamespowers
05-31-13, 12:47 PM
So the plot thickens.

Today is a carbon copy of yesterday weather-wise. mid/high 80s and humid. I hop in the car to get more R134a and the a/c is ICE COLD the whole trip. I had to turn it down because it was so cold. It does warm up a bit at idle, but it's acceptable.

I think the only logical explanation, therefore is that I still have leak and it was overcharged.

Time to take it to a mechanic and let them bang their head against the wall for a time. Let them figure it out and if they screw up then you have someone else to blame and take it back to. :p

turbojimmy
05-31-13, 02:55 PM
Time to take it to a mechanic and let them bang their head against the wall for a time. Let them figure it out and if they screw up then you have someone else to blame and take it back to. :p

The problem is that a mechanic banging his head against the wall translates directly to a lighter wallet. I can figure it out - I just haven't had time this week. I've been rushing to prepare for a weekend road trip. A/C works now, put a couple of cans in the trunk to top it off over the next couple of days if I need to. When things settle down I'll do a proper investigation.

turbojimmy
06-02-13, 05:10 PM
Progress report - I've returned from my road trip. Went to Hershey PA for the weekend. It was 90 degrees Friday and Saturday and mid-80s today. On the sun-baked highway, the temp sensor was reporting over 100 degrees on the way out and 90 degrees on the way home today. Keep in mind the car is 26-feet of windows, black paint, black vinyl top and black interior. Yeah the windows are tinted but they still let enough sunlight in to burn your butt when you sit on the seats. Anyhow, after we were on the road for about half an hour on Friday things started to get really comfortable. I had 7 people in the car and both the front and rear a/c systems on full blast. I eventually had to turn both systems down a bit, but not until it started getting cooler in the early evening. I gauge my a/c's output based on when my girlfriend covers up with a blanket. This time it took over an hour, which is still a little weak.

Trips to and from the park on Saturday and today were comfortable, despite the car soaking in the full sun of the parking lots all day (hotel and park). It still warms up at idle so I'm back to my low-charge theory. I don't think it's leaking substantially if at all. Performance really hasn't changed over the past few days. It's very sensitive to outside temp. 85 degrees and below and it works great. Above 85 it starts to struggle, particularly at idle. I'm missing a cooling fan so at idle sometimes there's no fans running at all. Once I get the new cooling fan motor installed I'll see how it is pressure and temperature-wise.

All in all, the car has once again proven to be a fantastic car to travel in. The "new" trans and driveshaft are smooth as glass. Passengers, in this case 5 kids, feel like they're sitting in my living room. It turns heads everywhere, not just because it's a limo but because it's a 20-year-old Cadillac. Okay mostly because it's a limo. I do wish I could do more with the body, but I'll get to it eventually. The bonus is that the park personnel always put me with the RVs and buses, which is prime parking.

jamespowers
06-03-13, 01:08 AM
Progress report - I've returned from my road trip. Went to Hershey PA for the weekend. It was 90 degrees Friday and Saturday and mid-80s today. On the sun-baked highway, the temp sensor was reporting over 100 degrees on the way out and 90 degrees on the way home today. Keep in mind the car is 26-feet of windows, black paint, black vinyl top and black interior. Yeah the windows are tinted but they still let enough sunlight in to burn your butt when you sit on the seats. Anyhow, after we were on the road for about half an hour on Friday things started to get really comfortable. I had 7 people in the car and both the front and rear a/c systems on full blast. I eventually had to turn both systems down a bit, but not until it started getting cooler in the early evening. I gauge my a/c's output based on when my girlfriend covers up with a blanket. This time it took over an hour, which is still a little weak.

Trips to and from the park on Saturday and today were comfortable, despite the car soaking in the full sun of the parking lots all day (hotel and park). It still warms up at idle so I'm back to my low-charge theory. I don't think it's leaking substantially if at all. Performance really hasn't changed over the past few days. It's very sensitive to outside temp. 85 degrees and below and it works great. Above 85 it starts to struggle, particularly at idle. I'm missing a cooling fan so at idle sometimes there's no fans running at all. Once I get the new cooling fan motor installed I'll see how it is pressure and temperature-wise.

All in all, the car has once again proven to be a fantastic car to travel in. The "new" trans and driveshaft are smooth as glass. Passengers, in this case 5 kids, feel like they're sitting in my living room. It turns heads everywhere, not just because it's a limo but because it's a 20-year-old Cadillac. Okay mostly because it's a limo. I do wish I could do more with the body, but I'll get to it eventually. The bonus is that the park personnel always put me with the RVs and buses, which is prime parking.

Nice. I am glad you are getting somewhere with it.:cloud9:

turbojimmy
06-03-13, 07:58 AM
Nice. I am glad you are getting somewhere with it.:cloud9:

Yeah I think it's sorted out now. Just a bit low on refrigerant. Compressor cycles and it gets warm at idle. If I turn the rear a/c on, thus increasing the load, the compressor will stay running and everything gets cooler. I kept second guessing myself, but the fact is that the capacity of the system has to be nearly double the stock 38 oz. - it's a matter of volume. I don't have anywhere near that much refrigerant in it yet.

jamespowers
06-03-13, 01:06 PM
Yeah I think it's sorted out now. Just a bit low on refrigerant. Compressor cycles and it gets warm at idle. If I turn the rear a/c on, thus increasing the load, the compressor will stay running and everything gets cooler. I kept second guessing myself, but the fact is that the capacity of the system has to be nearly double the stock 38 oz. - it's a matter of volume. I don't have anywhere near that much refrigerant in it yet.

Just remember to make a note of the capacity somewhere because if you are like me, next year you won't remember. :p It is also good to have when you decide to pass it on to the next generation. :p
I have to figure out what is wrong with mine because it takes forever to switch over AC from the defrost and floor vents to the dash vents but that is a story for another thread.....:bonkers:

turbojimmy
06-03-13, 01:15 PM
Just remember to make a note of the capacity somewhere because if you are like me, next year you won't remember. :p It is also good to have when you decide to pass it on to the next generation. :p
I have to figure out what is wrong with mine because it takes forever to switch over AC from the defrost and floor vents to the dash vents but that is a story for another thread.....:bonkers:

Yeah, I'll definitely forget by this time next week. I e-mailed Federal and asked them. They've been helpful in the past.

turbojimmy
06-04-13, 03:01 PM
I installed the new fan motor today. Wow what a difference. I totally underestimated the importance of that fan running at idle. I don't know when it stopped working, but it obviously had a lot to do with the a/c getting warm at idle. I'm not going to say it's 100% yet - it's only 75 degrees out today - but it's vastly improved versus when I had the car out earlier today before I fixed the fan.

jamespowers
06-04-13, 04:22 PM
I installed the new fan motor today. Wow what a difference. I totally underestimated the importance of that fan running at idle. I don't know when it stopped working, but it obviously had a lot to do with the a/c getting warm at idle. I'm not going to say it's 100% yet - it's only 75 degrees out today - but it's vastly improved versus when I had the car out earlier today before I fixed the fan.

:highfive:

Cadillacboy
06-05-13, 01:57 PM
:highfive:

+1 /////

The Ape Man
06-06-13, 01:32 PM
Fun to watch someone else make it through a problem : )

Have you done a physical inspection of the front system's evaporator? The compartment can get loaded with debris making the evaporator core effectively much smaller. The symptoms are reduced high and low side pressures and lack of cooling at high loads.

Had a few well used vehicles that got loaded with crud even though the cowls were kept fairly clean. Cleaning makes a huge difference. Brake out the blankets.

turbojimmy
06-06-13, 01:56 PM
I haven't looked at the core yet, no. When I first got the car there was an awful stench from the HVAC system and low air flow. Turned out to be literally plugged solid with rodents' nests. I took the fan out and thoroughly cleaned it. I haven't looked from the outside though. I'll have to check that out.

The Ape Man
06-06-13, 05:06 PM
I haven't looked at the core yet, no. When I first got the car there was an awful stench from the HVAC system and low air flow. Turned out to be literally plugged solid with rodents' nests. I took the fan out and thoroughly cleaned it. I haven't looked from the outside though. I'll have to check that out.

To really clean the evap the box has to come apart. Rats.

Robin Banx
06-06-13, 05:35 PM
^^ No pun intended??

Cheers.........R.

jayoldschool
06-06-13, 07:27 PM
You can also pop off the wiper arms, then remove the cowl cover. Then, two 7mm screws secure a panel that once removed, allows access to the wiper arm linkage and the plenum where air comes into the cabin.

turbojimmy
06-07-13, 05:48 AM
Thanks. I'll try that over the weekend. Can't hurt to peek in there and see if it's plugged up. Like said before, air flow has never been what I thought it should be. The '96 was the same way. Both cars had become giant rodent condos when their previous owners let them sit.

The Ape Man
06-08-13, 12:45 PM
IIRC it's more like 10,000 screws. Gotta dig deep for this one.

I'll be working on mine soon too. Hava leak into the cabin at the cowl like most 1980 RWD models landed up with. The guy on the assembly line who was in charge of the goop must have been a short timer with an attitude.

cadillac kevin
06-08-13, 01:51 PM
IIRC it's more like 10,000 screws. Gotta dig deep for this one.

I'll be working on mine soon too. Hava leak into the cabin at the cowl like most 1980 RWD models landed up with. The guy on the assembly line who was in charge of the goop must have been a short timer with an attitude.

How do you fix that problem? My lesabre has a leak into the passenger front footwell from the firewall.

turbojimmy
06-09-13, 07:13 PM
I looked down in there with a flashlight. I don't see anything that doesn't belong in there. It's too much hassle to take that apart now. The a/c is working fairly well so I don't want to mess with it beyond maybe putting a bit more refrigerant in it. I'll check the pressures first, though, now that I have the fans working properly. I suspect that fan I repaired is going to drop the pressure considerably since it runs constantly with the AC on. And it's a big one. The factory electric fans are monsters compared to the little aftermarket pushers that the limo people installed - and those little fans are effective in dropping the pressure, too.

The Ape Man
06-10-13, 11:52 AM
How do you fix that problem? My lesabre has a leak into the passenger front footwell from the firewall.

Not sure if these's an easy way. In my case the people sold the car to me because other people tried to fix the leak and couldn't. I pulled the HVAC box away from the firewall and resealed the fiberglas to metal parts. Took a while but the leak quit. That's 23+ years ago. now I get to do my current one..........