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1984 Eldorado Biarritz
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Discussion Starter #301
So the past months have been a crazy time and I really hope the tens of people out there who read this thread are well, and that you and your family are staying safe during what we’re all going thru. Crazy to think that something that could have brought us all together has spiraled out of control into a constant stream of insanity. I have never met another car guy and not immediately hit it off over a shared interest-it’s too bad that we all can’t bond over a shared interest in our country and realize that we will rise or fall together. Except Lincoln guys. Screw them. :)

But I digress, to the car!

This installment begins back, way way back,back into time. In the days we could have large gatherings, touch our faces, eat inside restaurants, and lived perilously close to the edge of running out of toilet paper. Picture it, Thanksgiving weekend, 2019…Oh wait, back a bit further…August, 1983.

Some dunderhead salesman in southern California takes an order from a buyer with great taste, a beautifully optioned 1984 Eldorado Biarritz in the ultimate color combination of Black/Black/Red. Said dunderhead gets everything right on the order-except for one tiny detail. The desire for a CF5 Astroroof is lost in translation from the prospective buyer and never makes it into the POS.

Car arrives in September. No sunroof. What gives? Our apologies sir, we’ll get that taken care of right away. Car is driven to an ASC installer. Another dunderhead gets out a jigsaw and cuts a hole thru the roof. A 38” (the biggest you can fit in an Eldorado with roof-mounted seatbelts) ASC sunroof is installed. Car is returned to dealership, buyer eagerly accepts delivery, none the wiser about factory vs aftermarket sunroofs.

For those who don’t know, when you order a car with a sunroof, the car is born with a hole in the roof. Mounts are cast into the roof panel, and the sunroof assembly seats in them and the glass panel has a channel for a nice rubber gasket that seals everything up nice. Then a vacuum formed headliner backing board is cast to perfectly hide everything. When you get an aftermarket sunroof, someone gets a stencil and a jigsaw, and cuts your roof panel and headliner open, pops a trim ring in the hole, and hangs a sunroof pan on the trim ring. If you’re lucky they will drill additional reinforcements to marry the pan to the roof structure. Then they get a bunch of headliner material, pull it taught from the corners of the car to the opening in the roof, and send you on down the road.

Anyway, back to Thanksgiving 2019, and the jigsaw dunderhead’s work starts to come undone.

When I had purchased this car, it needed headliner help. The material was loose, but not sagging appreciably. Additionally, someone had tried to superglue the material all around the perimeter. The material was kind of floating in place, which I thought was weird. I ended up getting some super strong neodymium magnets to hold it taught-which worked ok until it was humid out, or driving on the highway with the windows down as the liner would look something like a sailboat in the wind.

My fix was simple-find a factory sunroof equipped car and get the headliner board out of it and pop it into my car. Found out that that was easier said than done, and after a lot of junkyard expedition, kept coming up empty handed. Finally after years, I came into someone parting a factory sunroof Eldo on ebay and after a lot of trouble was able to get it shipped to me



The board needed some help, and after getting all the old foam off of it and some repairs made to restore the structure (the sunroof headliner board is really thin and flimsy, even compared to the stock non-sunroof board) I tore the interior apart to facilitate getting it in and out as I knew I would have to make “some” tweaks to reconcile the aftermarket hole location to the factory one. The sunroof assembly would also need to come out to recover the sunshade; as well as reseal the panel.









We can see here how the trim ring supports the pan assembly from the center. I have to say though, this was about as clean an install as an aftermarket sunroof can come with lots of extra bracing and no factory roof reinforcements cut. We can also see a very chintzy felt seal stuck to the trim ring





Got the sunshade recovered quickly. I later removed the black plastic covered jute that was glued to the pan-factory did not have this and it would have made the board sit too low when installed in the car. The gray rubbery stuff at the front of the pan was also stripped off for the same reason. I also swapped to the factory grab handle that was included with the board.



Also recovered the sail panels. I chose to leave the foam backing on these as it is not the usual headliner stuff that turns to jelly, its more like a sponge material and seemed to be holding up just fine.



I also added PED connectors to the sail panel interior lights that the factory curiously left out. Not sure how they installed these as the harness is one giant piece, but it means that you can’t take the sail panels out without having the lights dangling in the back. This will become important later.





I then devised a new seal. I threw away all the felt and used some 3M Adhesive remover to get rid of the stuff they had glued it with. Nasty stuff but did a good job. The new seal was the first part of this that took a LONG time. Aftermarket roofs from this time use some kind of felt tape to cut down on wind noise and slow water ingress into the pan, and while still available, there is way better out there today. (In spite of how it looked on my car though, it never leaked?!?! Wind noise was an issue with the shade open though) I decided on a rubber seal, and after getting a whole bunch of samples, the stuff I had initially ended up trying was pretty thin, but rigid strip of rubber. After gluing it on with 3M yellow weatherstrip adhesive (which does NOT work as good as the adhesive remover), I put the pan back in the car to see how it would work.

No photos of the failure here, but no good. The material was too rigid and too grippy, and would cause the roof to bind midway thru its travel. Then it tore off in the corners. Ugh! Pan back out, strip off the remaining seal and glue and go back to the drawing board. I ended up buying this

https://www.austinhardware.com/rubber-seal-single-500-rolls.htm

Which is a hollow piece of rubber that lets the panel travel without binding, and still squishes into a really tight seal. Looks like its out of stock now, but something with close to those measurements in a D-shape is a possibility for someone looking to reseal their ASC aftermarket sunroof. It was another 3M product, that was just a peel and stick affair-way easier than the yellow goopy adhesive route. Seems like a really strong bond, and seals fantastically against wind and water. 0 wind noise now, and no leaks in a downpour when parked, or cruising at highway speeds. Roof moves without binding now



I also decided to put the new seal onto the glass panel itself as it seems like that’s the easier life for it-if I put it around the opening, the pop rivets from the panel would abrade it. Super happy with this.



Next task was of course the headliner. With the pan now back in the car, I could take measurements and properly scribe/cut/fill the board as needed. Again, easier said than done. This was a weeks long ordeal between cutting the board, fiberglassing new material in, more cutting, more filling, coronavirus insanity, etc. Long story short, my roof was installed a few inches more aft than a factory roof would have been, which meant a lot of tweaking to get the kick-up over the rear passengers head in the right spot. Additionally, I needed to build out the map light drop down to accommodate the motor.

Here is the mess I ended up with





I also affixed strips of 3M dual-lock (it is like a heavy duty version of the stuff that holds in an Ezpass) to the back of the board and the pan to hold it tightly-the factory had attempted this with a similar product in the non-sunroof car headliner board. I was super skeptical that my fudgery would cover well at all, but I have to say that foam backed headliner material must be some of the most forgiving stuff around. This took me months to complete, working off and on from November thru April. Ultimately though, I’m happy with it.

 

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Discussion Starter #303
While the interior was out, there was another thing I wanted to do. About a year ago, I was following a buddy as he took his Eldorado to drop off at a shop-couldn’t help but notice how small the brake lights (and the rest of the car) seemed compared to all the bulbous modern cars surrounding it. Then I had a couple of SUV’s roll up way too close for comfort on the back of the car-one was close enough that I launched the Eldorado up and to the side to avoid getting hit. Knowing that getting rear ended by a careless driver would probably result in my untimely incarceration, I set out to do something about rear visibility.



The federal government mandated 3rd brake lights for passenger cars for model year 1986. Cadillac was slightly ahead of the curve with this with the 1985 Deville/Fleetwoods which got these in the fall of ’84. Apparently the science is behind them and they do result in fewer rear end collisions. So I decided to add one of them to the Eldo.



There were a few different versions of these things made, with short, medium and long necks to mate with the rear window-one for a Fleetwood Brougham has the tall one, and one for an 80s Buick Riviera like the one seen above is short. The short one is the best size for the Eldo, any taller and it would look pretty bad. Then the gasket that seals it to the window is different for each different model. Fortunately a potato peeler does a great job of cutting things down to size to match the Eldos vertical rear window, and the material can be easily sanded to get out any little imperfections to make it seal nicely and not leak light. An ideal donor for one would be one an 86-91 Eldo or Seville without a factory vinyl or carriage roof.

A quick mockup. You can also see the vibration damping tiles I stuck to the roof with the sunroof pan out.





All of these lights mount the same way, with this little bracket cutting into the package shelf and screwing in to the metal underneath. This is not possible on the Eldo as the package shelf reinforcement under the center won’t let this happen. So I had to modify the bracket to sit flush on the package shelf, and add two holes to the shelf to get the screws through. They screw right into the package shelf reinforcement.






The next step was wiring. It is not as simple as tapping a brake light wire and running across the package shelf to the light. Since the Eldos tail lights do everything- brake, signal and hazard, just tapping a wire would cause the center light to flash with the signals or hazard. GM rectified this by using a different brake switch to prevent backfeeding. See the original gray switch, with an in and out, and the new beige one, with a supply, and two isolated outputs. This puts the 3rd brake light (acronym: CHMSL “Center High Mount Stoplight) on its own branch-but also means that you have to home run a wire all the way to it. The version of the brake switch I used allowed me to keep the cruise control connector, and only change the brake light connector itself (part 12117354). I wanted to keep this as non-invasive as possible as I hate being upside down under the dash (though I see to find myself in that position a lot…) I will search around for the part number for the brake light switch itself.



The wire chase made quick work of this however. I had a pretty long link of 3rd brake light harness, but not quite enough to make it to the front of the car. I put another PED connector of the same kind that I used on the sail panels to join this blue wire I ran from the switch underneath the drivers side rear seat arm rest, which is accessible by removing the ash tray if need be. The stock package shelf reinforcement actually ended up being drilled for the wiring, so I’m not sure if this was something that was in the works for the Eldo.




Ta da!

https://flic.kr/p/2jrvALy
 

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Discussion Starter #304
The last trick I wanted to pull before I put the interior back together was to replace the horrible rearview mirror. I forgot how bad these things were (or more like, no one ever noticed before there were LED headlights on other people’s cars that are tall enough to be flush with your back window) but it seems like the mirror was good for one thing; blindness. They have two settings-blindingly bright where others headlights fry your retinas at night, or completely blind, where you can’t see a thing behind you.

My daily driver has a great auto dimming mirror that still lets you see everything without blinding you, made by Gentex. About the same size as the Eldo rearview. I was casually browsing their offerings to see what kind of money we were talking, when I noticed they offered an upgraded unit as compared to the one installed on my car-one with an LED compass feature that was drumroll amber colored! Just like the center stack on the Eldorado! To add to that, it had a green power on light on the left that matched the speedometer. So needless to say, the project was underway quickly.



Wired it in cleanly to an existing ignition power on the fuse box



I had to buy a new button to mount it, stock Eldo one was too small to hold it. Check out the dashboard illustration on the glue I bought to stick it on with!



A mockup



And here it is all together!





I am super happy with the mirror. It works great and is a really close match to the amber on the center stack. They even have the same segment check timing when you turn the ignition on Unfortunately it does not dim with the rest of the dash panel, so that’s a letdown, but if desired you can turn the compass off if you wanted to dim everything all the way as I like to do when I’m out of the city on a dark road.

Now, you may notice that the visors are all kinds of messed up. Progress has a price I guess. My long-fought for 1988 Deville visors are NG with the new headliner board-they’re just too big and interfere with the bump out for the map light. I wish I would have known as I could have easily shrunk this bump out when I was doing surgery on the board but its too late now. I’m at a crossroads of reinstalling my old red Eldo visors with known good arms swapped into them (which are probably super faded next to the new material but are impossible to reupholster right) or finding another late 80s more robust GM visor and reupholstering/swapping them in.

I still have more stuff to add to this which may come tomorrow as my fingers are about to fall off!
 

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-Quote smokuspollutus -

..........
Aftermarket roofs from this time use some kind of felt tape to cut down on wind noise and slow water ingress into the pan, and while still available, there is way better out there today. (In spite of how it looked on my car though, it never leaked?!?! Wind noise was an issue with the shade open though) I decided on a rubber seal, and after getting a whole bunch of samples, the stuff I had initially ended up trying was pretty thin, but rigid strip of rubber. After gluing it on with 3M yellow weatherstrip adhesive (which does NOT work as good as the adhesive remover), I put the pan back in the car to see how it would work.

No photos of the failure here, but no good. The material was too rigid and too grippy, and would cause the roof to bind midway thru its travel. Then it tore off in the corners. Ugh! Pan back out, strip off the remaining seal and glue and go back to the drawing board. I ended up buying this


https://www.austinhardware.com/rubber-seal-single-500-rolls.htm

Which is a hollow piece of rubber that lets the panel travel without binding, and still squishes into a really tight seal. Looks like its out of stock now, but something with close to those measurements in a D-shape is a possibility for someone looking to reseal their ASC aftermarket sunroof. It was another 3M product, that was just a peel and stick affair-way easier than the yellow goopy adhesive route. Seems like a really strong bond, and seals fantastically against wind and water. 0 wind noise now, and no leaks in a downpour when parked, or cruising at highway speeds. Roof moves without binding now





I also decided to put the new seal onto the glass panel itself as it seems like that’s the easier life for it-if I put it around the opening, the pop rivets from the panel would abrade it. Super happy with this.





Not blowing smoke up your skirt, but quite the detailed pic-rich write-up you've shared there. I've got a different year and model as yours, but every bit the same trauma finding a worthy replacement seal. As yours, mine is felt (impressively worn) and with such wind noise when the shade is open that it stays shut plus I've lined the top side with Fatt-Mat just to keep the din down. Mine is factory, and research points to Webasto for my era v. your ASC aftermarket. Curious the felt is already attached to the glass on mine side v. yours originally on the trim escutcheon side. And it's a J profile hooking under a lip around the glass frame. And several corners with the yellow adhesive attempting repairs. So enough background. I called Austin Hdwe., and as your link gives a 'Not Found' error, (the nice agent) Susan and I could not I.D. your profile from the catalog. I'll keep hunting, but if you have the specific part # or profile dims. it'd sure help as you mentioned to match with another manuf.

Note: NOT the OP's roof. This is a factory '96 FWB (thought to be Webasto):

Worn felt:
1596208473247.jpeg

Slim gap:
1596208577656.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #306
-Quote smokuspollutus -

..........
Aftermarket roofs from this time use some kind of felt tape to cut down on wind noise and slow water ingress into the pan, and while still available, there is way better out there today. (In spite of how it looked on my car though, it never leaked?!?! Wind noise was an issue with the shade open though) I decided on a rubber seal, and after getting a whole bunch of samples, the stuff I had initially ended up trying was pretty thin, but rigid strip of rubber. After gluing it on with 3M yellow weatherstrip adhesive (which does NOT work as good as the adhesive remover), I put the pan back in the car to see how it would work.

No photos of the failure here, but no good. The material was too rigid and too grippy, and would cause the roof to bind midway thru its travel. Then it tore off in the corners. Ugh! Pan back out, strip off the remaining seal and glue and go back to the drawing board. I ended up buying this


https://www.austinhardware.com/rubber-seal-single-500-rolls.htm

Which is a hollow piece of rubber that lets the panel travel without binding, and still squishes into a really tight seal. Looks like its out of stock now, but something with close to those measurements in a D-shape is a possibility for someone looking to reseal their ASC aftermarket sunroof. It was another 3M product, that was just a peel and stick affair-way easier than the yellow goopy adhesive route. Seems like a really strong bond, and seals fantastically against wind and water. 0 wind noise now, and no leaks in a downpour when parked, or cruising at highway speeds. Roof moves without binding now





I also decided to put the new seal onto the glass panel itself as it seems like that’s the easier life for it-if I put it around the opening, the pop rivets from the panel would abrade it. Super happy with this.





Not blowing smoke up your skirt, but quite the detailed pic-rich write-up you've shared there. I've got a different year and model as yours, but every bit the same trauma finding a worthy replacement seal. As yours, mine is felt (impressively worn) and with such wind noise when the shade is open that it stays shut plus I've lined the top side with Fatt-Mat just to keep the din down. Mine is factory, and research points to Webasto for my era v. your ASC aftermarket. Curious the felt is already attached to the glass on mine side v. yours originally on the trim escutcheon side. And it's a J profile hooking under a lip around the glass frame. And several corners with the yellow adhesive attempting repairs. So enough background. I called Austin Hdwe., and as your link gives a 'Not Found' error, (the nice agent) Susan and I could not I.D. your profile from the catalog. I'll keep hunting, but if you have the specific part # or profile dims. it'd sure help as you mentioned to match with another manuf.

Note: NOT the OP's roof. This is a factory '96 FWB (thought to be Webasto):

Worn felt:
View attachment 585384

Slim gap:
View attachment 585385
Hmm, weird. That link worked when I posted an hour ago. I just looked at the invoice, here is what they called it

Rubber D-Shaped Seal, EPDM Rubber, .375 in. W x .250 in. H, 3M Bonded Tape System 500 feet per box.
SKU: TL X1153-BT​

Your gap looks to be a lot smaller than mine STS. Mine does taper slightly toward the back corners, but not as extreme as yours. So mine might not be the exact product for you, but there are infinite variations of this stuff out there so I'm sure you'll find something that will work. Just make sure it has the 3M backing, I had ordered other stuff that didn't have it and it wasn't near as strong.
 

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Wow. Found it! Thanks. And I'll check to see if the two smaller profiles are more suited to my gap. -BT for bonded tape too, thanks.

585391
 
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Something German S550, 69 Eldorado, 68 Impala, If I tell you the rest, well
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The third brake light helps. If we had the sun for brake lights there will alwayd be some idiot out there that didn't see it. Love the progress
 

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Discussion Starter #309 (Edited)
Another thing that ended up needing to be addressed was the air conditioning. About two years ago I converted the car back to R12 from 134 after really lackluster performance. I did everything to make it successful, new condenser, measured out the mineral oil, replaced the compressor & accumulator, long period on vacuum, and a thorough flush of the condenser and hoses with very expensive solvent.

Where I failed was the in the compressor I used, I had bought a new original Harrison 200 R12 compresor-what this car would have come with. The advantage of the original R12 compressors is that the ports on the back are on the same plane, with the R4s set up for 134a (basically all new replacements nowadays) the ports are not at the same height and to mate the original manifold to them you need to stack the right combination of washers.

What I didn't do to this 30+ year old compressor was in retrospect, very stupid. You would figure that I wouldn't have taken the chance and comprehensively resealed the whole unit, but no. I put it on as it came out of the box out of fear of never being able to seal it back up again. Installed it and after a while I started notice it slinging oil out of the shaft seal that got progressively worse. Then the case seals went. By the time this season came around and I had the car back together, the air wasn't that cold and the compressor was short cycling-low refrigerant. So, I ended up having to basically do everything over again.

There are a couple of videos out there on how to take an R4 compressor apart, my experience is that for a novice it's not as simple as they make it out to be, but they are extremely helpful. Two things, first I ended up needing the purpose built tool to separate the shell from the compressor body. Second, if your R4 is one of the older ones with the big nose bolt-together clutch hub, removing the clutch/pulley assembly is way way way harder than on the flat ones that came out in the late 80s. You will need a giant pulley puller with very flat jaws to get it off.

The clutch hub is one of those things that looks like it goes together once but you will probably never be able to get back together again. There are confusing instructions in the factory manual but from the way they write it seems like they don't want you to take it apart. I was ignorant to all of this and used a puller with really big jaws to pull it off-the magnet coil came off with the pulley to my surprise as it's captured by the assembly on the older setup. This was incredibly difficult to get off.

I bought a reseal kit on ebay, and once I had the pulley&magnet off, it was super easy to change almost every seal on the compressor. So easy in fact it kind of makes you wonder how strong the compressor itself really is as the whole thing is nothing but press-fitted parts with giant O-rings, but I digress (the engine is too I guess :oops:).

Holy shaft seal leak! Check out the puddle of oil laying in the pulley


I found the dealer tool was necessary, Kent Moore J-25008. 80 bucks I'll never get back...Others have managed to do it without but for the life of me I couldn't


Here is the case coming free from the compressor body



And here's a shot of the compressor itself-note the two huge O-rings that seal the case & shell together. As freon is exhausted from the pistons it gets shot out into this space which is connected directly to the discharge port. Crazy stuff.


See the old and new shaft seals. Original was a single seal, the new ones are double lipped. It was easy to remove with the nose cone taken off the compressor.


But getting a new one on was impossible. My reseal kit came with a shaft seal installer and a new double lip shaft seal, and from the videos I watched, it looked like a non-event. Put installer over shaft, oil up the seal and installer, and send it home. Nope. Ripped the seal. Ordered a few more new seals. Ripped those. Finally I asked the seller for help, and much to my embarrassment the nice customer service lady pointed out that I needed to take the keyway off the shaft. D'oh! To be fair it was really stuck on there and seemed like it didn't come out. Got it off and a new double lip shaft seal slid right on like it was supposed to!



I used the tool to put the compressor body back in the shell & torqued everything back up. Because I didn't take the clutch hub apart to free the magnet, I had to come up with a new way to get the pulley assembly back on. Using a regular R4 pulley installer, I started to walk the pulley back on. When the pulley bottomed, the magnet was still proud of where it lived. So I VERY CAREFULLY used a tiny punch and hammer to get in between the gaps in the pulley and sent the magnet home. Its a really chintzy thing and I just barely rapped on it in a neat star pattern so as not to make it crooked and crack it. It actually worked.
 

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Discussion Starter #310
With the system apart, I decided to tackle one more thing. I wanted to max out the performance of the system considering that this will (hopefully!) be my last time with it open. The R12 was miles better than the 134a, but when stopped, it just wasn't as cold as I wanted it, and I knew better was out there. So the gears started turning...



Last summer I rebuilt the AC on a buddy's '85 and he wanted to go with 134a despite my protests. So I decided to try something to eek out a little more performance from it at idle, which is where it's deficiencies are most apparent. I used a Ford blue orifice tube which is slightly smaller in diameter than the white tube GM used. R134a takes longer to shed the heat it picks than does R12, and in a retrofitted vehicle for which a more efficient condenser is not available, you want to hold the freon in the condenser a little longer to give it the time to dump the heat. It also gives it more time to pick heat up in the evaporator. The smaller orifice slows down the refrigerant which creates this effect. You do take a theoretical overall performance hit in the amount of heat the system can remove from the car, but in reality you'll never notice as auto AC basically never runs at close to its full output. Anyway, net result was really impressive-still not as cold as the R12 in my car, but not too far off either.



I was going to recharge mine with R12 regardless, but I decided to add the blue orifice tube for shits n giggles. That was no issue with the system discharged already.



As I said though, the orifice tube swap is more of a cheat than it is an improvement (a worthwhile cheat nonetheless, especially if you have 134 in your car) but there was something else that could be done to actually improve low speed performance-improving airflow over the condenser. GM really thought out airflow on this chassis so there wasn't any low hanging fruit to pick, at least not without risking impeding flow to the radiator. So I decided to add a condenser pusher fan to run in conjunction with the engine driven clutch fan, like an old Mercedes has.



Donor fan was a pusher unit ironically from another Eldorado (to keep it in the same family), 1992 with 4.9 V8. It had 3 mounts, two of which mated perfectly with existing holes in the header, and the third I made a mount bracket that I neglected to take pictures of. I ended up not having to make any new holes in the front to get it securely mounted. I used excess weatherstripping I had from the failed attempts at making a new sunroof seal to close the last 1/2" of gap between the fan and condenser. I forgot to take pictures with the grille off and I was pissed when I put it all back together-whenever the grille comes off again I'll edit this post with a picture of the setup. Here are a couple of pictures of it installed with the grille in place.







With the fan mounted up, the hard part came into play-how to wire it sufficiently to deal with the high current draw, and how to make it do what I want to-all the while keeping it as stock looking as possible. This is what I came up with





Using this setup, the fan gets a constant 12V at all times. The ground is switched by a heavy duty Bosch relay which is used on older small engined European cars as a starter relay) under the dash. The relay gets a +12 v signal from the AC power module whenever the AC compressor is commanded to engage. It gets a constant ground signal from the 4th gear pressure switch in the transmission whenever the car is not in 4th gear. That means that the fan will run only when the AC compressor is supposed to be running, and then only at speeds less than 30mph-there is no need to have it run at speeds greater than that as natural airflow is way more than what any fan can provide.



After running all the wires (there were existing wiring chases for everything I needed to get to, about the only thing that looks out of place is this



And, if you pop open the battery jump start box




Here it is operating in my garage

https://flic.kr/p/2juFztA


After everything was all back together, vacuumed down, and charged up, it worked great! No more oil slinging. 40 +- a few degrees out of the vents in any condition (It was low 90s out and humid enough to swim in while I was charging). The fan dropped high side pressure by 20psi at idle- I unplugged it several times to watch the resultant change in pressures and feel out of the vents, and I was super impressed. But I actually overshot the mark. It was too cold, and it cycled too frequently while underway. I ended up overcharging the system intentionally to an even 4lbs (it calls for 3.5) to get the pressures up a bit and reduce the cycling. I've driven the car in cooler weather since then and the cycling is not excessive anymore. While messing with what the factory came up with is not my usual course of action, the performance of this system now is 100% worth the modification.



One area where I did end up having a problem though was with the relay. You'll notice two diodes that come off the signal wires-I initially didn't install these and began intermittently setting a code 28-shorted 4th gear switch if I would make a quick kickdown out of and then back into 4th on the highway. I had never had this issue before my modification so I figured that the relay I installed must have been backfeeding as it engaged and disengaged quickly into that switch and subsequently confusing the ECM. I modified the connector for the relay to add diodes on each signal feed to make sure it wouldn't spike the circuit when switching. Since I added them, the issue seems to be gone. Also, can anyone tell me if I did this "right"? Someone had told me I could bridge the positive and negative with a diode for the same effect but I was skeptical.


Oh, and PS. Be extremely careful with your power module if you are messing with something it runs. While finding out if the behavior the above pictured blue wire was going to be suitable for my task, I accidentally shorted it (it is the same blue wire that goes to the compressor FYI) and blew out my few year old NOS power module 🤡. Found another one, but you know not cheap.
 
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