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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2006
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A/C Replacement


I have a 92 t-bird that needs a new a/c compressor and condenser. The cheapest quote I've received to replace these items and convert to R-32 is $2000. R-12 is banned where I live but the local truck stop carries it under the counter. I'm looking for advice on how to proceed with the replacement of these parts and the refridgerant.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-24-2006, 08:13 PM
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I'm not sure of O'Canada, but here in the States the old gas is like the dinosour, gone for sure. I would convert to the new gas. It doesn't work as well (by design), but it does work. As for the price, I don't know the conversion and such but around here it would run about 1200-1500 for all the new parts and the conversion. You can do the conversion yourself like I did about four years ago. The repairs must be made professionaly if your compressor is gone. It will fill your lines with little shards of metal. If you try to put on a new compressor and not get it all cleaned out, the new compressor will be ruined.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 12:28 PM
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You can still buy R-12, but it is like 300.00 per pound. But yes, once the compressor is shot, so is a lot more in the system. Once the system is open, you should go ahead and replace the drier. It's pretty much the same concept as kitty litter, and if that ruptures, your gonna have the same problem. While your at it, change the expansion valve, since it is fairly cheap. You must have the system cleaned out because of shavings from the compressor. As far as going to the truck stop to get R-12 legally you can't. You have to be certified to even buy it because it depletes the O-Zone, and it has to be captured correctly before components are removed. There really is not difference between R-12 (old) and R-134 (new) except the oils used in the system. R-12 uses a mineral oil and R-134 uses a PAG oil. The two are not compatible. You could also look into having your compressor rebuilt for considerably less. Good Luck
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 03:54 PM
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It your compressor is bad and its a 92 3.8 like the one I did you also need a new dryer which has the long hose attached (bucks) If those Canadian dollars equals about $1000 US I would think that about right for replacing the condensor too.

I will say that I took a stock 92 system and have run it with the original mineral oil and *R134* for quite a while now. The oils are incompatible but R134 works just fine with mineral oil from what I learned. This compressor is now at 200K miles and spins as smooth as I have seen.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-28-2006, 04:49 PM
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It is a fairly easy reaplacement. To be legal you will have to have someone evacuate it for you then its just a simple matter of replacing componets. R-12 can be purchased, though a certificate is required but some places will sell it to you if you let a HVAC charge the system.
I knew a guy and he did it to top of my 5.0, but I was just low.

If you don't know a HVAC guy well do not recharge R12 yourslef. Else R-134A is just fine for a new system but all seals just also be replaced.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

93 SC Tbird
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 05:58 PM
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You've got some work ahead of you, but it's not all that bad. Your quote for $2000.00 is, for this job is bananas. Your car can be fixed quite inexpensively. Here's what to do:

First, take a look at www.ackits.com. Read a little about "Black Death". I'd have a sneeking suspicion that this is what you're dealing with. They'll tell you you need all new parts, and so on, but it's just more to familairize yourself with some of the nasty stuff that can happen with a compressor breakdown.

Next step, ask yourself if you want to keep the car for awhile. This will detetermine if you go for new parts, or the junkyard. Auto AC Kits has some pretty good pricing on parts. They're US based, but the prices are so good it's work the hassle of cross border shipping. I took a look and you can get a new condensor for $102.48 US and a new compressor for $203.48 US and a new accumulator for $59.00 and a new expansion valve for $26.00

If you'd like to keep costs down, go to the junkyard and get a used compressor and a used condensor. You'll have to change the accumulaor and you really should replace the expansion valve. Go ahead and install the replacement parts. All of this stuff is bolt-on and not particularty complicated to R &R. I would also recommend that you replace any seals that you come across as they are 14 years old (cheap to replace). I'd also replace the schrader like valves in the charge ports at the same time (again.... they're about a buck or two a peice).

Next, find a reputable shop who will be willing to flush and evacuate your AC system, and then recharge with RedTek R12a (www.redtek.com) or Duracool (www.Duracool.com). These are both drop-in replacements for R12. Two cans of RedTek should do the job as you require less of these refigerants than R12. I can't remember which one, but one of these sites has a chart that shows this. If you want, you could charge the system yourself after you take it in and have it flushed and evacuated (you can purchase RedTek at Part Source and probobly Canadian Tire), but you may as well have the shop re-charge it after they've done everthing else.

My own little gripe. I don't understand why some repair shops have to just jam people in these cirumstances. No one's going to spend $2000.00 fixing the AC on a 14 year old car. I don't understand why they didn't suggest the used parts route and the R12a route to you in the first place. They could have made a few bucks off you probobly, and you'd be enjoying a nice cool car right now if they hadn't been crazy with the price I'll bet. Anyways....

Shoot a reply back to this post if you want me to go into more detail on any of this.

94 T-Bird LX
3.8 V6 - Bone Stock! (Bye darlin' I'll miss ya!)
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Last edited by sconut1; 10-26-2006 at 06:13 PM.
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