Report on AC Conversion
powellae at home.com
Thu Sep 20 22:32:14 EDT 2001
Well, I've had my 1990 200 converted to R-134A for about a week now, and
here's what I can report.
Short story - I had a shop vacuum the R-12 out of the system and remove the
old compressor, then flush the system. I installed the new compressor, dryer
and orifice valve, then took it back to the shop to have them charge the
system and install the needed oil.
Observations and notes about this procedure:
- You will have to scrounge for O-rings. There are two on the dryer, one at
the orifice valve connection, two on the hoses going to the compressor, four
between the compressor and the manifold which mounts on it, and two on the
"muffler" (a pressure reservoir present on my model but not present on many
other 200's, located on the outside front corner of the AC cooling unit in
front of the radiator). Most of these will NOT come with any kit you get, so
you will be hunting for them at parts stores. Take the old ones and match
them by eye.
- As noted above, the orifice valve (a small conical screen) is hidden in the
system. There is a refrigerant pipe running along the firewall above the
dryer, and there's one connection right above the dryer. That's where the
valve goes. NONE of the manuals or bulletins will show you this location.
My old valve was full of aluminum bits, so I'm very glad I found it and
- The compressor came with dire warnings about keeping the PAG oil in it.
Just try!!!! It mounts upside down under the car, and as soon as I turned
it into install position the oil started running out. I drained the oil into
a measuring cup and made notes on how much was there - because it was
immediately clear that there was no physical way to keep the oil in the
compressor during installation. That's OK - the oil can be added in while
the system is being charged. There's no other way to do it, anyhow!
- Even in the moderate warm temps we have now (80 degrees) it takes longer
for the AC to blow cold air. I'd estimate time to full cold at about 4-5
- Given time, the air coming from the vents seems as cold as the original
R-12. The gents who installed the refrigerant said that they tested the air
output and it met specs for temperature achieved.
I'm glad that I went for R-135A. The system seems to be cold enough, the
cost was MUCH lower than R-12, and even so this job cost more than $800.
Remove compressor, flush system: $200
Compressor, dryer, valve: $363 (Bavarian Parts - NY)
Charge system with refrigerant and 10 oz. oil, including 2 hours labor (I
left one hose loose at the compressor and cost myself $$): $266
Approximate cost $829. I won't count the incidental O-rings or the new fan
belts I put on, which I strongly recommend doing while you're at this. Most
of them have to come off anyway to mess with the compressor.
Fort Collins, CO
powellae at home.com
cougfan1 at gocougs.wsu.edu
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