AC help

AC help

Postby Freddy :) [OP] » May 8th 2020, 10:38pm

Hi all,

I have a 1992 GMC Safari with 85k original miles! love the thing but summers in California can be brutal. I was hoping someone had resources on what diagnostics I can do to find a potential issue. It blows but does not get cold. I see that R12 isn't easily attainable.

I don't really know where to start...

thanks,

Freddy
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Re: AC help

Postby Leeann_93 » May 8th 2020, 11:11pm

Conversion kits to put R134a into R12 systems are plentiful.

Having said that, there's a lot you need to do first. First, with the van running and AC turned on full blast, does the compressor clutch kick in? You'd hear a click and see the clutch spin really, really fast (much faster than the pulley itself).

If not, you need to find out why. Has the pressure switch gone bad, are you low or out of refrigerant....? Easy way to tell is to get a cheap refrigerant gauge at your LAPS, screw it on and see if there's any pressure. If no pressure, you have a leak somewhere - or everywhere. Inspect the system. If you see oily dirty spots at any connection point, the o-ring has gone bad. If the middle of the compressor has that, the belly seal on the compressor is bad. If, when you remove the cap to screw on the gauge, you hear a hiss or see dirty oil in the fitting, you have a bad or loose schrader valve (like a tire valve stem, but with different o-rings).

Fastest way to get it diagnosed is to take it to a place that does auto AC - if they offer free quotes, of course - and see what they tell you. They'll pressurize the system or inject dye so they can see where the leaks might be.

On my '93 Bravada, the compressor quit right before we were going to make a 3-hr drive in 94° heat. My husband pulled the electrical connector from the pressure cycling switch (mounted on the accumulator) and used a paperclip to jump the switch - and the compressor kicked on. We left it like that until I could get a replacement switch and install it. If that works, don't leave it long because the compressor won't cycle to keep from freezing up.
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Re: AC help

Postby Mmusicman » May 9th 2020, 2:31am

Freddy :) wrote:I have a 1992 GMC Safari..

I also have a 92 Astro.
As mentioned... you simply need to convert to R134
I did, my A/C blows ICE COLD!

Here is what my high-side port adapter looks likes.. very screw on simple!
R134-High-Side-Port-Adapter.jpg
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Re: AC help

Postby sixsixsixsix is online! » May 9th 2020, 2:40am

Mmusicman wrote:
Freddy :) wrote:I have a 1992 GMC Safari..

I also have a 92 Astro.
As mentioned... you simply need to convert to R134
I did, my A/C blows ICE COLD!

Here is what my high-side port adapter looks likes.. very screw on simple!
R134-High-Side-Port-Adapter.jpg


Surely it is not as simple as putting on an "Adapter" and pumping it full of R134.
Or is it ? Suppose it's free too, huh ?

kidding.
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Re: AC help

Postby AstroWill » May 9th 2020, 5:09am

Freddy :) wrote:Hi all,

I have a 1992 GMC Safari with 85k original miles! love the thing but summers in California can be brutal. I was hoping someone had resources on what diagnostics I can do to find a potential issue. It blows but does not get cold. I see that R12 isn't easily attainable.

I don't really know where to start...


Most likely it has a leak and the refrigerant is low. R12 is still available at Autozone and such south of the border if you are close. Just don't bring the cans back home with you.

Switching over to 134a is quite easy as well. But the important thing is to diagnose first, properly fix the leak or leaks, and then make sure it gets charged properly.

Also, you can borrow quite a few tools from some LAPS, quite handy for AC work.

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Re: AC help

Postby Rod's Trucks » May 9th 2020, 5:35am

One thing I did not see mentioned: is the need for access to a A/C style vacuum pump, to get the air and moisture out. ( I do not know if FLAPS will loan these...never tried or inquired)
It is always suggested that the drier cartridge be replaced. That part is designed to trap any residual moisture. A good pump down with a good vacuum pump, (Leave it ON for a good while after reaching the maximum vacuum on the gauge), will do a pretty good job for you.
Moisture remaining in the system can ( often does) freeze in the orifice and block the system,until the parts warm up enough to melt it. Then it will work for a while, until it happens again..if built up pressure does not cause the next weakest seal to fail.
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Re: AC help

Postby AstroWill » May 9th 2020, 5:47am

Rod's Trucks wrote:One thing I did not see mentioned: is the need for access to a A/C style vacuum pump, to get the air and moisture out. ( I do not know if FLAPS will loan these...never tried or inquired)

Yes, a couple of my LAPS do. More offer it now then in the past, it's definitely getting better.

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Re: AC help

Postby Mmusicman » May 9th 2020, 1:42pm

sixsix wrote:Surely it is not as simple as putting on an "Adapter" and pumping it full of R134.
Or is it ?

If I recall... that was the ONLY physical part I needed.
Well there is a low-side adapter too (screwed on to dryer port).

I don't remember the entire process.. but if I recall it does require full evacuation of the R12, as well as flushing the old oil from the system. I think the oil for the R134 may be different, but still needs to be compatible with remnants of R12? I just don't recall off-hand, but there is no doubt a wealth of information out there on the internet.

Anyway.. it's not too difficult, but you will need all the right tools, gauges (are different), vacuum pump, the high-side low-side adapters, flush system, the new coolant, new oil.. and while it's apart change orifice tube and dryer as well.

With the price of R12.. the R134 conversion should almost pay for itself over time.
You can even legally buy R134 (even in 30lb bulk) and install it yourself.

AstroWill wrote:Switching over to 134a is quite easy as well.
But the important thing is to diagnose first, properly fix the leak or leaks...

If you have a leak however, things could get quite expensive, especially if you have to buy R12.
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Re: AC help

Postby Freddy :) [OP] » May 10th 2020, 9:29am

[quote="Leeann_93"]Conversion kits to put R134a into R12 systems are plentiful.

Having said that, there's a lot you need to do first. First, with the van running and AC turned on full blast, does the compressor clutch kick in? You'd hear a click and see the clutch spin really, really fast (much faster than the pulley itself).

well the clutch doesn't spin... big surprise. I'll get a pressure gauge and see what it reads.

thanks for the help everyone!

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Re: AC help

Postby AstroWill » May 11th 2020, 7:34pm

Freddy :) wrote:well the clutch doesn't spin... big surprise. I'll get a pressure gauge and see what it reads.

That is the best first step, tells you a lot about what is going on.

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Re: AC help

Postby Freddy :) [OP] » May 18th 2020, 6:33am

]Well something really interesting happened. I turn the A/C on and it was cold! i got out and checked the clutch and it was spinning. also is this a problem? if so what do i do...

thanks!

Freddy!
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