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My (one owner) 128,000 mile 93 Bronco R-12 air conditioning system has always worked perfectly, never even needed a "top off", completely original and unmolested...until a few days ago. The compressor became noisy and barfed most of the R-12 through the case seal :barf. Considering the age of the A/C sytem and my plan to keep it forever, I'm planning a thorough rebuild.

Plan: new compressor, all new lines, R-134a seals, new condensor, suction line filter, and receiver/dryer, flush evaporator, draw 1-hour vacuum and charge with oil and R-134a.

Questions: Since I'll be switching to R-134a, should I buy the later model orifice tube (Motorcraft YG 346) or stick with the YG 345 that my R-12 system came with? Also, I'm familiar with "black death" stories but have never seen it first hand--will it be obvious when I dig in there? I guess if it's "black death", I should also replace (instead of flush) the evaporator? Right now, the evaporator is the only part I plan to re-use.

Thoughts?

Steve
 

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I'm not a bona fide A/C guy but everything I've read says that it's best to replace the orifices with the newer units as it helps to run the R134. I don't remember if they are bigger or smaller than the ones used for R12 but people have reported poor cooling when they didn't replace the orifices when retrofitting the old systems for the new. Our A/C units don't really work as well as the newer systems anyway, may as well do all you can to help it out.

I've seen some websites that showed the compressors and condensers after the "Black Death". When the time comes for me to have to retrofit my system, I'll pay to get it flushed.
 

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My (one owner) 128,000 mile 93 Bronco R-12 air conditioning system has always worked perfectly, never even needed a "top off", completely original and unmolested...until a few days ago. The compressor became noisy and barfed most of the R-12 through the case seal :barf. Considering the age of the A/C sytem and my plan to keep it forever, I'm planning a thorough rebuild.

Plan: new compressor, all new lines, R-134a seals, new condensor, suction line filter, and receiver/dryer, flush evaporator, draw 1-hour vacuum and charge with oil and R-134a.

Questions: Since I'll be switching to R-134a, should I buy the later model orifice tube (Motorcraft YG 346) or stick with the YG 345 that my R-12 system came with? Also, I'm familiar with "black death" stories but have never seen it first hand--will it be obvious when I dig in there? I guess if it's "black death", I should also replace (instead of flush) the evaporator? Right now, the evaporator is the only part I plan to re-use.

Thoughts?

Steve
i know theres alot of us with ac issues, if you could keep posting on your progress or do a quick write up it would help many.
 

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Definitely use the orifice tube for the 134.Black death is caused by the receiver dryer puking the desiccant through the system.You can tell black death by looking at the lines going in and out of the receiver dryer.If the lines have a light black coating the receiver dryer is shot.If the inside of the lines are clean and shiny no black death.With everything you are replacing I don't see any problems just flushing the evaporator and reusing it.With the new setup there are a few things to remember before firing it off for the first time.If you need or want any more info let me know.
 

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Definitely use the orifice tube for the 134.Black death is caused by the receiver dryer puking the desiccant through the system.You can tell black death by looking at the lines going in and out of the receiver dryer.If the lines have a light black coating the receiver dryer is shot.If the inside of the lines are clean and shiny no black death.With everything you are replacing I don't see any problems just flushing the evaporator and reusing it.With the new setup there are a few things to remember before firing it off for the first time.If you need or want any more info let me know.
Black death is the result of a compressor coming apart internally.

I've owned MANY MANY Ford trucks throughout the years. I've had two F-series that were R12 and i retrofitted to R134a. I do all the a/c work at my shop. You do not need to replace the condenser with a new one or the evaporator. Many parts stores will let you rent a flush gun or you can even buy pressurized flush in a can. Supercool (which is based out of Lake Worth FLorida) is what i use. Remove compressor and drier. While the compressor is out, the line going to the evapoator under the drier contains the orfice tube. You may need a pair of long thin needle nose pliers to remove it. Otherwise a long drywall screw maybe needed as they tend to get stuck in there. I have a OTC orifice tube remover which is wonderful for those really bastard ones. Flush the condensor, evaporator a couple of times and the manifold hose too. Install new orfice tube (lubricate o-rings with oil before installing tube), add 2 oz ester oil to drier (i prefer with UV dye), 6 oz to compressor (if its not already installed, most aren't, Visteon are). I also like to change all the o-rings and schrader valve cores. Pull a vacuum down to 30in.HG for 30-45 min. recharge with 80-85% R134a. Make sure your fan clutch is in good shape otherwise your head pressure will be sky high and you'll end up chewing the new compressor up..

At my shop i DO NOT USE CRAP.

Chinese compressors (i'm Chinese) are junk. I like Visteon compressors. They're only abuot 140-160 depending on where you go. Advance Auto, Autozone compressors are crap unless you buy the Visteon and they are expensive there.

Do not use REMAN, they have yet to build a decent reman. Any questions just ask me. Hell if someone was local i'd do a how to video for some of you guys.
 

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I forgot to mention that you need compressed air to blow the flush through the components to clean them out.

And black death is quite visible. Its a dark grey coating over most of the a/c components.

Since i live in sunny South FLA, with a black Crew Cab. I chose to put a 10in pusher fan infront of the condensor to help with cooling at idle.

If the system is really bad and you're concerned about how effective your flush was. Install one of these before the orifice. I use it as insurance.
http://supercool.ac/HSFilter.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the inputs. I was going to buy a Denso compressor, but will go with the Visteon based on the advice.

Also, I hadn't thought about the fan clutch. Great advice. Since I'll already be under the hood, I'll add a new one to the parts list.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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Also, I'll keep my original condensor and go the flush route. It looks good, just a few slightly bent fins from bug strikes! Again, thanks.
 

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Black death is the result of a compressor coming apart internally.

I've owned MANY MANY Ford trucks throughout the years. I've had two F-series that were R12 and i retrofitted to R134a. I do all the a/c work at my shop. You do not need to replace the condenser with a new one or the evaporator. Many parts stores will let you rent a flush gun or you can even buy pressurized flush in a can. Supercool (which is based out of Lake Worth FLorida) is what i use. Remove compressor and drier. While the compressor is out, the line going to the evapoator under the drier contains the orfice tube. You may need a pair of long thin needle nose pliers to remove it. Otherwise a long drywall screw maybe needed as they tend to get stuck in there. I have a OTC orifice tube remover which is wonderful for those really bastard ones. Flush the condensor, evaporator a couple of times and the manifold hose too. Install new orfice tube (lubricate o-rings with oil before installing tube), add 2 oz ester oil to drier (i prefer with UV dye), 6 oz to compressor (if its not already installed, most aren't, Visteon are). I also like to change all the o-rings and schrader valve cores. Pull a vacuum down to 30in.HG for 30-45 min. recharge with 80-85% R134a. Make sure your fan clutch is in good shape otherwise your head pressure will be sky high and you'll end up chewing the new compressor up..

At my shop i DO NOT USE CRAP.

Chinese compressors (i'm Chinese) are junk. I like Visteon compressors. They're only abuot 140-160 depending on where you go. Advance Auto, Autozone compressors are crap unless you buy the Visteon and they are expensive there.

Do not use REMAN, they have yet to build a decent reman. Any questions just ask me. Hell if someone was local i'd do a how to video for some of you guys.
makes me want to take a trip down and drop my truck off
 

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LOL
Ft. Bragg? My buddy was there for training. Bought a Jeep down here, prepped it for up north and drove it up for him. He just left for CO.
 

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Also, I'll keep my original condensor and go the flush route. It looks good, just a few slightly bent fins from bug strikes! Again, thanks.
Denso is GREAT! I use them as much as i can with the import and mercedes vehicles i do. Their remans aren't "remans" they have mostly new components and no core charge. They just can't call them new, although they do sell a new line also but i don't believe they have that for the FS10 compressor. They are usually just priced higher than Visteon, which is the supplier for Ford on these compressors. They usually still have the same yellow sticker on top that the factory compressor (if its still there) will have.

A few bent fins won't hurt much. Buy a cheap fin comb and straighten them out. Hose it out and inbetween the rad/condenser. Don't replace the fan clutch unless you know its weak/bad. Test it with the motor hot. I use Bennett Auto for some of my stuff, they had a chinese fan clutch line. Everyone i tried install i had to remove. I can't believe i';m saying this but the Imperial line that advance carries (the heavy duty units) seem to be ok. I've used them on my own trucks, atleast the ones that i haven't swapped in electric fans.

Like i said about the condenser, unless its really really black (you'll be able to tell with the orfice tube how bad the system is) it'll flush clean. Most tech's are too lazy to flush them properly and or too lazy to install a line filter to protect the compressor if they arent sure about how well they flushed the system out.

Had a 2004 Impala come in the shop, previous shop installed 4 compressors under warrenty. Guy gave up with them, came to me and having run into this problem before with the GM's and their "black death" i took every component apart to flush, new compressor, drier, and orfice (damn gm and putting it under the damn brake booster). No comeback.
 

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where's the best place to find parts at?
 

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As far as Crazy Asian is concerned, he really is a shining example of the difference between a "weekend Warrior" mechanic (me) and a true professional (him)
He offered to assist me with a problem I was having with my fuel gauge. I had already pulled the sending unit out several times with no success and I was ready to rip the dash board apart.
Once he got hands on (removed the sending unit), he diagnosed the problem in about (literally) 5 seconds.
I had a pinhole leak in the float. Now, I had messed with this several times and never caught it so, while we were waiting for the repair to dry, he took a look at my AC.
We found the leak (High side valve) and then he started to work on it.
When he pulled the orifice tube out (I thought it looked like a filter), a bit of sand came out with it.
15 bucks on a conversion kit later and I now have cold AC.
He also showed me the "Black Death" that I have heard so much about.
On the 20 mile drive home, my fuel gauge stayed true and my nipples hurt from the cold AC.

Just sayin....
 

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where's the best place to find parts at?

Tons of info and parts here: Arizona Mobile Air

Some of their pricing can be a little high. Once I found what I need, I shop around at local and online suppliers such as Advance Auto, NAPA Online, O-Reilly, etc. Shipping adds up so shop wisely.
 

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Can anyone post up a diagram of the system from the shop manual? Mine is still in storage and I’m having issues finding the hose I need to replace
 

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Liquid line


Discharge and Suction line
 

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I'm so glad this topic was brought up. I just picked up all the parts from the JY yesterday to put the A/C system BACK on my bronco. I have a 90/351. It had factory AC but I removed most of it to convert to OBA. Now that its becoming more of a DD in this AZ heat i need A/C back on it for the little lady and the kids. I plan to convert to R134a so I will make my best attempt at documenting the process. i figure it should be easy as most of my parts are OFF of the bronco now and waiting to be put it.

I love all of the response here and will definitely be picking itsacrazyasian's brain a bit as I convert (hope thats ok)! If all goes well I should have this done in the next 2 weeks or so.

First question here if you don't mind me poking in on your thread a bit although I think it pertains:

1. Where can I get the flush material and is there any advice on the flush procedure?
2. What do I need to replace for sure when converting to the R134a? (dryer, etc)


Thanks
 

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