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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so after a few years owning a FSB I have finally decided that my life would be considerably improved if I had some air conditioning. It has NEVER worked in my truck, neither has the cruise control, but still don't care about that. I've read many A/C conversion threads on FSB, and looked at Steve83's album on the subject. I have purchased all the parts I think I need. New drier/accumulator, compressor, hoses, condenser, PAG 46 oil, a can of R-134a to charge the system, adapter pieces to allow the r134a to enter the system, red orifice tube.

The only thing that seems tricky to be is putting a vacuum on it to get the pressure low and check for leaks. My brother in law is an HVAC guy and has the vacuum pump for me to borrow. I'm hoping he'll come down in person to assist me this saturday.

I may end up keeping the compressor and/or condesnsor. Not sure yet, but wanted to have all possible parts on hand. Free returns via Amazon. I'm actively soliciting any advice on the topic that may be more current.
 
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1986 Bronco Eddie Bauer 5.0 bone stock
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Mine was converted just using the adapters lol. I personally recently flushed it put a new orfice tube and new dryer in it, but everything else is what came in it aside from the compressor that was replaced around 20 years ago. I've heard aftermarket condensers and evaporators are crap (no personal experience) so if you can keep using it, use it.
Vacuuming down the system is simple, you do need gauges to do it, and as long as you can shut off the vacuum with the gauges and then introduce refrigerant without letting air slip in there you'll be fine.
Also a LOT of the compressors these days come pre-oiled so you may want to make sure thats not the case or if so, how much oil is in it and only add whats needed. Too much oil can effect performance of your AC.
Anyway,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mine was converted just using the adapters lol. I personally recently flushed it put a new orfice tube and new dryer in it, but everything else is what came in it aside from the compressor that was replaced around 20 years ago. I've heard aftermarket condensers and evaporators are crap (no personal experience) so if you can keep using it, use it.
Vacuuming down the system is simple, you do need gauges to do it, and as long as you can shut off the vacuum with the gauges and then introduce refrigerant without letting air slip in there you'll be fine.
Also a LOT of the compressors these days come pre-oiled so you may want to make sure thats not the case or if so, how much oil is in it and only add whats needed. Too much oil can effect performance of your AC.
Anyway,
Thanks for all that. I've debated just trying to charge the system with r-134a via the adapters and see what happens. I'd rather not replace anything else (the drier seemed logical though), if I can avoid swapping the compressor and/or condenser that would be preferred.
 

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You need the condenser and a new compressor. Why because it's impossible to flush a condenser and it should be resigned for r134a flow? (not sure on the last part). Need a gauge manifold set to pull vacuum. Need to monitor it for 1 hour after vaccum to make sure it holds stong vacuum. If not you have to fix the leak in the system. Probably need a can tap to refill with walmart $4 r134a cans.

The system is going to be too old to try and flush the compressor and change the drier and pull vaccum and recharge with just r134a fittings. It's going to leak like a seive. Then you will have to replace all the hoses and orings. At that point might as well swap on the new compressor and condenser.
 

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You need the condenser and a new compressor. Why because it's impossible to flush a condenser and it should be resigned for r134a flow? (not sure on the last part). Need a gauge manifold set to pull vacuum. Need to monitor it for 1 hour after vaccum to make sure it holds stong vacuum. If not you have to fix the leak in the system. Probably need a can tap to refill with walmart $4 r134a cans.

The system is going to be too old to try and flush the compressor and change the drier and pull vaccum and recharge with just r134a fittings. It's going to leak like a seive. Then you will have to replace all the hoses and orings. At that point might as well swap on the new compressor and condenser.
Im not going to contend any of that, im sure that's the proper method, but you can flush a condenser if you remove it and turn it upside down. The compressor you definitely don't flush. However, i can't tell you how many tractors we converted from 12 to 134 by just using the adapters. That's why i did it this way on the bronco, figured worse i would be out is a 25 dollar dryer and 20 dollars of 134, but so far it has held up...but it all may implode tomorrow.
 

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Im not going to contend any of that, im sure that's the proper method, but you can flush a condenser if you remove it and turn it upside down. The compressor you definitely don't flush. However, i can't tell you how many tractors we converted from 12 to 134 by just using the adapters. That's why i did it this way on the bronco, figured worse i would be out is a 25 dollar dryer and 20 dollars of 134, but so far it has held up...but it all may implode tomorrow.
That could work with new o-rings through the system. Worse case you have to replace everything anyway. The downside is your air will not be as cool as a proper system. When it's 100+ degrees out you will have to determine if that is what you want. I think you would have to put new orings. The broncos/OBS I have worked on never held any kind of vacuum without o-rings being touched.
 

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That could work with new o-rings through the system. Worse case you have to replace everything anyway. The downside is your air will not be as cool as a proper system. When it's 100+ degrees out you will have to determine if that is what you want. I think you would have to put new orings. The broncos/OBS I have worked on never held any kind of vacuum without o-rings being touched.
Oh i replaced all the O-rings, when i had all the pieces apart i have a big box full of AC o-rings (i needed 2 one day and it was cheaper to buy a big assortment), i oiled them down real good with some POE and flushed everything separately...but i didn't replace everything just the dryer and the o-rings. I put a vacuum on it for 2 hours then let it sit for 1 hour with no leakdown. When i checked it the other day, sitting in my shop with a shop fan in front of it idling, it was blowing about 55 degrees...which i think will get down closer to 50 when i get going down the road. It was a judgment call i made to do it like this, i may regret it but i just had to spend a lot of money on my house so, i had to get cheap somewhere.
 

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Also...this only works if you have dried air...you can blow out the system after you flush it, but again, that has to be on a system with dried air so, evaporators and condensors you can get all the flush out with this method. Another one someone shared with me one time, and you can do with this info what you wish, r134a is not an o-zone destroyer but for whatever reason it's still illegal to vent, anyway, they said if you don't have dried air, use a can of 134 to blow it out...but im not going to recommend that without a way to collect it, and i dont think tying a balloon onto the other end counts.
 

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1986 Eddie Bauer 5.0EFI AOD Full length headers Y pipe into single 3" Magnaflow 3" factory exit
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I would say stick the adaptors on, then jam a can of R134 with the green dye in & jump the compressor if needed & it's not locked up. Then if you have leaks, you'll find them easily & only be out the 1 can with green dye. Then you can evaluate where the leaks are, fix anything needed, and replace the o rings everywhere, which are about $2.00 for a big bag of various sizes.
 

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Honestly, having just done my 1995 last year and I live in the Houston Texas area…..I replaced everything and I am very happy with results, 37-42 degrees at the vents and yes its a 134a to 134a replacement. If I understood you correctly you also bought everything, then I’d use all what you got. When trying to piecemeal and older ac system especially one that was designed for use with a different coolant….then your asking for issues and subpar performance. Especially the condensor, use the one designed for 134 is crucial. Hoses become permeated with oil and eventually seep and hold dirt etc. The money you spend doing it right the first time is well worth it. I bought a new condenser from rock auto and it was of great quality (you have a choice of manufacturer). The other parts I sourced from different places. Make sure you have vacuum and it holds, I’m a little ocd and tested mine overnight before I charged it. The amount and location of PAG oil is also crucial, too much….insufficient cooling, too little…you destroy your compressor. Read, ask, and take your time if done right the 134 is just as good as the r12 stuff. I did all the work myself, so can you.
 

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Mine was converted just using the adapters lol. I personally recently flushed it put a new orfice tube and new dryer in it, but everything else is what came in it aside from the compressor that was replaced around 20 years ago. I've heard aftermarket condensers and evaporators are crap (no personal experience) so if you can keep using it, use it.
Vacuuming down the system is simple, you do need gauges to do it, and as long as you can shut off the vacuum with the gauges and then introduce refrigerant without letting air slip in there you'll be fine.
Also a LOT of the compressors these days come pre-oiled so you may want to make sure thats not the case or if so, how much oil is in it and only add whats needed. Too much oil can effect performance of your AC.
Anyway,

it will leak back off if you dont switch to green orings ask my how i know. you can get a that r12 conversion freon that doesnt need them swapped but its a little more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great info guys. I’ll plan to use all the new parts I bought then. I have the big bag of green o rings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So now I'm trouble shooting. Replaced the system (except for the cooler in front of the radiator) Pulled vacuum for an hour. Put a whole can of 134a in while running the system. Some improvement but not much. put in a different can of refrigerant that contained 2oz of PAG 46 oil and some stop leak. The compressor came with 5.6oz of pag oil in it. Everyone says 7oz is needed so I figured I was pretty close. Big improvement, but doesn't seem great yet. I also have a bottle of pag 46, but have no idea how to add it, or where.

Drove the truck around today. You can feel the compressor kick on and off and the AC works, although its still on the weak end. I got another can of 134a today and went to put it in. Some times the truck will stall out now while idling with the AC on. It did this once while I was trying to add refrigerant as well. The additional drag from the compressor I guess changing things? Have a frozen something? More oil? Less oil?

Just an odd side effect of having a functional AC system? Luckily its starting to cool off in Virginia so I shouldn't need it until next year, but I'd like to have it work properly, or close enough.
 

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It takes around 3 cans of refrigerant it was 3.5 for mine


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You have plenty of oil, just need more refrigerant, and are you sure you put your orfice tube in correct? White end down?


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It takes around 3 cans of refrigerant it was 3.5 for mine


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Thanks man. But while feeding in a can this morning it died on me. Started back up, but still…

Today I went for a drive and 5 min in I got a CEL and oil pressure gauge dropped to zero. I pulled over and checked it out. Everything is good, so I assume it’s a gauge issue. I’ll check the sensor tomorrow.

Any idea how this oil issue could relate to the ac retrofit? Never had this happen before and I hate to think coincidence.
 

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Maybe you pulled your oil sending unit wire loose or damaged the sender? They are in the same area there under the compressor.

AC is only a coincidence unless maybe an electrical issue messing with the ignition too…


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You have plenty of oil, just need more refrigerant, and are you sure you put your orfice tube in correct? White end down?


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I am not sure I did this right. Could be the tube is in backwards. I didn’t read anything about that but it fit snugly. Shoot. What to do if that’s it?

mill check the oil sensor. I probably knocked it loose with the compressor install
 

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I’d first try putting the proper amount of 134 in there and see how it does. Then if it don’t cool right that may be a problem.


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