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Thread: AC conversion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Default AC conversion

    Hi,

    Just making available some useful content from my original post regarding AC.

    Please feel free to comment on this issue in this dedicated post

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman View Post
    Also consider replacing the AC lines, dryer and expansion valve. Try to stick with R12. If you are going to get your radiator checked also get the AC condenser checked. Get a fin comb and straighten the fins to maximize airflow. Also foam around all four sides of the radiator is important to help airflow. Some new parts and having everything checked out and then serviced by a knowledgeable AC technician rendered my AC quite useable. The downside is the large windshield which acts like a greenhouse, but It is not as bad as people think if properly done.

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Badman View Post
    R134a is actually a more efficient refrigerant than R12. People who claim it isn't don't know what they're taking about. Look at the data and it's clear. The reason it has a bad reputation in the classic car world is because people do not do the conversion properly.

    The 328 I had recently was converted by somebody else, and I got pretty tepid performance with R134a. But I just did a 308 conversion myself and got excellent results, even with the old condenser, which surprised me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
    Agree.

    And performance was verified at the FSoB research center.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fireman View Post
    Well you learn something new everyday from the boys at the FSoB research center.
    Quote Originally Posted by Badman View Post
    It was all new to me too before this year when I studied the issue. The advice to stick with R12 is certainly good if you're not going to take the time and effort to properly convert your system. Just dumping R134a into an R12 designed system will cause awful performance. But if you do convert it properly, you should get good results.

    Ribman and I are in the process of converting his system currently as well. He's gone all the way with a new R134a condensor, a new Sanden style compressor, and a replacement evaporator fan, as well as all the rest of the stuff. I'll be very interested to see his results when we're done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jwtlag View Post
    What does 'doing it properly' entail? Is there a thread on doing it right? AC isn't all that necessary very often in Seattle, but on both days that it is necessary it would be nice to have. So far the AC in my '79 GTS has only been a PIA when changing belts. For all the extra effort it takes to not just yank it out it would be nice to get some cool air on a hot day (both hot days)
    Quote Originally Posted by Badman View Post
    Replace all hoses with modern R134a rated barrier hose and crimp fittings. Enjoy the compressor suction & discharge hoses; Passenger gas tank removal and copious swearing necessary.

    Drink beer.

    Replace TEV with new R134a version, get sticky tar insulating tape all over yourself.

    Replace condensor with universal R134a model. Radiator has to come out of the car for this.

    Replace receiver/drier with fresh, properly sized unit. Don't open the new unit to the atmosphere until you're ready to button up your system. It has desiccant in it and will absorb moisture if you let it, at which point it's useless at its job in the closed system.

    Replace old low/high pressure switches with new combined low/high switch calibrated for R134a. This will require replacing the pressure switch manifold with a universal one.

    Optionally remove and dismantle evaporator housing from under passenger dashboard and replace fan unit with modern equivalent for more airflow over the evaporator. We did this on Ribman's car, I didn't on the other 308 I did. I'll see which works better once we put the charge in Ribman's car before deciding if I'll do it on my own car. I'm still working on step 1 above, and anticipating step 2, on mine.

    Either swap oil in your old compressor with PAG oil if still in good shape, or replace with new compressor unit.

    Replace R12 charge ports with R134a quick-disconnect ports.

    Flush everything (except receiver/drier and compressor) with A/C system flush solvent.

    Replace all old black o-rings with new green R134a o-rings, and lubricate them with PAG oil.

    Tighten all fittings (now is the time to open the receiver/drier and connect it into the system)

    Evacuate system for at least an hour. Take this opportunity to drink beer, you're on the home stretch.

    Vacuum check for leaks.

    Charge the system with the proper amount of refrigerant. Your choice of receiver/drier and condensor will effect the charge amount necessary, but if you're close to the OEM capacity, it'll be ~24-26oz of R134a.

    Drink whiskey.
    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    ....while being cool!

    Hey Badman, so take a few pictures and write this up in a little more detail and do an article for my website!! Since I know you and Radioman will end up selling many of the special 308 parts to do this conversion at some point in a kit, we will be able to send some business your way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ribman View Post
    Radioman didn't supply anything for the conversion - I store-bought it from these folks:

    http://www.retroair.com/ferrariairconditioning.html

    They sell everything you need, soup-to-nuts. The primary 'issue' we had was what A/C belt to use with the kit - the instructions didn't specify, so I spoke with the Texas 308 owner I knew from another forum (Ferrari List) who was the engineer for the kit assembly. First, he told me that you use the 'same belt', which David struggled-with several times to get proper tension. After I pressured him, the Engineer finally broke-down and informed me that he wrapped a piece of string around the pulley assembly and found the closest belt-size from the Gates catalog and installed that....figures that a Petroleum Engineer wouldn't bother with such details when authoring the instructions, but there you go.

    BTW, upon measurement, Badman and I were getting air temps from the system in the high 40s F. I reused NOTHING from the OEM Ferrari A/C system - at-best, it was a poorly-designed Italian afterthought for the US market.
    Quote Originally Posted by Badman View Post
    Ribman, he was talking about the 'kits' that David and I have put in a few cars, including mine, that stick with the original York style compressor rather than converting to the Sanden style like in your car.

  2. #2
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    The RetroAir mounting bracket is a very poor design. I will never install one again.
    Ferrari Service of Bedford, LLC
    "The Fluent in Ferrari Guys" celebrating 35 years of service excellence
    **An independent facility with no affiliation with Ferrari SpA**
    Bedford, NH 03110
    www.fluentinferrari.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
    The RetroAir mounting bracket is a very poor design. I will never install one again.
    LOL...if you stopped working with everything that gave you a hard-time, you'd have stopped working on Ferraris long ago....


  4. #4
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    Perhaps, but the design is still poor.
    Ferrari Service of Bedford, LLC
    "The Fluent in Ferrari Guys" celebrating 35 years of service excellence
    **An independent facility with no affiliation with Ferrari SpA**
    Bedford, NH 03110
    www.fluentinferrari.com

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Bethesda
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    GT Car Parts makes/made a lovely aluminum compressor bracket. I got one with a compressor kit, I don't know if they will well it separately.

    Does anyone have a part number for an appropriate 134 expansion valve?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomberlin View Post
    Does anyone have a part number for an appropriate 134 expansion valve?
    For a 308? I've got a few on the shelf if you'd like one, $30+shipping.
    I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  7. #7
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    That would be great- how should proceed?

  8. #8
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    Just pm me with your details, I can ship one to you and invoice you on Monday.
    I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
    ― George Orwell, 1984

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