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A/C – to fix or not to fix

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by spin2win, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. spin2win

    spin2win Registered Member

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    Ok, I have an ’89 V1500 (350 AT) and the A/C on my truck has never blown cold air in the 4 years I have had it, and frankly I didn’t care. It never gets that warm in Seattle anyhow. Now I’m moving from Seattle to Eastern Washington. Whole new ballgame. 95 degrees is hot enough for A/C to become useful to me.

    I have no experience with A/C systems. Is it worth fixing? Any recommendations of what I should expect if I take this to a shop? How much should I expect to pay for R12? How much does the system need?

    Would it be worth it to have a shop trouble shot the system and then do the work myself and take it back to them for a re-charge?

    Should I say “F-it” and just by a big cooler full of beer to throw in the back? I’m willing to blow a couple hundie troubleshooting, and maybe 6 bills to fix.

    I could really use some guidance.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. DumontsK5

    DumontsK5 Registered Member

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    honestly i wouldnt even try to fix it! I live in VA and its hot and humid i disconnected my a/c cause is puts a hella strain on the engine! you get alot more out of the engine with it disconnected!
     
  3. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    I like the beer idea, but even in WA it will get you in trouble. Air Conditioning is right up there next to the invention of the wheel. Hellya get it fixed! Shouldn't cost ya as much as $600 but if it did it would be worth every penny. You'll get better gas milage with the air on than with the windows open on a hot day :cool1: and if it's srtraining your engine then you got something else wrong:angry1: .
     
  4. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    A shop can leak-test and troubleshoot the system for about 60 bucks (at least that's what a buddy paid a shop to have it done earlier this year). If you just need a recharge, or some old, dry seals changed out, and don't need pricier stuff like a compressor or a condenser, you shouldn't have to spend too much to get it working right. See what they say at the shop.

    I like to run around with the windows down most of the time, even when it's really hot, but when it's hot and raining heavily, or when I'm just going down the highway in hot weather and don't want to listen to 75mph wind roar, or when it's just a hot stop-and-go traffic crawl, it's nice to have AC. If you've got a hefty enough engine, you won't really notice the change in available power when the compressor clutch is engaged.
     
  5. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    most systems take 1-1.75 lbs freeon to fill.

    if you have a leak with r-12 and convert with out fixing it. then you will have a BIGGER FASTER leak with r-134a as the gas molicules are 4 times smaller.

    i would have it tested at a shop and see what thay say. then go from there.

    to do a correct retro fit you need to change all orings. then most r-12 oil is not compatable with r-134a. so you need to flush the system and change the reciver dryer as it holds most of the oil and the comp is next in oil storage.

    r-12 hoses were 2 layer in side . worked good for that gas. but the r-134a is smaller and leaks out faster. that why most of those hoses were 3 layer and now 4 layer.

    and last but not least r-134a works about 80-85% as cold as r-12 was. so dont expect COLD like r-12.

    hope these few tips help you in your choice.

    p.s. it might also be something simple like a bad switch or other part in the system that runs the compressor clutch . so check it over good first.
     
  6. 81K5GUY

    81K5GUY 1/2 ton status

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    I ditched mine but I dont have to drive it eeryday
     
  7. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    About 50 bucks per pound! However, it still works better than R134, so I stayed with R12 instead of converting. Get that R12 system running right, and it'll really put frost on the pumpkin.

    (edited to correct a spelling error)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2006
  8. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    x2 if it were me. :D
     
  9. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I Converted my 89 K5 over to 134a many years ago. It works fine. I had a shop do it because it was easier than doing it myself and I did not at that time have a vaccum pump.
    Conversion included
    New drier
    New orfice valve VOV type
    New seals
    Complete flush.
    Recharge with 134/oil.
    They only charged 250 for everything.
    If you have never done AC work I recomend you have a Reputable AC shop do it. Avoid those quick changeover 134a death kits they sell at auto parts stores.
    To do a changeover right you MUST install a new: drier, orfice valve, seals, complete system flush, then MUST be put under vaccum for at least 20 minutes to remove all moisture from system. If you dont have all the equipment it is easier to have a shop do it. Should cost 250-350 to do the job right unless you need a new compressor.

    You can keep your system R12 if you want. But every time you need any freon added you have to go to a shop.
    With 134a you can buy a can anywhere and add it yourself. Get a cheap set of guages so you get your pressures right.
    I have only had to add one can of 134 to my system in 6 years. So if the conversion is done right you shouldn't have any leak issues. It stays plenty cold in the 100+ temps we have been having lately.
     
  10. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    One more nice thing about being close to Mexico; besides paying $1.80 for Diesel and $2.45 for Gas is that Dupont R12 is $6.00 and legal to buy over the counter there.
     
  11. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    yes vov = variable orfice valve is a great thing to add to any retroed system. helps it proform better .
     
  12. SLOK5

    SLOK5 1/2 ton status

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    Listen to Thunder and have a good shop convert it. If it does has a leak the r134 is a 1/3 less in cost. My 89 blazer is converted and blows just fine. But do it right. If its a big leak the will find it once its charged and dye added. I had to have mine recharged 2 times to find a small leak at the compressor housing. Brian
     

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