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a/c compressor install - UPDATE

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by creampuff90k5, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. creampuff90k5

    creampuff90k5 1/2 ton status

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    My a/c compressor grenaded this weekend (was leaking before anyway) so now I need to replace. To save costs, I was gonna install a rebuilt compressor & new accumulator/drier and then drive the truck to a local shop to have the system professionally flushed and refilled.

    My question is: What do I need to do to the new compressor in terms of oil just to be able to drive it to the shop? Is there a fill plug or something where I should just add a few ounces before starting the engine? Thanks in advance for your help, all!!!

    P.S. Should I install a new orifice tube also? Where the heck is this part even located? In the box mounted to the firewall?

    --------------------------------------------------------

    I decided to update this post so that it can perhaps be of some use to those doing a search later on down the road... Plus I'm sure everyone is on the edge of their seats wanting to know that happened!

    Anyway, I bought a rebuilt compressor and new accumulator and installed them in my driveway in less than an hour for both, using new o-rings on everything. I then drove the truck to a shop about 50 yards from my house - Chatham Collision Repair. Although they primarily handle bodywork on very upscale cars like Porsche, Ferrari, Jaguar, etc... the owner agreed to flush & fill my A/C for a very reasonable cost as a HUGE favor. If you live in Northern NJ (Morris County) and ever need work done at an absolutely first class shop, I highly recommend Chatham Collision Repair (973) 635-9428.

    Okay, so not necessarily in order, they vacuumed the system for a good 2-3 hours, checked for leaks with dye (there were none), flushed everything out & installed a new orifice valve which I provided, then filled 'er up with 134a & oil, leak tested again with an electronic device (again, none) and I drove away one happy and cool (literally!) customer.

    Total cost including all parts, labor, everything, was $257.00 Would have been $10 less but I was too lazy to return the compressor core. Have put a few hundred miles on since and everything is still a-okay. Taking a 1,300 mile trip w/trailer shortly though, which'll be the real test.
     
  2. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Re: a/c compressor install

    You dont need to put in any oil as long as you dont enguage the compressor. Just leave the clutch un plugged and drive it to the shop. The pully will just free wheel on its own bearing.
    Dont worry about the orfice tube. The AC shop should replace with one designed for 134a it when they do the flush and fill.
    Beings you have it all apart it would be a good idea to replace all the O rings in the system with the ones that are 134a frendly.
    Get it retrofitted to 134A refrigerant. Its way cheaper than freon and you can service it yourself. 134 cools just about as good as freon in our big trucks because of the large AC coils.
    Sometimes rubber hoses will leak after retrofitting to 134a because of the smaller molecules. But I wouldn't worry about it unless they do leak.
    I changed mine to 134a 4 years ago and my stock hoses have been fine so far
     
  3. creampuff90k5

    creampuff90k5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: a/c compressor install

    Thanks Thunder. Actually, I did one of those $50 R-134a retrofit kits a few years ago when the R12 charge got weak and everything was okay until just two days ago. Didn't change any of the o-rings or anything though, which I was planning to do this time around, at least the ones that are reasonably accesible.

    About the orifice tube: I don't really want to have the shop do anything besides just the flush and fill. Could you be a little more specific about how to replace before I get there??
     
  4. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: a/c compressor install

    All of the O-rings are easily accessible. Just be careful removing the fittings as the aluminum tubing can be messed up. You have O-rings at the condensor, accumulator, receiver/dryer, etc. The only parts of the system you can't see are the coils, but their inlets and outlets are in the engine compartment. Their are kits that come with all the O-rings you need.

    As for orifice tube, you need about 1 size smaller than the original. The original is white, you want either green or blue, I can't remember which. I think it is the normal Ford tube. Do a search. But rather than do that, Get one of these! This will give you better cooling at idle and is easier on the new compressor you have $$ in.
     
  5. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    Re: a/c compressor install

    The reason I said to let the shop do it is they should remove the orfice tube to properly flush it. So installing a new one is no big deal for them.
    The VOV tube mentioned in above post is definatly worth getting. I know Napa carries them. If not that. Its the blue ford tube you need for the 134a retrofit to get the best cooling.
    I think The orifice tube is located in the evaporator inlet or the line going to the evaporator you will see the two nuts and little demples on the line at its location But I,m not sure about the 90 set up( I may be thinking of an expantion valve system). They can also be located on the outlet side/tube. of the condenser.
    When you take your truck to the AC shop be sure to tell them you blew your compressor. So they will use extra care to make sure everything is flushed good.

    PS Re: the 50.oo el cheapo retrofit kits. Most people in the AC trade refer to them as Death Kits.
    They make a lot of money off those kits when the compressor eventually blows.
    With auto AC Its best to pay the extra bucks and get the job done right the first time.
     

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