A/C: Remove or Keep Installed?

azmusclecar

azmusclecar

Master Mechanic
Feb 13, 2018
417
173
43
Arizona
#1
I recently purchased a 1979 Calais with the complete A/C unit still in the car. I am going through the car starting with safety
features first, then driveability needs and then a new interior and then new paint and it seems the A/C will be something that
I repair way down the road when the comfort and convenience budget is available.

So it may be a year or two or three until I have the funds to truly return the A/C to working condition.

My question:
Should I remove the components NOW and box them up for later use or just leave in the car and subject them to more exposure
just being in the car? Any advice with SOUND REASONING is appreciated. Eventually when the day comes the parts will need
cleaned up and refurbished to make them look new or presentable. So that is why I was asking as well since the parts will need
to be removed "SOMEDAY".

What say yee?
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
3,645
4,089
113
Shelocta, Pa
#2
If you really are planning to have the AC down the road just box up & store the bolt on stuff. With the AC box you could just leave everything in place like most do. Most likely you'll need to refresh the whole system anyways.
 
azmusclecar

azmusclecar

Master Mechanic
Feb 13, 2018
417
173
43
Arizona
#3
If you really are planning to have the AC down the road just box up & store the bolt on stuff. With the AC box you could just leave everything in place like most do. Most likely you'll need to refresh the whole system anyways.
Yes the entire system needs refreshed..............there is nothing in the lines now, the car has been sitting for 26 years.
Thanks for your reply.
 
dr78442

dr78442

G-Body Guru
Mar 15, 2010
617
474
63
massapequa park NY
#4
Agreed with pagrunt. I see you live in Arizona. I know it gets warm there. AC is a must . Don't make the same mistake I made when I was young. I removed all AC stuff only to hunt down and reinstall 20 years later
 
azmusclecar

azmusclecar

Master Mechanic
Feb 13, 2018
417
173
43
Arizona
#5
Agreed with pagrunt. I see you live in Arizona. I know it gets warm there. AC is a must . Don't make the same mistake I made when I was young. I removed all AC stuff only to hunt down and reinstall 20 years later
No, I am pretty ANAL about keeping things in order. Any parts I remove get tagged or labeled and either bagged or boxed.
This is the first complete car I have ever tried to restore to a certain degree. All my others came with the missing parts and the
hunt gets to be futile after a point. I was hoping this wouldn't be the case with a GBody but I see we all have our crosses to
bear when it comes to finding parts.

Thanks for the tip and post..I live in the mountains of AZ and yes A/C is always nice to have but it is not a MUST HAVE. My early
morning or late evening cruises to diners and donut shops doesn't require A/C and if it does, my wife and my doctor both agree
I've made too many trips to diners and donut shops and maybe the lack of A/C thereof will be a lifesaver. You have to find the good
in the bad I say.:LOL:(y)
 
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

Royal Smart Person
Jan 2, 2006
1,788
2,431
113
#7
I concur with fleming442 about leaving the stuff in the car. This way, you don't have anything to store and all the bolts and brackets, et al, are right there where you know they go back on the car. Obviously it's your call. Plus, every time you open the hood, there it is saying "replace me". If it's in a box in the garage, you lose some urgency on keeping it on the front burner of things needing attention.

If you've got original hoses, you're probably going to replace all that stuff anyway. I would suggest if going 134, to buy new hoses that are made for 134, even if you have to have them made. The porosity of the r12 hoses might allow the smaller 134 molecules to potentially escape. Leak by 1000 paper cuts kinda thing. But with the right POE oil (I would use POE [polyolester], aka ESTER oil, for any conversions since it's compatible with both R12 and 134, but if using all new stuff, flush system, then you can use PAG oil [polyalkylene glycol] for 134 if you just have PAG), I think the oil saturation on the inside of the hoses should minimize or eliminate that. I still would buy 134 hoses if everything will be new. Eliminate that chance. And use the green 134 O-rings.

DON'T use R12 oil (mineral) for 134 or PAG for R12. They don't mix.

Also, while it's recommended to find an orifice tube for 134 (usually called a variable orifice), you don't absolutely have to.

Change out the accumulator even if you are reusing everything else. There's an oil saturated "sock" inside that would be seemingly impossible to clean. Start with a fresh new accumulator. They're fairly inexpensive anyway.

Advisable to get a cross flow ac condenser made for 134. Not an absolute, but it's better for 134 than the original single S-tube style because it is designed to reduce pressure a little. May not even be able to get the original style anyway, but that's something to think about.

Use about 80% of the amount of 134 when converting. So if your system held 2 pounds of R12, for example, you would only use 1.6 pounds of R134. Your system will see higher pressures with 134 over R12. So everything needs to be tight and strong.

Just some free advice. Take it or not.
 
Texas82GP

Texas82GP

Comic Book Super Hero
Supporting Member
Apr 3, 2015
4,770
7,944
113
Spring, Texas
#8
My vote is to leave everything there until you are ready to repair it. Your car may be different but with my car, it had a functioning system that leaked down. The compressor was blamed. My car needed a heater core since the previous owner got way too tight with the hose clamps and crushed the tubes. It also was contaminated and corroded from running tap water in the cooling system. I decided to change to the 3rd gen Camaro serpentine front accessory drive so I elected to start over with a new, clean system. New evaporator core, new hose assembly, new accumulator, new orifice tube, new condenser. All that I'm reusing is the liquid line (hard line from the evaporator to the condenser). I may have been able to flush my evaporator. I didn't know if it was the source of the leak so for the money, I replaced it. I wanted a modern parallel flow condenser for the R134A so I just went with a new one. That way, the A/C will blow cold at idle. It was not expensive. You should always replace the accumulator and the orifice tube. Just remember: dirt, moisture and leaks are your enemy.
 
565bbchevy

565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
6,169
5,203
113
Michigan
#9
On my project Regal I removed everything but the case and took pictures before tearing it apart. I bought everything new to replace the entire system as soon as I do the the engine swap.
 
CaliWagon83

CaliWagon83

Royal Smart Person
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,844
1,928
113
Orange County, CA
#10
Really depends on what you plan on doing with it. If it's going to be a regular street-driver, I'd keep the AC. If you're planning on making it purely or primarily a 1/4-mile car, yank it out.
 
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