dmfconsult

A/C - 78 Estate Wagon

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My A/C on the Estate Wagon has been non-op since I bought the car (seized compressor clutch).  Looking at finally getting that repaired and it seems there are two types of correct replacement compressors, the only difference between the two are metric threads or standard threads.  How do I tell the difference for my car?  Is it a simple matter of checking the nuts on the compressor/line fittings to see if they are metric or standard?  Thanks in advance.

Edited by dmfconsult (see edit history)
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Watching this as I will be replacing mine also. I also seem to have a leak in the heater radiator and will be replacing it at the same time.

Are you replacing the evaporator core and the full 9 yards or just the compressor

are you going to try and stay with the Delco for correctne$$

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Geeze, you two should have bought a northeast car.  The AC on my former wagon worked up to the day I sold it. 

 

Doug, If the clutch is the problem then that can be changed without changing the whole compressor.  How are you certain it's the clutch its self though?  Can't answer the question on the metric vs SAE thread issue.  But I would think it would be the hose hook up plus the mounting hardware together.  Although the mix of SAE and Metric in that era was a big pia.

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Mine is a NW car.. I guess the a/c just doesn't get used enough around here! 

 

The clutch is seized for sure (the screeching fan belt noise is forever etched in my memory), but the a/c was non operational when I got the car, so can't tell if anything else is wrong.  I did put the fan belt on after I owned it to test the system, but was quickly spurned by the aforementioned screeching!   The system looks pretty complete otherwise, so I suspect it ran itself out of refrigerant at some point.   I  was aware the clutch was replaceable (with special tools) but I recall being told once they seized replacement of the compressor and a few other parts was necessary as contaminants may be spread through the system. 

 

I'll do a bit more investigative work on what's required and see if I can find someone trustworthy to take the car to get some advice.  Last a/c specialist I took the Electra too told me I needed $2000 in repairs to that system, and it was still working!

 

I'll keep this thread updated on what I find out.

 

 

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On ‎8‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 10:42 AM, MrEarl said:

Are you replacing the evaporator core and the full 9 yards or just the compressor

are you going to try and stay with the Delco for correctne$$

Was planning on replacing Evaporator, Compressor and Condensor as well as a few other minor things.  I was going to stick with the same "type" to keep the look and just move over the old Frigidaire sticker to the newer compressor and paint it black like the old one if need be.  There is a kit available at Napa that includes the Condensor and the evaporator, but not the Condensor.  The kit actually doesn't look too expensive:

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ACBTEM60910R

You'll note though that the compressor in this kit has "metric threads".  I'll be at the wagon tonight, so I'll take some wrenches and see if I can figure out this metric thing.  I agree with JD, the mix of metric and standard on these cars is so frustrating!    I figure I'll be in for about $500 in parts to make the full repair based on what I think I know.  If only the clutch has to be replaced, then I'll be a happy camper!

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8 minutes ago, dmfconsult said:

Mine is a NW car.. I guess the a/c just doesn't get used enough around here! 

 

The clutch is seized for sure (the screeching fan belt noise is forever etched in my memory), but the a/c was non operational when I got the car, so can't tell if anything else is wrong.  I did put the fan belt on after I owned it to test the system, but was quickly spurned by the aforementioned screeching!   The system looks pretty complete otherwise, so I suspect it ran itself out of refrigerant at some point.   I  was aware the clutch was replaceable (with special tools) but I recall being told once they seized replacement of the compressor and a few other parts was necessary as contaminants may be spread through the system. 

 

I'll do a bit more investigative work on what's required and see if I can find someone trustworthy to take the car to get some advice.  Last a/c specialist I took the Electra too told me I needed $2000 in repairs to that system, and it was still working!

 

I'll keep this thread updated on what I find out.

 

 

 

 Ah, the specialist!  One noted one informed me it would take $5000.00 to get A/C in my '50.  He was only about $3500.00 -$4000.00 off!  

  A/C is not complicated. The controls are. Chances are, very little is wrong. 

 

  Ben









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Ben.  The key is finding someone I can trust that can give me the correct information.  You can't get R12 in Canada so will have to change over to R134A anyway, just hope a couple of shops I have dealt with before (and trust) can do it.    I have a good lead on a shop in Washington State thanks to Mr. Laurance here on the board, but I'll see if I can get the wagon done here, and perhaps get the Electra recharged with R12 down there. 

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If you start by putting a vacuum pump on the system as is, you will quickly see if you have problems.    If it holds vacuum then the components may be in good condition and all you need to do is change the clutch or the complete compressor.  They do recommend that if you are opening the system then go ahead and replace the accumulator/dryer.

 

Do a search and you will find some post by Willie Pittman........he has run his 1956 Century on the cans of dry air you can buy at Walmart....these are the cans of compressed air to blow off you keyboard and other electrical items.

You need to find the post because he tell what propellant to look for in the cans.      I think I would replace the clutch and try the cheap cans of propellant.     You can also do an internet search and there will be several videos of people charging their a/c this way.

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3 hours ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

 

 DAY TRIP.:P

 

  Ben

That is definitely plan B! 

 

Barney, I think I know what your are referring to.  I'll have to do the initial testing first though as you suggest as I don't have direct knowledge on why the previous owner had already removed the belt for the compressor.  I think it has been non operational for a very long time. 

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On 8/6/2018 at 3:25 PM, dmfconsult said:

Was planning on replacing Evaporator, Compressor and Condensor as well as a few other minor things.  I was going to stick with the same "type" to keep the look and just move over the old Frigidaire sticker to the newer compressor and paint it black like the old one if need be.  There is a kit available at Napa that includes the Condensor and the evaporator, but not the Condensor.  The kit actually doesn't look too expensive:

https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ACBTEM60910R

You'll note though that the compressor in this kit has "metric threads".  I'll be at the wagon tonight, so I'll take some wrenches and see if I can figure out this metric thing.  I agree with JD, the mix of metric and standard on these cars is so frustrating!    I figure I'll be in for about $500 in parts to make the full repair based on what I think I know.  If only the clutch has to be replaced, then I'll be a happy camper!

You might get lucky with that rebuilt compressor from NAPA, but good rebuildable cores are scarce:  I bought a rebuilt compressor from Advance Auto last year for my 76 Olds and after changing out 3 defective ones Advance Auto was out of the rebuilt units and supplied THIS at no additional cost (I would have been ahead if I had bought it in the first place...lots of exercise and refrigerant/oil expense ).

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Thanks Willie. Definitely worth considering. I take it you did all the install and reinstalls your self? I see you in their Q&A section:)  In searching for one for our Buick Estate Wagons I see they are a few bucks less at $346 and $50 of if you purchase on line. Also see that it has metric fittings. https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/toughone-new-gm-a6-compressor-w-clutch-t58096/20892285-P?searchTerm=A%2FC+Compressor+Job%2FKit

 

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I think that's still the big question for me, metric or standard threads.  There seems to be quite a bit of choice for new and reman A6 compressors and I agree with the advice that new is the way to go. 

 

I checked my existing compressor and lines and at least every bolt requires is a standard fitment, so I'm still at a loss.   

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2 hours ago, MrEarl said:

Thanks Willie. Definitely worth considering. I take it you did all the install and reinstalls your self? I see you in their Q&A section:)  In searching for one for our Buick Estate Wagons I see they are a few bucks less at $346 and $50 of if you purchase on line. Also see that it has metric fittings. https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/toughone-new-gm-a6-compressor-w-clutch-t58096/20892285-P?searchTerm=A%2FC+Compressor+Job%2FKit

 

Did all installs myself.  Metric is no big deal if you make note of the lengths you need for various fittings and then have the counter person put it on a cart and fit the metric ones to the compressor...if shipped to you do the same.

Best deal with Advance Auto is to put it in your online cart and leave it.  If they have your email they will come back with 20% off; then 25% off and maybe even 30% off.

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Doug, is this what your compressor looks like? 

78E7DE9E-B604-4757-AEEA-8F4B2F327A16.jpeg

 

086452A4-E166-476D-AAB1-B70D8747F067.jpeg

 

EB888BD1-F852-4EBD-B307-01F96F14438A.jpeg

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Lamar, yours appears to be the newer version.  Mine is the old style Frigidaire A6 compressor, see attached photo.   It would be interesting to know if yours is original to the car.  If it is, that gives me some additional options to remain correct looking.  Although you have the 403 so maybe there is not enough room for the A6. 

78 Engine_LI.jpg

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9 minutes ago, dmfconsult said:

Although you have the 403 so maybe there is not enough room for the A6.  

 

That's my thinking. I need to look through all the receipts from the first owner again but do not recall seeing one for anything ac related. It looks to be original. Here is what comes up when I plug in 1979 Buick Estate Wagon ac compressor at Rock Auto

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/buick,1979,estate+wagon,6.6l+403cid+v8,1017694,heat+&+air+conditioning,a/c+compressor,6628

 

and the one I would consider

 

https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=1309546&cc=1017694&jsn=413

 

but it too has metric connections

 

 

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I guess I would need to change the brackets out if I went with the R4 type but I like the fact there are AC Delco variants available.   I don’t know if it’s related to the 403/350 difference, manufacturing plant, or a switch over in compressor type from 78 to 79 but it’s good to have options!

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