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On 8/31/2018 at 9:23 AM, JZRIV said:

So it sounds like someone mixed 134 and 12. Is the system working now? I am curious how you know the mix is 22/78??

 

System could probably be evacuated and re-charged with R12 without a flush and be OK......but there is some risk involved in that. At this point it may be best to go ahead and flush to remove oil from the individual components through flushing process and start over. You only want to do this ONCE.

A competent shop will know the process to flush. This is not a job you can do yourself because a special flushing gun and flushing agent is required. I'm not an expert but I would want to disconnect and flush the evap, condenser, muffler, and lines separately so it doesn't matter what order. Then remove and drain all oil out of the compressor/flush.

After everything is cleaned, reinstalled with correct amount of oil, new orings on all joints, and new receiver dryer, a vacuum is pulled on the system for several hours then the system is left sit to see how long it holds a vacuum which determines if there are leaks. If no leaks then the system is charged and the vacuum is replaced by refrigerant thereby not allowing any contaminated/moisture laden air to enter.

I know the mix is 22/78 b/c the last shop tested the gas before they evacuated the system. The shop gave me a small print out of the gas analysis. Thank you

RRB

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Bob, I see you plan to replace your hoses. This story may have more chapters than expected. It would be a good idea to spend the extra for triple wall hoses suitable for 134A on the new replacements. Then you will be ready should you switch refrigerants down the road.

Bernie

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On 8/31/2018 at 10:41 PM, KongaMan said:

I'm confused.  If the system was disassembled, there was a point at which it had no refrigerant at all.  So, how did you end up with a mixture of R12 and R134a?

MrKongaMan, the fourth shop added gas the already charged ac system. The shop may have put in 134a. The shop said “ No charge.”

RRB

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4 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

Bob, I see you plan to replace your hoses. This story may have more chapters than expected. It would be a good idea to spend the extra for triple wall hoses suitable for 134A on the new replacements. Then you will be ready should you switch refrigerants down the road.

Bernie

Bernie, good point. Good planning helps setting up successful operations.

Many Thanks,

RRB

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1 hour ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

MrKongaMan, the fourth shop added gas the already charged ac system. The shop may have put in 134a. The shop said “ No charge.”

 

I dunno.  Do you have the original R12 fittings or were they converted to 134a fittings?  If you have the original fittings, it's unlikely that a shop would add 134a.  Unless they were idiots, like the first shop was.  You might want to call the second shop and ask if they reused the old gas.  They might not admit to it if they did (especially if they charged you for 3+ lbs. of R12), but that still sounds like the most likely explanation for having an R12/134a mix.

 

If you have 134a fittings, get rid of them if you're going to run R12.  Most shops don't analyze what's in there; they use the gas that goes with the fittings.  If you have 134a fittings, that's what you'll get.

 

As to Bernie's point about installing triple-wall hoses as a hedge against a future 134a conversion: use ester oil instead of mineral oil when you put everything back together.  Ester oil is compatible with both R12 and 134a.  Which means that if you do convert in the future, you won't have to flush the system as part of the process.

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Ester oil. Is there more to the description of ester oil? What is a name brand and the purpose of ester oil? I can certainly research the product. I’ll do that.

mr Konga man good point regarding fittings. Yes, I watched the fourth shop put in the gas. The fourth shop did change any fittings. The shop that installed the new parts without flushing the system were negligent. Restraint of tongue and pen are my by words. I’ll study on an effective way to communicate my dissatisfaction to that shop while I maintain the “ high road” posture.

i supplied my own R12 I got from a Master Mechanic friend. I supplied all the parts. Their fees for so called services performed was criminal. Ester oil, I’ll check it out.

Red Riviera Bob

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THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW WHATS IN THE CAN IS TO TEST THE CONTENTS WITH A REFRIGERANT TESTER. THEN THERE'S NO DOUBT.

You would be surprised at the results from testing & the claims on the can.

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4 hours ago, telriv said:

THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW WHATS IN THE CAN IS TO TEST THE CONTENTS WITH A REFRIGERANT TESTER. THEN THERE'S NO DOUBT.

You would be surprised at the results from testing & the claims on the can.

Tom, wouldn’t the shop filling the AC system fill it with R12 if you specified R12? Seems like trust is out the window.

Red Riviera Bob

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Ester is just a short name for polyester as opposed to mineral oil. Synthetic oils can be lumped into the ester oil group.

 

In automotive applications it is more common to flip the term. Rolls-Royce cars from 1966 to the early 1980's are referred to as mineral oil cars, especially the last transitional cars. In that case it helps the owner know if he is in big trouble or BIG BIG trouble when the fluid lines start rusting.

 

My background is in commercial and industrial refrigeration. I consider myself a speculative observer in automotive air conditioning. I have no problem walking up to a 6,000 ton centrifugal chiller or a couple of hundred ton absorption unit, but I only fart around with my cars. Maybe add a little Freon if one needs it. And I wouldn't expect a car AC mechanic to do my stuff. I have a very good automotive shop that my car friends recommend highly. And I have a car that needs to go there no so I can get it ready to sell.

 

This is a good example of the value of your local chapter membership. Whether it is the AACA or the Chapter of your marque club, knowing where others are getting satisfactory service saves a lot of monkeying around. The forum is OK for generalities, but the local member who says "I went here and they fixed it right" is one of the great reasons for membership and participation. The internet can't do that. I can say "Bob, take your car to B J Radiator on Jay Street in Rochester and they will fix it right. They have been doing it for my friends and I for decades."

 

I haven't seen a Forum member from Baltimore do that. An AACA or BCA Chapter could.

Bernie

 

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If you read other Buick forums,  "Old Tank" (Willie Pittman) is a 1955-56 Buick guy and has a '55 (I think) with factory air.   Since we both belong to the Alamo club I see him a couple time a year.

Do a search and you will find he has been running his A/C on cheap refrigerant for some time........he used the cans of "dry" air in a can that you can buy for cleaning off your keyboard and other electronic devices.

His writing tells you what to look for on the can.

You can also do a internet search and there are several Utube videos of people using the same refrigerant/method on various vehicles.   Most of us are concerned about using the "right stuff"  but Willie doesn't worry about

minor leaks and the need to add a little refrigerant because you can usually by 3 can in a package for about $10

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2 hours ago, Barney Eaton said:

If you read other Buick forums,  "Old Tank" (Willie Pittman) is a 1955-56 Buick guy and has a '55 (I think) with factory air.   Since we both belong to the Alamo club I see him a couple time a year.

Do a search and you will find he has been running his A/C on cheap refrigerant for some time........he used the cans of "dry" air in a can that you can buy for cleaning off your keyboard and other electronic devices.

His writing tells you what to look for on the can.

You can also do a internet search and there are several Utube videos of people using the same refrigerant/method on various vehicles.   Most of us are concerned about using the "right stuff"  but Willie doesn't worry about

minor leaks and the need to add a little refrigerant because you can usually by 3 can in a package for about $10

Barney, I’ve heard people using propane and other stuff to make the AC go. I believe what you say and there are more ways than just one to get stuff to work. Having struggled with this SOB for 3 seasons to get cold air and significant dollars “ down” I’m going to go by the service manual. Thank you for your input, I appreciate all the help I can get.

Red Riviera Bob

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3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Ester is just a short name for polyester as opposed to mineral oil. Synthetic oils can be lumped into the ester oil group.

 

In automotive applications it is more common to flip the term. Rolls-Royce cars from 1966 to the early 1980's are referred to as mineral oil cars, especially the last transitional cars. In that case it helps the owner know if he is in big trouble or BIG BIG trouble when the fluid lines start rusting.

 

My background is in commercial and industrial refrigeration. I consider myself a speculative observer in automotive air conditioning. I have no problem walking up to a 6,000 ton centrifugal chiller or a couple of hundred ton absorption unit, but I only fart around with my cars. Maybe add a little Freon if one needs it. And I wouldn't expect a car AC mechanic to do my stuff. I have a very good automotive shop that my car friends recommend highly. And I have a car that needs to go there no so I can get it ready to sell.

 

This is a good example of the value of your local chapter membership. Whether it is the AACA or the Chapter of your marque club, knowing where others are getting satisfactory service saves a lot of monkeying around. The forum is OK for generalities, but the local member who says "I went here and they fixed it right" is one of the great reasons for membership and participation. The internet can't do that. I can say "Bob, take your car to B J Radiator on Jay Street in Rochester and they will fix it right. They have been doing it for my friends and I for decades."

 

I haven't seen a Forum member from Baltimore do that. An AACA or BCA Chapter could.

Bernie

 

Bernie, good tip. I’ve tried to reach an ROA member several times that runs an advertised restoration  shop in Maryland and advertises services in the Riview. The gent even writes a pretty good column. I’m certain the gent is top drawer and busier than all get out. Never have received a reply from my inquiry. Of course, I can telephone again and send another email, but I hate to be a pest. The gent must know who I am. 🤡

Personal referrals are always great sources of information. I am going to sign up to a local Buick Club when I return from Lake Erie.

I know my capabilities. Cleaning the system should be something I can handle. Of course I have to take my time and pay attention.

RRB

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Bob,

 

  A refrigerate tester is something not everyone has as many rely on the contents of the can to be as stated. MANY TIMES IT IS NOT. I CANNOT MAKE THIS ANY CLEARER!!!!  Overboard, maybe. Conciseness of what I do, YES.  This happens more than you know. A GOOD tester costs $$$$ & is NOT something many will invest in & in all good intentions & take the chance.  Being in business & having more than once ruined a recycle 30lb. container & the assorted costs related to disposing of the contents & THE CAN since it is now contaminated weighs heavily on the final outcome of a repair & the costs/bottom line of taking chances. A GOOD tester is something NOT everyone can afford, especially a small business/individual. A cheap tester, as you will probably know, is normally not accurate & WILL NOT come up with the same readings twice in a row on the same system/container multiple times the same day immediately after. I've done this & spent the time, money, resources & educated myself over the last 60+ yrs. in doing this auto repair stuff.   Just like you in YOUR chosen profession.

  YOU CAN'T rely on what's printed on the container. It has & is & can be VERY mis-leading.  IT MUST BE TESTED!!!!  I don't care what shop you go to if they rely on the printed contents of the container, or their supplier, they are doing yourself & themselves a dis-favor as they DON'T know what they are selling you "THINKING" that they are selling virgin R-12.  A brand new looking container could have re-cycled refrigerate from junk yards in them. Do the salvage yards care what they sell as long as they can make some $$$ from it????  NO!!!. There's a lot of junk out there being sold as virgin R-12 that is NOT what's on the container. 

   More times than not I've tested containers that ARE NOT what's printed on the sides. Where did they come from???  At one point in time virgin R-12 was VERY expensive. At one time a 30lb. container was $30.00-$40.00. This escalated as yrs. went buy close to $3000.00 by the time 134 had came out. The dollars/costs have come down significantly since then. That's why you have to be on the look-out & it's so important & take the nec. precautions BEFORE BUYING/committing. ALL this stuff you see on the shelves, usually cheap,  can claim ANYTHING they want on the can. It could contain Butane, Propane, 134 or a variety of other chemicals & mixtures. Does it get the job done?? Maybe, maybe not. If the A/C wasn't working previously & now cooler air comes out they have solved their problem, for the moment anyway.

   At this point WHEREVER you go ( or when you call for info) ask to see if they have a tester & IF they will prove the test in front of your eyes with the contents of the container they will be using & then watch them put it in or have them verify AFTER they have done the job. Make it clear BEFOREHAND & get it in writing. ANY COMPETENT/HONEST shop wouldn't mind doing this since you are so concerned about the outcome & the amount of time & $$$$ you've ALREADY thrown at solving this problem with other shops & the outcome you've received, even if they want to charge you for the extra time it will take which shouldn't be more than an hour in most cases. IF the shop doesn't have a tester find another. As stated a full service A/C shop will have a tester as they WILL NOT want to take a chance on RUINING a container of 12 or 134 or whatever else is being used.

Again, just my thoughts on the subject at hand.    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

P.S. Have you received the slinger in the mail yet??? Should have received it by now.

 

 

Tom T.

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 8:19 PM, Red Riviera Bob said:

TexRiv, now I have more information and some mechanical experience I feel confident I can bring the project in with cold air. I’ve got the gauges, flush gun, compressor and vacuum. In addition I have a newly rebuilt back up STV and the original Harrison A6, and new expansion valve. I’m loaded for bear!

Red Riviera Bob

After being scared of A/C work forever and always paying a shop to do it I finally decided to do it myself as you have. I recently also bought all the tools with the exception of the flush gun. Please post some photos of the flush process when you get to it and let us know how the CoolPro works.

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On 9/1/2018 at 9:19 PM, Red Riviera Bob said:

I’ve got the gauges, flush gun, compressor and vacuum. In addition I have a newly rebuilt back up STV and the original Harrison A6, and new expansion valve. I’m loaded for bear!

image.png.5b3fd6f8a8c6616b1cc6c173965e1191.png

 

"It is a man in a building in the woods. He just released some gas."

"Should we be downwind or upwind?"

"We aren't ready for this! Let's get out of the woods!"

 

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14 hours ago, TexRiv_63 said:

After being scared of A/C work forever and always paying a shop to do it I finally decided to do it myself as you have. I recently also bought all the tools with the exception of the flush gun. Please post some photos of the flush process when you get to it and let us know how the CoolPro works.

Sir, I read your post you put up in 08 regarding your installation of your AC aftermarket solution for your Riv. I will say you did a through job installing the system. Your post is well written so the process of installation was easy to understand. Were I not so invested in keeping what I have I believe I would have opted for an aftermarket AC system like yours.

My system blows ac air, but not cool enough. The defroster and heater both work great. I’ve had the bell arm replaced in the HVAC control unit, NEWA6 Compressor, drier, rebuilt STV, ( 2 STV’s rebuilt) new vacuum hoses (color coded), replaced vacuum diaphrams 3&4 under the heaterbox with one single diaphram double ported and T’d back to proper (yellow ) vacuum switch, new vacuum control switch, new ac hose, and a couple hundred bucks in R12. The $ I’ve spent in shop labor is more than I want to say. I’ve even cobbled up the control vacuum switch panel  covers so the front and back switch covers can be mounted. You are right, it is a pile of mess under the hood for the 63AC system. 

Ill keep you advised with pictures as I go forward. I believe cleaning the system by flushing with CoolPro and vacuuming the system overnight with a 6CFM Robinair ( used) vacuum should get the system clean and DRY. Dry hydrogen gas is suppose to do a good job drying everything out. For now, I’m sticking with Cool Pro. The last step of charging the system with R12 will be done by a little shop 60 miles north of me in Pennsylvania. The shop will pull a second vacuum to check for leaks. I’ll ask the shop for results of the gas test they do BEFORE they put the gas in the system. Hopefully, they will test the gas with a refrigerant tester.

im confident, but not overly confident,  these last steps in AC refurbishing will bring in the cold air I want. Thank you for your first class participation in the project.

RedRivieraBob

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14 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

image.png.5b3fd6f8a8c6616b1cc6c173965e1191.png

 

"It is a man in a building in the woods. He just released some gas."

"Should we be downwind or upwind?"

"We aren't ready for this! Let's get out of the woods!"

 

Bernie, but what does a bear do in the woods?

RED Riviera Bob

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On 8/31/2018 at 9:23 AM, JZRIV said:

So it sounds like someone mixed 134 and 12. Is the system working now? I am curious how you know the mix is 22/78??

 

System could probably be evacuated and re-charged with R12 without a flush and be OK......but there is some risk involved in that. At this point it may be best to go ahead and flush to remove oil from the individual components through flushing process and start over. You only want to do this ONCE.

A competent shop will know the process to flush. This is not a job you can do yourself because a special flushing gun and flushing agent is required. I'm not an expert but I would want to disconnect and flush the evap, condenser, muffler, and lines separately so it doesn't matter what order. Then remove and drain all oil out of the compressor/flush.

After everything is cleaned, reinstalled with correct amount of oil, new orings on all joints, and new receiver dryer, a vacuum is pulled on the system for several hours then the system is left sit to see how long it holds a vacuum which determines if there are leaks. If no leaks then the system is charged and the vacuum is replaced by refrigerant thereby not allowing any contaminated/moisture laden air to enter.

 

On 9/1/2018 at 10:56 PM, Red Riviera Bob said:

Sir, thank you for all your help. Denatured alcohol could work, but I’m using CoolPro to flush.

thank you

Red Riviera Bob

You are right on point with everything you write about the process. I’m reviewing what folks have contributed along with reading and re-reading the service manual. I want to have all my supplies, tools, and replacement components in one place before I start. 

‘Thanks again.

Bob Burnopp

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Bob, 

Hopefully you'll get this taken care of in time to take advantage of a working a/c system before the seasons change and you'll just need you heater and defroster.  😎

Ed

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12 hours ago, RivNut said:

Bob, 

Hopefully you'll get this taken care of in time to take advantage of a working a/c system before the seasons change and you'll just need you heater and defroster.  😎

Ed

Ed, getting the evaporator and expansion valve in and out will be a giant step. Any tips you have on getting the evaporator out without having to tear apart the dash would be most helpful.

RRB

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On 9/3/2018 at 5:20 PM, TexRiv_63 said:

After being scared of A/C work forever and always paying a shop to do it I finally decided to do it myself as you have. I recently also bought all the tools with the exception of the flush gun. Please post some photos of the flush process when you get to it and let us know how the CoolPro works.

TexRiv63, I’m sending out 3 hose sections to get rebuilt. I have a new drier and expansion valve on order for replacement.

0B5720E0-69B6-4C9B-8C8D-10FC2BDFCEC5.jpeg

C706DBD2-A08A-421B-B9AB-6F08359E3DC3.jpeg

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59 minutes ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Ed, getting the evaporator and expansion valve in and out will be a giant step. Any tips you have on getting the evaporator out without having to tear apart the dash would be most helpful.

RRB

It's been a while since I pulled an evaporator, but I think that removal of the knee pad and the glove box liner should be all you need to get out of the way. 

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3 hours ago, RivNut said:

It's been a while since I pulled an evaporator, but I think that removal of the knee pad and the glove box liner should be all you need to get out of the way. 

Ed, that is a start. Thank you.

Red Riviera Bob

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On 9/4/2018 at 8:39 AM, Red Riviera Bob said:

Sir, I read your post you put up in 08 regarding your installation of your AC aftermarket solution for your Riv. I will say you did a through job installing the system. Your post is well written so the process of installation was easy to understand. Were I not so invested in keeping what I have I believe I would have opted for an aftermarket AC system like yours.

My system blows ac air, but not cool enough. The defroster and heater both work great. I’ve had the bell arm replaced in the HVAC control unit, NEWA6 Compressor, drier, rebuilt STV, ( 2 STV’s rebuilt) new vacuum hoses (color coded), replaced vacuum diaphrams 3&4 under the heaterbox with one single diaphram double ported and T’d back to proper (yellow ) vacuum switch, new vacuum control switch, new ac hose, and a couple hundred bucks in R12. The $ I’ve spent in shop labor is more than I want to say. I’ve even cobbled up the control vacuum switch panel  covers so the front and back switch covers can be mounted. You are right, it is a pile of mess under the hood for the 63AC system. 

Ill keep you advised with pictures as I go forward. I believe cleaning the system by flushing with CoolPro and vacuuming the system overnight with a 6CFM Robinair ( used) vacuum should get the system clean and DRY. Dry hydrogen gas is suppose to do a good job drying everything out. For now, I’m sticking with Cool Pro. The last step of charging the system with R12 will be done by a little shop 60 miles north of me in Pennsylvania. The shop will pull a second vacuum to check for leaks. I’ll ask the shop for results of the gas test they do BEFORE they put the gas in the system. Hopefully, they will test the gas with a refrigerant tester.

im confident, but not overly confident,  these last steps in AC refurbishing will bring in the cold air I want. Thank you for your first class participation in the project.

RedRivieraBob

 

No, not dry hydrogen gas, dry nitrogen.

 

The hydrogen comment was a typo.

 

After vacuuming the system for many hours overnight, break the vacuum with some R-12 before disconnecting your A/C gauges and driving up to your new A/C guy.

 

Pulling a second vacuum will only find a really large leak.

 

Put UV dye in the A/C oil to help you find any leaks with a black light.

 

 

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On 9/6/2018 at 11:08 PM, Jim Cannon said:

 

No, not dry hydrogen gas, dry nitrogen.

 

The hydrogen comment was a typo.

 

After vacuuming the system for many hours overnight, break the vacuum with some R-12 before disconnecting your A/C gauges and driving up to your new A/C guy.

 

Pulling a second vacuum will only find a really large leak.

 

Put UV dye in the A/C oil to help you find any leaks with a black light.

 

 

Jim, thank you for the heads up on the hydrogen and nitrogen. Probably a couple electrons, protons difference between the hydrogen and nitrogen.

The tip on adding in R12 BEFORE I break the vacuum is appreciated. I’ll have the Compressor mounted, connected and charged with 10.5oz if mineral oil. There are instructions for installing the STV in the manual I’ll follow step by step. I’ll get a pic of me under the dash making my way to the thermostatic expansion valve.

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