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Still problems with a/c on 1981 Riviera w/ 307 engine


noreastcarnut

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:confused: Hello, I'm still in trouble with the a/c on my '81 Riviera. It seems I did recharge the Freon to the proper pressure, but no luck in getting the clutch to engage on the compressor. Also, there is no active live wire to the clutch, even after putting the controls in the correct setting. Fuses are ok. I tried to run power directly to the clutch, but nothing happens. Now what? I appreciate any assistance. It's getting very hot and humid here in Massachusetts!:rolleyes:

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Hello John D: I did not evacuate the system, just added 2 cans of Refrigerant 12 by Interdynamics in 12oz cans. Prior to my purchasing this Riviera this spring, it sat for 6-8 yrs. Actually I added a third can, same results. My pressure gauge shows about 80lbs. The compressor still kicks in intermittenly. By the way, I see that you are in upstate New York. We plan to attend the Troy NY show next month. Will you?

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I would recommend a evac and recharge by a professional. I would say the low pressure cut off switch is shutting down the system. This is by design because low freon does not move the oil around the system thus burning up the compressor. When the system is low the clutch will cycle quite a bit or just not engage at all. Have it filled and checked for leaks. Replace the receiver/dryer as well.

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.... By the way, I see that you are in upstate New York. We plan to attend the Troy NY show next month. Will you?...

I am planning to attend. I am a member of the Chapter hosting it. I'll be there.

BTW, thanks for your answer. I see good advice posted after your answer and I definitely agree with having the system evacuated and recharged. Since you have guages, did you note the reading before you put in the first can of refrigerant?

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Before you do this, consider the following:

If your car still has the long black A6 compressor, according to my mechanic the seal on this unit is not really compatable with R134. Apparently rebuilt ( and new) units use a ceramic seal which is compatible. I have gone through several compressors on my 69 GS till I finally broke down and bought a new compressor last summer. I was able to get this through my NAPA store, and the units are still made for the 4 Season Air company.

As part of the replacement every part of my system was removed from the car ( except the evaporator in the dashboard) and flushed on a bench. This allowed the parts to be turned to drain thoroughly. Then a new reciever/Dryer AND an inline sausage type filter was installed in the high pressure line.

The results were fablous, but not cheap. I used the system again last weekend and it really did a great job of cooling the interior.

I sum this up by saying there is no cheap fix to an A/C unit. Yes, you may be able to get by for a while with a evacuation and conversion to 134A, but I think the odds are against that.

Meanwhile, check into that thermal Limiter switch wmsue talked about. I recall watching someone diagnose that on an 80's GM car and by disconnecting something they were able to turn the A/C on, just could not turn it off. I do not know any more than that on this subject, but a qualified A/C guy should be able to diagnois if that is the problem with your system.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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