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63 Riviera AC vent doors opening and closing

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Gents, we always want the best job possible so our old cars continue to perform the way they were intended to work.  I'm the first to choose the best solution.  Example: when my manual control water valve stopped working there were no more manual control valves to be had. A named expert from the ROA recommended using a vacuum water control valve and gave instructions on how to install on my 63 Riv. I followed the experts instructions. I found the vacuum control valve a fine choice and a good solution. 

On the other hand I fixed a 63 Riv wheel cover that was rusted out pretty good with JB weld. Painted the inside of the wheel cover with POR 15. The wheel cover is on my car to this day and works good. ( now I have spare parts to rebuild the wheel cover). Now, the JB weld was half baked b/c there were other mechanical solutions  that were much better, but I didn't know about rebuilding hubcaps.

 

in 83 I lost a significant installation of new electronic accounting systems that was interfaced to mechanical meters. I didn't know about RFI then that caused the system to not work right. I took back the system and lost the installation. The same accounting system was installed in another state and the technician wrapped aluminum foil around the cable leads and the installation was successful. Wrapping aluminum foil around cables to shield from RFI? Half assed to say the least, but the installation was a success. I've seen some right comical half baked repairs that got the job done, because there were no other choices.

RRB

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On the assumption that you're responding to my comment about half-assery, I'll explain...

 

It's important to understand what the STV does and how it works.  In a nutshell, it varies the evaporator pressure, which, in turn, changes the temperature of the outlet air.  It is controlled by the vacuum modulator attached to the temperature control on the dash: the less vacuum at the valve, the lower the evaporator pressure and the lower the outlet air temperature.  Push the control all the way down, the vacuum to the valve drops to 0, the evaporator pressure drops, the air gets colder.  Slide the control back up, the vacuum to the valve rises, the evaporator pressure rises, the air gets warmer.

 

If the STV is replaced by a cycling switch, it's entirely different.  In that setup, the evaporator pressure is always at its lowest setting; the outlet temperature is always as cold as it will go.  The system is cycled according to feedback from a new temperature sensor on the evaporator.  This is how it works: the system runs fullout until the sensor says it's too cold, then the compressor shuts off.  When the sensor indicates it has warmed up, the compressor kicks on again. And so on.  What you may have noticed is that you have no control over this: your temperature control is inoperative.  You cannot change the temperature at the outlets.  If you want it a little bit warmer (e.g.dehumidifiing on a cool, foggy evening ), you're SOL.

 

IOW, you now have a cruder, less capable system.  IMHO, it's far better to rebuild your STV (if that was problem) and keep the original functionality than to replace it with inferior components.

 

NB: IIRC, the STV on the Riviera works differently from the STV used on other contemporary full-size Buicks. For those cars, higher vacuum at the valve lowers the evaporator pressure.  This is why the the Riviera AC can be such a PITA to fix; it has some unique parts.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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Bernie, I've heard you have three seasons in that part of the country: July, August, and winter. I swam in Lake George a long time ago and I must say the water cold in August. 

RRB

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It is interesting that the nearest city on my map is in another country. Cornell University has a deep water cooling system in Seneca Lake where the water is always 35 degrees.

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58 minutes ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

because there were no other choices.

RRB

 

Should end "within the paradigm of the application. That is the dangerous part, a little knowledge.

 

In 1983 an electronic accounting application would have lived up to the definition of college level learning, the conceptual use of knowledge from one field to another. I added conceptual from my own 50 years of experience. Details are often overlooked in exchange for commitment.

 

I started using communication circuits in 1974 with token ring technology and some fiber optics. Unshielded cable was fine for binary points. And they were the majority. The cost was about $500 per point compared to analog points at about $2,000 per. Analog used current loops with resistance sensors and were always installed with shielded (tin foil) wire. There just weren't many and may not have been obvious to the application investigator.

 

On the AC, follow the book and make it as original as possible. Back to my personal  experience, my greatest successes have come from recognizing and removing "improvements".

 

 

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41 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

Should end "within the paradigm of the application. That is the dangerous part, a little knowledge.

 

In 1983 an electronic accounting application would have lived up to the definition of college level learning, the conceptual use of knowledge from one field to another. I added conceptual from my own 50 years of experience. Details are often overlooked in exchange for commitment.

 

I started using communication circuits in 1974 with token ring technology and some fiber optics. Unshielded cable was fine for binary points. And they were the majority. The cost was about $500 per point compared to analog points at about $2,000 per. Analog used current loops with resistance sensors and were always installed with shielded (tin foil) wire. There just weren't many and may not have been obvious to the application investigator.

 

On the AC, follow the book and make it as original as possible. Back to my personal  experience, my greatest successes have come from recognizing and removing "improvements".

 

 

Bernie, The application met all specifications according to sales marketing pros. The folk in the engineering neglected to tell the sales marketing managers to be aware of radio frequency interference. We were not told about this RFI stuff. Had I known the RFI was something I should know about I'd have called Scotty to the bridge and asked for his two cents worth.The local tech, a friend of mine didn't know if he was on horseback or on foot on this installation. When the installation failed to perform as it was purported to perform and we took the stuff back the local rep did not get a raise that year and I was charged about 6k to my account. Ouch.

After that lesson I made doubly certain all i's  were dotted and the t's were crossed on future scope of application. Please remember, I was schooled on how to read, write, and cypher. The trained folks got all the electronics stuff on how to wrap wires with tin foil. I probably would have been better off learning about electricity than reading Camus.?‍?

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Looks like the trained folks saved the day for the pros and schooled literate.

 

I read Asimov and Wells, Vonnegut for fun.

 

Back to the AC, how much is the R-12 going for these days? I'm still working off a 30 pounder I bought at a buck a pound. Lasts a long time when there is no compressor on your car.

 

There could have been quite a market in reclaimed/recycled refrigerants with the right equipment : http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5189889.html

 

 

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R 12  It depends on where you shop.  Was at an A/C getting R22 for my home AC and they had a 30 LB container of R12 for $ 1400.   Ebey goes about $800.   I still have the remains of 1 30 lb container and a full container that I bought for $ 400 few years ago. It also lasts long when you fix the leaks.

I have a friend who uses computer duster in his R12 system. Cools well and at 3 bucks a can it is cheap. His car takes 5 cans.  It one of those Buick's with the A/C in the trunk, can you imagine how much R 12 it would take ?  My 1960 takes 5 lbs if empty.

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21 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Looks like the trained folks saved the day for the pros and schooled literate.

 

I read Asimov and Wells, Vonnegut for fun.

 

Back to the AC, how much is the R-12 going for these days? I'm still working off a 30 pounder I bought at a buck a pound. Lasts a long time when there is no compressor on your car.

 

There could have been quite a market in reclaimed/recycled refrigerants with the right equipment : http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5189889.html

 

 

Bernie, those educated engineers saved my bacon plenty.

 

the average for R12 on eBay is $45.-$50. A pound. My friend and pro mechanic handed me two 30 lb partial canisters of R12. He said go ahead and use it. I returned the the 2 30lb containers after I used 3.5lbs and gave him  enough cash that made him smile.

i have 2-12oz. Cans I paid $75.00 with shipping.

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On 8/18/2017 at 0:00 PM, KongaMan said:

 

Wise decision.  While one might rationalize a switch to R134A, there's no doubt that you'll get better performance with R12.  Replacing the STV with a cycling switch is just half-assery.

I was convinced to stay with the original design and as many OEM parts as possible. AC is important to me and I cannot afford to be without a reliable system. Use best parts, best mechanics, and stay with original design operation.

RRB

 

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Gents Aug 21. My friend and mechanic finished installing the vacuum hoses, check valve, and vacuum Actuator that open and closes a vent  door. I watched as he cussed his way through the diagrams of what color hose went where. 

I found you've got to use the correct size hose to minimize and/or eliminate leaks. After the leaks were found and fixed the AC worked real good. Plenty of cold air blowing even as I stepped on the gas pedal. It was cold enough I had to turn down the fan motor and amount of cooling. Only took 15 months after I received the car and purportedly the AC worked as it should to get repaired/ rebuilt.

 

Red Riviera Bob

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6 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Ask your friend what check valve he got  please...  or did you get it someplace.

Bill, I bought a plastic check valve from Old Air and it works fine.

i wanted to stay with the brass check valve for personal preference.

if u have one for sale at a price I can live with let me know what your price is. I don't dicker, either the price is ok or not. You need to make $ on your sales.

Red Riviera Bob

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7 hours ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Bill, I bought a plastic check valve from Old Air and it works fine.

i wanted to stay with the brass check valve for personal preference.

if u have one for sale at a price I can live with let me know what your price is. I don't dicker, either the price is ok or not. You need to make $ on your sales.

Red Riviera Bob

Nope   I have none for sale, just looking for one for my car.   Thanks

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6 hours ago, Bill Stoneberg said:

Nope   I have none for sale, just looking for one for my car.   Thanks

Bill, those folks at Old Air are very good to deal with on parts, returns, and advice. Thoroughly knowledgeanle. Old Air rebuilt an STV and Actuator for me quickly.

well done. If you need an STV CORE, or turn signal switch for tilt no cornering lights I have one.

Red Riviera Bob

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On 8/17/2017 at 7:47 AM, Jim Cannon said:

The "double diaphragm" (stacked diaphragms) under the blower motor allowed Buick to have the recirc door (or the "fresh air in" door, if that's what you want to call it) be fully closed when the system is fully off, part open when the A/C is on High fan speed and Max Cooling.  This is as close to fully recirc that Buick offered.  In all of A/C positions and in all modes with heat, the recirc door is fully open (i.e. full fresh air flow from outside).  This is all in the shop manual.  (In today's modern car A/C, they offer full recirc.).

 

Personally, I like having full recirc on my A/C all the time, instead of cooling down the hot, humid outside air in Houston.  So that is why I modified my system to be open for heat (all fresh air) and closed for A/C (full recirc) by having no vacuum applied to either diaphragm (or either port of a 2-port diaphragm, like you use on the plenum on the firewall under the hood).  I don't use the partial open setting at all.

 

The spring pulls the recirc door closed (full recirc -- no outside air) if no vacuum is on a diaphragm under the fan.  Better than what Buick did for cooling.  BTW, they were concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning.  That's why they wanted to bring in the fresh air all the time.  No cat converter on these cars, lots of CO.  Be careful!

 

 

 

 

 

Jim, I have AC now in the 63 Riviera and it is coming in the cabin ok. I believe the performance can be better if I replace JUST one more item.

The diaphragm on the bottom of the stacked diaphragms under the blower doesn't work. Would you happen to know where I might get a diaphragm like the one of the bottom? If, I can 't find the diaphragm on the bottom for replacement I just might do as you have. Have no vacuum applied to the top or bottom diaphragm. From what you have indicated  that might be the way I go. Right now I'm using the top the diaphragm and the bottom one is not working at all.

It was 90 degrees in Baltimore area yesterday and the humidity probably as high. The AC in the Riviera was fine No problems.- However, I'd like to get it right as right can be.

Red Riviera Bob

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On 8/18/2017 at 1:25 PM, 60FlatTop said:

It is interesting that the nearest city on my map is in another country. Cornell University has a deep water cooling system in Seneca Lake where the water is always 35 degrees.

Bernie, if the water in the lake is 35 degrees seems to me you don't need a cooling system at all, but just a pump to get the 35 degree water where you want to cool something. Im sure there is more to the story, but at first glance it makes me wonder.

Red Riviera Bob

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10 minutes ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

at first glance it makes me wonder

 

With the EPA involved it is amazing. There is even a contract with a guy in a rowboat who makes sure the light bulb 250 feet below the surface stays on to keep the fresh water shrimp out of the suction.

 

That's a starter. I got my lakes shifted. It is Cayuga Lake.

 

Internal cooling for buildings is a fairly high demand even though this isn't a warm climate. For cars, it's a yawn. Many cars have steel condenser coils. When the winter salt from the icy roads rots them out most people just stop pushing the snowflake button.

 

In the mid 1990's I had a nice GM compressor appropriate for my Riviera. It floated around my garage for about a decade and a half. Then I think it got tossed during one of the infrequent cleanups.

 

August 23rd, 1 PM, it is 68 degrees. I saw a nice little house on Grand Cayman over the weekend.

 

Bernie

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5 hours ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Jim, I have AC now in the 63 Riviera and it is coming in the cabin ok. I believe the performance can be better if I replace JUST one more item.

The diaphragm on the bottom of the stacked diaphragms under the blower doesn't work. Would you happen to know where I might get a diaphragm like the one of the bottom? If, I can 't find the diaphragm on the bottom for replacement I just might do as you have. Have no vacuum applied to the top or bottom diaphragm. From what you have indicated  that might be the way I go. Right now I'm using the top the diaphragm and the bottom one is not working at all.

It was 90 degrees in Baltimore area yesterday and the humidity probably as high. The AC in the Riviera was fine No problems.- However, I'd like to get it right as right can be.

Red Riviera Bob

Bob-

I do not know of a source for the double diaphragm unit new.  You could search on eBay.  Put a saved search in the system and have it notify you any time one is listed for sale.  Go by the GM part number.  I have gotten NOS parts this way where the seller did not really know what they had.

 

You can always get a used one off of a parts car.

 

If you know you have a bad diaphragm, plug that vacuum hose with a golf tee or a roofing nail to stop the vacuum leak there until it is replaced.

 

Look in the shop manual, page 11-72.  Your lower diaphragm is identified as #4 diaphragm.  This is the one that holds the recirc (fresh air) door open 1/4 when your A/C is on MAX cooling.  If your diaphragm is not working, you are getting full recirc.  This is what I actually did on my car for MAX cooling.  I put my COOL knob all the way in all the time and move the fan from High to Medium speed if too cold.  I would suggest you not change a thing.

 

MAX cooling means you have the COOL knob is pushed all the way in on the dash.  Anything less than that gives you 100% outside air going through the A/C coils.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Jim Cannon said:

Bob-

I do not know of a source for the double diaphragm unit new.  You could search on eBay.  Put a saved search in the system and have it notify you any time one is listed for sale.  Go by the GM part number.  I have gotten NOS parts this way where the seller did not really know what they had.

 

You can always get a used one off of a parts car.

 

If you know you have a bad diaphragm, plug that vacuum hose with a golf tee or a roofing nail to stop the vacuum leak there until it is replaced.

 

Look in the shop manual, page 11-72.  Your lower diaphragm is identified as #4 diaphragm.  This is the one that holds the recirc (fresh air) door open 1/4 when your A/C is on MAX cooling.  If your diaphragm is not working, you are getting full recirc.  This is what I actually did on my car for MAX cooling.  I put my COOL knob all the way in all the time and move the fan from High to Medium speed if too cold.  I would suggest you not change a thing.

 

MAX cooling means you have the COOL knob is pushed all the way in on the dash.  Anything less than that gives you 100% outside air going through the A/C coils.

 

 

 

 

Jim, I've had your answer all along and now that you have told me yet once again I have it as right as it is going to be.

many thanks for your patience and regarded professional advice.

Red Riviera Bob

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On 8/23/2017 at 1:02 PM, 60FlatTop said:

 

With the EPA involved it is amazing. There is even a contract with a guy in a rowboat who makes sure the light bulb 250 feet below the surface stays on to keep the fresh water shrimp out of the suction.

 

That's a starter. I got my lakes shifted. It is Cayuga Lake.

 

Internal cooling for buildings is a fairly high demand even though this isn't a warm climate. For cars, it's a yawn. Many cars have steel condenser coils. When the winter salt from the icy roads rots them out most people just stop pushing the snowflake button.

 

In the mid 1990's I had a nice GM compressor appropriate for my Riviera. It floated around my garage for about a decade and a half. Then I think it got tossed during one of the infrequent cleanups.

 

August 23rd, 1 PM, it is 68 degrees. I saw a nice little house on Grand Cayman over the weekend.

 

Bernie

 

On 8/23/2017 at 1:02 PM, 60FlatTop said:

 

With the EPA involved it is amazing. There is even a contract with a guy in a rowboat who makes sure the light bulb 250 feet below the surface stays on to keep the fresh water shrimp out of the suction.

 

That's a starter. I got my lakes shifted. It is Cayuga Lake.

 

Internal cooling for buildings is a fairly high demand even though this isn't a warm climate. For cars, it's a yawn. Many cars have steel condenser coils. When the winter salt from the icy roads rots them out most people just stop pushing the snowflake button.

 

In the mid 1990's I had a nice GM compressor appropriate for my Riviera. It floated around my garage for about a decade and a half. Then I think it got tossed during one of the infrequent cleanups.

 

August 23rd, 1 PM, it is 68 degrees. I saw a nice little house on Grand Cayman over the weekend.

 

Bernie

Bernie, the Harrison A6 was working when it was replaced with a NEW A6 style compressor. There was some, not a lot of tell tale grease around the clutch. I just didn't know to chance it or not and I already paid and received the A6. If, you want the Harrison A6 I'll send it up, no problems or worries.

RRB

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On 8/22/2017 at 0:45 PM, Bill Stoneberg said:

Ask your friend what check valve he got  please...  or did you get it someplace.

Bill, the check valve was purchased from Old Air in Texas. Helpful people at Old Air. Old Air knows what customer service is all about.

Red Riviera Bob

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On 8/18/2017 at 1:10 PM, KongaMan said:

On the assumption that you're responding to my comment about half-assery, I'll explain...

 

It's important to understand what the STV does and how it works.  In a nutshell, it varies the evaporator pressure, which, in turn, changes the temperature of the outlet air.  It is controlled by the vacuum modulator attached to the temperature control on the dash: the less vacuum at the valve, the lower the evaporator pressure and the lower the outlet air temperature.  Push the control all the way down, the vacuum to the valve drops to 0, the evaporator pressure drops, the air gets colder.  Slide the control back up, the vacuum to the valve rises, the evaporator pressure rises, the air gets warmer.

 

If the STV is replaced by a cycling switch, it's entirely different.  In that setup, the evaporator pressure is always at its lowest setting; the outlet temperature is always as cold as it will go.  The system is cycled according to feedback from a new temperature sensor on the evaporator.  This is how it works: the system runs fullout until the sensor says it's too cold, then the compressor shuts off.  When the sensor indicates it has warmed up, the compressor kicks on again. And so on.  What you may have noticed is that you have no control over this: your temperature control is inoperative.  You cannot change the temperature at the outlets.  If you want it a little bit warmer (e.g.dehumidifiing on a cool, foggy evening ), you're SOL.

 

IOW, you now have a cruder, less capable system.  IMHO, it's far better to rebuild your STV (if that was problem) and keep the original functionality than to replace it with inferior components.

 

NB: IIRC, the STV on the Riviera works differently from the STV used on other contemporary full-size Buicks. For those cars, higher vacuum at the valve lowers the evaporator pressure.  This is why the the Riviera AC can be such a PITA to fix; it has some unique parts.

Can the STV on the 63 be adjusted to bring 60 Lb of pressure on the low side down to 25/30 lb range?

Thank you

Red Riviera Bob

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