TexRiv_63

1966 Dodge Monaco Wagon A/C Resurrection

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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 3:56 PM, Bill Stoneberg said:

Don   it too late for you but I have been using Eaton's quick Clip system for my AC lines.  I love it as it lets me do it easily in my garage.   I see you have a AC Crimper though.

Good luck with this project.

Thanks Bill. The hydraulic crimper is very easy to use but like many things in this project I have my fingers firmly crossed that all will work.

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I tackled the main low side refrigerant line yesterday. In order to hook up with the rear A/C I needed to route it over the top of the engine like the factory metal pipe, including a kick-up to clear the throttle / trans linkage. I tried doing it with a single hose but that big #12 size would not bend enough, so I used a 90 degree coupler and two shorter pieces of hose. I connected it to the compressor with a side exit hardline from Nostalgic A/C and a #10/#12 stepup adapter fitting. I also found a carb adaptor to fit the stock air cleaner which now clears everything. Need to get some black zip-ties instead of the white but it came out OK.

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I am now pretty much done with installation. The high side and liquid lines are in and connected to the condenser. I ran the high side line through the factory grommet under the battery and connected it to the compressor with the other hardline from the Nostalgic A/C kit. The liquid line runs up over the top of the condenser, looks a little weird but should work. The only unconnected fittings are at the dryer which is mounted in the oem location. I made up a wiring harness connecting the thermo cycling switch to the pressure switch then back to the compressor, all 14 gauge wiring. First time I ever used the "static cling" non-adhesive tape, it was easy to use and looks factory. Tomorrow I plan to connect the dryer up and pull a vacuum - first big hurdle, fingers will be crossed.

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The new system has been successfully evacuated and recharged. I hooked up the last two fittings at the dryer on Monday and set up my gauges and vacuum pump. This was my first attempt using the quick connect high and low pieces and I didn't know you had to tighten them up to open the valves so when I turned the pump on it immediately pulled a 30! Luckily I read the instructions a little better and tightened the connectors down, doing it right it took longer but I still pegged the needle and the vacuum held.
One thing I have noticed all through this project is how many different opinions there are on how to do things like flushing, evacuating and charging. Between instruction sheets, online articles, forum posts and You-Tube videos it is easy to get confused!
I probably vacuumed that system a total of at least 2 hours because of my screw-ups, including about 20 minutes tuesday before charging. The charging process went well, the compressor started up about 10 minutes after opening the first can of R134. It took about an hour and a half and used 28 ounces to fill to 50psi low / 300psi high. The worst part was that summer is here in Texas with 95 degrees ambient so it was probably about 120 in my garage and I felt like a drowned rat! I still have to replace the grille and do some cleanup but I'm looking forward to driving it.

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This job is officially done, the car is all back together and I have driven it 3 times in 90 degree weather. I am very happy, both front and rear units work great, and it will freeze you out in the Max A/C setting! I am still knocking on wood and keeping fingers crossed regarding the long term but I am glad I chose the conversion route. For the purists watching, it doesn't really shout custom except for maybe the compressor. I have saved all the stock parts and nothing I have done is irreversible, so...

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1 hour ago, TexRiv_63 said:

This job is officially done, the car is all back together and I have driven it 3 times in 90 degree weather. I am very happy, both front and rear units work great, and it will freeze you out in the Max A/C setting! I am still knocking on wood and keeping fingers crossed regarding the long term but I am glad I chose the conversion route. For the purists watching, it doesn't really shout custom except for maybe the compressor. I have saved all the stock parts and nothing I have done is irreversible, so...

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 Good job, Don.

 

   Don't worry about the purists. I didn't.

 

  Ben

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Really nice job, Don. Functional A/C is always a big plus in an old car and you did it right. Originality is one thing, but on a car that's going to be used reliability beats all. If a future buyer complains, offer to take all the new stuff off and put the old stuff back on and see how he reacts. 

 

Looks awesome!

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Look's great!! Only thing I would do is paint the condenser black and help it blend in behind the grille. Im pretty sure the factory just sprayed everything black before the grille was installed at the factory anyway you can see the overspray on your radiator cradle. Love your car!

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 6:43 PM, billorn said:

Look's great!! Only thing I would do is paint the condenser black and help it blend in behind the grille. Im pretty sure the factory just sprayed everything black before the grille was installed at the factory anyway you can see the overspray on your radiator cradle. Love your car!

I thought about doing that but was advised by many sources that the paint would affect cooling performance. Since my condenser is a bit undersized I won't take that chance.

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TexRiv, I read all three pages of your installation in the Monaco station wagon. I took some notes regarding method approach to making a repair. Your sketch was well done and certainly a method I can use. The engine bay, new paint looks great. I’m happy to learn of your “chilling” success!

My Riv is cooking me very well. The all new AC components and STV update switch I believe made the difference. Getting the original evaporator box reinstalled  under the dash with new barrier hoses was r e a l

hard. 

At the very end I had a blockage which was too much oil in the AC muffler. With all

the evacuating I did I neglected to evacuate the AC muffler. My thinking about a muffler was out of context with an AC application.

I was totally stumped why my R12 would not charge. Bottom line/ Tom Telesco came in from Norwalk CT to finish the install. A couple of add on items like a vacuum tank and severe duty clutch fan will hopefully improve performance  in bumper to bumper traffic and when I accelerate enough to merit the extra expense. The work I can do myself.

Thank you for your support over the years.

Bob Burnopp 

 

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Barring any problems or questions I will probably not be adding any more to this thread. I did want to finish up with some cost and time comments in case anyone contemplating a similar project may be interested.

Time: I started thinking about restoring vs. converting last year when my oem system crapped out. Like I always do I dithered around for quite a while, I did a LOT of research including other detailed threads previously mentioned. I finally made the decision to do the modern upgrade conversion the end of March this year and started buying tools and parts. The actual teardown began on May 1 and it was done and working on July 12, roughly 10 weeks. I am 70 years old and retired so I could work on this whenever I wanted to but for the same two reasons I took it slow and easy. My typical work "day" was probably 3 to 4 hours with at least a day off in between work days, sometimes a lot more than that. For other chronologically challenged folks I will say this was a pretty easy job with very little under-car time and more brain work than brute force.

Tools: While I already owned all the basic mechanic's tools I had never done my own A/C work before so I did invest in quite a bit - Gauge set, vacuum pump, flush gun, hydraulic hose crimper, can taps, and other misc. I bought because I wanted them for future use but most tools can be rented or borrowed, I am not including tools in my cost for the project.

Cost: All of the parts including R134 refrigerant and oil cost $975.00. I did not have to farm out any work so my labor was free. I chose to buy the parts piecemeal rather than get an underhood kit mostly because of my need to connect to the rear system, none of the kits followed the routing I wanted. I paid extra for a genuine Sanden compressor versus all the Chinese knockoffs and I used the Bouchillon compressor mounts which were expensive but well worth it. The compressor, all fittings and all hose came from Cold Hose which is actually Air Parts in Ocala, FL. Their prices beat everyone elses and all is USA made. The condenser came from Nostalgic A/C mostly because they had the right size and I bought their compressor hardline kit because no one else offered it.

I hope this is of help.
 

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28 minutes ago, TexRiv_63 said:

 I am 70 years old and retired so I could work on this whenever I wanted to but for the same two reasons I took it slow and easy. My typical work "day" was probably 3 to 4 hours with at least a day off in between work days, sometimes a lot more than that.
 

This is also my work pace! We have about the same age...

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