Deven DeNava

1955 Buick Air Conditioning

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Hi, I’ve got a 1955 Buick Roadmaster with factory are that doesn’t work. Is there anyway to have it fix, are there kits to rebuild it?  The car came from California, the compressor spins freely and the condenser looks like new, but when I got the car it wasn’t hooked up so something must of been wrong.  If there is any leads on who could fix it or rebuild kits of some sort it would be helpful, thanks!

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That unit would use the old R-12 refrigerant. I would guess it was unhooked because it needed Freon and it was too expensive to recharge it.  You should be able to find a shop willing to convert it to modern refrigerant but I do not know the cost and also what else may be wrong with your system.

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Put this out on one of the ACAA Forum Buick pages - there are a ton of 1955 folks out there and a couple have ventured into A/C - turns out a new seal and some time is about all it takes to get a non-abused system going, though I believe you still are looking at only a season between recharging.   

 

There was a fellow putting new rotary pumps into Buick cases (a 1955 has a pretty large case so it can be done) and then using vintage air pieces (they make a trunk unit that fits within the Buick trunk unit)

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A cheaper suggestion would be to use the old 4-60 air conditioning system which is to roll down all 4 windows and cruise at 60 mph. Good luck.... :D

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I believe that it was right to ban the manufacture of R-12, however there is plenty of the stuff still out there. It will not go away, and will at some point escape into the atmosphere. Leaving it contained, thinking that it will magically remain remain contained is shortsighted. I believe that a better solution is to use it in a well maintained system, that was designed for it, and from which it can be reclaimed for later reuse. Substituting a less offending chemical, in my view, only puts another level of chemical offender into the environment, that will no doubt have other unanticipated consequences. 

Bill

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7 hours ago, Buffalowed Bill said:

Substituting a less offending chemical, in my view, only puts another level of chemical offender into the environment, that will no doubt have other unanticipated consequences. 

 

You mean like MTBE?

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

maybe a good first step would be to evacuate the system and see if it holds a vacuum.

 

I agree, you need to find and isolate the problem. When I restored my 62 Biscayne I had everything rebuilt by a vendor in Tampa FL, thinking of it now it was very expensive and costly to ship the parts back and forth. Unless you are building a show car I would  find the problem. Some of the parts alone can be pricey. A few years ago a friend of mine used them and had the compressor rebuilt on his 59 Plymouth. I am trying to remember their name, just drawing a blank....... 

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

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With the risk of alerting the enviro-nazis, I have a tank that is half full of the original R-12.

 

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On 6/30/2020 at 11:47 PM, Deven DeNava said:

Hi, I’ve got a 1955 Buick Roadmaster with factory are that doesn’t work. Is there anyway to have it fix, are there kits to rebuild it?  The car came from California, the compressor spins freely and the condenser looks like new, but when I got the car it wasn’t hooked up so something must of been wrong.  If there is any leads on who could fix it or rebuild kits of some sort it would be helpful, thanks!

if you wanted the A5 compressor checked out, tested, and repaired if needed, classic auto air in florida is the place to send it to. i have the same exact 55 buick roadmaster trunk unit sitting in my 1953 pontiac chieftain custom catalina trunk, waiting to be mounted and hooked up, i have a 55 pontiac 287 V8 mounted with the same A5 compressor, and my dash has the 1954 pontiac factory in dash up front air conditiong system as well.

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