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Shaffer

Automatic climate control on early/mid 70s GM cars

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It seems as if the auto climate control is not as rare on the 71-76 GM wagons as I thought. Just this week, I have found two wagons - a 1972 Chevrolet Kingswood Estate wagon and a 1974 Pontiac Grand Safari wagon with this option. I wish I had the storage space for these, but I do not. The 74 Grand Safari may be derbied. The owner is going to remove the engine and sell the body back to the previous owner, who plans to sell teh car to a derbier. These wagons are getting more rare everyday. See the post here of the 76 Buick Estate Wagon. That would make a great car to restore.

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Tony, there's times I wish automatic temp control were so rare as to be nonexistent!<P>I have two TempMatic Oldsmobiles that work ok for the most part, though the 83 wagon has had to have a couple of junkyard programmers. It used to whistle and buzz to beat Sam trying to modulate temp in the car. I've gotten fairly good at diagnosing why they won't work- of course, the 22 degree morning that it stuck in full cold, and I drove 30 miles to work with no heat, made me determined to understand the silly things!<P>I have looked at several nice cars and once I saw they had Comfortron I decided someone else needed that car worse than me. A good friend who retired from Oldsmobile Zone service told me once that from 1966-73, more than half their zone level service work involved trying to get Comfortrons to work. That was all I needed to hear to know I didn't want one!<P>Amazing that Olds, who innovated it, dumped it in favor of TempMatic semi-automatic system in 1974, but Buick, Chevy and Pontiac stuck with it. Just today I saw a 1981 Pontiac Grand Safari that had it in a junkyard.

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I did not even know the 77-newer generations had that option. I do not think my old 1983 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency 4dr did not have that feature. I do think my old 1971 Oldsmobile Toronado had it.

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I have "Climate control" on my 72 Electra and it works perfectly. Is this the same sydtem as the "Tempmatic"? I had an 83 Olds regency 98 that had some type of climate control. It worked fine. My 65 Eldorado and my 72 Sedan Deville both have climate control. I don't know if it works on the Eldo. but it does wotk on my 72 Deville. Seems like I have had good luck so far. Is the olds system the same as the Buick and Cadillac? Seems like it would be since all are GM cars.

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My old 1972 Cadillac had the auto-climate control. I think all of Cadillacs from about 1962 that had A/C had this as standard.<p>[ 02-20-2002: Message edited by: Shaffer ]

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I think the Buick Climate Control is like TempMatic in that you can select the outlets the airflow comes out of with the a/c control- lever on Olds, rotary dial on Buick. The bottom lever sets the temperature setting.<P>Tempmatic has 2 levers, one to select air outlets, and one to set temperature. You also have control of the A/C compressor with the semi-automatic system. On Comfortron the compressor runs all the time and you have just the one lever to set hi, lo, med, def and deice. Then the electric marvel does its thing, keeping you at 70 degrees if you're lucky!

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My moms 1981 Toyota Cressida sedan has automatic climate control. It works OK (car not run in over a year), but it did make an annoying "gurgling" sound from time to time.

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My '79er Century has automatic climate control. One lever to select the mode and a wheel to set the temperature.<BR>I've experienced a problem that still keeps me puzzled: the control unit won't activate the blower fan. The fan works fine when getting power. I borrowed another control unit from a parts store - fan wouldn't work either. As a workaround, I have a hidden switch that'll start the fan but I'd like it to work with the control unit. Did anyone experience the same problem? Any ideas? <P>Tom Ucen<BR>1979 Buick Century Ltd. V8 301<BR>Munich, Germany

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Tom ,<BR>Did you wait for the car to warm up before you tried the climate control . I used to own a 78 Cadillac w/ climate control that I got off my brother who said the same thing as you , that the blower didnt work. What was actually happening was the high speed blower relay was bad and as a result instead of getting a fan response immediately , the fan would only come on after the car reached operating temperature and could supply heat . After I figured this out I just had to wait for the car to warm up & I had good heat & fan response , in fact that car would roast you out<P>Dan

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Hi Dan,<P>the blower works great, but the climate control unit simply won't activate it. There are 3 wires leading to the blower from the control unit that activate the blower at 3 different speeds. Subjected each wire directly to a hot wire makes the blower work as desired. Changing the control unit did not help. It's so illogical.... confused.gif" border="0

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My second 72 Riviera had the automatic AC and it worked great as long as I owned it. It was sold in 94, so Buicks from those years were very reliable cars. I remember seeing consumer reports auto reliability guides from then and CR said the Buicks and Olds held up the best. <P>Back to my AC, it was great on a cold morning, because it would only come on when the engine was warm. Since the blower motor was always on, I would get a warm interior, even if the control was set to off. Then once it got to the right temp, it would switch to outside air. A very thoughtful touch from Buick.<P>I only had trouble with the high blower relay. It went bad once and melted the inline fuse holder near it. I saw many Cads with underhood fires that I bet were caused by that same bad relay. I also had to replace the fan blower motor. Otherwise it worked great. <P>Carl Spears<BR>72 Riv Under Construction

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I once had a trouble with my blower on my former 76 Electra with a.c.c. the blower worked only on defrost. It was the thermal switch that is mounted at the rear of the passenger side head that did not work. I bypassed it until I had anew one and the blower worked again.(all full size and mid size cars of this period including those with manual or no a/c have one)

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I cant find out which sensor to purchase - the one located at the rear of the passenger side head - climate control only works when I ground this wire out and would like to get it back to normal. Also, vacuume diaphram under passenger side dash will not change over to heat so I have this jumped out - anyone know the correct fix?

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Is the system in your car manual, semi automatic of fully automatic? As you said, you need to replace the sensor at the back of the passenger side head. I don't know the part number but it shouldn't be hard to find!

As for the system that stays in "no heat" it could be many things... To help you with that, I'd need more details and pics of your system. I know that 1971 to early 1974 automatic systems could be locked in no heat mode if the outside temp sensor (on the evaporator box) or it's connection was wrong... After that, the Mark II programmers were changed so if the same situation happens, the system gets full heat. It happened to me once during the summer... All I needed to do was to clean the sensor connectors.

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Thanks for the info - especially on the outside temp sensor!!! I have looked for the sensor on the back of the head - brought 2 different versions (all I could find) and they are the classic intake manifold versions - the one on the back of the head is much smaller thread........

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hi my 68 electra had the auto temp control option to jim

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