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Old 04-26-2019, 02:14 PM   #1
xactorocker
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Question AirConditoning System Question

hey, first I would like to ask this question. I live in Georgia and have a 1985 Volvo 245. is the a/c even worth fixing?
if so someone added an aftermarket switch for my a/c system and the compressor looks to be new. but the a/c clutch does not engage when I turn it on but the idle does change like the compressor is running. is there any way to test the system before I try and charge it. or should I just get an estimate from a shop?
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:23 PM   #2
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Has it been r134a ‘converted’? As in, are there r134a low side (and possibly high side) fittings?

If so, check manifold pressures. It’s likely that it’s low on refrigerant.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #3
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The system is probably low on freon causing the low pressure switch to prevent the clutch from engaging. You can jump the switch to verify that the clutch will engage just don't leave it that position very long.

First question is about whether the system has been upgraded from the original R12 to the current R134a gas. Look for the low pressure side of the compressor and the associated fill port. If it is the size of a tire valve take it to specialist. If it is significantly larger then it has been converted. There should also be a label attached somewhere under the hood identifying that it has been converted.

Doesn't sound like you have much experience or tools for AC work so the easy answer is to take it to an AC tech.

If you have a pressure gauge you can verify what the static pressure (compressor not running) is. If you get a reading of more than 10-15 psi try a can of 134a gas. They come with gauges at Walmart. Put enough in to allow the low pressure switch to operate the clutch and see if you get any cool air. The gauge will have a label indicating how much gas to add. Too much is as bad as not enough.

Fill to the gauge identified pressure level and drive it until it no longer cools. That will tell you if an occasional $5 can of gas is a valid solution or you need to have it repaired.

If you do not get a static pressure reading take it to an AC tech.

Lots of youtube videos on all this.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:35 PM   #4
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^ lots of good info there, but we all start somewhere. My advice is to learn how to properly check/charge a system, and then DIY. Because AC work is extremely expensive when done by a professional.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:52 PM   #5
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I daily my 1991 240 wagon in Columbia, SC. In case you wondered, it's hot here in the summer.

I am also old enough that I refuse to suffer with a hot car in the summer since I don't have to.

The stock A/C in my Volvo works just peachy. The aftermarket A/C in my 1980 Z-28 is absolute garbage. I should have kept the big ugly A/C case in the Camaro and had working A/C instead of wasting time and money on the aftermarket garbage.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestPoint View Post
The system is probably low on freon causing the low pressure switch to prevent the clutch from engaging. You can jump the switch to verify that the clutch will engage just don't leave it that position very long.

First question is about whether the system has been upgraded from the original R12 to the current R134a gas. Look for the low pressure side of the compressor and the associated fill port. If it is the size of a tire valve take it to specialist. If it is significantly larger then it has been converted. There should also be a label attached somewhere under the hood identifying that it has been converted.

Doesn't sound like you have much experience or tools for AC work so the easy answer is to take it to an AC tech.

If you have a pressure gauge you can verify what the static pressure (compressor not running) is. If you get a reading of more than 10-15 psi try a can of 134a gas. They come with gauges at Walmart. Put enough in to allow the low pressure switch to operate the clutch and see if you get any cool air. The gauge will have a label indicating how much gas to add. Too much is as bad as not enough.

Fill to the gauge identified pressure level and drive it until it no longer cools. That will tell you if an occasional $5 can of gas is a valid solution or you need to have it repaired.

If you do not get a static pressure reading take it to an AC tech.

Lots of youtube videos on all this.
Excellent advice from TestPoint. The only adder for me is to check the compressor "center plate" and see if you can turn it by hand. The external V-belt pulley rides a bearing on the center (driven) sheave which turns the compressor. If you cannot turn that by hand (do this with engine OFF) then your compressor is dead. Follow the series of checks listed above.... if you are unable, then you need an AC tech or a lot of learnin'

For sure, your system can be made to work and will reasonably cool the old Swede.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57plymouth View Post

The stock A/C in my Volvo works just peachy. The aftermarket A/C in my 1980 Z-28 is absolute garbage. I should have kept the big ugly A/C case in the Camaro and had working A/C instead of wasting time and money on the aftermarket garbage.
I'm Charlotte, NC where it's pretty hot/humid a good 5 months a year. The aftermarket A/C in my 82 242 Volvo works just peachy. The stock/oem A/C in the same car was absolute garbage. I'm glad I got rid of the big ugly A/C system in the 242 and spent time and money on the aftermarket system to get working A/C.

It appears there's not a one-size-fits-all in these things. Follow Testpoint's lead...you'll discover if you have something you can work with or not.
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Old 04-27-2019, 03:34 PM   #8
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Get some Enviro-safe ES12 to charge your system with. It gets colder than the original R-12 refrigerant does. It is cheaper than R-134 and you do not have to have a license to work with it.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:49 PM   #9
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well I looked at the fitting and I'm not sure what one it is. i think it looks like 134 but can any of you guys tell me which this is r12 or r134a http://imgur.com/gallery/TF1ff0n


thanks
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:03 PM   #10
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That’s 134 - 12 are threaded.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:15 PM   #11
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^^

Yes, it has been converted to 134. Enviro-safe is set up with threaded cans that fit a 134 can tap/gun.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:56 PM   #12
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This book was a great help to me when I re-did my 240's ac. There are also plenty of videos on youtube for troubleshooting and helping you become more familiar with your ac system.

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Old 04-27-2019, 09:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyturbos View Post
Get some Enviro-safe ES12 to charge your system with. It gets colder than the original R-12 refrigerant does. It is cheaper than R-134 and you do not have to have a license to work with it.
I second this. I ran ES12a in my '82 and R134 in my '88. The '82 was roughly 10f colder at the vents.
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:46 PM   #14
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I just have a question where is the fill side going to be? the one I pictured or is there one somewhere else. thank you I got a gauge to check the pressure
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Old 04-28-2019, 03:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xactorocker View Post
I just have a question where is the fill side going to be? the one I pictured or is there one somewhere else. thank you I got a gauge to check the pressure
The one pictured is the high side I believe. Low side port would be somewhere between firewall and compressor, or just on the back of the compressor.
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:19 PM   #16
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Yes, liquid or high pressure side. If you have a gauge associated with a refill can it will only go on the low pressure side.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:26 PM   #17
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just to clarify to test and refill I need to get to the low pressure side?
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:32 PM   #18
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Yes.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:43 PM   #19
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ok thank you
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