Condenser Upgrade/R134 conversion

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Condenser Upgrade/R134 conversion

Postby 69-er » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:43 pm

I have factory AC in my 1966 Chevy C10. When I operated it years ago, I believe I remember it being cold but not a whole lot of airflow. So, to save money I decided to stay with it.

I still have a supply of R12 so I was going to continue to use that. I upgraded to one of those A-6 replacement aluminum compressors that bolt in directly, (brand new).

Now, I am looking at a more efficient condenser in addition to converting to R134. I'm wondering how successful you guys have been in converting in this old of a system?
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Re: Condenser Upgrade/R134 conversion

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:10 pm

Question is why don't you have what you call "not so much airflow" in the existing system?

Airflow thru ducts or airflow by fan to radiator and condenser? That you can just upgrade fan, fan clutch or just a new one vs older they lose some % of power just by the years and miles - not that much for some. Some if fan clutch (not sure what was done for 1966 on trucks clutch matters a lot!

Couple types: Cheap isn't thermos reactive just a part point of strong all the time and annoying IMO with higher RPM use noisy and noticeable power loss to just fan.

Other is ask for thermostatic maximum duty that you can fit on it. May need to do some fussing for parts depending on engine. If V8 many full size luxo vehicles might just fit - Cadillac by '66 Climate Control was standard equipment for all (I think) and if not wanted a "credit delete option" was available.

If you mean airflow thru dash ducts - take out blower and clean the junk out or toss the wheel for new or whole motor and wheel together. Caution if you haven't been there or played with those, many of the fans are left hand threaded! Don't bust it or the motor is junk without it.

Hey - I see national news on how hot it's been about whole SouthWest of US. However, if it was adequate ever before for you, you might want to first fix the airflow issue.

IDK - it's at an age (plenty old enough myself to know of these new) nobody where I still live would think of paying for A/C in a real truck at all and never saw one with A/C ever!

It can convert and do OK. The two things that matter most will be fan and most efficient fan set up you can do then too,

T
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Re: Condenser Upgrade/R134 conversion

Postby 69-er » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:28 pm

Yeah, let me clarify my post!

I was referring to duct airflow. The factory system has just a center dash outlet, (two balls and a small rectangular outlet). I always assumed the design just wasn't very efficient. The fan and airflow was pretty noisy for the amount of air coming out of the outlets. That was after I "rebuilt" the underdash box with new seals years ago. I am considering adding two balls on either end of the dash.

I have an aluminum radiator with a 14" electric fan and shroud. I have found a kit with a parallel flow condenser that will bolt up to the core support.
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Re: Condenser Upgrade/R134 conversion

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:54 pm

IDK what "factory air" would look like but sounds more like an aftermarket job? Hey - tell me if I'm wrong, trucks were for working with not luxo trucks of today. No carpet, nothing on ceilings or door panels except an arm rest. But all should have had vent windows and real floor vents you got real temp of outdoor air not thru ducts.

OK - So you've change to electric unheard of for '66 for much of anything.

Things I might do to tell if changing this is going to help much with condenser part of the deal. Spray it with water after you get the air temp at inside vents and see if the drop is incredible or just some. Water on condenser is 10X the ability of air - if a constant spray available you wouldn't need a fan at all.

Fine to convert just know the properties of 134a vs 12 make it about 80% capable all things the same. To cover that you would made condenser more able and fans always help if done right and really not leaking around them.

Other things to help load on A/C that really work you may have already done: Paint roof a very reflective silver or very light color if not already. Insulate anywhere you can including floors and door panels but make sure doors drain water properly. Don't forget window tinting also.

Does this system have a sight glass? Is it showing properly?

There's only so much you are going to change and not even sure real pick up trucks had A/C as an option for sure? Probably yes as the same body that you never see was still made as a Suburban I think goes way way back under that name. Many were bare paint inside whole back for covered utility.

Truth is I can't know what to expect for performance now that you mention lousy design for interior vents. I plain can't know if you can beef up the blower easily or not. Faster air flow there doesn't mean colder air just "exchanges" more of what's possible. You might exceed what possible with size of evaporator?

Just hate to see you go convert it and do stuff that IMO makes it less durable which may not matter where you are too much.

So if not as insulated as possible and up to par as even the lousy design I'd still try all the things mentioned if not done already first and all that much better if you do decide to go to 134a,

T

Know the body of this as owned one 1971 was about the same. Gas tank behind seat and all that.
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