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Old 04-25-2016, 02:17 PM   #127
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I have a Robinair Recovery/Recycling system but it won't draw a vacuum for testing and filling the system so I will eventually need need a vacuum pump to work on my Argosy air conditioning system. Hence, I've been looking at this 2-state vacuum pump on ebay.
I think that pump is a justifiable 'Peanut' expense, if you know what I mean Brad....
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:50 PM   #128
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I think that pump is a justifiable 'Peanut' expense, if you know what I mean Brad....
Possibly. Let me first try and determine whether there is any freon in the system. Even with the engine turned off if I connect my gauges I should have a pressure reading on the gauge. If it's still light out when I get done mowing tonight I'll see about getting my gauges connected.
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:46 PM   #129
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I'm am obsessed by the quality of the manual generated in 1977 (compared to the leaflet that they issues in 1975 and 1976).....
I am thinking I may ring up Airstream and just for a price for part number #101113 stretch formed segment - lower curbside, just because I can!

In this case having a part number was almost worthless as these stretch formed panels are no longer available from Airstream...add another to the list of parts made from unobtainium.

More worrying is every Argosy/Classic MH out there has very similar front quarters so does this mean we are all 'stuffed' in case of a prang?
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Old 04-26-2016, 03:57 PM   #130
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That's a shame. The panels must have been available back in 2000 as my old 310 had the right front quarter replaced after the PO hit something necessitating replacement. The repair wasn't 100% perfect but was darn close.

As far as generic aluminum panels the material for the right front quarter can be purchased at Metals Depot which is about 35 miles from me.

What we'll probably have to do is cut out the bad section under the rub rail and straighten it well enough to make a tracing from it. I've got electric shears which should suffice for cutting it to shape. From there we'll just have to wing it
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:53 PM   #131
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It would appear that Peanut at some point in the past has had the dash A/C re-charged with R134a. I say that based on the following picture showing what appears to be R134a adapters on the ports and the fact that my R12 gauge set would not fit the ports
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The dryer looks to be original or at least OLD so it's hard to say what sort of conversion might have been done to change it to R134a.
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I'm no expert on A/C systems but my guess is the next step would be to try and draw a vacuum on the system and if it holds then try charging it with R134a and see how it does. At least R134a is a lot cheaper than R12

I haven't tried my R134a gauge set to see if it has pressure as it's raining here and I didn't feel like walking back down to the shop in the rain
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:53 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
It would appear that Peanut at some point in the past has had the dash A/C re-charged with R134a. I say that based on the following picture showing what appears to be R134a adapters on the ports and the fact that my R12 gauge set would not fit the ports
Attachment 261478

The dryer looks to be original or at least OLD so it's hard to say what sort of conversion might have been done to change it to R134a.
Attachment 261479

I'm no expert on A/C systems but my guess is the next step would be to try and draw a vacuum on the system and if it holds then try charging it with R134a and see how it does. At least R134a is a lot cheaper than R12

I haven't tried my R134a gauge set to see if it has pressure as it's raining here and I didn't feel like walking back down to the shop in the rain
Apparently it was changed before Andre owned Peanut, so I have reached out to the other PO to try and get some more info.
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:00 PM   #133
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Brad,
Those pictures look just like the ones in my 77 as it came from the factory including the receiver/drier. As you probably know the oil for Freon 12 is a mineral oil whereas the oil for 134a is a synthetic oil. Supposedly 134a is not compatible with the mineral oil and will cause it to gum up in the system. Hopefully tHe system was flushed, but from your pictures showing the original looking receiver/drier I wonder.
That AC system is from GM and came with the chassis. In the picture showing the compressor, there is a coupling in the suction line just to the right of the compressor. GM shipped the system pre-charged but the evaporator was disconnected from everything else. The evaporator is a unit made by Harrison - a GM company. Argosy mounted the evaporator under the dash and connected the freon lines and wiring for the blower motor. I think that you are on the right track to check for any refrigerant in the system.
On my unit it turned out that the compressor o-ring seals at the heads were leaking. I replaced it with a rebuilt compressor from O'Reilly Part Number 57079. The compressor w/clutch was a for a 76 Pontiac Astre. The clutch has the belt groove closer to the head than most A6 compressor clutches. I tried a nice new AL replacement compressor but the belt groove didn't line up properly. Besides the rebuilt A6 compressor, I purchased a new receiver/drier, hoses, parallel flow condenser, and evaporator assembly. I probably could have done just fine by not replacing the evaporator but changed it anyway. In the end I am delighted with the performance of the system. Sitting in my drive on a 100 degree day I can get 32 degree air out of the registers. Driving on the road and the windows and structure heating, the temp will run between 35 - 40 degrees without the roof AC on.
Gregg
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:22 AM   #134
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Brad,
Those pictures look just like the ones in my 77 as it came from the factory including the receiver/drier. As you probably know the oil for Freon 12 is a mineral oil whereas the oil for 134a is a synthetic oil. Supposedly 134a is not compatible with the mineral oil and will cause it to gum up in the system. Hopefully tHe system was flushed, but from your pictures showing the original looking receiver/drier I wonder.
That AC system is from GM and came with the chassis. In the picture showing the compressor, there is a coupling in the suction line just to the right of the compressor. GM shipped the system pre-charged but the evaporator was disconnected from everything else. The evaporator is a unit made by Harrison - a GM company. Argosy mounted the evaporator under the dash and connected the freon lines and wiring for the blower motor. I think that you are on the right track to check for any refrigerant in the system.
On my unit it turned out that the compressor o-ring seals at the heads were leaking. I replaced it with a rebuilt compressor from O'Reilly Part Number 57079. The compressor w/clutch was a for a 76 Pontiac Astre. The clutch has the belt groove closer to the head than most A6 compressor clutches. I tried a nice new AL replacement compressor but the belt groove didn't line up properly. Besides the rebuilt A6 compressor, I purchased a new receiver/drier, hoses, parallel flow condenser, and evaporator assembly. I probably could have done just fine by not replacing the evaporator but changed it anyway. In the end I am delighted with the performance of the system. Sitting in my drive on a 100 degree day I can get 32 degree air out of the registers. Driving on the road and the windows and structure heating, the temp will run between 35 - 40 degrees without the roof AC on.
Gregg
Gregg, lots of great info here! Do you remember which parallel flow condenser you used, or what the dimensions were? Here's a picture of the parallel flow condenser I've mounted to my Argosy radiator.
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I have no idea how well it will work as it's not installed in the vehicle yet but it's the largest parallel flow condenser (22"x22") that I could buy that would fit. I was told parallel flow condensers could only be mounted with the tubes running horizontally which is why it doesn't cover the whole front of the radiator like I would have preferred.

Any other part numbers you would care to share would be great

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:15 PM   #135
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Peanut just threw us a curve ball

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Here's a picture of the A/C gauges with the engine stopped and it hasn't been running for a week or two. When the engine is running the compressor never kicks in. I was expecting zero pressure to be present.

I found this snippet of info after doing a quick Google search:

The pressure readings you see when the a/c system is not operating is called static pressure. When the system is off, and temperature is stable, the pressure you see on both the high and low side gauges should be the same, or very close. Both the high and low side of the system have equalized.

The high side gauge hardly moved if at all when I connected the gauges which I believe would indicate that there is a blockage somewhere in the system. I'm pretty sure the only thing you can do if there is a blockage is to dismantle the system to clean and/or replace components. My old F350 had the same thing happen and if I remember right it required a new compressor, condenser, dryer and some other odds and ends.
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Old 04-28-2016, 10:34 PM   #136
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Brad,
I got my condenser from Old Air Products of Ft. Worth, TX - a short drive from my house. They were great people to work with me. The condenser is their part number 11-2015 which is a 20" x 15" unit configured to mount with a vertical radiator.

With slow leaking issues on my original system I decided to change everything and convert to 134a. The evaporator (their 800 series unit with a front made for attaching hoses, receiver/drier with a binary high pressure cutout switch, hoses, and condenser all came from Old Air Products. The rebuilt A6 compressor came from O'Reilly Auto Parts. They ordered the one for a 76 Pontiac Astra from their warehouse and it had the drive belt groove in the proper location to replace the original compressor. All of the original engine mounts were retained as well as the two controls in the dash. The refrigerant hoses routed a little differently but worked out well with the radiator out of the way.
Gregg

Your gauge reading sure indicate an issue with the system on Peanut and maybe the reason the compressor clutch has been disconnected.
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:43 AM   #137
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Hi guys, I am struggling to understand the interpretation of the findings.

I can undertstand if something is blocked the static pressure goes hi and the compressor wont kick in to run. But surely the attachment of a gauge would have dropped the pressure (at the point of attachment at least) so you would have had to start the engine and for the compressor to kick in to rebuild the static pressure, and then the fault condition would be seen after the compressor stops, as not decaying?

The gauges don't provide pressure they just measure so where is the pressure coming from?
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:16 AM   #138
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Brad,
I got my condenser from Old Air Products of Ft. Worth, TX - a short drive from my house. They were great people to work with me. The condenser is their part number 11-2015 which is a 20" x 15" unit configured to mount with a vertical radiator.
Wow, I'm impressed that you're getting 32 degree air out of the registers with a condenser that is that much smaller than the original.

The original condenser on Peanut (and my old one) is 15"x28" which is 420 sq. in. and the parallel flow that you installed is only 300 sq in. By comparison the one I'm installing on my Argosy is 21.75"x21.375" which is 465 sq in.

From what I've the parallel flow condenser is about 35% more efficient so the old condenser of 420 cu in x 65% = 273 cu in in comparison to the parallel flow type. So your new parallel flow is more efficient than the original condenser even though it's smaller. I have high hopes for the larger condenser on my Argosy!

Quote:
With slow leaking issues on my original system I decided to change everything and convert to 134a. The evaporator (their 800 series unit with a front made for attaching hoses, receiver/drier with a binary high pressure cutout switch, hoses, and condenser all came from Old Air Products. The rebuilt A6 compressor came from O'Reilly Auto Parts. They ordered the one for a 76 Pontiac Astra from their warehouse and it had the drive belt groove in the proper location to replace the original compressor. All of the original engine mounts were retained as well as the two controls in the dash. The refrigerant hoses routed a little differently but worked out well with the radiator out of the way.
Good info. I'm wondering if it would be possible to route the hoses such that if needed the condenser could be lifted up and out of the way for radiator removal. That would be something I should look at while making any changes. I like to keep things to where they are serviceable!

Quote:
Your gauge reading sure indicate an issue with the system on Peanut and maybe the reason the compressor clutch has been disconnected.
I don't know that the compressor clutch has been disconnected but there is certainly something from keeping it from engaging. Of course the compressor could have blown a fuse when the blockage occurred. I guess I'll find out once I dig into it. I'm fairly certain it's not worth trying to spend to much time troubleshooting because a blockage in the system is most likely debris from some sort of catastrophe

Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:42 AM   #139
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Hi guys, I am struggling to understand the interpretation of the findings.

I can undertstand if something is blocked the static pressure goes hi and the compressor wont kick in to run. But surely the attachment of a gauge would have dropped the pressure (at the point of attachment at least) so you would have had to start the engine and for the compressor to kick in to rebuild the static pressure, and then the fault condition would be seen after the compressor stops, as not decaying?

The gauges don't provide pressure they just measure so where is the pressure coming from?
Peanut's static pressure on the low side is pretty much what it should be. The fact that the high side static pressure is 0 points to a blockage between the two. If the static pressure is ever 0 then we know for sure the system is empty of Freon. Since it's not 0 and the two sides are not the same we have a definite problem. Attaching the gauges has virtually zero impact on the system.

While the system was running the low side pressure would typically be in the mid 80 psi range and the high side around 3 times that or so. If a blockage occurred while running I would assume the low side would stay the same and the high would as well. Since the high side on Peanut has no pressure that to me indicates two things, one there is a leak in the high side somewhere and that there's a blockage. If there was no blockage and the air condition system was not running then the system pressure between high and low would be pretty much equal.

Attached is a sketch of how I will be configuring the A/C system on my Argosy. Not sure if Peanut is identical to this but it should be close.

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Old 04-29-2016, 05:47 PM   #140
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Well whatever was causing the pressure on the low side wasn't Freon or if it was it was only a trace. I cracked a fitting on the low side to get an idea of how much pressure was really involved and other than some hissing nothing came out of the line. If there was Freon coming out I couldn't smell it or see it. The hissing lasted all of about 8 seconds. I might have to get my gauges checked!

I've now started the task of removing the radiator. So far it hasn't been to bad. I ended up removing the oil cooler as the lines were to stiff for it to move out of the way. Most of the mounting bolts for the radiator support frame have been removed and the condenser is out as well. With luck the radiator will be out before the end of the weekend.

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