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Guidance on AC repair path
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Guidance on AC repair path Reply with quote

Bought a '86 Westy that has been in storage for several years and the AC didnt work (blew warm).

Owner agreed to fix it so he had his mechanic attempt a recharge. Mechanic replaced several O rings, pulled a vacuum, charged the lines and ran the system for 15 minutes to verify performance (all verbal, I saw none of this).

Just when he was about to conclude victory a hose blew "the hose from the compressor that goes way up front" according to the repair shop. He was going to splice it and try it again, but not wanting a splice and knowing the AC system would likley need a more thorough repair I decided to stop him and took the van as is. He disconnected the compressor electric and removed the hose and away I went.

The service records show a few leak repairs and rechargings, but no major component replacements. At this point I can either find someone to repair the hose and properly charge the system or I can have the entire system overhauled (hoses, rings, dryer, etc) and perform a Redtek conversion.

My fear of just the hose replacement is that the system will just rupture or leak somewhere else, and I will get abused replacing it piece by piece. I wish I could determine if the hose failure was the mechanics error or the hoses are near the end of their life. Cant really tell by looking at them.

What would you do? Im generally a do-it-right guy but dont know if in this case its a waste of money.
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on a car that old, 25 years, I would assume the hoses are at the end of their lives. You will need to go thru the whole system including replacing the receiver dryer. If the compressor is piston consider replacing it with a rotary compressor. It may be worthwhile to have it professionally flushed and changed to an R134A system. R12 is very expensive.
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you can get the main components (compresor, dryer, etc) from places like GoWesty, but I havent found any place that has "the entire AC hose kit for a 86 Vanagon Westy GL". Anyone have a source for this?

I typically like to buy my own parts to make sure junk isnt being used. I have the hose diagram for the van, but would hope there is a pre-thought out kit.

Asking too much?
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you better do a search, most of what you seek is here, Same page there is a very informative thread on using Red Tek.
All parts are available, some aftermarket better suited,
Parker hose and fittings can be made for you at your local hydraulic shop.
Not a cheap undertaking I discovered as I'm presently attacking this myself.
Seach air conditioning in the Vanagon forum and read it all................very informative.
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heidi85ho
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when my hoses started to deteriorate, 85 1.9, I went to a heavy equipment hydraulic hose supplier. they can make/match the a/c hoses if you take yours off the vehichle and take them in. they will most likely have to use your fittings. my local a/c shop in my town turned me onto this. the hoses have been going strong for 7 years now and the cost was about 40% of supplied parts.
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psych-illogical
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I refurbished the AC system on my '83.5 Westy last summer and was able to find of the parts I needed except the hoses. I had those made up at a local auto parts store but they needed to re-use the fittings that connected to my compressor. I was using a NOS Sandan compressor that I found and the shop could not find fittings that matched up with the compressor. All the other fittings (receiver/dryer, evaporator, condenser) they had. Hoses cost me about $200 as I recall. The most expensive part was the compressor. I also bought a new condenser, receiver/dryer and expansion valve. I flushed out and re-used the evaporator.
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked up the Parker Hose distributor and they're very close to my house. I think my plan is to remove the hoses and have them make me up copies. I will also buy the new dryer, expansion valve, condensor and possibly the compressor and evaporator depending on condition.

If I do this, what would you put back in (R134a or Redtek)?
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are changing parts, evaporator, buy it first before your hoses as the new one may not use the same fittings, if you use aftermarket.

Everyone says Red Tek, 134 has a higher working pressure, Red Tek is colder.
Try and find a shop that will use RedTek.........good luck!!
So are you prepared to do the charge yourself??? That will decide for U.
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't do the charge or vac myself but I have a friend with a professional shop that can do that part. I just want to figure out the process, research and buy the best parts, demo/install what I can, and have him complete the install, vac and charge.
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mbwesty
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Cellerdoor:

I am heading down the same road. Do you mind telling me where you ended up sourcing your parts? I had my van for 10 years and the AC never worked so I am just gonna go replace all the parts and 134/Red Tek. Thanks for your help!

Tim
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Alaric.H
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought a A/C flush machine I would like to try out on a vanagon.I will be in Oakton VA in a week or so right now I am on a road trip. If any one would like it done no charge let me know.

This is the tool http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/robinair-cooltech-ac-system-flusher-17580-p-16057.aspx
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this company to make up my hoses using my fittings:

http://www.colliflower.com/


Im not going to do the hoses until winter hits and Im not using the bus until spring. I plan on removing the hoses and fittings, have this company make new ones, and then replace/redtek conversion with new components.

Ive also decided on just replacing the "exposed to the elements" long hoses for now since i figured out that the previous owners mechanic blew up the hose trying to put R134 into an unmodified r12 system.
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RBEmerson
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SGKent wrote:
[...]It may be worthwhile to have it professionally flushed and changed to an R134A system. R12 is very expensive.

Er, except for personal R-12 stashes, it effectively no longer exists.

Look into R-409A, a direct replacement for R-12 that is grease-compatible with R-12 and more effective than R-134 (some replacement refrigerants require changing from petroleum to vegetable-based lubricants or vice versa).
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The R-409 is another great refrigerant to use in leu of R-12.
However, it isn't available in one pound cans for the novice refrigerant service tech, and he'll need a AC certification to buy the stuff as it actually has a small amount of R-12 in it.
You can't find it everywhere, and isn't as inexpensive as the R-12 A.

It does work very well as an alternative to to R-12.
I used it for years prior to locating the Red Tek and making the original anouncement here of it's availability & excellent performance in an older AC system, such as in the Vanagon system.

One small note on AC parts--
No one is stuck with purchasing AC parts through just Go-Westy.

You can belly up to almost any local flaps counter--or internet supplier's of AC parts and get what you need for your system--your not stuck with one supplier for the compressor, condensor, dryer, expansion valve--
You can source this kinda stuff anywhere.

The hose?
Again, as I have suggested a bunch of times---
Go to Parker, with your old hoses & fittings in hand--and they will be more than happy to dupilicate them.
I would start with fresh hoses & FITTINGS.
It's a real bad idea to be re-using the old hose fittings.
Start fresh--buy new.
Don't jip the job---
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cellerdoor
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks TK

Coliflower is a Parker Hose Rep here in the DC Metro Area.

I sure as hell want new fittings, just not sure if they are commercially available.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RBEmerson wrote:
SGKent wrote:
It may be worthwhile to have it professionally flushed and changed to an R134A system. R12 is very expensive.

Er, except for personal R-12 stashes, it effectively no longer exists...


???

R12 is available at any shop doing A/C work. The traditional 12oz & 14oz cans are also readily available (ebay).

Not as cheap as the alternatives but hardly what I would call 'very expensive'. I'm thinking a total system charge with R12 runs about the same $$ as 2 tanks of gas.

If required, ASE 609 certification takes about 15 minutes and costs $15.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<I sure as hell want new fittings, just not sure if they are commercially available.>>

AC fittings are like an SAE fitting--they are all pretty much the same--excluding off the wall bends after the union's.

I know there is a difference in fastener size & flare size--metric vs american.

Parker has pretty much all of the AC fittings you'll need.

Having new hoses crimped onto old fittings is not the way to ride if your going to all of the trouble of installing new hoses-
The guy that posted that he was using his old fittings was at a FLAPS getting his work done, not a hose & fitting manufacture.

So this is is what he wanted I guess.
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Alaric.H
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use this hose. It is sold at tipco hose.


Link
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alaric.H wrote:
I use this hose. It is sold at tipco hose.


Link


Nice system for sure.

Alaric,
Would you please post the part numbers of the connectors you have used that are Vanagon specific in sizing.

Did you buy the kit or by pieces?
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mbwesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I am having problem finding the high pressure port in my 88 Westy. I think the low is near the compressor. Also, as my A/C system has been inoperative since I bought my van 10 years ago, and I really don't have the service records/problems history with the A/C system.

1) Should I say replacing the compressor and drier is a must?

2) Also, since I have the original service port so I probably should perform a 134 conversion on the system to take Red Tek?

3) Should I vacuum or pressure test the entire system for leaks first? And do I do that via the low pressure port?

4) The clutch on my compressor is not engaging (or the compressor isn't running when the A/C is on) how can I isolate if the problem is the sensor/power/or the clutch?

5) How do I test each pressure switches and sensors to see if they are still ok?

I got a long road ahead of me and I am glad I have until next summer...last week's road trip on I-5 was hot!!!

Thx for your help! Tim
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