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AC 134a retrofit parts advice


JavierB
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Hi folks.

Upcoming project is refitting the AC of the 81 to 134a.  Before I start randomly tearing things apart, does anyone know of an existing guide or spec sheet or anything on the 79-81 Avanti AC components or what suitable replacement upgrades may be?  Anyone on here post a thread on doing 134a conversions on the RQB's ?  Obviously the compressor I can swap out easily.  there are a number of aluminum new ones that just bolt on perfectly.  I'm thinking this one or similar:

21-2201SH | Compressor | Pro6TEN | Super Heat Style | Single Groove

But the other things, the expansion valve and evaporator and whatever else... what does anyone suggest and where is it all for access and removal?  Is everything in the console?

Finally, how does one access the condenser up front?  does the radiator have to come out?  or is there a better easier way?  Thanks all.

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My 84 was converted to 134a and now does not work anymore. It actually never worked well with the 134a anyway.

I will have to change the Evap Valve now. It's located in the console and looks a bit involved.

R-12 is still available, albeit expensive. But, it cools better and is what our systems are designed for.

Are you really sure you want to change it out? 

 

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If you are going with 134a, there are some new more efficient condensers that work better for getting 134a to cool properly.

I doubt if any or made specifically for an Avanti. You would probably have to measure the existing one and find a suitable replacement. THat is what I have had to do on other cars when I converted

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Hi there Javier B,   I don't think you will find anything specific to the Avantis regarding 134a conversion but if it were mine this is what I would do. I would keep the existing condensor if it has a drier change it if you can find one that readily fits if not leave it. Change the TXV at the evaporator it should have some numbers you can cross reference. If there is a filter screen in the liquid line entering the firewall remove it, clean it, reinstall it. Some systems had it some not, i don't know about the 81 Avantis. Flush the system as you get sections opened up and tape the line ends to keep everything clean. Button the system up, put the proper amount of PAG oil in the compressor, do a pressure test with a little 134a, 40-50 psi will work. If you don't feel you have any leaks dump the 134a and pull the deepest vacuum you can (use a good pump). Then charge the system with 134a. I think you will be satisfied with the results. Access to the evaporator is always a challenge!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Best of luck with it,   John C.                                                                     

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35 minutes ago, John C said:

Hi there Javier B,   I don't think you will find anything specific to the Avantis regarding 134a conversion but if it were mine this is what I would do. I would keep the existing condensor if it has a drier change it if you can find one that readily fits if not leave it. Change the TXV at the evaporator it should have some numbers you can cross reference. If there is a filter screen in the liquid line entering the firewall remove it, clean it, reinstall it. Some systems had it some not, i don't know about the 81 Avantis. Flush the system as you get sections opened up and tape the line ends to keep everything clean. Button the system up, put the proper amount of PAG oil in the compressor, do a pressure test with a little 134a, 40-50 psi will work. If you don't feel you have any leaks dump the 134a and pull the deepest vacuum you can (use a good pump). Then charge the system with 134a. I think you will be satisfied with the results. Access to the evaporator is always a challenge!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Best of luck with it,   John C.                                                                     

Not bad advice at all but i would look into a different condenser. Now what is a TXV? Is that what you are calling an expension valve.

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In all my years of working on A/C, I have never heard it called anything but an expansion valve. Guess I learned something new😉

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Thanks folks.  I am pretty set on replacing most of the components, and am really just looking for anyone that has recently done this and can recommend actual parts that fit and work well, beyond the compressor, so I can source some of the stuff before tearing the car apart.

I wrote to Myers to see if he has recommendations or can sell me the whole shebang of what i would need, but with the holidays and all, i havent heard back.  I'll post updates as they happen.

 

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On 1/2/2022 at 10:30 AM, JavierB said:

Hi folks.

Upcoming project is refitting the AC of the 81 to 134a.  Before I start randomly tearing things apart, does anyone know of an existing guide or spec sheet or anything on the 79-81 Avanti AC components or what suitable replacement upgrades may be?  Anyone on here post a thread on doing 134a conversions on the RQB's ?  Obviously the compressor I can swap out easily.  there are a number of aluminum new ones that just bolt on perfectly.  I'm thinking this one or similar:

21-2201SH | Compressor | Pro6TEN | Super Heat Style | Single Groove

But the other things, the expansion valve and evaporator and whatever else... what does anyone suggest and where is it all for access and removal?  Is everything in the console?

Finally, how does one access the condenser up front?  does the radiator have to come out?  or is there a better easier way?  Thanks all.

When my old A6 compressor bit the dust, I changed over to the Pro6TEN.  Bolts right up,works great, and is about 20 pounds lighter.

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1 hour ago, Jim78 said:

When my old A6 compressor bit the dust, I changed over to the Pro6TEN.  Bolts right up,works great, and is about 20 pounds lighter.

Thats exactly the one I'm thinking about for the compressor, but wondering what is a good evaporator and condenser?  I hate taking things apart and then finding out I have to special order some part that will take months while the car sits in pieces.  I'm thinking if I redo the AC I'll just redo the whole thing all at once.

 

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Well, I have done a few retrofits. Not on Avantis but on other cars of that era. I have never replaced the evaporator nor seen the need.

Compressor, Condenser, Expansion valve, hoses  and O-rings.

 

On one car, I added a higher volume fan in the passenger compartment and some, electric pusher fans in front of the condenser.

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29 minutes ago, pantera928 said:

Well, I have done a few retrofits. Not on Avantis but on other cars of that era. I have never replaced the evaporator nor seen the need.

Compressor, Condenser, Expansion valve, hoses  and O-rings.

 

On one car, I added a higher volume fan in the passenger compartment and some, electric pusher fans in front of the condenser.

thanks for the tip, I'll definitely start with those things then.  But is the Avanti expansion valve in the center console with the evaporator?  Just because honestly if I'm going through the trouble of taking this all apart,  the expense of that part is the least of my issues.  🙂

Do you have any knowledge about what size/model condenser units would fit on the 81 Avanti?  I've got someone checking over at Vintage Air, but they don't seem to know much about the later Avanti's.

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Regarding condensers for an Avanti, I do not know of a source. When I do oddball cars like Avantis, Alfas or Porsches, I just measure the old one and find a new one of similar size. Sometimes even on Ebay. Then I adapt brackets to mount it securely. As long as the size is about the same and the inlet and outlet are in roughly the same position, most will work. I usually have the hoses made by a local shop that makes hydraulic hoses.

You might try ACparts.com or oldairproducts.com

I have used them both.

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Javier, 

I converted my "72 to R134a back in 2004, using components from Vintage Air. The only piece I kept from the original system was the evaporator, which I first removed to have flushed and tested for leaks. Since you asked for part numbers here's what I installed:

Expansion Valve Kit P/N 3306-VUI  (The expansion valve is located in the console, attached to one of the fittings on the evaporator. You should be able to see it on the passenger's side, It may be sealed up and covered in insulation) 

Thermostat P/N 11013-VUE

Receiver/Direr w/ binary switch P/N 07322-VUC

14x20" Condenser P/N 03261-VUC (the next size larger probably would've fit too and worked even better)

I used a Sanden compressor, but the one you're looking at should work ok too. 

I purchased my components through a Vintage Air dealer and installed them myself. Then, I bought the hoses and fittings and figured out how they needed to be routed, at what length and with which fittings. I brought the hoses back to the Vintage Air dealer and had them crimp the fittings on. Finally I installed the hoses and brought the car to them to have the system charged. 

The evaporator is a pain to remove, but not impossible. There was a recent article on this in issue #194 Spring/Summer 2021 of Avanti magazine. 

You should be able to remove the condenser through the grill opening without removing the radiator. 

I'd be happy to answer any questions. 

Good luck!

 

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12 hours ago, adamderosa said:

Javier, 

I converted my "72 to R134a back in 2004, using components from Vintage Air. The only piece I kept from the original system was the evaporator, which I first removed to have flushed and tested for leaks. Since you asked for part numbers here's what I installed:

Expansion Valve Kit P/N 3306-VUI  (The expansion valve is located in the console, attached to one of the fittings on the evaporator. You should be able to see it on the passenger's side, It may be sealed up and covered in insulation) 

Thermostat P/N 11013-VUE

Receiver/Direr w/ binary switch P/N 07322-VUC

14x20" Condenser P/N 03261-VUC (the next size larger probably would've fit too and worked even better)

I used a Sanden compressor, but the one you're looking at should work ok too. 

I purchased my components through a Vintage Air dealer and installed them myself. Then, I bought the hoses and fittings and figured out how they needed to be routed, at what length and with which fittings. I brought the hoses back to the Vintage Air dealer and had them crimp the fittings on. Finally I installed the hoses and brought the car to them to have the system charged. 

The evaporator is a pain to remove, but not impossible. There was a recent article on this in issue #194 Spring/Summer 2021 of Avanti magazine. 

You should be able to remove the condenser through the grill opening without removing the radiator. 

I'd be happy to answer any questions. 

Good luck!

 

Adam

Thanks for sharing what you went through. It will save others. How well does your system cool on a hot day now

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12 hours ago, adamderosa said:

Javier, 

I converted my "72 to R134a back in 2004, using components from Vintage Air. The only piece I kept from the original system was the evaporator, which I first removed to have flushed and tested for leaks. Since you asked for part numbers here's what I installed:

Expansion Valve Kit P/N 3306-VUI  (The expansion valve is located in the console, attached to one of the fittings on the evaporator. You should be able to see it on the passenger's side, It may be sealed up and covered in insulation) 

Thermostat P/N 11013-VUE

Receiver/Direr w/ binary switch P/N 07322-VUC

14x20" Condenser P/N 03261-VUC (the next size larger probably would've fit too and worked even better)

I used a Sanden compressor, but the one you're looking at should work ok too. 

I purchased my components through a Vintage Air dealer and installed them myself. Then, I bought the hoses and fittings and figured out how they needed to be routed, at what length and with which fittings. I brought the hoses back to the Vintage Air dealer and had them crimp the fittings on. Finally I installed the hoses and brought the car to them to have the system charged. 

The evaporator is a pain to remove, but not impossible. There was a recent article on this in issue #194 Spring/Summer 2021 of Avanti magazine. 

You should be able to remove the condenser through the grill opening without removing the radiator. 

I'd be happy to answer any questions. 

Good luck!

 

THANK YOU for this.  Great information, and thanks so much for the parts list!  exactly the kind of thing I was looking for!  this helps a lot!

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14 hours ago, adamderosa said:

Javier, 

 

Expansion Valve Kit P/N 3306-VUI  (The expansion valve is located in the console, attached to one of the fittings on the evaporator. You should be able to see it on the passenger's side, It may be sealed up and covered in insulation) 

Thermostat P/N 11013-VUE

Receiver/Direr w/ binary switch P/N 07322-VUC

 

4 small questions:  

1) is there a typo in your expansion valve number?  I found a 33076-VUI.

2) *where* is the Drier located?

3) *IF* I wanted to go ahead and replace the evaporator, did yours have any identifying size/type/model that would allow me to hunt for replacement?  I can maybe save that for last and see if the current one works, but if I'm going to replace the expansion valve, maybe it could all just happen at once.

4) are you happy with the results and the parts?  anything you would do different?  I measured and will go for the larger 22" wide condenser (23" would be perfect but thats not an option I can see).

thanks so much for all that help!  I feel I am well on the way now.

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4 small questions:  

1) is there a typo in your expansion valve number?  I found a 33076-VUI. Yes, you're correct - I made a typo; sorry!

2) *where* is the Drier located? On mine, the receiver/drier is located on the passenger side inner fender. I'll try to post a pic. 

3) *IF* I wanted to go ahead and replace the evaporator, did yours have any identifying size/type/model that would allow me to hunt for replacement?  I can maybe save that for last and see if the current one works, but if I'm going to replace the expansion valve, maybe it could all just happen at once. I'm not aware of any numbers on the evaporator; perhaps I just didn't notice at the time. If you wanted to replace it you could see what aftermarket one had similar dimensions or contact Dan Booth at Nostalgic Motors, or another Avanti parts vendor and see if they have one. 

4) are you happy with the results and the parts?  anything you would do different?  I measured and will go for the larger 22" wide condenser (23" would be perfect but thats not an option I can see). Yes I'm very happy with the results and would not do anything differently.  I live in AZ now and it will cool quite well even when its 110 outside. The only problems I've had were a couple of leaks from the crimps of the hose fittings (and this didn't occur until years later), which required me to have one of the hoses re-made a couple of years ago. For this project to be successful make sure you're not letting in hot air  from the outside through missing firewall grommets, worn or missing seals at the footwell vents, etc. 

thanks so much for all that help!  I feel I am well on the way now. You're welcome! And by the way, since all Avantis are a little different your installation will probably differ slightly, and since this is not a "bolt-in" kit be prepared to do a little fabricating for things like mounting brackets. The Vintage Air catalog is a great source for information too. There are other old car air-conditioning vendors out there that are probably helpful as well. 

IMG_1464.jpg

IMG_1463.jpg

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13 hours ago, adamderosa said:

 

 

 

One other query:  To replace the expansion valve only, do I have to do the intense disassembly of everything, or did you have an easier access way to get at it?  I know its in the console, but I'm really new at this car, and don't really know how to disassemble the console to get at it.

 

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6 hours ago, adamderosa said:

As Kodjo stated, you should be able to get to the expansion valve through the opening above the right ( passenger side) console panel.

Hi Adam, is the valve in your pictures in the right line? I think it should be in the supply, in my case the lower line.

images.pngthermostatic-expansion-valve-connection.jpg.9c2b22a287ed26a87da6758184c03590.jpg

Edited by Kodjo
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Kodjo, 

Is the diagram you provided for an Avanti? I did not change the position of the expansion valve; it is mounted on the supply side to the evaporator. If it were on the outlet side the system would not work. 

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On 1/6/2022 at 8:49 PM, adamderosa said:

As Kodjo stated, you should be able to get to the expansion valve through the opening above the right ( passenger side) console panel. 

So, I have a LOT more junk going in and and out of there than you do.  I can't see anything that looks like an expansion valve.  My guess is that the thin copper tube is the capillary tube that goes from the sensor to the valve, but the part that I can follow tucks behind the big hoses into this little brass panel.  So is that the sensor side or the valve side?  Its so hard to see whats going on!  The other side snakes deeper toward the evaporator.  Two pix are attached.   Advice?

IMG_9410.JPG

IMG_9412.JPG

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