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Fiero Air Condtioner lesson. by Horse
Started on: 07-23-2015 10:22 PM
Replies: 23 (761 views)
Last post by: 2.5 on 08-17-2015 10:36 AM
Horse
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Report this Post07-23-2015 10:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I recently bought a 1988 GT with low miles BUT the A/C was not working, I figured it was because it sat so long... Living in Florida means that a working A/C is a must. I got a few estimates and went with a guy who charged me $860 to replace the compressor and change the system to R134a. Now three months later the new compressor froze up. The warrantee on that compressor from was voided because the compressor only had a 30 day warrantee (AutoZone) and they said the system was not flushed correctly. It appears that the compressor (manifold) hoses have a "muffler" that is like a filter and metal shavings were trapped from the old compressor that seized they were recirculated into the system and now I need to do it all over again. I was told this by a different A/C guy that wanted to replace the hoses and flush the system with the correct chemicals but his estimate was $1600 which included new pressure switches and such. So basically now I will have to pay that guy to get the A/C fixed and loose the $860 I spent in the first place. Keep in mind that of all of the shops that went to for estimates only three would even consider working on the Fiero the third shop wanted $2100 to fix the system. I should have known better....

[This message has been edited by Horse (edited 07-23-2015).]

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TXGOOD
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Report this Post07-23-2015 10:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That`s why I learned all I read about AC systems, bought a vacuum pump, some gauges and started doing my own.
If it takes me a couple of times to get everything sealed up and working well I`m still much further ahead in money spent.
You can learn a lot right here on the forum.
I want to get some pressure testing gauges to use with nitrogen gas to test for leaks before you put more expensive R134 in it.
With Nitrogen you do not have to evacuate it with a machine.

[This message has been edited by TXGOOD (edited 07-23-2015).]

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post07-24-2015 08:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Get your money back from the first guy, even if it means small claims court.
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ltlfrari
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Report this Post07-24-2015 09:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As I have said before, AC is one of those things that 'looks' very simple but isn't.
After a compressor failure, you pretty much have to flush all the lines and replace everything except the evap core in the heater, and yes, that means the condenser too as it's very difficult to flush properly.
You can use mineral spirits as a flush but it's messy, especially if the line comes off and it goes everywhere! And it does not evaporate off like a proper flush.
If you are doing your own flushing (Google a/c flush bottle) you can reuse the flush liquid, at least for the early and thus dirtier flushes, by filtering it with a few coffee filters to get pretty much most of the muck out of it each time, then finish off with clean flush once most of the c**p is out of the lines.
New O rings with nylog on all the joints. Don't over tighten. Correct O ring sizes are listed here http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum2/HTML/128562.html . Some are oversize because they 'captured'. If you use a stock size ring it will be too small and not seal properly.
I've got a Harbor Freight vacuum pump, not fast but it does the job for pulling a vacuum on it.

By the way, that 'muffler' is not a filter, just an empty box. It helps to reduce the pulsations in the line pressure from the compressor.

As you have found, finding anyone to work on Fieros these days is difficult and expensive and probably more so when it comes to the a/c system. Unfortunately a/c systems require some specialized tools to work on them so it's a case of pay up to a shop or buy the tools and learn to do it yourself, something I am still working on LOL! In the end it's probably cheaper (sadly) to pay a shop to do it if they do it right but I'm just stubborn and dont like to be beaten by stuff like that so I keep doing my own thing!

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Anything I might say is probably worth what you paid for it, so treat it accordingly!

Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

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Horse
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Report this Post07-24-2015 01:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:

Get your money back from the first guy, even if it means small claims court.


There is NO warrantee on labor, the compressor although NEW only has a 30 day warrantee that would have been voided by the metal shavings in the line anyway. All of this was printed on the receipt that I signed and I was enticed into paying cash to save on tax: so I am out the money: A fool and his money are soon parted.

[This message has been edited by Horse (edited 07-24-2015).]

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Horse
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Report this Post07-24-2015 01:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Horse

73 posts
Member since Jul 2015
 
quote
Originally posted by ltlfrari:

As you have found, finding anyone to work on Fieros these days is difficult and expensive and probably more so when it comes to the a/c system. Unfortunately a/c systems require some specialized tools to work on them so it's a case of pay up to a shop or buy the tools and learn to do it yourself, something I am still working on LOL! In the end it's probably cheaper (sadly) to pay a shop to do it if they do it right but I'm just stubborn and dont like to be beaten by stuff like that so I keep doing my own thing!




You are 100% correct, I will bite the bullet and get it done right this time and take my medicine.
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jaskispyder
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Report this Post07-24-2015 01:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Horse:


There is NO warrantee on labor, the compressor although NEW only has a 30 day warrantee that would have been voided by the metal shavings in the line anyway. All of this was printed on the receipt that I signed and I was enticed into paying cash to save on tax: so I am out the money: A fool and his money are soon parted.



OUCH.... yeah.
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ltlfrari
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Report this Post07-24-2015 02:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ltlfrariClick Here to visit ltlfrari's HomePageClick Here to Email ltlfrariSend a Private Message to ltlfrariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
All the compressor warranties I've seen (I've had a few sadly!) requires that the accumulator and orifice tube be replaces as well as a proper system flush be caries out, And they want to see receipts to prove it's been done by someone that knows what they are doing and not just by you or me. So even if you do it all yourself and do it right, the chances are they won't honor the warranty because it is unlikely you or I are licensed a/c technicians. You could do the test though, it's an open book one you do online. That'd get you a certificate.
All that is just conjecture though. Every time I've killed a compressor I just put it down to being an expensive learning experience and moved on!

------------------
Anything I might say is probably worth what you paid for it, so treat it accordingly!

Dave

www.ltlfrari.com

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randye
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Report this Post07-24-2015 02:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageClick Here to Email randyeSend a Private Message to randyeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Buying a cheap compressor is also a *big* part of the problem.

Auto Zone, and other stores list different automotive compressors at varying prices , going upwards from; *rebuilt* to *remanufactured* to *new*.
They traditionally come with increasingly longer warranties in that same order.

The old adage; "You get what you pay for", generally holds true.

In my personal experience, I have found that the *Four Seasons* brand of remanufactured compressors are quite satisfactory and have provided me with quality and performance that is equivalent, or superior, to a *new* compressor and at a lower price.
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Report this Post07-24-2015 03:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tebaileyClick Here to Email tebaileySend a Private Message to tebaileyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Keep in mind that with a reman you get all the original design flaws. My first compressor was a reman, didn't get 50mis out of it before it dumped all the oil out. Bought a new compressor and was surprised at the difference. It draws less on the engine and it's so quite I had to go back and look to make sure it engaged. If you have the HR6 compressor do not get a reman.
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Report this Post08-10-2015 11:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sricka01Send a Private Message to sricka01Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Horse,

Can you give us more details other than "froze up"? For a new compressor to lockup sounds like the installer didnt use the correct PAG oil or none at all!

$1600-2100 is too much for the additional step of flushing contaminants out. That's double of the intial attempt and there's nothing complex about it. I flushed mine out myself with compressed air and the flush spray from Autozone that smells like citrus orange. The muffler I flushed by swishing alot of flush and keeping the hoses. There was photos of the muffler and its hollow inside! So I disagree that you need to throw out all these parts. As long as metal shavings are not in the pipes, there is minimal chance of it happening again. You just need to buy PAG46 or PAG150 oil. Definitely replace the dryer canister and the orifice tube. There's minimal value and they are easy to replace. One Fiero I kept the original condenser and flushed it while still in the car, and the other I totally replaced. Both are freezing cold and I have not had any internal problems with the system. My only problem has been the switch wiring tends to wiggle loose from the backside of the compressor, but not a compressor or conversion issue.

Both my compressors came from Autozone - 1 was Four Seasons, 1 Factory Aire - and I believe they are both owned by SMP - standard Motor Products.

I would either do it yourself or get more estimates.

[This message has been edited by sricka01 (edited 08-10-2015).]

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Horse
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Report this Post08-11-2015 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by sricka01:

Horse,

Can you give us more details other than "froze up"? For a new compressor to lockup sounds like the installer didnt use the correct PAG oil or none at all!

$1600-2100 is too much for the additional step of flushing contaminants out. That's double of the intial attempt and there's nothing complex about it. I flushed mine out myself with compressed air and the flush spray from Autozone that smells like citrus orange. The muffler I flushed by swishing alot of flush and keeping the hoses. There was photos of the muffler and its hollow inside! So I disagree that you need to throw out all these parts. As long as metal shavings are not in the pipes, there is minimal chance of it happening again. You just need to buy PAG46 or PAG150 oil. Definitely replace the dryer canister and the orifice tube. There's minimal value and they are easy to replace. One Fiero I kept the original condenser and flushed it while still in the car, and the other I totally replaced. Both are freezing cold and I have not had any internal problems with the system. My only problem has been the switch wiring tends to wiggle loose from the backside of the compressor, but not a compressor or conversion issue.

Both my compressors came from Autozone - 1 was Four Seasons, 1 Factory Aire - and I believe they are both owned by SMP - standard Motor Products.

I would either do it yourself or get more estimates.



According to the new A/C mechanic the reason the new compressor seized was because of contamination in the oil (black death). According to the manufacturer of the Compressor: The oil that must be used with the compressor supplied is ESTER not PAG. This information is right on the label that the compressor brings. Because the main function of the oil is to lubricate the compressor using any other oil or having old oil or debris in any part of the system VOIDS the warrantee. Ester oil is synthetic and typically used in systems that have been retrofitted to R134a. Although PAG is the original oil used for GM compressors the oil type is clearly dictated by the manufacturer of the compressor. Even thought he A/C manifold hose muffler is hollow in SOME not all applications it will have the debris ETCHED on its inner walls as a result of electrolysis and NO Chemical flush can remove it, so the hoses MUST replaced or it will be circulated back into the system after a recharge of r134a. R134at runs hotter and at higher pressures than r12, the additional heat and pressure will dislodge any residual debris that has been etched into any of the aluminum parts of the system and embed them in the aluminum cylinder walls of the compressor thus seizing it. That being said. There are a LOT of hacks out there that profess to having knowledge of something they know little or nothing about: I was the victim of one and I should have known better. In any case my A/C is now fixed correctly and it has a warrantee and the parts that are supposed to replaced have been replaced and it cost just under $1800 and I am happy with the results.

[This message has been edited by Horse (edited 08-11-2015).]

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2.5
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Report this Post08-11-2015 01:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
About $700, plus cost of compressor up here to convert properly and get working. Thats at $90 per hour.
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Report this Post08-11-2015 06:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXOPIEClick Here to visit TXOPIE's HomePageClick Here to Email TXOPIESend a Private Message to TXOPIEEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Moral of the story...don't mess with something if its not broke:


Sorry to hear about your troubles!

[This message has been edited by TXOPIE (edited 08-11-2015).]

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Report this Post08-11-2015 06:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I am so jealous right now!

 
quote
Originally posted by TXOPIE:

Moral of the story...don't mess with something if its not broke:


Sorry to hear about your troubles!



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Report this Post08-11-2015 09:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jscott1Send a Private Message to jscott1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
How much longer before R134a is not easily available now that 1234yf is the latest (and worse) refrigerant.

Living in Houston, I have tried at least a half dozen shops to repair my a/c on multiple Fieros and other cars and I have yet to experience long term success.

I agree the best strategy is to learn how to service the system yourself. I plan on doing this eventually, but honestly the best success I've had is with this...



Been using it on my GT for over 12 years. One bottle at the start of summer and it lasts for a year.
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Report this Post08-11-2015 10:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Old LarSend a Private Message to Old LarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've paid ~$1300 to have the AC replaced in my Fieros. I just had to replace it in my 88 GT after 7 years. They don't last long in Florida unless you are continually using the AC. My Fieros don't get a lot of use any more.
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Report this Post08-12-2015 12:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Terrys Repair in Owatonna MN, did both our cars, so far so good 4 years later. Good customer service too.

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Report this Post08-13-2015 02:41 AM Click Here to See the Profile for LornesGTSend a Private Message to LornesGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
As a contractor I had to carry a EPA card to buy refrigerant. I cant believe that my wife bought a 30 lb cylinder the other day just because it has an automotive thread on the damn thing at Sam's club and for less than I could buy it at my wholesaler.
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Report this Post08-13-2015 04:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 1984whitescClick Here to visit 1984whitesc's HomePageClick Here to Email 1984whitescSend a Private Message to 1984whitescEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:

Terrys Repair in Owatonna MN, did both our cars, so far so good 4 years later. Good customer service too.


Not to hijack the thread, how much did he charge you?
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Report this Post08-13-2015 08:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for HorseSend a Private Message to HorseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by LornesGT:

As a contractor I had to carry a EPA card to buy refrigerant. I cant believe that my wife bought a 30 lb cylinder the other day just because it has an automotive thread on the damn thing at Sam's club and for less than I could buy it at my wholesaler.


$80 for 30lb cylinder of R134a at Sam's club here in Florida.
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Report this Post08-13-2015 08:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 1984whitesc:
Not to hijack the thread, how much did he charge you?


About 700 plus a compressor, if you need a new one, I bought one from a parts store and brought it to the shop.
There can be extenuating circumstances, like rubber hose replacement. I had a place that works on big rigs put new Goodyear rubber hoses on the stock fittings, I think that was $80.
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Report this Post08-14-2015 09:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero STSClick Here to Email Fiero STSSend a Private Message to Fiero STSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


About 700 plus a compressor, if you need a new one, I bought one from a parts store and brought it to the shop.
There can be extenuating circumstances, like rubber hose replacement. I had a place that works on big rigs put new Goodyear rubber hoses on the stock fittings, I think that was $80.


You got hosed, I would have helped you do it for free labor, just buy parts, compressor, hoses orifice tube, dryer, plus pressure switch and adaptor fittings if converting, and pay for my r134a or r12 I have both.
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Report this Post08-17-2015 10:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero STS:
You got hosed, I would have helped you do it for free labor, just buy parts, compressor, hoses orifice tube, dryer, plus pressure switch and adaptor fittings if converting, and pay for my r134a or r12 I have both.


Was 2011 I think, I was a little more out of touch with the availabliity of help at the time. Thanks though!
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