I've been putting this off for years, but it's time to get my '86 GT A/C converted to 134a and working again. I will be up in July to collect the car and prepare it for moving to Florida. I'd prefer to drive the 1400 miles back down with cabin temperatures under 100°F. Anyone know a shop in northern WI that can be tasked and trusted with this undertaking? Car is based in Price county, but suitable to drive anywhere within reason (if it's under 85°F out). Thanks in advance!
I spent a couple weeks looking for a shop around Seattle to fix my AC. I'd taken it a place someone recommended a couple years ago and they claimed to have "converted" it to 134a, but it was leaking at the compressor and the front end.
Every place I called declined the work.
I eventually ordered everything and did the work myself. Valves, O-rings, dryer, compressor, misc. pressure switches, and 134a. Plus a manifold and vacuum pump. All it in was about $600 and that included a *new*, not remanufactured, compressor. I took advantage of the 'free' tool rentals at O'Reilly's to use their AC system flush tool.
We did the work ourselves over two days. I had a lot of advice from a couple people who'd done them before. As with most Fiero work, the difficulty is access, not the work itself. If I was to do it again I could cut the time in half.
And apparently all that shop did was charge it with 134a and *maybe* change the high and low side valves. It was leaking from the compressor, which wasn't 134a compatible, and the high side valve. So that was lame. Now I know it is completely done, and done right.
For a stock car nearly any decent AC place should be able to do it. Problem cound be if any fittings sont come apart due to corrosion/age. As far as I can tell having a few cars done: They'd flush the lines and condenser and evaporator, replace your accumulator and compressor with new, and put the 134 adapter fittings on, pull a vacuum , and ten charge it with the right amount of oil and R134. Check for leaks, not exactly in that order perhaps.
Thanks, everyone, for your responses. I considered doing the work myself, but I'm up against an unusual constraint: I will be in WI for two weeks, at the end of which time I'm planning on driving the car back to FL with me. There is a shop here in Gainesville, FL that had already quoted me on a conversion (they've done decent work on my old Mercedes), but that's at the wrong end of the trip. I tried looking for an R12 qualified shop a few years back, but came up empty. The car's charge leaked out probably 10 years ago, it was just never a priority to get it fixed back then as rolling down the windows usually sufficed! That said, I'm still soliciting recommendations for places in WI. Meantime, I'll reach out to some non-Fiero car guys and see if I can find a competent shop that way.
Originally posted by lorennerol: Able to, yes. They just don't want to around Seattle because they have plenty of other work to do that's easier (like selling $35 of 134a for $200 for a five minute recharge).
I know what you mean. I'm a fan of going out of the overpriced big city areas.
I'm up against an unusual constraint: I will be in WI for two weeks, at the end of which time I'm planning on driving the car back to FL with me....
You may not want to open that can of worms while in the middle of a 2 week stay. Do you have another car to drive in case they work on it a few days? Sometimes it takes a few days to get a compressor, and then if they found a leak hopefully you wouldn't need a hard line or something Fiero specific.
[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 06-15-2018).]
I do have another vehicle available, yes. I was hoping to take the Fiero in at the beginning of the stay and hopefully have it ready by the end. I just don't have the connections up there anymore since I moved, my trusted mechanic moved, and I've been out of the Fiero scene for 5 or so years.
Nothing is as cold as a working R-12 system. Shops that do have it charge a lot for it. Not even factory 134 system is as cold, and conversions Ive seen are pretty iffy. In my Ferrari kit, with R12, I could put a can of pop in the center console with the center ducts blowing at it and it would stay cold for hours like a mini fridge.