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Parallel Flow Condenser Install by Joseph Upson
Started on: 06-10-2015 09:24 PM
Replies: 5 (436 views)
Last post by: Joseph Upson on 06-26-2015 11:54 PM
Joseph Upson
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Report this Post06-10-2015 09:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Last year I ran over a deer at 55 mph after it was hit and killed by another vehicle. It took off my heavy duty heat exchanger and knocked my lower radiator mount back about 3" so don't be confused by the strange arrangement of the A/C lines which were bent from the straight down position to straight back. The condenser #8 line was crimped a good bit just below the fitting and that didn't help matters, although the A/C still functioned I felt it would result in higher high side pressure and cause other problems.

Rather than stick a used stocker in place (new is $200 plus) I decided to look into the parallel flow condenser which is much cheaper and more efficient allegedly at this point until proven.

The stock condenser is 14 x 24" and about 1.75" thick. The parallel flow condenser dimensions are measured at the tube ends so a 24" wide parallel flow would actually be 25"+ and thus too wide. I opted for a
14 x 22 unit although if you wanted to you could possibly squeeze a 14 x 23" unit in place. The condenser is less than an inch thick so you could mount two in series if you're overly ambitious. I did see such an arrangement on the web involving an upgrade of this nature in an BMW.

This is the 14 x 24" unit.




This is the 14 x 22" unit





Fittings; O-ring insert #6 and #8
parallel flow condenser is metric; M20 x 1.5 (#8) and M18 x 1.5 (#6) Male.
The Fiero is SAE 3/4 x 16 (#8) and 5/8 x 18 (#6) female (lines)

For those who have dysfunctional condensers it will probably be easiest to cut the fittings off and use them to compression fit to a set of barbed fittings for the parallel flow condenser. You will need to cut the barbed portion off of the fittings of course. I decided to skip making it look professional by having the lower barbed fittings butt welded together ~$15 and using barbed elbows with crush collars on them since I was not dealing with lines in their stock configuration. If you decide to fabricate your own lines independent of salvaging the ends from the OE condenser you'll have the challenge of creating a 180 degree bend with the appropriate ends in which case you may want to visit an A/C shop that does custom work, or a hose manufacturer. Also be aware that there are two hose options, standard A/C hose and reduced which has a smaller outer diameter. I'm using the standard hose.

You can get the fittings off ebay but 4 seasons is probably the best one stop shop, http://www.4s.com/Online%20...atalog/Content.aspx#
If that page doesn't take you straight there, hit the catalogs tab and under that select the "part number tab". Next select "Part specification", then catagory (AC fittings) and the rest is self explanatory. Note the dark blue bar in the selection area has a spot for images so select that to see what they're referencing.



[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 06-10-2015).]

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post06-10-2015 09:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Joseph Upson

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Unfortunately it started raining shortly after noon and continued throughout the day. It may be a week before I can test the system as there is a slow leak in the rear crossover hose that I need to repair before charging the system and I don't have the time at the moment.

Be sure to get a parallel flow condenser, there are some that look similar but are not exactly parallel flow, also make sure you find out what the number of internal passes are. I chose a 4 pass condenser. Total cost not including the refrigerant is just under $100

[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 06-10-2015).]

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Ponnari
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Report this Post06-12-2015 03:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PonnariSend a Private Message to PonnariEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Great info, please keep us updated on this!

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post06-22-2015 09:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
First attempt at charging the system failed. I checked for a leak in the rear since the system leaked down slowly (weeks) after running over the deer and there was no florescent glow under the black light at the fittings or on the old damaged condenser. I tightened an area that looked a little suspect but nothing glowing otherwise. Vacuumed the system down to right at 30-31 and it held for steady for at least 30 minutes. Before the first can was discharged and at about 120 psi on the high side it let go in the rear with a steady spray upward toward the deck lid so hopefully there's a good bit of florescent oil at the site to make it easy to find later. It's too hot and dark to bother with right now. I didn't see any leaks up front at the condenser but only a full charge will tell. Hopefully I'll have it all ironed out and tested Wed. Walmart has the refrigerant for $6.88 a can, I wonder how pure it is at that price.
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ILVMYGT
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Report this Post06-23-2015 10:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ILVMYGTClick Here to Email ILVMYGTSend a Private Message to ILVMYGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check the hose clamps for leaks. I tried using hose clamps in the A/C system and they leaked. The pressures are much higher and the A/C hose is very stiff. I was not able to get mine to seal.

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Joseph Upson
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Report this Post06-26-2015 11:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Joseph UpsonClick Here to Email Joseph UpsonSend a Private Message to Joseph UpsonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ILVMYGT:
Check the hose clamps for leaks. I tried using hose clamps in the A/C system and they leaked. The pressures are much higher and the A/C hose is very stiff. I was not able to get mine to seal.


The 84 comes from the factory with hose clamps on the back end hoses, as long as the shark bite ribs are prominent on the fittings it's not a problem. The coolant line mount was pulled out from the lower rear fire wall and it came into contact with the high pressure manifold line from the compressor and rubbed a hole in it.

So far it's holding fine and the best vent temp I've achieved is 49 deg idling and rolling in about 90 deg ambient weather. There's room for improvement as there is still a 1 inch plus gap between the radiator and the condenser that has to be filled with a seal of some type that I'm sure Home Depot will have. I believe my system called for 3 cans also from what I remember the approximately 80% (36 oz) of the R12 recommendation (40 oz) called for. Right now I have about 2.2 cans worth of refrigerant in the system.

I believe the lowest vent temp I achieved with the stock condenser was with the blue can synthetic R134 in a garage ~36 deg, I'll have to look for the picture to confirm. I wonder about the quality of $6.88 refrigerant. I understand 134 and 134A are the same except for a slight molecular difference but I'm not sure it has no effect on cooling efficiency.

One additional though here would be the benefit of a good high flow pusher fan on the front side which some cars have for the condenser. I'm certain that would provide a significant improvement on both the serpentine and parallel flow unit in this application.

[This message has been edited by Joseph Upson (edited 06-27-2015).]

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