'69 Toronado....Air conditioning question? - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old July 1st, 2017, 09:36 AM   #1  
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'69 Toronado....Air conditioning question?

Having owned my '69 Toronado for over four years, I have never been too concerned about my air conditioning not performing.....just put the windows down and go! Now, however, I'm thinking that should be my next big improvement (new tires, all new brakes, complete dual exhaust system, etc. all ranked ahead of air!). My air conditioning is all intact and the compressor actually kicks on for a brief cycle (a couple of seconds) before shutting down again.

Now for my question....is the stock system able to be converted to operate with the newer R34 refrigerate or have many of you gone to a modern air replacement in total?

P.S As you have probably guessed by now, I have not taken my question to any local air conditioning shops at this point....would no doubt get some answers there but am still interested in any info you vintage Oldsmobile owners can share!

Thanks
Ron Schwartz Sr
Crown Point, IN
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Old July 1st, 2017, 10:48 AM   #2  
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It may just need a charge since it kicks on briefly.
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Old July 2nd, 2017, 09:15 AM   #3  
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As far as I know, there is no provision on the '69s for shutting down the compressor when refrigerant pressure is low, so I can't explain the compressor kicking in briefly, unless you have Comfortron, and it's a Comfortron thing (I have no experience with Comfortron).

Why not just get it checked and recharged with the original R12? That way it will work as it is supposed to, with the most efficiency, and, provided the parts you have are all good, the cost should be lower than other solutions.

- Eric
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Old July 2nd, 2017, 05:15 PM   #4  
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These years Olds had a compressor hold-in relay that shifts some of the compressor clutch electrical load onto the battery instead of routing it thru the control head. It's not affected by charge pressure but has been known to go wacky. That may be why compressor is kicking out.

Comfortrons run the compressor constantly except in OFF or VENT position.

Agreed on a R12 recharge. Not as much demand for it now so price has come down. I've never seen a POA valve system like on Toro respond well to a 134a changeout but 134a-calibrated POA valves are available now (and are the same POA valve used in A-body cars, so they are readily available).

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Old August 14th, 2017, 01:56 AM   #5  
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R152A appears to be a good alternative for old R12 systems. Dirt cheap too.
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Old August 14th, 2017, 10:10 AM   #6  
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R152A appears to be a good alternative for old R12 systems. Dirt cheap too.
I agree, isn't that the propellant in computer air dusters?

FWIW, I charged the AC in my Ford truck with R12a that is available through Amazon. It was $60 well spent and cools well. IMHO, there isn't a reason to even consider R134a unless you're going with a Vintage Air unit. I suppose you could go with OE r12, but if you're like me and do your own work save yourself some money and tell the EPA to take a hike.
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Old January 8th, 2018, 03:50 PM   #7  
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Propane!
See Duracool. Better than r-12 and a perfect drop in.
I use it in cars and sub zero freezers that used r-12
Now sit back and listen to all the nay sayers lol
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Old January 8th, 2018, 03:51 PM   #8  
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Oh and my 72 still has orig r12 charge!
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Old January 9th, 2018, 06:16 AM   #9  
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Propane!
I've heard of folks charging the AC with popane. Nay sayers mention it's dumb because propane is flammable. However so is gasoline, diesel, ATF, etc. The biggest obstacle to charging an AC with propane would be physically hooking up a propane cylinder to the R12 service port. In the future I think I will stick with R12a, or R152a if Amazon or the EPA finally crack down on those Canadian sellers.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 07:21 AM   #10  
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Propane charge

1st time I did it on a 74 bens with a small propane cylinder. I was amazed.

Found duracool and got thier purer version and charged a freezer 4 years ago and itís running great.

Iím considering buying a bulk tank of it before that Canadia connection is severed. (EPA and DuPont colusion ) <another hot topic lol.

About 10 years ago I was buying r12 in Mexico for 6 bucks a can.

FYI you can take an open book test and get an epa cert. to buy r 12 legally.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 07:26 AM   #11  
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FYI you can take an open book test and get an epa cert. to buy r 12 legally.
Interesting. I have a small can of r12 in my garage that I got from my dad. It has a Kmart sticker on it for about $1.50. It's so old the R12 may have leaked from it by now to go kill baby seals.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 04:31 PM   #12  
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Dumb question and I do not mean to high jack this thread but I gather from some earlier comments that R12 refrigerant is still apparently available in Canada. Now that is interesting as I live in Canada and have 1977 Olds Toronado that my father recently gave me. The A/C is not working and it is on my list of things to do when it comes out of storage in the spring. I had visions of having to spend zillions $$ to upgrade and replace the A/C system. If this information is correct then as I understand things it may be as simple as picking a DIY R12 kit and recharging the system and if things work I am good to go. If not then I guess I may some major repair costs. The one thing I do know that needs fixing is the heater core as it started leaking so I have by-passed it temporarily. The heater core is available and inexpensive, it is just the labor of changing it that is pricey.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 05:19 AM   #13  
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Byron, I'm not sure if r12 is available in Canada; however, this product is from Canada and is an r12 substitute:

Amazon Amazon


I used this to charge the AC in my 86 f250 and it worked great. As I said earlier, if I ever have the need to do AC work in the future I will check for this first instead of trying to hunt down r12 or converting to r134a.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 04:18 PM   #14  
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Olds64
Thanks for the lead. Found a local auto supply place that sells a similar recharge and seal kit a bit cheaper then Amazon and it's only 15 minutes from my house. May give it a try. Here is a link to the web site. I gather that there are a number of nearby auto supply places that sell similar 12a kits. From what I read it is supposedly a direct replacement for r12 and some claim for 134 as well.
Hopefully it is a simple as getting a kit hooking up and recharging the system. I like the fact that the kits contain a sealant and has a dye presumably so one can see if there any leaks and if the sealant has fixed them.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...it/A-p8211237e

My apologies to Ronschwartzsr, I don't mean to hijack his thread but hope that my questions may assist him in sourcing the refrigerant he needs for his 69.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 04:46 PM   #15  
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Nay sayers mention it's dumb because propane is flammable. However so is gasoline, diesel, ATF, etc.
It IS dumb. The difference here is that gasoline, diesel, etc. are stored and handled by your car's fuel system, which is designed to handle the flammable material. That's why the gas tank is in the center rear of the car well away from the hot engine and protected as much as possible from damage in a collision.

None of this is true for your car's A/C system. The compressor and associated plumbing are right next to the hot engine, none of it is protected from collision damage, tand the system overall is not designed to handle the flammable material.

Yes, go ahead and install propane in a system not designed for it. Just put a warning sign on the front of the car so passing motorists can give you a wide berth.

I can see the epitaph on your gravestone now. It will rival the classic "gimme a match, I think my gas tank's empty."
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Old January 10th, 2018, 04:49 PM   #16  
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It IS dumb. The difference here is that gasoline, diesel, etc. are stored and handled by your car's fuel system, which is designed to handle the flammable material. That's why the gas tank is in the center rear of the car well away from the hot engine and protected as much as possible from damage in a collision.

None of this is true for your car's A/C system. The compressor and associated plumbing are right next to the hot engine, none of it is protected from collision damage, tand the system overall is not designed to handle the flammable material.

Yes, go ahead and install propane in a system not designed for it. Just put a warning sign on the front of the car so passing motorists can give you a wide berth.

I can see the epitaph on your gravestone now. It will rival the classic "gimme a match, I think my gas tank's empty."

Wait... Doesn't gasoline get into the proximity of that hot engine as well?

Fuel tanks contain a highly combustible mixture of fuel vapors and air in a confined enclosure, ready to do nasty things should an ignition source appear. A pressurized system full of nothing but propane is not something I would lose sleep over.

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Old January 10th, 2018, 04:51 PM   #17  
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I had visions of having to spend zillions $$ to upgrade and replace the A/C system.
I had this done a few years ago on a '73 Custom Cruiser that I have since sold, and it did not cost "zillions." It was about $1200 for the complete conversion. New compressor, new refrigerant and whatever associated piping and plumbing was needed, plus the labor of course. Done by a local shop. Worked very well.

I would think you could expect to spend something in maybe the $1500 to $2000 range for the fix. Not cheap, and if you can get the system to work with the R12, I would do that. But the cost for conversion is not astronomical, either. If it's looking like conversion might be a possibility, I would at least get an estimate or two before discounting the whole idea.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 04:54 PM   #18  
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Wait... Doesn't gasoline get into the proximity of that hot engine as well?
Yes, but in a single thin METAL line, not a flurry of pipes and compressor all over one side of the engine compartment.

Of course there is always the risk of a gasoline leak or fire in a collision. But the car was designed to minimize this possibility as much as possible in terms of fuel tank placement and all the rest. No such considerations were included when the A/C system was designed.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 05:00 PM   #19  
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Fuel tanks contain a highly combustible mixture of fuel vapors and air in a confined enclosure, ready to do nasty things should an ignition source appear. A pressurized system full of nothing but propane is not something I would lose sleep over.
The system being enclosed is not the issue. It's how likely is it that the system would be ruptured in a collision or how dangerous the system becomes if and when it develops a leak, and A/C systems do develop leaks. That's why we have to recharge them periodically.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 06:27 AM   #20  
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I never condoned using propane as a refrigerant.

FWIW, I removed the AC system from my Olds because I think the suction throttling valve systems are ugly. All those pipes and hoses running back and forth. Orifice tube systems are the way to go!

If I were to install AC on my Olds again in the future I would probably go with a Vintage Air unit. When I finally rebuild the AC on my truck I will get new parts and charge it with r12a or r152a. Plus I'll save a couple hundred bucks.
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