North American Turbocoupe Organization



Heat wrap for AC?
RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#1
My AC was converted to R134a about 8 years ago (no way to verify?) and has blown cold ever since. Then last week we got some 100 degree weather and it's been in the 90s since, and it seems like my AC is dead. With AC on it's lukewarm air instead of hot blowing through the vents with the AC off. Couldn't find any leaks and no blown off caps on the valves on the AC lines. The cold line coming off the accumulator was sweating despite the lukewarm air, so I think the system is working but fighting a losing battle. The AC clutch seems to cycle normally.

I'm wondering if it's just the extreme heat and/or heat soak? If I put a heat wrap on the AC lines will that help, if so what wrap is best?
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
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TurboBoost88 Offline
Member
#2
I think the only true way of seeing how the system is doing would be hooking up a set of manifold gauges, and see where the pressures are at. It could just need a ounce or two of freon added. You can get a/c insulation tape on ebay if you want to wrap the lines.
88 TurboCoupe,Midnight Metallic Blue on Blue cloth, 140 m.p.h. speedo, 96,000 miles, 5spd. Gills valve, many new parts waiting to be installed..88 TC, Silver, 5spd, My first car, wish I still had that one! Built for customers: 67 Ford Fairlane,69 Mach I,70 Mach I Clone,95 Ranger 2.3/5.0 EFI Conversion,99 Cobra Procharger SC-1 Install/Tune,Factory Five Racing Mark III Cobra #4114,1955 Black on Black Thunderbird for local Ford Dealer owner's wife.
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#3
Do you have EATC or manual HVAC?
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#4
Manual!

I have never touched the AC system. It used to work but poorly, then I had it converted to R134a, then it worked great for many years until the other day when it got extremely hot. Would it be safe to try one of the R134 refresh kits form wally world?
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
Reply

Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#5
First of all, NEVER attempt to recharge an AC system without manifold gauges to read both the low and high side pressures and knowing what the pressures mean. Very likely you will do more harm than good by just randomly adding refrigerant. Dont believe the crap you see on TV where some numb nuts buys a can of 134a with a cheap inaccurate gauge (low side only) and magically has ice cold air.

If the system is in fact low on refrigerant, that means you have a leak that needs to be fixed.

Reason I asked about manual or EATC.... Are you sure the blend door is going to the full cold position when you slide the lever to cold?

Are you sure the radiator cooling fan is working and is up to the task? A R12 system converted to 134a used with the original condenser requires heavy duty airflow over the condenser in hot weather to work properly.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#6
The OE rad fan seems to drop the pressure quick on the rad, I tested years ago with an IR temp gun.

Is there a way to check the blend door? I suspected that too but don't know how to check. Years ago, I had an issue where the AC was being routed through the defrost vents because a vac line came loose...
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
Reply

Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#7
Blend door is cable operated. You would need to pull the radio, HVAC controls and have a look at the cable to be sure it is connected properly at each end and runs the blend door thru its full range of motion.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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RC Martin Offline
Posting Freak
#8
Got it. Do you have any suggestions for AC trouble shooting and/or learning? All I have is my Haynes manual.
Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, Bright Canyon Red TuTone, Desert Tan Interior; 1 of 7 in this combo in 1984 according to Marti.  1 of 13,361 TCs in 84.
   Rebuilt, 3-Angle Valve Job, SYB37 "OE/Small" Slider Cam
   Full 3" Stinger Exhaust to Flowmaster 40, Gnari FMIC/Recirc/BPV, MBC @ 18psi, RF-E6 Manifold, Remote-Mount TFI, PC1 and Flowed 35# Injectors, Inline Walboro 255HP, Kirban AFPR
   Rebuilt Suspension -- KYB & Energy Suspension
Reply

Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#9
To do any troubleshooting of the actual AC system you need a set of manifold gauges. HF has a 134a set for around $50. If the system needs to be opened for any reason, it must be evacuated with a good vacuum pump. No clue on sourcing a reasonable cost vac pump.....l built my own 30 years ago from stuff they were throwing out at work. As far as learning about troubleshooting, I would guess you will get a million hits on Google.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
Reply

KL Frye Offline
Junior Member
#10
I just had mine open yesterday to replace the old o rings with the new green r134a pieces.
You can get a good vac pump and manifold gauges at harbor freight. Vac pump was under 20 and gauges were about 50. Only thing is you will
Either need a big tank of 134 or hook up with the small
Cans and charge hose and check with the manifold gauges afterward.
The plastic spring loaded disconnect tools worked for me.
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