Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 61

Thread: Full A/C rebuild

  1. #1
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Full A/C rebuild

    Well I have finally decided to do A/C in the hatch. To prevent any contamination of the system, and ensure it blows as cold as possible I will be replacing everything. So far I have installed a new evaperator core, compressor, a condensor, and a new dryer. It looks like i will have to have a custom hose made due to the PRI transmission mount.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)




  2. #2


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    If you are going to go with a different refrigerant than R-12 I strongly recommend you replace the original serpentine flow condenser with a parallel flow condenser. Price is about the same and they make them for our cars. It has effectively higher surface area for better performance from R134a or one of the R-12 substitute refrigerants.

    I am in the HVAC business and have researched this topic over the years as well.

    For example purposes only...

    http://www.discountautoradiator.com/...&darcid=gooppc
    Last edited by DBMaster; 05-10-2012 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    If you are going to go with a different refrigerant than R-12 I strongly recommend you replace the original serpentine flow condenser with a parallel flow condenser. Price is about the same and they make them for our cars. It has effectively higher surface area for better performance from R134a or one of the R-12 substitute refrigerants.

    I am in the HVAC business and have researched this topic over the years as well.
    I have already purchased the condensor, is there any way to tell visually the difference?
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  4. #4
    LXi User Buzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Vehicle
    88 Honda Accord EX - Single Port EFI, 4 doors Aut.
    Location
    North of Mexico
    Posts
    836

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Just wanted to say that I'm planning to make my AC work as well, but I will not replace everything, I plan to do a leak test and replace the leaking parts (hope they are a few only). My car was retrofitted to R134a before I bought it. It colds pretty well when just charged, but losses the gas within 15 days. I'll follow your thread and see what I can learn.

  5. #5
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzo View Post
    Just wanted to say that I'm planning to make my AC work as well, but I will not replace everything, I plan to do a leak test and replace the leaking parts (hope they are a few only). My car was retrofitted to R134a before I bought it. It colds pretty well when just charged, but losses the gas within 15 days. I'll follow your thread and see what I can learn.
    Mine has been sitting for years without being used, and was never converted to the new standard. I am trying to restore the car to it's original greatness (or better) lol.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  6. #6


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Don't quote me on this, but I believe that a parallel flow condenser looks more like a radiator - all aluminum, with flattish tubes running horizontally and "parallel" to each other. A serpentine condenser generally has aluminum fins with round copper tubing running through it and has semi-circular elbows on the sides so it's basically like one or two long single tubes.

    My car was retrofitted with Freeze 12 two years ago when I put in a new compressor. I am still running the original expansion valve, evaporator, hoses (replaced in 1999 when I retrofitted to a Denso compressor), and tubing. I replaced the drier two years ago as well. I measured output temperature at the vents at around 43 degrees. That was approximately three degrees higher than my best R-12 temperature output. Freeze 12 is a blend that is 80% R134a and 20% R142b. That allows it to operate at similar pressures to R-12 and also carries the mineral oil through the system so you don't have to change out or add a different type of oil to the system. For the most part, it performs well. Last summer set a record for days at or above 100.

    I think if I had replaced the condenser last year I might have met or beaten the R-12 vent temp. This car has always seemed to have a weak A/C to me. That's probably because my last car was a Pontiac with a Frigidaire A6 compressor that had output temps in the low 30's. NOTHING will seem good after that.

  7. #7


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    With that said, I don't think I would go to any large amount of trouble to change the condenser. I am satisfied with the current performance of my A/C system. Strangely enough, I used to have to add about a half-can a year of R-12 to the system and now it has been two years running without having to do a top-off. I have had the car since new and am on the third compressor. I only install NEW (non-rebuilt) compressors. I've never seen a rebuilt last more than three years. I got my last one from Rock Auto, an OEM Denso, for $300.

    The original compressor was a Keihin, BTW. The second was a Denso that came as part of a kit from Honda with new hoses and manifold. Compressors replaced in 1999 and 2010.

  8. #8


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Sorry for being a post whore, but after 11.5 years having under 3,000 posts isn't too bad.

    A few years ago I managed to get six cans of R-12 from a business associate who traveled to Mexico often. The stuff was $2.50/can there. I was using it to top off my system and have three cans left. I recently read that a lot of this "bootleg" R-12 that the authorities have confiscated is contaminated with things like air and water. My cans have a name brand on them (DuPont, I believe), but that could possibly be counterfeit.

    If anyone feels like taking a chance in using it I would let you have it for just the cost of shipping. I cannot, in good conscience, sell it on eBay.

  9. #9
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    Sorry for being a post whore, but after 11.5 years having under 3,000 posts isn't too bad.

    A few years ago I managed to get six cans of R-12 from a business associate who traveled to Mexico often. The stuff was $2.50/can there. I was using it to top off my system and have three cans left. I recently read that a lot of this "bootleg" R-12 that the authorities have confiscated is contaminated with things like air and water. My cans have a name brand on them (DuPont, I believe), but that could possibly be counterfeit.

    If anyone feels like taking a chance in using it I would let you have it for just the cost of shipping. I cannot, in good conscience, sell it on eBay.
    Well that's kinda tempting lol. I wonder how long it will stay available? I'm just gonna bite the bullet and use this condesor (its the old style). If I can 43 degrees inthe middle of summer in Texas ill be exstatic lol. Really just can't handle sweaty back going to work from lunch.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  10. #10
    SEi User gp02a0083's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    1989 Lx-i Hatchback
    Location
    Jackson, NJ
    Posts
    1,837

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    I think if I had replaced the condenser last year I might have met or beaten the R-12 vent temp. This car has always seemed to have a weak A/C to me. That's probably because my last car was a Pontiac with a Frigidaire A6 compressor that had output temps in the low 30's. NOTHING will seem good after that.
    I'm not sure about the condenser, so i can't comment on that. Legend you did the right thing with getting a new drier, most people don't replace this. I suggest getting a A/c vac pump from harbor freight, apply vac to the system for 30min to an hour. then charge the system as necessary. on my 89 hatch i just replaced the keihnin to a new denso, replaced the drier , applied vac to the system for 40 or so min, charged it and i get about 38* at the center vent. So i don't think your going to have a problem with the condenser. I also retrofitted my 86 442 to 134 as well, makes frost on the windshield @ idle on a 80* day easily.

    1989 Accord Lx-i hatchback (current DD project)
    1986 Olds Cutlass 442 clone (never ending project)
    3Geez resident body man
    Owner of Wreck-less auto body

  11. #11


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Humidity on the day you measure temp makes a difference. So, mine might make better than 43 if the conditions are right. Regardless, it is adequate, no complaints. I should probably hang onto the R-12 in case I need it for my 1991 vintage refrigerator. Household refrigerators used to use R-12, unlike A/C units that used R-22. Sorry about stressing you out over the condenser. Since the performance of mine with the original 1989 condenser is good, yours should be, too. I am just so tired of hearing people talk about how their new A/C setup is "so cold you can hang meat in the car." It keeps me from sweating on a 100+ degree day. My car is white with high end window tint and I use a windshield shade if I park in the sun. Most of the time I am in a garage - parking garage at work and garage at home. So, my A/C rarely has to cool an oven. There has been far too much energy expended on A/C topics here.

    Since I am old-school I pretty much assume a receiver/drier is part of ANY A/C service that involves opening of the system, even for a few minutes. For $30 it's very cheap insurance.

  12. #12
    SEi User obdriver6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-I Coupe
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    1,396

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Nice! I also plan on fixing my A/C since my compressor took a crap at the end of last years summer but since I don't want to spent a lot of money on a compressor, I'll be hitting the jy ( I know, I'm cheap). I do plan on replacing the receiver drier, do a system flush and check for leaks. I will also convert to R134. Its getting hotter by the day here in Vegas so I plan to do it very soon!


    1989 Honda Accord LX-I 300K+
    Build Thread

  13. #13
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    What do ya'll think about replacing the thermostat, has anyone seen them fail? I figure if I am in there, I might as well do it.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  14. #14

    2oodoor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Vehicle
    86 LX JDM B20A
    Location
    Georgia-lina
    Posts
    9,061

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    you mean the "expansion valve" ?
    Either way if you're asking the question you already know the answer, do it!

    great thread, this is something I will need to do If I am going to drive a Honda this summer! my vehicles are like 140 degrees inside after sitting in the parking lot all day at work. Heh, and I have two very slow traffic lights right as I leave work, so no breeze.
    Last edited by 2oodoor; 05-14-2012 at 09:59 AM.

  15. #15


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    ^^Probably a good idea, but it is a pain to access. Mine is still original. Both times I replaced the A/C I had it done at a shop for the equipment. I have done them myself plenty of times, too. They did not see a need to replaced the expansion valve, but if you are replacing the evaporator it is not much extra trouble.

  16. #16
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by roodoo2 View Post
    you mean the "expansion valve" ?
    Either way if you're asking the question you already know the answer, do it!

    great thread, this is something I will need to do If I am going to drive a Honda this summer! my vehicles are like 140 degrees inside after sitting in the parking lot all day at work. Heh, and I have two very slow traffic lights right as I leave work, so no breeze.
    There is an expansion valve with a capillary tube that is mounted to one of the pipes coming from the evaporator core, but there is also a thermostat inside the housing that has a metal wire that goes between the fins of the evaporator core.


    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    ^^Probably a good idea, but it is a pain to access. Mine is still original. Both times I replaced the A/C I had it done at a shop for the equipment. I have done them myself plenty of times, too. They did not see a need to replaced the expansion valve, but if you are replacing the evaporator it is not much extra trouble.
    Mine is all out of the car, so I will replace the valve.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  17. #17


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Good idea. I know about the thermostat. I remember a friend buying a 1986 Accord hatch when they first came out. It was a DX 5-speed. There was an issue with a lot of these cars, initially, with the thermostat allowing the evaporator to freeze. Fortunately, the issue was long since resolved when my car was built in 89.

    Here's the thing, though. While it's a good idea to replace the TEV (thermal expansion valve), you might want to do a small amount of research to verify that the same TEV that works well with R-12 will work well with your chosen refrigerant. Mine seems to work fine with Freeze 12, but that does not mean it wouldn't work BETTER with a different TEV.

    I only think about this because my job involves purchasing of TEV's for home air conditioning systems and there are MANY. There are also those that are specified for use with R-22 and with R-410a. Maybe the differences are slight, but since you have it torn down to this level...

  18. #18
    LXi User ecogabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Vehicle
    1986 Accord LX-i (BT- 142K) - 1993 Civic DX (225K) - 1996 Camry DX (173K)
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    946

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzo View Post
    Just wanted to say that I'm planning to make my AC work as well, but I will not replace everything, I plan to do a leak test and replace the leaking parts (hope they are a few only). My car was retrofitted to R134a before I bought it. It colds pretty well when just charged, but losses the gas within 15 days. I'll follow your thread and see what I can learn.


    You may try a cheap fix first. Replace the schrader valves at the low and high pressure ports, and make sure the caps are closed tight. My civic was leaking (r-12) and I found out the schrader valves were leaking badly.

    With new valves and the caps tightened (I should have gotten new ones, though) it does not leak now.
    You need the caps because the schrader valves seem to leak a little; my 3G did not have them and it was low on r-12 (ask the idiots that recharged it why they did not reinstall them). Just scavenged a couple of caps from the jy for a cheapo fix and with a recharge now works fine.
    If it ain't broke... I fix it!

  19. #19
    LXi User ecogabriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Vehicle
    1986 Accord LX-i (BT- 142K) - 1993 Civic DX (225K) - 1996 Camry DX (173K)
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    946

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMaster View Post
    Good idea. I know about the thermostat. I remember a friend buying a 1986 Accord hatch when they first came out. It was a DX 5-speed. There was an issue with a lot of these cars, initially, with the thermostat allowing the evaporator to freeze. Fortunately, the issue was long since resolved when my car was built in 89.

    Here's the thing, though. While it's a good idea to replace the TEV (thermal expansion valve), you might want to do a small amount of research to verify that the same TEV that works well with R-12 will work well with your chosen refrigerant. Mine seems to work fine with Freeze 12, but that does not mean it wouldn't work BETTER with a different TEV.

    I only think about this because my job involves purchasing of TEV's for home air conditioning systems and there are MANY. There are also those that are specified for use with R-22 and with R-410a. Maybe the differences are slight, but since you have it torn down to this level...
    I heard (or read) that there are expansion valves for r-134, that would work better than the ones installed in the car, because of the difference in operating pressures. It may be a good idea to double check if you go the r-134 way.
    Last edited by ecogabriel; 05-14-2012 at 06:56 PM.
    If it ain't broke... I fix it!

  20. #20

    Dr_Snooz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Vehicle
    1989 Accord LX-i
    Location
    Fresno, California
    Posts
    10,638

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by Legend_master View Post
    What do ya'll think about replacing the thermostat, has anyone seen them fail? I figure if I am in there, I might as well do it.
    The one in my 4g went out.
    Dr_Snooz

    "I like to take hammers, and just break stuff, just break stuff." - Beavis


    1989 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe, 240k miles, MT swap, rear disc swap

    Shop manual downloads available here: CLICK TO VIEW

  21. #21
    LXi User hondalude86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Vehicle
    1986/Honda/prelude si
    Location
    Denver Colorado
    Posts
    731

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    I am also interested in getting my ac working. I bought the car from messy, so im not sure to what extent the ac needs. It looks to be pretty complete but most likely doesnt have any charge in it. Reason i bring this up is im curious about the function of the clutch on This compressor. Ive pushed the ac button on and off to see if the clutch would engage but it never did. I was curious if this was a function of having a low/no pressure situation that keeps the ac from engaging to prevent potential damage to the compressor. Jessie, any insight about what is in the car would be great!

  22. #22
    SEi User gp02a0083's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Vehicle
    1989 Lx-i Hatchback
    Location
    Jackson, NJ
    Posts
    1,837

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Quote Originally Posted by hondalude86 View Post
    I am also interested in getting my ac working. I bought the car from messy, so im not sure to what extent the ac needs. It looks to be pretty complete but most likely doesnt have any charge in it. Reason i bring this up is im curious about the function of the clutch on This compressor. Ive pushed the ac button on and off to see if the clutch would engage but it never did. I was curious if this was a function of having a low/no pressure situation that keeps the ac from engaging to prevent potential damage to the compressor. Jessie, any insight about what is in the car would be great!
    usually when you are low on refrigerant, the compressor will cycle on/ off that clutch frequently, if it doesn't turn on the clutch may be bad or your not getting the right signal / voltage to the clutch to engage

    1989 Accord Lx-i hatchback (current DD project)
    1986 Olds Cutlass 442 clone (never ending project)
    3Geez resident body man
    Owner of Wreck-less auto body

  23. #23


    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    3,179

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    When I still had my original Keihin compressor the air gap between the pressure plates of the clutch had increased just to the point of not engaging. It would work when the car was "cold" but as soon as the engine compartment got hot it would no longer engage. I tested the magnetic coil by sticking a wrench to the front the the compressor when it was energized. When I took it in to get the air gap adjusted (shimmed) I was informed that the front seal was leaking and that it would not pay to mess with the clutch. The mechanic was a good Honda shop so I went with the kit from Honda that used a Denso compressor. The clutch coil actually shorted out on that one after 11 years and burned the insulation from the main wire. The smoke coming out from under the hood scared the heck out of me.

    There is also a pressure switch near the drier and if the refrigerant level gets too low it will keep the clutch from engaging. There's a relay near the radiator on the driver's side that is also part of the electrical circuit for the clutch.

    So, the short answer is that it could be a number of things.

  24. #24
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Charging the system now, I'll update when it's done.

    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


  25. #25
    Accord of the Year - 2007

    Legend_master's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Vehicle
    1988 Honda Accord, CRV B20 swap.
    Posts
    5,037

    Re: Full A/C rebuild

    Well it was blowing at 48 degrees. Would like it a little colder, but not complaining. It added a lot of vibration, but once I build a front mount that should help.
    Complete repair manual <---- (click here)


Similar Threads

  1. box full of parts
    By xxxfrankensteinxxx in forum For Sale
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-13-2009, 07:19 PM
  2. to rebuild them or not to rebuild them, that is the question
    By ZackieDarko in forum Suspension/Wheels/Tires/Brakes
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-20-2007, 06:46 PM
  3. Replies: 50
    Last Post: 04-09-2006, 09:06 PM
  4. hey 2old_honda pm box is full
    By mykwikcoupe in forum Classic Honda Community Chat
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-27-2005, 08:25 AM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.
     
VigLink badge