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Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple questions now that I found this website. I did a search but didnt find any clear conclusions. My 'first' question is about the AC system. My dad's car has the automatic climate control and the AC quit working on him. He thought it was the compressor and has been runnig the car without AC for maybe two years until I decided to check things out a bit. I checked teh compressor and it still works. Then I did a quick search here and some said that if you are low on freeon it will stop the compressor from working until the system is refilled. Im not 100% sure if this is correct, and since im not VERY familiar with the taurus or AC systems altogether (yet) i decided to let the experts here give me some hints. If the refill is necessary, since the car hasnt had the AC working for a long time, is this something I can do my self (what tools?) or would I need to take it to a shop to get purged and stuff? Im pretty mechanically inclined so im more worried about the tools and a set of directions than anything. Hope to hear from you guys soon...i should be frequenting the site more often now.

ps. by teh way, im also gonna do the motor mounts on my dad's car. Im pretty sure the passingers front is completely toast and is takin the pass. rear with it. The engine makes a HORRIBLE clunk when put in D and you can see the engine move alot when in gear...but before I ask i want to do a search and see what I can find.
 

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Motor mounts are going to be a pain to do yourself, unless you have a lot of U-joints in your arms.

The A/C is another problem; I think the 1990's still used R-12a refrigerant. Going to be hard to deal with it; you'll have to have the system retrofitted to R-134a and recharged.

Is the car worth it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, i was looking at my dad's hayes manual and my bro's 91 shop manual and, at least the front passingers side mount seems pretty easy....but then again...you guys know best. I guess i can give it a try this weekend. As far as the AC, do you have any idea how much the retrofit and charging of R-134a would cost?
 

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You can buy a conversion Kit to convert to the R-134a for under $40.00 at Autozone or you local parts place. It includes directions, new fittings, and recharge hose. It's so simple you will think you are doing it wrong. I believe it does state to reclaim R-12 that is remaining in the system. Mine was empty do to a small leak. I did it on a 92 saturn. Every spring I added one can ($5.00) and had air for the rest of the year.

FYI
It was around 93 when they made the switch to 134-a
 

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Regarding the a/c - yes, that year it was R-12, so you'll have to retrofit, and the kits are cheap. Check all the o-rings - if the car has green o-rings in it, you won't need to change them, but if it has black o-rings, you will have to change them. And don't forget to check the o-rings on the back of the compressor where the manifold tube bolts on. Those o-rings likely won't come in the retro-fit kit, so you'll probably have to buy them separately. The kit should come with some kind of oil to put in the system, which you should do - the old oil used with R-12 won't mix and circulate with the new R-134a refrigerant, so if you don't put the oil in from the kit, you'll cook the compressor in no time. If you have some parts removed and can dump some oil out of them that'll help, but it doesn't matter if the old oil stays in - they'll just put a little less refrigerant into the system upon recharging. You will also need a couple different sizes of quick-disconnect tools to get the fittings apart. You will have to get it to a shop to evacuate and recharge when you're done, and they should check it for leaks first (that refrigerant had to get out somewhere). I've never used an aftermarket retro-fit kit, since i work at a dealer, so if it comes with a can of refrigerant to recharge with, that's cool, but bear in mind that to do it properly, the system should be hooked up to an a/c machine and evacuated for at least 20 mins before recharging. Doing this draws a vacuum on the system which will remove all air and moisture. Moisture in the a/c system is bad.. it mixes with the oil and refrigerant and creates acid. If you have had the system open for any length of time, then just recharge it without a proper evac first, you could be in for disaster.
 

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With regard to the A/C, yes, if the A/C system is low on refridgerant, the compressor will not cycle and you will have no cold air. Although conversion from R12 to R134a is a possibility, R134a's cooling properties are not as good and therefore not as efficient as R12 and your system will not work as well.

The good news is that another refridgerant, R406a is a direct drop-in replacement for R12, plus R406's cooling properties are comparable to R12. You may want to call around to some good automotive shops or automotive A/C specialists to deal with the "conversion" if you're not familiar with A/C systems. I use the term "conversion" loosely cause you're not really converting anything by switching to R406a, as opposed to when you convert to R-134a where you have to replace o-rings, accumulator/dryer, and so forth...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanx for the replies (and welcome) guys. Im a bit confused tho. I understand the whole part of retrofitting to the R134a and the kit...i do remember seeing the kit on the parts store. Now, if I do this...i now know I need to replace O rings...but oh HookieSES's post it says I also have to replace the accumulator and dryer, is this correct? Also, whats the deal with taking the car to a shop for an "evacuate and recharge" like Nidan's post sais? Do i need to do that before or after I use the conversion kit?
 

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For a conversion, you have to evacuate the A/C system to remove all of the old refrigerant since it's not good to simply release into the atmosphere (the shop will recover the old refrigerant still in the system). You can then go through and replace o-rings and such that are necessary if you decide to convert to R134a. (I still recommend looking into R406a first rather than R134a). You then evacuate the system again to remove air and other contaminants in the system. Then you recharge the system with the new refrigerant, whether that be with R406a or R134a.

Evacuating, changing seals/o-rings, etc. is especially important if you're going through converting the system from R12 to R134a because those two refrigerants are not compatible.

Has anyone else tried using R406a?
 

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I forgot to add that in addition to recharging the system with refrigerant, you also need to add the correct oil for the A/C system...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hokie whats the deal with this r406a...is it one of those you can buy over the counter at a parts store, or do you need some type of lisence to get it? If I were to go with this, im assuming i would have to get the car to a shop to 'evacuate' the old fluid, then fill it up with this and the oil, then take it back to the shop to get the air out correct? Would I still need to change the o rings?
 

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From my understanding, you must be licensed in order to get R406a. To get more information, you can go here: http://www.autofrost.com If you go the R406a route, you'd basically just get the shop to evacuate the system to recover existing refrigerant, then replace whatever parts/seals need to be replaced, then they'd evacuate the system to remove air/contaminents and then charged with the correct oil/refrigerant.

If you go the R-134a route, you'd have the shop evacuate the system, then you'd go ahead and replace rings, etc., then take it back to the shop to evacuate air/contaminents, then you could charge the system yourself...I believe you can look in the JC Whitney catalog and buy a pump to evacuate the system yourself if you want.

The reason you would change the o-rings is because at least one of them was leaking. If one of them is leaking, you might as well have them all replaced. From what I've heard, Fords from the '80s and early '90s typically had problems with the o-rings leaking after a relatively short time compared to other makes.

I remember converting my '87 T-Bird from R12 to R-134a back in 1996 before R-406a was approved for use in R12 systems. After the conversion, the A/C system worked, though not as well as it did with the R12, especially with the T-Bird's belt driven cooling fan which was no where near as efficient in pulling air through the condenser - I should have just installed an electric cooling fan, but that's another story..

I had a shop do the T-Bird since I didn't have the knowledge at the time and by the time I'd learn how to do it and actually do it, I could work more hours at my job at the time and just pay someone to do it right once knowing that it'd work. The shop I went to was highly recommended by the local Ford dealer since the dealer didn't do conversions (I guess not authorized by Ford at the time, who knows, it wasn't a standard thing for dealers to do then)...

Hope this helps!
 
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