View Full Version : a/c rebuilders

04-27-2007, 01:19 PM
Hi For my 62 Lark 289, Can anybody advise me who can rebuild original comprssors for the a/c? I want to try to keep the car's original compressor (it only needs a front seal) or replace it with something that looks original. Your advise is appreciated. Thanks!!!!!

David G. Nittler

John Kirchhoff
04-27-2007, 03:24 PM
They're easy to rebuild yourself should you desire to do so. To replace the seal, you'll need a big bolt to pull the pully off. Not exactly sure of the size, but I have one in the shop somewhere I would check. Then it's easy to remove the electric clutch and so on. Just about any York or Tecumseh compressor will fit. The Yorks are usually aluminum and the Tecumseh cast iron. Should you get a different compressor at a salvage yard, you'll need to use your pully to get the correct pully location. If you repair it yourself, let me know and I can email you copies of a repair manual.

04-27-2007, 07:03 PM
John: do you know anything about the valves? My compressor is fine, but the Suction Valve is leaking. Can it be rebuilt or repaired? Is there a source for valves? Thanks.

John Kirchhoff
04-28-2007, 10:51 AM
The valves are nothing more than reed valves and are part of the head plate assembly. Getting to them is no problem after you've discharged the system. It's unnecessary to remove the compressor to remove them. If you remove the hoses, make note of the location of the suction and discharge ports, right or left. Remove the head bolts and the head should come off fairly easily but you can TAP on the side of the head if needed...don't BEAT! There'll be a gasket between the head and valve plate. If the valve is leaking, take a look at the top of the piston and cylinder walls after you've removed it. If they're skined up or beat up, look for a replacement compressor. Check the valves and see if there's some crud sticking in there or they're broken. If ok, they valves can be cleaned and reused. Something like aeresol electrical contact cleaner works good and it's much gentler than brake cleaner. That stuff will eat plastic! Don't ask me how I know. Replacement gaskets and parts should be available at most any parts store. Be sure to clean off any pieces of gasket sticking to things before reassemble. Also lube everything with refrigerant oil before assembly. Don't try to cut corners and use motor oil, gear lube, driveway sealer, roofing tar or the like.

The shaft seal can be replaced without removing the compressor or hoses. Again, have the system discharged, but if the seal is leaking chances are it's already discharged or else you wouldn't be replacing it in the first place! To remove the clutch and pulley, first remove the little bolt in the center. Then thread a NC thread bolt into the larger surrounding hole and tighten it. (I'll have to check, but it MAY be a 5/8", been too long.) The shaft is tapered and keyed and like a Stude rear drum, it'll pop off suddenly. Clean off all the crud and dirt and remove the platte surrounding the shaft being careful not to scratch the surfaces. Hold your had under it when you do remove it because sometimes the seal will come off with it, pop off and be gone or stay in the hole. It can ususlly be removed with small screwdrivers, picks or the like (don't scratch the shaft!). It'll be about the diameter of a half dollar and maybe 1/2 inch thick with two halves and a spring between the two. Clean things up and if the shaft is rouch, use crocus cloth to polish up the shaft, lube the new seal and shaft with refrigerant oil and replace, making sure the carbon face of the seal faces the outside so it will contact the seal plate you removed earlier. Reassemble and you're set check the oil level.

There's a little bolt on either side of the compressor located near the center. Remove it and make a little dipstick. It the compressor is laying on its side, sometimes a small wooden dowel 3/16-1/4" will work or use a piece of dark colored wire. Insert it until it hits bottom and measure the level. It should be between 7/8" and 1-5/8". If the pump stands up, bend a curve in a piece of wire and curve it down through the hole to the bottom. The oil level should be between 7/8" and 1-3/8". If you need oil, use that bottle of refrigerant oil you bought earlier, remember?

One other thing to remember is if you're changing from R12 to C134 refrigerant, you'll want to drain and refill the compressor with the appropriate oil. Sometimes the old and new oils don't mix too well. The auto parts store should be able to fix you up with the right one.

04-29-2007, 03:54 AM
Okay John, since you're doing the answering here, how about if a system has been sitting apart for many years? I have a '63 Wagonaire that has a complete AC system, but the condensor coils have been removed for many years. The interior unit appears to be in good condition as does the compressor (not too corroded, pulley still turns). Then again, would one of the new low-resistance compressors work with this system?

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Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
Lotsa Larks!
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Ron Smith
Where the heck is Lewiston, CA?

04-29-2007, 04:22 PM

A good A/C guy would hook a dryer to your system and insure that any accumulated moisture is gone. Then he'd install a new condensor coil and recharge the system.
Yes, the Sanden compressors CAN integrate with the old system. You need to get one that's configured for the old Freon OR, with other changes, you can run the new stuff in there. The forum member here by the name of railway - that's what he and his dad have done for a living for years. He can answer EVERY A/C question you can throw at him. Nice guy to boot!

Miscreant adrift in
the BerStuda Triangle

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe

04-30-2007, 10:29 AM
Thanks one and all for the help. Dave Nittler

David G. Nittler

John Kirchhoff
04-30-2007, 02:05 PM
If the system has been open, there's a liquid flush that can be used to flush out any crud from the condenser (the part in front of the radiator), evaporator (the part in the car) and hoses. Use a small funnel to pour the stuff in and then use a compressed air hose to force it out the other orfice. Just make sure you don't have it aimed at someone. Also remember that any little bit of dirt can plug the expansion valve (the copper-brass thing with the long tube attached to the evaporator). Many people automatically replace it whenever they're worked on one. The receiver-drier (the cylindrical shaped thing under the hood) should be replaced with a new one because the dessicant inside is likely saturated with moisture. Once you've reassembled everything, the system needs to be pumped down to remove the air inside the lines. By pulling a vacuum, any moisture inside the system vaporizes at normal temperatures and can be removed with the air. They make really cheap air operated vacuum pumps that use the same principle that a carb uses to pull fuel from the float bowl. I've found they work adequately and you can pull a good vacuum with them. Be sure to close the valves before you disconnect the pump to maintain the vacuum in the system. When recharging the system, the first can or so can usually be introduced without starting the engine. When doing so, hold the can upside down (with the hose on the bottom) so that liquid exits the can. When no more leaves the can, close the valve, start the engine and ac and then open the valve with the can in the UPRIGHT position ONLY! This way only gas enters the system. Turning the can upside down will introduce liquid which can bust the compressor since a liquid won't compress. If the can gets really cold and won't empty, set in in a pot of fairly warm (not boiling) water. Old receiver-dryers had a sight glass that allowed you to tell when the system was adequately full. I don't think they make them anymore, so you'll need to either go by the charge weight in pounds or use a gauge. They make universal condensers of various sizes with barbed hose fittings that should fit just about anything.

I remembered later that I made a simple tool for removing the compressor seal on a York. I tool a length of baling wire maybe 8 inches long and formed it into a long skinny "U". On both ends I bent maybe 1/8th" (jut going be memory) to the outside and was able to insert this and hook onto the seal and pull it out.