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Think 1964 and the A/C in an Avanti..........

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  • Other: Think 1964 and the A/C in an Avanti..........

    Ok, so here we all are enjoying life in 1964 and candidly I'm loving it..........now you are enjoying "Motor-Vating " during the summer months in R-12 splendor. The summer comes and goes, fall and winter come calling and Mr. Heater is pressed into service. Eventually spring arrives, which is time to check the car out for the hot summer driving season............you discover that the a/c system is no longer holding three pounds of that wonder gas R-12:-(.......the shop determines that the system is a bit low and needs just about one pound replaced to restore the system to full efficiency. Now the question............you knew I was building up to the question didn't you???...........what was true then seems to be true now.........that after about one year it is quite normal for an a/c system to lose refrigerant. If said loss is just about one pound would you say that this is quite normal/acceptable??

    Appreciate your feedback........especially if you were "Motor-Vating" in 1964;-)

  • #2
    Sorry Sam, I wasn't "Motor-Vating" in 1964, it was more like Motor-Dating or just Cruising, sometimes in one of my 2 Studes. or Dad's brand New '64 Daytona Hardtop with the "A/C" on Full Speed... all 4 Windows down.
    On the West Coast, we don't do A/C so I have no clue.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Hawklover, that is not normal. any decent AC system shouldnt lose Freon period. the home brewed system in the wifes 57 Silver hawk has held r-134 for 10 years now and still cools. not as good as when first installed but it will cool you down. you have a slow leak, the hardest to find. do you have modern hoses or are you using old stock stuff? old hoses bled freon slowly where the new hoses have a sort of plastic liner inside to keep the freon in. i would convert to 134 and replace those old hoses with the new stuff. then Kruse away! Luck Doofus

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      • #4
        I have installed AC and/or converted existing AC over to 134 in at least 12-15 Studes over the years, including those for family and friends. In converting to 134 I have went both the short and long route. Short route was a simple adapter fitting for the 134 hose nozzle. When 134 first came out, that was about all that was recommended. Later, they recommended different oil in the compressor, different hoses, and when aftermarket companies began to flourish they recommended their 134 specific condenser.

        If still R-12 and not converted to 134, same as with 134, if not blowing cold enough, first thing to check the R12, and it is usually gonna be low. In other words, they leak down too. I never ran R-12 one enough to say how much and how often they need, but had mine charged a couple of times at shops back in the 1980s before I learned to work on my own AC.

        With R134 conversions, if keeping the R-12 hoses, expect to add about 2 pounds per year. With new R134 hoses, expect about a pound per year. If extremely lucky, maybe 2-3 years before needing recharge. When nearing a pound low, they start to blow noticeably warmer, and most folks discover it in spring time after not using AC for several months.

        As for condenser, there is NOTHING made by the aftermarket that outperforms the OEM condenser, period, with R-12 and R134. Always change the dryer anytime the system is opened. It is also not unusual to have to change the inlet valve (attached to the evaporator) every 2-3 years, but that's because the replacements have been made in China for decades. As for which blows colder, R134 will blow just as cold as R12, and even ice up the evaporator to point of clogging air flow, just as R-12 will, if ran too long on low fan speed with the rheostat set to max cool.

        So back to the OP's question, it's perfectly normal to need a pound of gas recharge annually. I cannot explain why, but it is real world experience. I have also recharged my daughter's 2005 Lexus twice in the last five years, and the wife's 2005 Honda Odyssey earlier this year. So, while modern stuff is near perfectly sealed, there's a reason AC shops still exist.
        Last edited by JoeHall; 07-23-2020, 09:42 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by doofus View Post
          Hawklover, that is not normal. any decent AC system shouldnt lose Freon period. the home brewed system in the wifes 57 Silver hawk has held r-134 for 10 years now and still cools. not as good as when first installed but it will cool you down. you have a slow leak, the hardest to find. do you have modern hoses or are you using old stock stuff? old hoses bled freon slowly where the new hoses have a sort of plastic liner inside to keep the freon in. i would convert to 134 and replace those old hoses with the new stuff. then Kruse away! Luck Doofus
          Well I must say you are the first person that has ever made that statement, and candidly all the a/c guys I have dealt with over the past 60 years have all "proffered' that no a/c system can be perfectly sealed forever, that in time some refrigerant will leak out......and that is just the way it is. The car has all the original hoses from new. But I think you are thinking modern day.......the car is a time machine the surrounding year is of no import.......if this was 1964 would you make the identical statement that no a/c system should lose any refrigerant, period? The reason the car has R12 is because I wanted to keep it "as built" and R12 cools better..............AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have four cases of R12 in the garage;-)

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          • #6
            I have a fair amount of experience with A/C systems, but not conversions. The closest example to what you have was my father's 1964 Fury. He ordered it without A/C. I then installed an aftermarket A/C system. This system was close to what you have in your Avanti, including the same compressor and hose type. He drove this car as his regular/only car for more than ten years and we never had to add any R12. It still cooled great when he sold the Fury.
            With more modern A/C, my current regular use cars are 19 and 20 years old and neither has had R134 added. It has been in the 90s here lately and both A/C systems cool great.
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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            • #7
              There are several factors involved with each statement. First is the design and materials used to build the AC system. My folks bought new a 1966 Chrysler with "Airtemp" AC in Phoenix. My mother was going to trade it in on a 1976 Pontiac Gran Prix and the dealer offered her $200 for the car. I gave her the $200 and drove it until 1980. Never did the whole time require and R12.

              As car designs changed, with increase under hood temps, my current daily 97 Olds 88 will need a boost of R134. I could go to an AC shop to track down the leaks but it would cost more than the car is currently worth. Age is the second factor.

              Third is use: in Arizona our AC's will get a work out verses say New England or Pacific Northwest. Wear and tear makes a difference. A car with low mileage will probably not need as much as a car that is a daily driver.

              I have a 1962 Studebaker AC that I bought from Jim Pepper. I am going to put it in either the 62 Lark or the 56 President Classic and plan to drive the car. I will replace all the hoses and probably use a new style compressor. I will let you know my results after a few years

              Bob Miles

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              • #8
                One thing people forget, all winter long run the A/C a few minutes a week and you will lessen the problems, advice from an old timey Votech teacher. and he is Darn Sure right! Luck Doofus

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                • #9
                  Not a Studebaker (not even an American car) but I've owned my '96 Toyota Tacoma since 1998. I have NEVER added any R134 nor done anything but replace the belt and the tensioner pulley. It blows icy cold.
                  Howard - Los Angeles chapter SDC
                  '53 Commander Starliner (Finally running and driving, but still in process)
                  '56 Golden Hawk (3 speed/overdrive, Power steering - Running, but not yet driving)
                  '62 GT Hawk (4 speed, A/C, Power steering - running and DRIVING!)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by doofus View Post
                    One thing people forget, all winter long run the A/C a few minutes a week and you will lessen the problems, advice from an old timey Votech teacher. and he is Darn Sure right! Luck Doofus
                    I have always heard that, but never did it. Probably oughta start.

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                    • #11
                      Modern systems use the AC when the defroster in engaged. That helps keep the seals sealed.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                      17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                      56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                      60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                      • #12
                        I go with the idea that you should never have to add Freon unless there is a problem. I had a '78 Ford Country Squire that had over 100,000 miles on it over 8 years with no leaks. It froze you out. I had a '01 Ford Ranger that went over 200,000 miles over 10 years before the A/C needed attention. Both of these cars had seal failures at the condenser. My 2010 Dodge Caliber has 195,000 miles on it and just started having problems. It'll go in the shop next week. This one worries me because Chrysler has had issues with evaporators . The C/S had an R-12 system and the two newer cars have R-134a systems.

                        If your Avanti is leaking, a dye test will show where. Plug the leak and solve the problem.

                        By the way, new cars use 1234-YF (You're F@#$%!). This crap is expensive and flammable. The recharge system can not be left alone.

                        Tom - Bradenton, FL

                        1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                        1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Swifster View Post
                          I go with the idea that you should never have to add Freon unless there is a problem. I had a '78 Ford Country Squire that had over 100,000 miles on it over 8 years with no leaks. It froze you out. I had a '01 Ford Ranger that went over 200,000 miles over 10 years before the A/C needed attention. Both of these cars had seal failures at the condenser. My 2010 Dodge Caliber has 195,000 miles on it and just started having problems. It'll go in the shop next week. This one worries me because Chrysler has had issues with evaporators . The C/S had an R-12 system and the two newer cars have R-134a systems.

                          If your Avanti is leaking, a dye test will show where. Plug the leak and solve the problem.

                          By the way, new cars use 1234-YF (You're F@#$%!). This crap is expensive and flammable. The recharge system can not be left alone.
                          No detectable leak..........but the system does lose about 12 ozs in the space of one year. Added to the problem is the fact the car is stored for 9 month per year.

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                          • #14
                            Again, leaks are found with a dye kit. Most are blue, green or red. And you won't miss the leak.
                            Tom - Bradenton, FL

                            1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
                            1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Swifster View Post
                              Again, leaks are found with a dye kit. Most are blue, green or red. And you won't miss the leak.
                              And again I say that no leak (via dye) was discernible. I will just accept the fact that the car will need one pound of refrigerant every 12 months.........I can live with that.

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