How to get the a/c colder? - YotaTech Forums



86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

How to get the a/c colder?

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Old 07-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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How to get the a/c colder?

So my truck, at least as it appears, is still running on the original factory a/c system. It's an 86 4Runner for the record. Up to about 90 degrees and with low humidity it does fine. But when you get up into the upper 90's or more, you can forget about being comfortable. I took a road trip this weekend, and even driving 60+ you're still hot and uncomfortable if the sun is out.

I don't know where to start, but is there a way that I can go about replacing some things that would enhance the cooling capacity of my compressor? Or is there a compresser out there somewhere that works a lot better than the factory one? I'm incredibly ignorant when it comes to a/c systems.

I took it by a shop here in town a couple of years ago that is reputable to have them check it out. The guy there told me it's working fine, that there's nothing that he can do that would make much difference. Just wondering if anyone out there has any ideas.

Thanks!
Kyle

Last edited by My99; 07-14-2009 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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1 try recharging the system with some refrigerant, 2 add an external electric fan, a little guy from autozone or something of the sorts, make sure its a pusher, mount onto the front of the radiator/ AC stuff, and hook up the wiring so it comes on when the ac compressor is on,
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #3
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2 add an external electric fan, a little guy from autozone or something of the sorts, make sure its a pusher, mount onto the front of the radiator/ AC stuff, and hook up the wiring so it comes on when the ac compressor is on,
That wouldn't help much at all when cruising at moderate speeds(50+).

What is the average temp of the air coming out of the vents? Mine blows between 40-45* depending on how fast I'm driving and how long it's been running for. This is in ~110*+ heat.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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try to wash the evap. coil its should be in front on the rad.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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I have no idea what the air temp is coming out of the vents... nor what it should be. I know compared to newer cars, or even my old Miata, the air temp, straight out of the vents isn't near as cold nor as forceful.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:10 PM   #6
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try to wash the evap. coil its should be in front on the rad.

That would be the condenser. The evaporator is under the dash.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #7
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And not sure if this is relevant or not, but it seems to drip a ton more condensation than the average vehicle.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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I have no idea what the air temp is coming out of the vents... nor what it should be. I know compared to newer cars, or even my old Miata, the air temp, straight out of the vents isn't near as cold nor as forceful.

Well without knowing ANYTHING about it other than it feels like it's not blowing as cold as it should.....could be alot of things. I'd start with a fresh charge and go from there, assuming all of the components are in working order.

Is this R12 or R134a?
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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if it's all original, I bet that tech told you he can't do anything cause he didn't have any R12


Personally, what I would do, is get a retrofit kit and convert it over to R134a


the RIGHT way to do it would be to get a full kit that comes with new O-rings and everything, take the truck somewhere to have the old R12 evac'ed, take it home and replace every O-ring in the system, then take it back up to the shop, have them flush and pressure test the system, and if they say it's holding pressure, you can either have them charge it with R143a or you can go and pick up a hose and a couple cans of the stuff at an auto parts store (not sure how much these system's take exactly; I just replaced the compressor on an S10 and it only took a can to charge the entire system, lol. other's can take close to 3 cans). Also, most retrofit kits will come with the propper oil to put back into the system, but if not, be sure to get some to put in it so you don't seize the compressor up after everything's back together


then there's the red-neck way, just release the old junk yourself, which is illegal by the way , add a little PAG oil, throw on some R134a fittings, and throw some R143a into the system and hope for the best
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:16 PM   #10
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Since I think it's orginal, I'm thinking it's R12, which obviously sucks for messing with the system. Not sure if there's a way to tell. The fittings don't seem to fit R134a type equipment, leading me to believe it's the old stuff.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:20 PM   #11
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Since I think it's orginal, I'm thinking it's R12, which obviously sucks for messing with the system. Not sure if there's a way to tell. The fittings don't seem to fit R134a type equipment, leading me to believe it's the old stuff.
Well R12 cools better, but is more expensive. If you can get away with it, I'd stick with the R12 and have another shop take a look at it. I find it hard to believe that there could be "nothing wrong" with a system that isn't producing cool air. I'd get a second opinion from another shop.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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but then again it is a '86
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:18 PM   #13
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but then again it is a '86
They didn't have good refrigeration technology in 1986?

My 93 Toyota blows colder than my 04 Chevy and 07 Chrysler.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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ya dude my '86 is R12 and it used to blow ICE FRICKEN COLD..of course my dad decided i didnt need A/C (it was winter time though..lol) and he took the belt and little tensioner off..and has since lost the tensioner and the belt..lol..so idk if it still does...we took the belt off around november..but in august it worked GREAT!..in fact i usually only ran it on the lowest setting and rolled my windows down and it cooled the truck GREAT!..although it gives me HORRIBLE gas mileage..lmao

it IS POSSIBLE to get some R12..of course you would have to search EXTREMELY hard to find it..my grandfather has a tank about the size of a 5gallon bucket that is about half full..he used it to recharge the system on his old chevy (he has since sold the truck) and we also got a NEW tank about the same size when i was in my local vocational school (automotive service department)..i didnt ask em where it was from..lol..but we had it..

theres a couple of the older shops around here that have a little sittin around in some tanks that they have forgotten about..

i've always heard that unless the refrigerant leaks out..you should never have to recharge the system..so i bet mine is just free of leaks..lol

dang..sorry bout the long post..
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #15
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you have to have ASE 609 certification to buy R-12... it cost about 50 dollars a pound and you cant buy less than 35 pounds at a time if you can find it. r 12 can blow up to 32 degrees out the vents when r-134 a can only blow about 40... it sounds to me like you eveporator is freezin up when it gets hot. its not getting rid of the humidity fast enough causing it to freeze. so you prolly have a leak or a restiction in the system. if thats not it try checking out the reciever/dryer if its that old and it hasnt been replaced its prolly shot and it not getting rid of the moister in the system anymore.... i hope that helps you if you have any questions just ask i have my 609 cert. you can tell the differnce by the fittings on the system r 134 a hase quick disconnect fitting kinda like air tools....

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Old 07-14-2009, 09:19 PM   #16
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'86 would be R12 factory configuration. (fwiw, R12 is more efficient than R134a at cooling.) A retrofit to R134a is the most popular route, but it won't operate as good as it did new.

If you're running the original hoses, they're not "barrier" hoses, so a little bit of refrigerant loss is pretty much expected (especially at this age). Anything you do to long-term-fix this will require replacing your hoses with barrier hoses.

Chances are you won't be able to find "proper" R12 anywhere. There is a black-market for R12, but lord knows how bad it is contaminated. Non-black-market R12 is nasty-expensive, if you do happen to find it.

There is a legal alternate to R12 out there, called "Autofrost" (R406A). The advantage of this (compared to R134A conversion) is it is compatible with your existing dryer and compressor oil in the system. The drawback is very few shops deal with it.

Converting to R406A, legally, is relatively easy:
* recovery-pump the remaining R12 out of your system
* replace hoses with barrier hoses
* vacuum-pump the system
* fill with R406A/Autofrost
* install EPA-mandated adapters on the fill bungs
* install EPA-mandated R406A black label

http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrig.../fittlist.html

Last edited by Windsor; 07-14-2009 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:23 PM   #17
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jeez you guys and your rules and regulations and certs and quilifications and labels and stuf... I feel like I'm at work

lol


but yes, there definately is a RIGHT and PROPER way to work on AC systems, and then there's the hack-job way that's usually ILLEGAL...
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #18
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You also said that it isn't blowing as forcefully as you think it should....I'd start by checking your ducts, heater core, and evaporator for junk, leaves, sticks, and anything else that might get stuck down there. Kind of a pain to clean it all out but could be the solution to your problem.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:51 PM   #19
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Converting to R406A, legally, is relatively easy:
* recovery-pump the remaining R12 out of your system
* replace hoses with barrier hoses
* vacuum-pump the system
* fill with R406A/Autofrost
* install EPA-mandated adapters on the fill bungs
* install EPA-mandated R406A black label

http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrig.../fittlist.html
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Originally Posted by iamsuperbleeder View Post
jeez you guys and your rules and regulations and certs and quilifications and labels and stuf... I feel like I'm at work

lol


but yes, there definately is a RIGHT and PROPER way to work on AC systems, and then there's the hack-job way that's usually ILLEGAL...
True dat.

Most shops that do A/C work will probably do Step #1 for free since they often sell the reclaimed R12 to a recycling center. Not only that but there's probably a law on the books (depending on your state) that requires them to take it, much like your used motor oil or lead-acid batteries (again, depending on state).

Literally, drive up and tell the chief mechanic/shop foreman, "I'm ripping out my A/C system, would you like my old R-12?"

They'll probably drool a little and offer to take it for free.

That'll keep you in line with the environmentalists, at least. Hopefully you'll sleep better that night.

The bung adapters and sticker are just EPA bureaucracy. If you never sell the vehicle, it'll be hard to get pinned for not doing it. Just put a swath of duct tape under the hood and write "R406A" with a permanent marker.

Last edited by Windsor; 07-14-2009 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by camo31"10.50" View Post
..... rolled my windows down and it cooled the truck GREAT!..although it gives me HORRIBLE gas mileage..lmao
This is infact a myth, and a stupid one at that..


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