Let's discuss adding A/C to my 1st gen V8 truck that never had it to begin with..


Bird76Mojo

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@85_Ranger4x4 thanks for posting that. I could go grab one from the junkyard but it wouldn't do me any good. I have no factory ECM to control anything, and from looking at the Ron Francis Telorvek wiring instructions, the only option I have for controlling A/C is a WOT cutout. I imagine the A9P Foxbody Mustang EEC I'm using is capable of controlling a ground for the A/C system to operate as well as increasing the idle, but at this point I'm just not sure if I can actually wire it that way. I'm hoping the IAC steps the idle up when the A/C is turned on, but I may have stalling issues when coming to a stop.
 


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Uncle Gump

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I like the idea of prototyping the hose package with copper tubing and garden hose. Would take some of the pucker factor out of picking up the finished hoses.

I do think an orfice tube system would be far simpler... lighter... cheaper and less complicated then a TXV system. Just a low pressure switch and a blow off... done.

Years ago... I wrote and taught an A/C class with Ford engineering to teach dyno techs how to recover/recycle... evacuate and recharge A/C systems. More so... properly service some of the one off pieced together systems that were common all over the dyno lab. So the objective was... be able to safely use the equipment and properly fill them up with no specification for quantities. The answer is actually simple... you fill the system until the evap core inlet and outlet temperatures are equal... yes... it is that simple. I had them solder thermocouples and digital read out in the training cell. Nearly all of the techs could get the temps with in a degree or two just touching the inlet and outlet with their fingers. Today's temp guns make it even easier. I don't remember what we did for oil levels and I don't have a copy of the materials.
 

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@85_Ranger4x4 thanks for posting that. I could go grab one from the junkyard but it wouldn't do me any good. I have no factory ECM to control anything, and from looking at the Ron Francis Telorvek wiring instructions, the only option I have for controlling A/C is a WOT cutout. I imagine the A9P Foxbody Mustang EEC I'm using is capable of controlling a ground for the A/C system to operate as well as increasing the idle, but at this point I'm just not sure if I can actually wire it that way. I'm hoping the IAC steps the idle up when the A/C is turned on, but I may have stalling issues when coming to a stop.
I plan to delete/bypass the relay, I just grabbed everything while I was there.

Edelbrock makes an idle kick up solenoid for my carb.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Good stuff guys, keep it coming. It always helps to have more brains together on one project. There are many things I forget about and I'm glad to have someone else bring them up.

On my system the hoses should be super easy to mock up. The compressor, evaporator, and condenser outlet will all be on the passenger side of the engine bay. The hoses won't be super short, but they won't lay across the engine bay either. I'll likely buy some bulk hose kit online and use it to mock everything up, then wrap tape around where it needs cut, mark the tape and fitting so that hose end clocking stays correct, then take it all to a shop to be crimped. I just hope I can find a shop locally that can crimp it for me. I may have to check with my old college instructors in the HVAC lab and see if they have the tools.

As for filling the system with the correct amount of oil, I'm planning on using the amount of oil specified in a Thunderbird A/C system, since I'm using a compressor from that car. The rest of the components don't vary in size enough to make a huge difference where oil is concerned. At least those are my thoughts so far. The refrigerant is a different story though. That may be a little more tricky to get right since the compressor is quite a bit larger than the original Ranger unit. FS10 vs FS6 size..

So, @Uncle Gump when filling the system up I just use an IR thermometer to check the temps of the inlet and outlet of the evaporator while the system is running, and be sure to add more refrigerant very, very slowly and sparingly, until the temps are the same? If it's that simple then I'll consider myself very lucky. The Ranger evaporator inlet/outlet are extremely easy to take temp readings from due to their design and location.







Photo courtesy of @85_Ranger4x4
100_2891.jpg
 

85_Ranger4x4

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My plan on the hoses is to get the ones that fit the compressor (Explorer uses a manifold with both hoses part of an assembly) and put the ends I need on the other ends... I am also getting into metric (Explorer) vs standard (truck) fittings too.

Having the compressor on the same side as the evaporator would simplify things, I am going to use a 4.0 condenser that doesn’t have both outlets on the PS to eliminate one hose across the engine. You won’t have to worry about that.

So glad I ditched the tall chrome tinfoil valve covers in the picture... everything is better with them gone.
 

Uncle Gump

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That's all there is to it Bird... no more mystery to knowing when the system is full.
 

Bird76Mojo

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That seems so odd to me because the evaporator is picking up so much heat from the cabin. I suppose a guy should do the temp test, and have the fan on low or medium, and the windows open on the truck? Also, not have it on recirculate. Seems like you'd get maximum efficiency that way?

I still have to finish up my compressor bracket so I may be getting ahead of myself here. I made a list last night on some of the components I'm going with so far. I still have a lot of phone calls to make and more research to do.


Just to have it documented on here:


Compressor - Four Seasons #58140 FS10 style - R134a - PAG 46 oil - 6 groove pulley
Compressor adapter block - Four Seasons #12034 - swivel lines
Evaporator Core - Four Seasons #54535
Accumulator/Filter Dryer - Four Seasons #33182 - Inlet 5/8" Female Spring Lock / Outlet 5/8" Male Insert O-ring
Orifice Tube - Motorcraft #YG346
Cycling Pressure Switch - Four Seasons #36676 - R134a compatible - On 47psi / Off 26psi - 7/16"x20tpi
O-Ring Kit - Four Seasons #26717
Refrigerant Oil - UAC RO0900B PAG46 (R134a)

I have a pressure switch already but I figure why not go with brand new while I'm already ordering parts. I'll keep the old one for back-up if it's even compatible with R134a. It may not be, because I don't know if the Thunderbird had been converted to R134a or not, and the switches are listed as being different for types of refrigerant used.


I still have to call Four Seasons and ask them what size the Spring Lock fitting on the accumulator is, so I can order the right 90 degree hose end for that. I can't find that info anywhere online. Then I have to figure out the rest of my hose ends as well as what model of condenser I'll be using. I also have to figure out a way to plumb in a safety relief valve, unless one of the hose ends I end up buying has a fitting for one..

I'm hoping to do this entire thing myself, all for less than $500 - I'm going to give the el-cheapo Harbor Freight compressed air powered vacuum "machine" a try, as it's got good reviews online for as cheap as it is. Most people report it will pull down to 29" of mercury, but it just takes a while and works your air compressor pretty hard.



GB :)
 

Uncle Gump

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Here is what you need to understand to take the weird out of it.

Think of a pot of water on the stove at 212 degrees. It's boiling and 212 degree steam is leaving the pot. The fire is still on so the water is still absorbing the heat but the water and steam remains at 212 degrees. The heat is being released as steam without change to the water temp... or steam temp. So by changing the state of the water from liquid the vapor will absorb heat without a temperature change.

So... that same principal applies to A/C systems. You have liquid refridgerant in the bottom of the evap. as warmer ambient air passes it begins to absorb the heat and causes the refridgerant to boil. This absorbs the heat by causing the change of state (liquid to vapor) in the refridgerant. So when the inlet and outlet temps are the same... it's full. You want a low pressure low temperature liquid entering and a low pressure low temperature vapor leaving.
 

Bird76Mojo

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I understand the refrigeration cycle but it just seems odd that the evaporator inlet temp and the outlet temp could ever be the same. I took an HVAC course a few years ago at a local community college and we learned the basics, and did the testing to get our EPA certified universal refrigerant technicians license from ESCO. Which I've never used once so far. lol
 

Uncle Gump

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Odd perhaps... but those are the facts. You fill your system until the evap core inlet and outlet temps are the same... your system will be full and running peak performance.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Posting this here to make it easier to located in the future if I need it..

Picture courtesy of Denisefwd93

 

Bird76Mojo

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I got the compressor bracket tacked together a while ago, the compressor mounted to it, installed in the truck, and got the belt alignment as close as possible by eye. Then I thought if I could get a compressor with the same mounting bolt pattern but with a shorter body, it would make dealing with the lines a little easier, so I started looking on FourSeasons website. That's when I noticed this in their notes while looking at different styles of FS series compressors commonly used on Fords:

"FS Series

HS18

Deslugger 36140 Recommended to eliminate compressor damage on vehicles with low mount compressor"


So, that worries me a little now. Since mine will be lower than anything else in the A/C system..

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Four-Seasons-36140-Air-Conditioning-Compressor-Clutch-Relay-/283172793619?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c1#viTabs_0

 

Bird76Mojo

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Well, I ordered a condenser today, so we'll soon see if it can be made to fit in front of my radiator or not. I called Nostalgic AC Parts and had a guy pull one from the shelf to measure, and he told me the max thickness of the end "tanks" was 7/8" (which I found hard to believe but he swore by it)- so I should be able to cram it in to the core support in front of my aftermarket radiator and still have room for the mechanical fan.

1620 condenser $48.58
Overall condenser size: 15-7/8" tall x 22" wide
Core size: 14-3/4" tall x 20" wide x 7/8" thick



Rockauto lists the 1987 2.0 Ranger condenser core size as:

Core Height (in)14-7/8
Core Length (in)20-5/8




I'm still going back and forth on which compressor to use. My Thunderbird FS-10 compressor has the suction and outlet on the rear endcap, which is a bad spot for me. It's a tight spot with my V8 swap and my engine mounts. I've found one adapter that may work for me. I'm not sure. So I've been looking at other styles of FS series compressors online, but nothing else seems like it'll give me any more advantages when running the lines.

Even though this swivel adapter is commonly listed to fit certain styles of GM compressor, I called 4Seasons and the phone tech told me this one would connect to the Ford FS-10 style of compressor, so we'll see. I'm waiting on the condenser to get here first to see if I can make it fit. I'll have to cut off my lower radiator locating brackets and fab new ones, but that's part of the ballgame..

Four Seasons 12034 swivel

https://www.rockauto.com/en/parts/four+seasons,12034,a/c+compressor+service+valve+/+adapter,6992

I can't find any pictures of the "hold-down" bracket from this adapter that show the backside, so I may have to do some modifying to it, to make it fit over the locating dowel on my compressor. Which would simply be a slightly larger, counter-bored hole of a certain depth. Either that, or shave the locating dowel off of the compressor body, and that depends on how deep the threads go. My main concern is whether the lines are the right size where they meet the compressor body, and the distance between the ports being the same on the adapter and the compressor. If not, I'll have to fab up my own hold-down bracket if the lines fit the compressor body, but the hold-down isn't spaced right.




Hose Size8 x 12
Run Length MM48.000
MaterialSteel
Hose I.D. IN0.40625 x 0.625
Drop Length IN2.3125
Connector B Fitting8
Fitting Size12
Drop Length MM58.674
DescriptionA/C Compressor Suction and Discharge Fitting Steel Adapter
O.E. Replacement?Yes
Hose I.D. Fraction13/32 x 5/8
StyleCompressor Suction and Discharge
Meets / Exceeds OEM?Yes
Run Length IN1.880
Hose I.D. MM10.31875 x 15.875
TypeADAPTER

Just to show my hose connection location and locating dowel between the ports:

 

Uncle Gump

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Comment on the Deslugger...

I know that low mounted A/C compressors have been used for years without one. My take away from the video was... if you have a long run of line on the low side with the compressor lower then the line this product is for you. He even referenced rear A/C. Your low side run will be short and you have an accumulator between the core and compressor. I don'r think there would ever be enough oil in that short of a line for you to even worry about it. However... if it is cheap enough... you want that insurance... do it. On the flip side... just another layer of complexity and three more failure points.
 

Bird76Mojo

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I had the exact same thoughts about it adding more failure points and complexity. My hoses should be very short with everything being on the drivers side. Both connections on the evap and the condenser, the compressor, accumulator..

The factory Thunderbird A/C compressor was mounted low on the drivers side, but with me locating it to the passenger side, it's going to end up being even lower than it was originally. I think I'll just run with it and see what happens.

I appreciate the thoughts @Uncle Gump
 


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