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Richard Vyse
08-08-2015, 10:11 AM
I've always had a freon leak issue with the Lifeliner ever since I got the A/C to work. Fill it with a few cans of 134-a and good to go for a couple weeks then time to re-charge.

My mechanic used a can of this on my DeVille and solved my freon leak with it. So I'm going to try a can of this hoping it helps.

As anyone knows, once you convert from R-12 to 134-a the A/C will never cool as well as before but at least it gives you a sense of A/C. What's crazy is when the A/C is charged it is very cool in the back of the ambulance but the front unit never cools you all that well. Perhaps less air intrusion in the back.

John ED Renstrom
08-08-2015, 10:34 AM
what you really need is some leak detector and a black light . you have a hose or O ring on a fitting leaking. one other over looked place is a pin hole in the condenser from a rock hit. the difference in R34 over R12 is only a degree or two if you change the necessary orifices. old time air out of Texas will help with that. but like the body it's time to do it right and run the leak detector, find were that major leak is and make a repair. they can pull the vacuum and say the system holds but as soon as there is presser it leaks.

Paul Steinberg
08-08-2015, 11:17 PM
Adding that to your air conditioning system, is like adding cholesterol to your body. You need to add some fluorescing dye to the system, and then look for the leak. If the system was designed for R12, there is a good chance that it is leaking out of the hoses, since R134 is a smaller molecule than the R12 is. The newer the system, the better are your chances of getting the R134 not to leak, but with an old car, you are better off to use R12, for the better cooling, and the fact that it won't leak through the hoses. When it comes to mobile air conditioning, if you don't know what your are doing, and why, you are better off leaving the repair to the experts. Just keep in mind, that just because someone has air conditioning gauges and hoses, that it doesn't mean that they are qualified to do the repair. The more that you gum up the old system, the more that it is going to cost to repair it when you finally decide that you want a reliable air conditioning system. Like everything in life, there are no short cuts to doing it correctly.

Brendan Martin
08-08-2015, 11:46 PM
The 63 has no air conditioning. Easy enough. If it's any help Richard, modern day ambulances are plagued with ac troubles after several years in service.

Richard Vyse
08-09-2015, 09:50 AM
The A/C system needs a complete replacement to do it right but who's got $3800 for that considering how often I drive it. When charged the A/C does ok except this time of year when it is so measurably hot and humid.

Appreciate the thoughts....

Peter Grave
08-09-2015, 10:16 AM
One thing to consider is if it has rear AC disconnect it run fresh lines for front only. I have found over the years most but not all of the time leaks are in the rear add on. The dye is a good idea as then you can isolate the problem. If you find it is the compressor I may still have some new ones I would have to look. The compressors in this era are seldom bad. I lived in Florida AC is a MUST.

Richard Vyse
08-09-2015, 11:06 AM
Well all charged up and what surprises me is the rear A/C's (two of them) cools the rear compartment very nicely but the front is about 65%. It cools enough when sitting still but going over 45 mph I think there might be too much outside air influences invading the cabin for the front A/C to off set that. I know the passenger door weather gasket is not the best and have enough to replace it.

Feels good enough here in Florida to drive it at least with some A/C.....:rolleyes:

John ED Renstrom
08-09-2015, 11:48 AM
slip a thermometer into on of the vents. you might move it around some also as you drive and sit. it should read in the range of 40 deg. coming out the vent on max air. your case the wheel as cold as it gets. the rear air is a closed recirculation system if it's getting cooler then your front. it could be one of a couple thing there is a block in the lines going to the front. at most likely one of the splices or your flapper to shut off the heater core is not working. this is the most likely event as the caddy regulates the temperature by mixing the cool air with the hot air. they ran about 3 version of this system and yours should be up into the last version. I don't off hand recall if you can put that one in a recirculation position. but check the vacuum lines going to the servos should be three pancake servers on that system. one is defrost, one blend the temp and one is the reticulate that mode should shut off the heat open the door on the kick panel to pull cab air and run it threw the system. but it you don't have time to mess around put a ball shut off on the water line coming out of the engine and shut the hot water off. if it gets colder then you know what part of the system is failing. not why but what part is not working. they are a problem system. as it's vacuum over electric and then electric over vacuum to run it's self automatically. anyone component goes out and your lost. not to mention the stuff falling inside to block the doors. or 36 year old rubber attached to a steel plate with steel staples. the bad weather seal will let more air out then in, but the bottom of the door bad will let a lot of road noise in. Mike has plenty of rubber left.

now clue me in were can you get a new ac/heater system to replace the factory on ??

Peter Grave
08-09-2015, 01:08 PM
One more thought with regard to the heater. My 96 six door was not getting cold enough, I took note the S&S folks had added a shut off valve for the rear heater. With that premise it was a five minute job to pull the heater hoses off connect two and bypass the heater for the summer. Just went to show yesterday and its real cool in there now. Just a thought.

Paul Steinberg
08-09-2015, 04:32 PM
Richard.. Too much R134 is just as detrimental to the system function as too little. Also, if you add Freon to a system that is contaminated with outside air, the two will mix, and create an acid that will eventually damage the components of the air conditioning system beyond repair. As a final note, I don't know where you got the $3800 figure from to replace your original system, but I do have a bridge in Brooklyn New York that I will sell you for half that amount!

Richard Vyse
08-10-2015, 07:39 AM
Richard.. Too much R134 is just as detrimental to the system function as too little. Also, if you add Freon to a system that is contaminated with outside air, the two will mix, and create an acid that will eventually damage the components of the air conditioning system beyond repair. As a final note, I don't know where you got the $3800 figure from to replace your original system, but I do have a bridge in Brooklyn New York that I will sell you for half that amount!

The bid came from Vintage Air in Winter Haven. They remove the dash and all the heating and A/C components installing a new system for heat, defrost, and A/C. They remove that old system sticking out on the firewall and patch the wall since no need for that anymore. And in my case they would need to fashion a bracket or brackets, to mount the A/C compressor. All in all about $3800.

None of the vacuum lines and systems are working due to Ohio rodent invasion years ago when Dave owned it. The temp is set at maximum low and there is a toggle switch for the compressor to come on as well as a toggle switch for the fan. Rigged I admit but when every vacuum line is eaten away as well as electrical wiring, one has to do what one as to do which is why there is no hear hooked up.

Peter Grave
08-10-2015, 09:29 AM
Frankly I have never been a fan of "Climate Control". My first Cadillac with AC was a 60 convertible and it froze you out ice actually formed on the center dash outlet. All was well till the 64 came with Climate Control it did not get as cold and defrost defog was wimpy compared to earlier cars. This continued on with the later cars never as cold as the 60 to 63 cars. I think your bypass crude as it is should work better. Try bypassing the heater as now I think it is on to some degree due to the system being moused.

Richard Vyse
08-10-2015, 09:46 AM
Frankly I have never been a fan of "Climate Control". My first Cadillac with AC was a 60 convertible and it froze you out ice actually formed on the center dash outlet. All was well till the 64 came with Climate Control it did not get as cold and defrost defog was wimpy compared to earlier cars. This continued on with the later cars never as cold as the 60 to 63 cars. I think your bypass crude as it is should work better. Try bypassing the heater as now I think it is on to some degree due to the system being moused.

No heater at all. The heater hoses no longer come in to the cabin and have been rerouted in to the back of the engine. At first I tried to replace the thermo-climate control but when the mechanic opened the area under the dash and saw the line eaten he said it wouldn't help so went with this system. Other than that when charged it at this time of the year it gives some A/C relief and truly needs to have the entire system replaced.

All it takes is money.....:4_11_9:

Danny Ryder
08-10-2015, 10:29 AM
The bid came from Vintage Air in Winter Haven. They remove the dash and all the heating and A/C components installing a new system for heat, defrost, and A/C. They remove that old system sticking out on the firewall and patch the wall since no need for that anymore. And in my case they would need to fashion a bracket or brackets, to mount the A/C compressor. All in all about $3800.

None of the vacuum lines and systems are working due to Ohio rodent invasion years ago when Dave owned it. The temp is set at maximum low and there is a toggle switch for the compressor to come on as well as a toggle switch for the fan. Rigged I admit but when every vacuum line is eaten away as well as electrical wiring, one has to do what one as to do which is why there is no hear hooked up.

The 76 hearse I just got has had vintage air installed and it is a quality job and ice cold. THe used original vents and incorporated their switches in the area where factory levers were for operating it. If you didn't know how it was supposed to look you would think it is factory. Very nice job.

Peter Grave
08-10-2015, 10:54 AM
Lets hear it from folks who are running stock 60s and 70s Climate Control systems with R134 not R12 what are your results? My thinking depending on results of my question is keep stock compressor and brackets and add new output system should be a lot cheaper. I have a 56 Packard Caribbean with a modern Vintage Air system complete with an alternator performs very well and is not intrusive. I did not buy the system it came with the car but total cost with invoices supplied by former owner was about 2K so I think $3800.00 is a bit pricey. Perhaps Danny knows the cost of the system in his hearse.

Richard Vyse
08-10-2015, 11:21 AM
Lets hear it from folks who are running stock 60s and 70s Climate Control systems with R134 not R12 what are your results? My thinking depending on results of my question is keep stock compressor and brackets and add new output system should be a lot cheaper. I have a 56 Packard Caribbean with a modern Vintage Air system complete with an alternator performs very well and is not intrusive. I did not buy the system it came with the car but total cost with invoices supplied by former owner was about 2K so I think $3800.00 is a bit pricey. Perhaps Danny knows the cost of the system in his hearse.

Hey Danny, can you post a few pictures of the system especially under the hood to see how the compressor is mounted and if the old evaporator is still in the engine compartment. Unit is about $1500 plus removal and install of the system.

https://www.cvfracing.com/vintage-air-surefit-systems-s/201.htm?gclid=CKKbkMjonscCFQENaQodqQEJ_w

John ED Renstrom
08-10-2015, 11:54 AM
try these guys http://www.oldairproducts.com this is the set up I used on the suburban. were I did not feel that heater was as good as factory the AC worked fine. I did not buy it direct but went threw another vendor. you get to checking on there site and you can get most parts to fix a factory set up. but I did not shop caddy parts. one can keep there A6 compressor and have the system set up for 12 or 34

but now that we have the hold story your problem is with the seals gone your getting two much air around the evaporate and not threw it. thus when you drive faster you get more ram effect and the warmer it gets. let it sit at a idle and the fan pulls the air threw the core and it's cooler.

Richard Vyse
08-10-2015, 01:40 PM
try these guys http://www.oldairproducts.com this is the set up I used on the suburban. were I did not feel that heater was as good as factory the AC worked fine. I did not buy it direct but went threw another vendor. you get to checking on there site and you can get most parts to fix a factory set up. but I did not shop caddy parts. one can keep there A6 compressor and have the system set up for 12 or 34

but now that we have the hold story your problem is with the seals gone your getting two much air around the evaporate and not threw it. thus when you drive faster you get more ram effect and the warmer it gets. let it sit at a idle and the fan pulls the air threw the core and it's cooler.

Exactly..... This looks like a neat unit and at this point who cares if it is under the dash mounted. Probably can install myself.

http://www.oldairproducts.com/catalog/1970-1981-camaro/old-air-products/cap-200b/underdash-complete-system-p-4293.html

Peter Grave
08-10-2015, 03:34 PM
see also http://www.vintageair.com/catalog.asp

Danny Ryder
08-11-2015, 11:29 AM
Lets hear it from folks who are running stock 60s and 70s Climate Control systems with R134 not R12 what are your results? My thinking depending on results of my question is keep stock compressor and brackets and add new output system should be a lot cheaper. I have a 56 Packard Caribbean with a modern Vintage Air system complete with an alternator performs very well and is not intrusive. I did not buy the system it came with the car but total cost with invoices supplied by former owner was about 2K so I think $3800.00 is a bit pricey. Perhaps Danny knows the cost of the system in his hearse.

Peter, system already in car. My 70 caddy mm combo has original equipment and running freeze 12. Still works great in back buy selector messed up in front so only blows out floor.

Danny Ryder
08-11-2015, 11:31 AM
Hey Danny, can you post a few pictures of the system especially under the hood to see how the compressor is mounted and if the old evaporator is still in the engine compartment. Unit is about $1500 plus removal and install of the system.

https://www.cvfracing.com/vintage-air-surefit-systems-s/201.htm?gclid=CKKbkMjonscCFQENaQodqQEJ_w

Will get that for you RIchard

Peter Grave
08-11-2015, 01:44 PM
Danny; Check for vacume leak hose off pinched or busted. I found that was what was wrong 90% of the time in that era Cadillac with no mode change.

John Royark JR
08-11-2015, 03:33 PM
All my cars that have been converted to 134 will freeze you out, so if its not cooling as good, there must be other issues like others have mentioned.

Richard Vyse
08-14-2015, 11:50 AM
Danny was nice enough to send picture of the after market A/C system in one of his hearses. As you can see the evaporator was removed from the firewall and a patch panel installed.
Thanks Danny

John Royark JR
08-14-2015, 01:52 PM
Not bad, but that switch in the dash needs some work, it would drive me crazy being in there crooked like that.

Richard Vyse
08-18-2015, 09:02 AM
I cranked up the Lifeliner Monday evening to check the A/C. I purchased a Freon line with a gauge on it and even though I had put in 3 cans of Freon last week it still required another can. If it holds it was cooling nicely.

John ED Renstrom
08-18-2015, 12:53 PM
what presser are you using to determinant it's full?
that set up Danny pictures is one were you remove all your heater and AC unit and replace them with one hanging on the inside. so it ends up being a recirculation system all the time. from the controllers I would say it's the upper tier unit with the electronic controllers. the heater and ac units are separate fictions so it's not a blended system. they would really have something on these if they would just have a fresh are hose to let the unit draw air in from the out side. I was looking at that one I put in the suburban and it was only inches away from the kick panel vent.