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Duracool AC Recharge - 45 degrees!

Just recharged my vintage AC system in my '83 with Duracool. I have the old York compressor and all the original components. The system took all three cans and it is blowing at the vent at 45 degrees (Fahrenheit). Still cannot see any coolant at the sight window, which probably means I still need more, but given I was ready to tear the AC system out I am one happy camper - just had to share.

No affiliation with Duracool, just a happy cystomer!
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:16 PM
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Sounds good, where did you get it and how did you do it? What other mods need to be done to convert?
Old 07-30-2003, 01:29 PM
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Don't trust the "sight-window" if you're using anything other than the original R-12 coolant (actually, I never trusted that damn sight-window even when we were all using R-12). I'm not personally familiar with "Duracool" (I've heard mixed reviews), but if it's working ... good for you. I doubt you'll ever get much better than 45 degrees with the stock system regardless of the coolant used. Keep in mind, if you ever want evacuate the system, it may be difficult to find a shop willing to evacuate your now "contaminated" system.

Glad your keeping cool,
Jerry M
'78 SC
Old 07-30-2003, 01:30 PM
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www.duracoolusa.com

I ordered the recharge kit for less than $50 with shipping which included everything I needed and did not have to make any modifications. You need to tell them if you are recharging an R12 or R134 system (different fittings). Once I figured out which side to charge and how to open the valve it took about 10 minutes. The guys there were really helpful. Small price to pay when the temps are in the 90's!!
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Old 07-30-2003, 01:35 PM
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Did you evacuate the system before installing the Duralcool? How about changing the drier/receiver or changing the oil?
Old 07-30-2003, 01:52 PM
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Ruf - Didn't evacuate the system or change any of the AC components. Just hooked it up and recharged it - just like in the old days when I used to recharge my leaking R12 system instead of spending $600 to get it fixed - with the same result!
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:21 PM
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Vance,
I just ordered my kit. Can you please give a step by step I.E. RPM at what range, can upright or upside down, motor lid open or closed?
Thanks in advance.
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Last edited by GB83SC; 07-30-2003 at 06:16 PM..
Old 07-30-2003, 05:12 PM
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You are pretty lucky it is working at all. The real key will be how long the charge lasts. It is not a great deal if the charge lasts 2 months and then stops blowing cold. Hopefully your hoses and O-rings are in decent shape and the charge holds for a year or more. Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2003, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZCAT3
You are pretty lucky it is working at all. The real key will be how long the charge lasts. It is not a great deal if the charge lasts 2 months and then stops blowing cold. Hopefully your hoses and O-rings are in decent shape and the charge holds for a year or more. Good luck.
Since his is an 83 with the original York compressor, the fittings on his system are flare and does not have o-rings.

I would think that if he had evacuated the system down and started fresh he could get colder vent temp. My blows between 36 and 40 when the outside temp is between 85 to 95. I keep a thermometer in the center vent just to monitor the vent temp at all times. It's gotten as cold as 24 but the outside temp was around the 70's and very little humidity.
Old 07-30-2003, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ruf-porsche
Since his is an 83 with the original York compressor, the fittings on his system are flare and does not have o-rings.
All the AC systems have o-rings where all the components are connected. At any one of these 20 or so connections you can have a leak from an old and brittle o-ring. Leaking coolant is similar to how air leaks out of your bicycle tire when you're not using it for a while.

-Wayne
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Old 07-30-2003, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wayne at Pelican Parts
All the AC systems have o-rings where all the components are connected. At any one of these 20 or so connections you can have a leak from an old and brittle o-ring. Leaking coolant is similar to how air leaks out of your bicycle tire when you're not using it for a while.

-Wayne
Oh contrau

I believe Porsche didn't start using o-rings in the a/c hose fitting until they went with the nippondenso compressor. Earlier system still used what was commonly call in the a/c business as flare fittings.

Jim Sims want to jump in on this?
Old 07-30-2003, 07:55 PM
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The fisrt thing you need to do is remove the covers for the low side valves - there are two of them and they are the bottom one (similar ones on the top). Connect the Duracool can to the bottom valve with the can upside down. You must then manually open the valve to let the cooloant into the system. It is the square shaped turn valve. I used the back side of a 1/4" drive with an allen wrench in the other side. Turn this clockwise about a turn and a half. Now open the valve on the can of Duracool. I did not close the lid, but I probably should have and run the car at about 2000 RPM. That's it. Put it back together and hopefully you have the same luck I did. Any other questions let me know!
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:51 AM
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I am curious to see how long the charge will last? Given we have a fairly short summer here, two months would be fine but I will keep you posted. I should try another can because I did not close the engine cover and according to my wrench, I should see something in the view window?
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Old 07-31-2003, 03:55 AM
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Dunno about Duracool, but Envirosafe sells two types of system sealers. One is for leaks in metal components and the other is for o-rings and rubber parts. There was a slow leak in the evaporator, and I used 2 cans of the sealer for the metal parts. Now, the leak is no more. My father's car had a leak at a flare fitting, causing all the R12 to leak out. The hose is NLA from from Mercedes, and repair requires quite extensive work. Again, used a metal sealer, and so far, after 1.5 months of running, it is looking pretty good. The two Mercedes are pumping out high 30 degree temps, so I feel the work was successful. Time will only tell if this is a good long-term solution. Two two systems were in great condition aside from the leaks, so I'm not sure if the Duracool would work well on a subpar setup.

If the cars are ever sold, I will just evacuate and recharge with R134a or R12.

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jurgen
Old 07-31-2003, 05:08 AM
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The elastomer o-rings didn't show up in the Porsche system's hose fittings until the Nippondenso compressors were used.(~1984?). Before that, the connections were mostly the metal to metal flare type which are leak prone. Some of the early factory flare fittings also used a copper gasket between the metal to metal sealing surfaces of the flare fittings. The early systems may have problems with compressor shaft seals when converted to R-143a and it's matching oils as they cause viton rubber used in some of the shaft seals to swell. Cheers, Jim
Old 07-31-2003, 05:43 AM
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Questions:
What are the options for finding leaks?

I've seen dye that is poured into the system then checked with a light.
What other techniques are available? Is there a can of refrigerant that has the dye incorporated into it or do I have to "open" the system to introduce the stuff?

Oh yeah, I've heard about the sniffers but for occasional use might be overkill......
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Old 07-31-2003, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RickM
Questions:
What are the options for finding leaks?
The Home AC guy I use recommends UV dye. It will show up like a beacon with a black light. The UV dye comes with a 134 charge. I'm not sure if you can get it with Duracool or other refrigerant.

jurgen
Old 07-31-2003, 05:57 PM
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You can get dye injected directly into the system with out opening it up. You have to have a dye injector of course or go to an AC shop and have them put in a half of ounce.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:48 PM
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My math showed for my 88 3.2 I need about 2.8 cans based on the Duracool conversion information. My question for those who've done this before is the can empty when I can't feel any more liquid in the can or is this dependant on ambient temps or something? Is the vacuum on the low side sufficient to pull all the refrigerant in? I pulled a vacuum for about 30 minutes before I hooked this up since the system had been open for a rebuild. My system is totally original except an upgraded compressor.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:48 AM
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The low pressure side is not a vacuum. The pressure in the can will transfer the coolant into the system until it is equalized.

I'm far from an A/C guy, but I know enough to stay away. If you have questions like that, you should stay away as well. I say this in all kindness. People get hurt by A/C systems all the time.
Old 05-27-2009, 07:08 AM
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