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1984 911 Targa - "Sabine"
 
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Griffith's AC upgrade for '84 911 install thread

Well, I've had the Griffith AC kit for about a year now, as I thought I'd have ample time to install, but work seemed to always get in the way, so here I am a year later, and I've finally begun my project. I purchased a kit with the following items:

new evaporator and blower motor, rearward Kuehl Condenser system (for left rear tire), electrical and mechanical hardware, stone guard kit, receiver drier, complete barrier hose set & high low pressure switch, high performance serpentine front condenser, Tri-Kuehl Vents, centre vent and two side vents, Denso compressor, Kuehl Speed Fan Control with console LED, AC Thermostat and new fan motor for front condenser.

I initially took a look at another excellent thread started by "gsxrken" on the 911/930 Super Charged forum and decided that I too would provide my lessons learned on my '84 911 Targa on the 911 forum, in case there were some variances that others could make use of (including my pictures as I go). I won't be able to update daily, but will do my best to move it along quickly but deliberately.

I started the work this past weekend in accordance with Griff's excellent instructions (as many have already stated). I cleared out the frunk of all non-essential items, and pulled the strut brace for simpler access, and then moved to the console / passenger floor board area to do the prep work. Here are some before pictures (messy smuggler's box with rear support bracket laying on the bottom, but at least it was there).



You'll note that the old capillary tube isn't even in the evaporator..., but more on that later.



More to come.
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1984 (RoW) 911 3.2 Li Carrera - "Sabine"
Old 04-27-2015, 08:18 AM
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1984 911 Targa - "Sabine"
 
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So, as I've already worked on the car yesterday, this is how far I've gotten. I removed the passenger footboard and the resistor pack which fits into the evaporator in the smuggler's box. I was easily able to do the replacement with the requisite circuit board for the new fan switch assembly, drilling out the rivets which held the resistor pack in place and mounting the board.

I opened up the console to expose both the fan switch and thermostat switches and respective wiring harnesses, and noted some significant wear on the white plastic sheath covering the capillary tube heading to the evaporator box (which you may have noted wasn't actually inserted into the evaporator in the previous post). The installation of the wiring pieces were straight forward and the packaging provided was easy to understand and well laid out for easy access. I removed the old switches, and their connectors (which was a chore in and of itself due to significant corrosion and rust on the rear-side of the fan switch (I thought it to be quite odd, but I digress). After removing the connectors (with the rubber covering them immediately disintegrating in my hands, I dug out some heat shrink in preparation for connections to be made. I drilled the 1/4 inch hole in the facia to accommodate the new LED that came with the kit, without issue and started the process of assembly. I grounded the LED to one of the console mounting points,
but I think I'll extend the wire to give myself a little more flexibility and bring it around the back of the console (Right now the wire runs straight down through the console (although I probably routed it incorrectly :-).

After having completed these two tasks, I moved on to removing the bulkhead bushing in order to remove the thermostat wiring to feed the new wire. Within the instructions, it explains to reuse the white plastic sheath, by removing the old capillary tube and carefully inserting the new one. Well, based on what I removed, that wasn't going to work at all.

On Sunday I sent Griff a quick query about what to do, and he pretty much responded immediately to my plight with the following comment / options (one of which you see in the picture above):
QUOTE: You can use any plastic 'sheath' you wish. The function of it leans toward protecting the aluminum tubing, not as an insulator.
What I have used on the past is:
A) Heat shrink tubing,
B) Tygon tubing; aka clear plastic tubing you can find in HomeDeposit or Louse's
C) Anything that serves the function

Characteristics or properties of the tubing: flexible, minimum ID to accept the OD of the aluminum tubing, smallest OD practical.

You will need something that is about 36" long. You can cut it into 2 or 3 sections as needed; tough to snake 36" of aluminum through 36" of plastic,
easier to do it in sections. If things start to bind up as you are moving the aluminum tube through the plastic, "baby powder" on the aluminum tube before you start.

Uncoil the aluminum tube before you start and try to get it as straight as practical; the aluminum is near 'dead soft' so if it gets a kink its gonna stay.
Do not break the aluminum tubing or the as inside will escape and you will need a whole new thermostat.

After you get plastic or rubber tubing over aluminum tube you carefully snake it through the interior of the center console, and out the back or underneath,
remove the rubber bushing in the bulkhead and if necessary you could enlarge the diameter of the hole in the bushing. Carefully feed it into the area in the
smuggler's box near the steering shaft. Inside the smuggler box pull the tube through as much as practical. Back in the cockpit carefully push the thermostat
assembly into to place. Watch the excess slack in the aluminum tubing, you can have a bit in the center console or between it and the bulkhead. UNQUOTE
So, that's where I am now, must snake the new capillary tube carefully through my Tygon tubing. That's it for today - work calls.
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1984 (RoW) 911 3.2 Li Carrera - "Sabine"
Old 04-27-2015, 08:51 AM
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Looking forward to following your progress Skip.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:02 AM
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Might I suggest that if it is the BINARY pressure switch that Kuehl provided you then purchase a Red DOT TRINARY switch ("safe" 325 PSI cutoff) little cost and NO extra effort and just might come in handy latter..

You can wire the third element of the TRINARY switch into the Kuehl fan circuit (like in the 964/993 series) such that it need not run at all most of the time. The 3rd pressure switch will not "trigger" if the condensing effectiveness of the rear lid condenser and front lip condenser are satisfactory, while underway at cruise speeds, say.

Also, I would suggest delaying the installation of the Kuehl front lip condenser and new blower motor until you're sure that you need those.

First, the additional Spal fan cooling (TRINARY switch enabled) of the rear lid condenser in my '88 resulted in my being able to disable the front fan/blower.

Second, since the addition of Kuehl's fender mounted condenser/fan is likely twice as efficient as my Spal fan solution, especially so if controlled by the TRINARY switch, the front condenser/blower should not even be required.

Thirdly, the Kuehl front lip condenser is undoubtedly more efficient when relying on the blower, but likely HORRIBLY less effective vs the factory condenser underway. The serpentine form of the Kuehl front lip condenser does not lend itself to "at speed" forward motion cooling airflow as does the factory tube/fin structure.

But again, you should not even need the front condenser/blower once the fender condenser/fan is in place.

Last edited by wwest; 04-27-2015 at 09:59 AM..
Old 04-27-2015, 09:24 AM
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Just a thought, untried idea...

Most modern day automotive A/C systems, "climate control systems" operate the evaporator at a constant 33dF, just above freezing, and then "mix in" a controlled portion of heated air from the heater core to moderate the vent(s) outflow temperature.

Two reasons. BEST dehumidification functionality, and "finer" regulation of vent outflow temperature.

So why not "regulate" our system in much the same way.

Calibrate/adjust the thermostatic switch such that at full CW the average temperature of the evaporator is just slightly above freezing and then leave it there. The 325 PSI BINARY or TRINARY switch will prevent the compressor from over pressurizing the system.

Then use the PWM motor control speed adjustment to moderate the cabin cooling rate. If that doesn't quite suffice then resort to the fresh air inlet/blower to moderate the cabin temperature AND help with the cabin dehumidification task.
Old 04-27-2015, 10:15 AM
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Hi Skip,
I will be interested to see how you fit the supply vents on the right and left knee bolster. With the footwell blowers it may be tricky to connect. Maybe not, then I will look to get some too.
Thanks,
Dave
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:35 PM
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1984 911 Targa - "Sabine"
 
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Thanks for the comments thus far. I will certainly try to answer the specific queries posed and include pictures for clarification as best I can.

WWest. Thanks for the comments. At this point, as I am quite a newbie as far as AC systems go, I intend to stick exactly to the instructions provided with the equipment from Griffith's so I don't make a mess of things. Maybe at some point in the future, I will look at other options, but not right now. Cheers.
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1984 (RoW) 911 3.2 Li Carrera - "Sabine"
Old 04-28-2015, 05:46 AM
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I installed Griffith's barrier hoses over the weekend. Took about 10 hours spread over two days, including beer breaks and time to replace two weeping valve cover gaskets.

Working with just jackstands, it was hard government work. Simple, but a lot of time on your back & side on the garage floor.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:19 AM
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1984 911 Targa - "Sabine"
 
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Understood and thanks. Perhaps I'll have to increase the beer breaks
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1984 (RoW) 911 3.2 Li Carrera - "Sabine"
Old 04-28-2015, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip1 View Post
Thanks for the comments thus far. I will certainly try to answer the specific queries posed and include pictures for clarification as best I can.

WWest. Thanks for the comments. At this point, as I am quite a newbie as far as AC systems go, I intend to stick exactly to the instructions provided with the equipment from Griffith's so I don't make a mess of things. Maybe at some point in the future, I will look at other options, but not right now. Cheers.
I'm More than a little interested the priority, order of installation, Charlie has provided to you.

Where it myself I would follow the STRICK instructions to the letter, but prioritize each component as follows.

1. Have a professional recover whatever R-12 and any leftover R-12 compatible oil.

2. Install the fender condenser/fan, R/D, R-134a conversion diagnostic adapters. But substitute the Red Dot trinary pressure switch.

3. Have a professional evacuate and charge the system with the proper oil and R-134.

Done, and DONE!

Put the rest aside of the summer, especially the hoses as both the EPA and DuPont state that non-barrier hoses "pre-conditioned" with R-12/oil do not leak at an appreciable level.
Old 04-28-2015, 08:24 AM
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1984 911 Targa - "Sabine"
 
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The system has been "open" since before I bought the car nearly five years ago, so there is no evacuation required per say. I am replacing all the hoses etc with barrier hoses as some are visibly worn, some have been squashed by jacking up the car in the past etc.

For R-134 fill etc, it will be professionally done - so no worries. I will dispose of the parts in accordance with regulations as well to ensure there's no issue.

Thanks again.
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1984 (RoW) 911 3.2 Li Carrera - "Sabine"
Old 04-28-2015, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwest View Post
I'm More than a little interested the priority, order of installation, Charlie has provided to you.

Where it myself I would follow the STRICK instructions to the letter, but prioritize each component as follows.

1. Have a professional recover whatever R-12 and any leftover R-12 compatible oil.

2. Install the fender condenser/fan, R/D, R-134a conversion diagnostic adapters. But substitute the Red Dot trinary pressure switch.

3. Have a professional evacuate and charge the system with the proper oil and R-134.

Done, and DONE!

Put the rest aside of the summer, especially the hoses as both the EPA and DuPont state that non-barrier hoses "pre-conditioned" with R-12/oil do not leak at an appreciable level.
Willard, you just can't help yourself can you! You just have to inject your BS two cents into every AC thread. Skip1 never asked for help or suggestions, was just posting HIS install thread for others to read! I subd to his thread to see his progress, not your inane "suggestions". Skip tried to tell you in a nice way to just "butt out", but you're too self involved to get the message! No one on PP really gives a s**t about your AC opinions, if you haven't figured that out yet.
Skip has VERY extensive and complete install instructions from Charlie (best I've ever seen for any product) and I'm sure he has more interest in doing things the way the developer of the product thinks things should be done, than the ravings of an AC thread TROLL like you! Why don't you just STFU and get lost.
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Last edited by uwanna; 04-28-2015 at 01:27 PM..
Old 04-28-2015, 09:13 AM
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Skip,
Sorry I hijacked your thread with my rant to WWEST, but it needed to be said.
I am following your install with great interest. Great pics and dialogue so far, keep it coming!
Best,
Uwanna
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'71 911T Coupe White, '70 911T Coupe Blue
'68 911 Coupe Orange, '68 911L Soft Window Targa
Old 04-28-2015, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwanna View Post
Willard, you just can't help yourself can you! You just have to inject your BS two cents into every AC thread. Skip1 never asked for help or suggestions, was just posting HIS install thread for others to read! I subd to his thread to see his progress, not your inane "suggestions". Skip tried to tell you in a nice way to just "butt out", but you're to self involved to get the message! No one on PP really gives a s**t about your AC opinions, if you haven't figured that out yet.
Skip has VERY extensive and complete install instructions from Charlie (best I've ever seen for any product) and I'm sure he has more interest in doing things the way the developer of the product thinks things should be done, than the ravings of an AC thread TROLL like you! Why don't you just STFU and get lost.
The "injection" was not so much for Skip, or you, but for those readers that in the future might think they need to buy "all in" in order to get adequate cooling in there 78-89 911's

I suspect that Charlie, in all honesty, if pressed by a potential customer asking for, pressed for, the minimum upgrade, least expensive, etc, etc, required to get adequate cooling, would himself offer just the fender condenser/fan along with a standard R-134a conversion, R/D, pressure switch, etc.

Again, I am in no way saying that the other components Charlie "offers" in the complete "kit" do not have value and added functionality.
Old 04-28-2015, 09:45 AM
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I bought Charlie's systems several years ago and it's amazing. He even told me a few things I didn't need to buy that would have knocked hundreds off based on an in-depth conversation with him about what my needs were. I ended up going the full Monty, but Griff was up front that in his professional opinion it was probably overkill...complete disclosure and he didn't have to be "pressed." Unless, of course, by "pressed" you mean he was completely open and honest about things without me even asking...by that definition, then, yes he really was out to screw me...

Add in instantaneous to near-instantaneous return phone calls on the off-chance he doesn't answer on the first couple of rings, you can't go wrong. I called him one Sunday when my a/c wasn't getting cold the morning after I got it back from an engine rebuild and he worked with me on the phone for 30 minutes and went step by step through a decision tree and perfectly isolated it to the engine rebuild guys forgetting to reconnect the hi/low pressure switch which was disconnected laying in a hard to see part of the engine compartment. A/C went ice cold as soon as I plugged it back in.

Skip1, thanks for the post. I had a mechanic install my system so I'm watching your thread to stay informed. If I have issues in the future, your pictures, text, and lessons learned can help inform others, though I suspect a quick phone call to Charlie is all that it will take.
Old 04-28-2015, 11:36 AM
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As a happy customer of Griffiths and having dealt with Charlie I have simple advise.

Read the instructions front to back. Understand the big picture. Follow the instructions as written step by step. You will have to admit they are the best instructions for any product you have ever purchased. Don't change anything. You will have a system that functions and will keep you cold on a hot day. You will be happy. Do not try to re-engineer the system until you are a professional level AC expert. Ignore advice for those that just can't keep from throwing rocks at Charlie and his great top quality well engineered system.
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:11 PM
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what does a Griffiths kit cost?
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Old 04-28-2015, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun 84 Targa View Post
what does a Griffiths kit cost?
Couple to a low-ish few long ones.

It will pinch, but you will have bullet proof, advanced - non-gas reversing - top notch - no witchcraft - gear and all the proper tech advice you need.

I think of the money pissed away on ex-wives and a decade of $2,250 house payments in Akron for real estate (that tanked) and it makes giving a little skin to Charlie very bankable.

You can spend $1,000 less. From the stories I have read, and that includes direct interface with a couple of unsatisfied peeps, do you feel lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by COLB View Post
Working with just jackstands, it was hard government work. Simple, but a lot of time on your back & side on the garage floor.
Charlie pisses me off. No pics or documentation of the fact that you have to get dirty. He sux.

Glad I stole his golf clubs.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by wwest View Post
The "injection" was not so much for Skip, or you, but for those readers that in the future might think they need to buy "all in" in order to get adequate cooling in there 78-89 911's
Please don't destroy this thread. Let the OP do his thing.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:18 PM
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Sorry, Bob, but I believe firmly in the "KISS" principle...

(boy, does that ever open the "door"..)

The more complex the job, the number of opportunity for screw-up grows.

OP already spent his money, no expectation that he will not go forward "whole hog".

Last edited by wwest; 04-28-2015 at 06:02 PM..
Old 04-28-2015, 06:00 PM
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