Replacing 1981 Z28 Air Conditioning?

Discussion in '1978 - 1981 Specific' started by Zebus28, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Zebus28

    Zebus28 Member

    32
    0
    May 6, 2001
    Effort, PA, USA
    I have a 1981 Z28 4 speed with factory air. The compressor broke many years ago, the clutch pulley seized. I cut the belt and left everything intact.

    My question. I want to get the A/C working again, do I simply replace the compressor and charge the system or since it has been out of commission for so long, do I need to do more. What about the refrigerant, do I need to also convert to R134? If so how do does this work?

     
  2. wnmech

    wnmech Veteran Member

    706
    31
    Jul 20, 2014
    grand prairie tx.
    If it were me I would flush out the whole system and replace the in line orifice tube and the accumulator along with all the O rings with R134 compatible O O rings and make sure the hoses are pretty good shape. If you are going with R134 you wont get the cooling that you had with the R12 especially at idle. I don't know what the availability of R12 is in your area but I have found it here at swap meets and craigslist for $10-15 dollars a can. There's not as much demand for it now and people are selling it cheap.
     
  3. Zebus28

    Zebus28 Member

    32
    0
    May 6, 2001
    Effort, PA, USA
    Thanks. Sounds like a good approach given the system has been "dry" for so long. Is this a diy job or should I have an A/C guy look at it?
     
  4. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,926
    24
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I am in Pittsburgh which is pretty far from you but I have a basically new compressor A6 with new hoses I took off my car when I swapped to a serpentine system. You can have it if you like but it will probable be expensive to ship unless you have a corporate account and get discounted rates.

    When I swapped to my serpentine system I kept the factory air system except I had to run new lines and a new Sanden Compressor. I got it from Classic Auto Air. They have a kit for it. If you have the cash I highly recommend swapping to a serpentine system. It moves the compressor to the passenger side and alternator to the drivers side. You have to get a reverse clutch fan and reverse water pump and some other things to make it work, but it was the best upgrade I have done so far.

    In terms of your question about it being a DIY job.....Since your system is already empty, you can hook everything up yourself but I would take it to a shop to get it charged. I am sure there will be folks on here who will explain how to do it yourself but you need to rent the tools to pull a vacuum on it and then recharge it and I would rather have someone who does it all the time check my work and charge the system.
     
  5. Zebus28

    Zebus28 Member

    32
    0
    May 6, 2001
    Effort, PA, USA
    That sounds awesome. I assume it was working fine when you took it off right? I do have a shipping discount with UPS, how much do you think the whole system weighs? I can get an estimated shipping cost if I know the weight.
     
  6. 8pack

    8pack Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    1,926
    24
    Aug 29, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I will go up in the attic and look today. A good 30# ++ is my guess. Maybe someone on here knows the actual weight.
     
  7. Zebus28

    Zebus28 Member

    32
    0
    May 6, 2001
    Effort, PA, USA
    I can check with UPS on the shipping charge if you give me an address the shipment would come from. I'm thinking it can't be anymore that a whole new A/C system.
     

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