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Discussion Starter #1
Happy 4th all!

So I have no choice but to try and fix my air conditioner. On a limited budget so this might get hairy.

As I and others have pointed out, I'm not mechanically inclined, however my brother is visiting for the holiday and he is. (He is actually a mechanic on specialized industrial coolers for agriculture).

I was hoping to get in some bonding time with him tomorrow. If you happen to catch this thread, can I get a little holiday advice?

Specifically, what are the steps to start diagnosing my problem? Are there basic things we can look at to see if there is a simple fix before taking it in to a mechanic

Help me beat the heat!
 

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Same hints and basics as if it were not a holiday. Take it to an AC shop to have it checked. Without real equipment the best you can do in your garage is overfill the system with WalMart cans of crap.

Have it checked for leaks,properly evacuated and then filled. Anything else is tossing money out the window long term.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks you guys never steer me wrong.

hope you're having a great hoiiday.

I'll ask the shop that works on RRs here to do as you said....evacuated and filled.....but what does that mean? Just so the guy doesn't think I'm completely ignorant.
 

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It means they evacuate the AC system, check it for leaks then fill it to the proper level with proper gas and oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When set to the "rapid cool" setting it blows air but it's not cold. Does that help anyone understand what I should expect?
 

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Did the AC work before? When was the last time it worked?
Does the AC compressor turn when it's on? Open the hood (that cover over the front that hides the greasy noisy thing called an engine) and look to see if the fan clutch is kicking in. The belt will be turning always, but the pulley part with the belt should also be turning. That will give us some more info to go on.

Evacuated means they suck out all the air. Then they can charge (fill) it with freon.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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What year? Give us as much info as you can. Did it used to work and quit or has it not worked for a long time? Does the light on the AC button come on? Does the compressor spin when you turn on the AC? R12 or R134a? You may not know the answer to all these questions, but tell us everything you can so we can have a chance at giving you accurate/usefull advice. Have you checked the fuses?...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did the AC work before? When was the last time it worked?
Does the AC compressor turn when it's on? Open the hood (that cover over the front that hides the greasy noisy thing called an engine) and look to see if the fan clutch is kicking in. The belt will be turning always, but the pulley part with the belt should also be turning. That will give us some more info to go on.

Evacuated means they suck out all the air. Then they can charge (fill) it with freon.
LOL- how did you know I was afraid to do that? hahaha....I purchased the truck 3 months ago and was only told it doesn't work. I can check tomorrow to see if the "ac compressor" turns when it is on tomorrow. I can check if the "fan clutch" is kicking in too. Are there any pics you can refer me to - so that I can find the ac compressor and fan clutch? If none handy I'll google it and look in the owners manual...

Thanks
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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If I remember right, your car is a '93 so would most likely have had R12 refrigerant. This was banned in the UK from around '95 or '96 (and I think it was the same in the US) as it is supposed to destroy the ozone layer and replaced with R134a. The problem is that the two refrigerants are not compatible with each other so you can't just fill with R134a as it will destroy the seals. In the UK you could buy what was called a 'drop in' replacement for R12 and I used that in my '93 but I don't think you can buy that now either. I suspect this is why your AC doesn't work, the refrigerant has leaked out over the years and something to put in instead isn't available. That's probably why the previous owner didn't do anything with it.

You can check to see if the compressor clutch is kicking in but I very much doubt it as it won't if there is no refrigerant in there as there will be no pressure. The compressor is the big thing bolted to the side of the engine on the right hand side (as looking from the drivers seat) with two big thick pipes coming from it. With the engine running,the belt will be turning but the centre part of the pulley won't be. If the clutch engages, the centre will turn too but I very much doubt if it will. If you get really stuck, you can use Propane as a refrigerant in an R12 system but it does have it's downsides, particularly if you have a leak.......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
GilbertD: It is a a 1992 SWB County. This is bad news... Are you saying that if the air conditioner goes in these trucks there is no way to fix them correctly? When you say:

"the problem is that the two refrigerants are not compatible with each other so you can't just fill with R134a as it will destroy the seals".

Does this have something to do with the previous post of having it "evacuated" and re-filled?

If they use propane wouldn't a leak be dangerous?? Don't think anyone would try that.

So this rig needs a "special" kind of refrigerant? That is hard to believe....Dang.

 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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It does need a special kind of refrigerant, a kind that is no longer legally allowed to be sold. Not hard to believe at all and just the same as any other car of the same era. R12 was the refrigerant used at the time the car was built. It is now no longer available. Also the oil that lubricates the compressor is suspended in the refrigerant and is compatible with R12 is not compatible with R134a and will turn to gloop and clog the system up. You have two options. Try to find an R12 compatible 'drop in' replacement or have the seals in the pipes and compressor replaced so you can use R134a. The third option is to fill it with Propane but as it is highly inflammable it may not be a good idea. It will work but if you have a leak, not for long and neither will the car.....

Having it evacuated and refilled is the correct way of doing it. On your front scuttle panel you should have a sticker telling you how much refrigerant the system should be filled with. As you don't know how much may or may not already be in the system, the proper way of filling it is to suck (evacuate) all of the oil, air and remaining refrigerant from the system and refill with the correct amount.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks GilbertD

Regarding the two options you mention:

1. Try to find an R12 compatible 'drop in' replacement : How hard is this to do? Any suggestions? How much will this fix cost?


2. Have the seals in the pipes and compressor replaced so you can use R134a: This one sounds more expensive. What might it cost in rural Arizona, USA? I assume that R134a is legal and readily available?


Many thanks!
 

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I had the A/C system removed from my '85 for fear the clutch would eventually lock up and destroy all kinds of stuff under the bonnet...it's the old Ford piston style compressor. Being a Ford man, I've had the displeasure of clutch lock up over the years. However, the old compressor had been converted to 134a, there is an oil additive combined to 134a for the older R12 systems. At least there was a few years back...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just got back from having the car examined at a local shop which looked to be the nicest one in town.They are the olny ones that advertise working on Classic to modern Range Rovers. Very nice guy helped me out. Unfortunately, got a bit of bad news. They looked at the a/c and said it is still the R12 system, anmd in operative (?), and recommend to have it retro fitted to R134. The bad news is it costs $2,000 to do this. About $1,500 new parts and $500 labor. Since I am 25 miles from the border he also said I could go to Mexico.

They did a complete inspection on the rest of the car and I was told overall it was not bad. The price for the inspection and oil (R5W30, API SN Premium oil)/ filter change and lubrication including check of fluid levels was very fair- $42. They pointed out the following:

1. Some engine oil leaking
2. Rear Dif pinion seal leaking
3. Service to both Dif suggested (fluid looked old)

I've had the car parked in my garage for months and no fluid is on the ground so the leaks can't be that bad. I've read its normal for these things to leak some. He said the service to both Dif would be about $200 to $300 bucks.

Since I purchased it 1,000 miles ago the truck has run like a dream, especially since adding the new tires. So I guess I'll have the Dif serviced (I understand that means replacing the fluids and the seal as per his suggestion) and hold off for now on the expensive A/C.

What do you guys think?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Spend £45 at Walmart as per my link above. That appears to be a retrofit refrigerant for R12 systems. It'll be R134a but with an additive so it doesn't cause the oil to congeal.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks GilbertD!!! Are you sure this wont cause more harm than good though? I don't mean to second guess you, but other people on this thread have warned not to put the Walmart stuff in. (I know nothing about these things)

If it could only do harm the a/c system maybe I don't mind because it's an old system anyway, but if it could potentially do harm to other parts of the truck then I would rather drive with the windows down and keep my trips short- as the truck runs really well and I will most likely be moving within a few months as it is......

Could this EZ Chill potentially harm other parts of the car?

I'll call Walmart now to see if they might help apply the EZ Chill. Really appreciate you input.
 
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