Re-commisioning and converting a 740 aircon system

Discussion in 'Volvo 740' started by Ken Phillips \(UK\), May 7, 2004.

  1. Hello all,

    Now that what we call 'summer' is nearly upon us in the alleged 'united
    kingdom', I'm once again having very stupid thoughts about trying to get my
    aircon working, I'm attempting to source a r134a retrofit kit, but the major
    problem I've got is that, a lot of the aluminium pipes have
    corroded/snapped, does anyone here know if the snapped ends once cleaned,
    can safely be joined with high pressure rubber pipe? Do the pipes have to be
    aluminium?
    Could 10mm copper be used instead to totally replace the rigid piping runs,
    obviously it would have to be bent round corners, but it would be cheaper
    and easier, the only problems I can foresee would be the flaring and sizing
    of the unions, and the probability of galvanic reactions where it joins ally
    components, but this happens anyway where the ally piping joins copper such
    as at the condensor.

    At the moment I'm just fishing around for ideas so that I have to pay as few
    thieving 'proffessionals' as possible, because everything always seems to
    cost 4 times as much here, than anywhere else, I.E. in the US the entire
    retrofit kit can cost less than what I would have to pay for any single
    simple volvo gasket and one or two simple volvo O-rings here.

    Rant off :)

    Any and all ideas welcome, thanks in advance.

    Ken Phillips, Blackburn, EnglandHello all,

    Now that what we call 'summer' is nearly upon us in the alleged 'united
    kingdom', I'm once again having very stupid thoughts about trying to get my
    aircon working, I'm attempting to source a r134a retrofit kit, but the major
    problem I've got is that, a lot of the aluminium pipes have
    corroded/snapped, does anyone here know if the snapped ends once cleaned,
    can safely be joined with high pressure rubber pipe? Do the pipes have to be
    aluminium?
    Could 10mm copper be used instead to totally replace the rigid piping runs,
    obviously it would have to be bent round corners, but it would be cheaper
    and easier, the only problems I can foresee would be the flaring and sizing
    of the unions, and the probability of galvanic reactions where it joins ally
    components, but this happens anyway where the ally piping joins copper such
    as at the condensor.

    At the moment I'm just fishing around for ideas so that I have to pay as few
    thieving 'proffessionals' as possible, because everything always seems to
    cost 4 times as much here, than anywhere else, I.E. in the US the entire
    retrofit kit can cost less than what I would have to pay for any single
    simple volvo gasket and one or two simple volvo O-rings here.

    Rant off :)

    Any and all ideas welcome, thanks in advance.

    Ken Phillips, Blackburn, England
     
    Ken Phillips \(UK\), May 7, 2004
    #1
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  2. Ken Phillips \(UK\)

    James Sweet Guest


    Can you find good used pipes at a salvage yard? Seems used cars are nearly
    worthless over there, how hard can it be to find cheap parts?
     
    James Sweet, May 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. James,

    Thanks for your reply.
    You are quite right, I know someone who literally had to GIVE a mint 740 GLE
    turbo sedan away, the only thing wrong with it was a small oil leak in the
    turbo, I know this, because I was offered it; but couldn't afford to keep
    two cars, and couldn't bear the thought of breaking it; the person who
    actually took it to use, scrapped it mere weeks later.
    But to get to the point, over here it seems that aircon on the 700 series
    was limited to being installed on very few high end models, 700 series cars
    don't last long on scrap yards, they get found, cannabilised, and then
    cubed, very quickly, but, every time I find one with the required pipes etc,
    they are always corroded so badly, that the unions cannot be undone, without
    causing damage (the pipes seize to the nuts, twist, then snap), or the pipes
    themselves are close to perforation, especially where those cunning rubber
    lined metal straps work so well to trap moisture.
    God only knows why some bright spark chose a metal that loves to react with
    water (in the same family as magnesium, sodium and phosphorus), and makes
    brilliant galvanic cells when paired with steel, or copper, perhaps it was
    to cause problems and failure points.
    I have never yet found one that was still pressurised, but, have grabbed
    what useable bits there was.
    I need to get at, and change the O-rings to safely use r134a.
    I was looking at the IPD website yesterday, and found loads of aircon stuff
    for the 200 series, pipes, hoses, almost everything, but virtually nothing
    for 700's, this seems weird.
    My original query was to see if there was a safe workaround, so that I can
    use what components I can source, without paying the exhorbitant fees, that
    the powers that be over here allow to be charged.

    TTFN, Ken

    James,

    Thanks for your reply.
    You are quite right, I know someone who literally had to GIVE a mint 740 GLE
    turbo sedan away, the only thing wrong with it was a small oil leak in the
    turbo, I know this, because I was offered it; but couldn't afford to keep
    two cars, and couldn't bear the thought of breaking it; the person who
    actually took it to use, scrapped it mere weeks later.
    But to get to the point, over here it seems that aircon on the 700 series
    was limited to being installed on very few high end models, 700 series cars
    don't last long on scrap yards, they get found, cannabilised, and then
    cubed, very quickly, but, every time I find one with the required pipes etc,
    they are always corroded so badly, that the unions cannot be undone, without
    causing damage (the pipes seize to the nuts, twist, then snap), or the pipes
    themselves are close to perforation, especially where those cunning rubber
    lined metal straps work so well to trap moisture.
    God only knows why some bright spark chose a metal that loves to react with
    water (in the same family as magnesium, sodium and phosphorus), and makes
    brilliant galvanic cells when paired with steel, or copper, perhaps it was
    to cause problems and failure points.
    I have never yet found one that was still pressurised, but, have grabbed
    what useable bits there was.
    I need to get at, and change the O-rings to safely use r134a.
    I was looking at the IPD website yesterday, and found loads of aircon stuff
    for the 200 series, pipes, hoses, almost everything, but virtually nothing
    for 700's, this seems weird.
    My original query was to see if there was a safe workaround, so that I can
    use what components I can source, without paying the exhorbitant fees, that
    the powers that be over here allow to be charged.

    TTFN, Ken
     
    Ken Phillips \(UK\), May 8, 2004
    #3
  4. Ken Phillips \(UK\)

    James Sweet Guest

    That's a shame, the 700 Turbo cars are modern classics, a great combination
    of comfort, reliability and performance.
    Interesting, I hadn't thought of that, over here AC was standard on every
    700 series car, as were power windows, I've never even seen pictures of a
    700 without AC, though I did see one once with manual crank windows, strange
    indeed.

    Oddly, I've never had a problem with the aluminum pipes corroding, when my
    AC failed it was because the pipe had been rubbing on a bracket near the
    compressor from engine vibration over the years, finally it rubbed through
    completely and failed. The rest of my AC plumbing is virtually corrosion
    free after 15 years.
     
    James Sweet, May 8, 2004
    #4
  5. I have seen DIY R134a retrofit kits being sold in Target (a US alternative
    to Asda) and was wondering if these kits are any good. Has anyone here
    tried installing one and do they work or are they crap?
    I find it hard to believe that this one kit would be suitable for every type
    of car, no matter the manufacturer.
     
    Jeffrey M Copeland, May 10, 2004
    #5
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