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java230 UltraDork
7/26/19 9:33 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Maybe you need to do a full thread on AC Basics :D

Agent98 Reader
7/26/19 10:54 a.m.

That's gonna be an R-12 system...expensive to recharge...I wonder if a retro fit street rod style R134a complete system might work better?






fan /housing

AAZCD HalfDork
7/26/19 11:15 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

Ill post a full setup idea later when im not running my butt s off.


Post a picture of the current bits and pieces of ac and ill let it roll around in my head and see what comes back out.

This E36 M3 ain't rocket surgery, but I can give you some suppliers and other ideas to make it functional with modern refrigerants for an inexpensive price

Note to Michael: This is not a high priority project. I appreciate the help, but there is no rush to get it sorted out.

I hadn't really had a close look at it in daylight. The hoses might not be that bad. The compressor, when turned by hand, puts ot a little pressure. I thought the hoses had been cut because the seller thought they had - looking at them now, it may be that they are just unclamped.

I have the basic tools from HF to work with AC, but I only know what I learned on YouTube and a tutorial on Honda-Tech. When I "fixed" the AC on my old Ford truck, it blew cold for about 15 minutes before the compressor seized. What I learned is that there's a lot that I don't know.

If you can outline how to get this running reliably on r134, that would be awesome. If I gather all the parts, there's even a good shop in town that could flush and charge it safely and affordably. Here's some pics. For high resolution, click for the album: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFvkF7u

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/26/19 11:19 a.m.

My brother in law entered a demolition derby in an old hearse a few years ago. You had to remove the glass as part of the prep, so they just smashed it all out. Made me cry.

I once got in a drag race on the Las Vegas strip between my '66 Cadillac and a '65 Cadillac hearse. I beat him, he said it was because he had his uncle Eddy in the back. I don't do a lot of street racing, but who can turn that down?

AAZCD HalfDork
7/26/19 11:22 a.m.
Stealthtercel said:

I don't follow the point about the headlight dimmer floor switch.  Do you want one because you like them, or did a previous owner (or the original builder) install one?  I ask because up till now I thought the downsized 77+ B-bodies all had turn-signal high-beam switches, which I always presumed was for NVH reasons. 

The headlights are stuck on bright. The turn signal switch is up and down only and there is a floor switch that does not work. I'm going to replace the floor switch.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/19 12:26 p.m.

Appears to be a pretty standard 70s gm ac setup with an a6 compressor.

Theres kits out there to do this, but i honestly HATE using kits in most applications. 

A sanden 508 compressor will be a good replacement for the garbage a6. Call classic auto air for a 134a poa valve. Parker barrier hoses and fittings (we will be mixing flare and o ring here) from classic as well. A new drier (stock replacement), the factory evaporator (in firewall box assuming it doesnt leak) and blower motor will be fine. Clean out all the dirt and debris from the fins and box while it's apart.

Lastly, the biggest multiple pass condenser you can fit from ebay. 

Have the hose ends crimped properly.  not A hydraulic hose crimper. 

AAZCD HalfDork
7/26/19 2:14 p.m.
AAZCD said:
Stealthtercel said:

I don't follow the point about the headlight dimmer floor switch.  Do you want one because you like them, or did a previous owner (or the original builder) install one?  I ask because up till now I thought the downsized 77+ B-bodies all had turn-signal high-beam switches, which I always presumed was for NVH reasons. 

The headlights are stuck on bright. The turn signal switch is up and down only and there is a floor switch that does not work. I'm going to replace the floor switch.

I tracked down another '77 hearse on Craigslist and got a good deal on a tail light. The seller knows a lot about these hearses and said that most of them started out as the lowest model fleet vehicle with no accessories; no tilt steering, radio, etc. That's probably why it still has the floor switch. I think that as I get this car sorted out, he's going to be a great resource for specifics and hard to find parts. He said there's even a Hearse Club in Tulsa that regularly gets together about once a month.

AAZCD HalfDork
7/26/19 2:18 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Thanks. I have all that copied and saved in my 'Hearse' folder and I'll start gathering the parts.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/26/19 2:19 p.m.

More than happy to get WAY more detailed if you want/need me to. But, should be a relatively simple project.

nlevine New Reader
7/26/19 2:28 p.m.

Rob Siegel's book is also a good resource on vintage air conditioning - https://www.amazon.com/Just-Needs-Recharge-Mechanic-Conditioning/dp/0998950718

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
7/26/19 3:26 p.m.

Similar era B-bodies had those floor switches as well which should make parts sourcing really easy.  

Stealthtercel Dork
7/26/19 4:19 p.m.

Well how about that.  I've learned something.  Every 1977 f/s Chevrolet had a "Smart Switch" (it was a simpler time...) that put the headlight dimmer in the turn-signal stalk, and I thought they all did, across the divisions.  Huh.


Patrick MegaDork
7/27/19 7:51 a.m.

My 78 sedan deville had floor dimmer.  

Don’t quote me on it but i believe i have a chrome sanden air compressor kicking around here with big cadillac brackets on it off a 472 that was in a 50’s ford truck.  I think it’s in my trailer.

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/7/20 4:52 p.m.

So... This turned into a cool idea that I realized I just wasn't ever going to get around to doing. I'm not familiar with them, I have too many other projects that I am more motivated to work on, it was too easy to just park it and use it as parts storage, the '04 Toyota Sequoia is a much better people and cargo hauler. When a project car sits unattended and slowly falls into worse shape rather than being improved, it's time to pass it on. If I sell it now, before Halloween, I can probably find some motivated buyers.

I thought it was running/driving. It was not. The battery was dead and jumping it didn't help. Even swapping in a fully charged battery didn't get it. I knew the cables were crap. The battery clamps were stripped. The original connectors had been cut with cheap connectors clamped onto the stripped cable. The positive cable to the starter was in contact with the header and partly melted...

Oh E36 M3. I'm selling it because I don't want it as a project anymore and now it is going to be a project, just getting it ready to sell. There's a partly disassembled Porsche 914 in the garage and a new parts car Boxster that I want to be working on. I don't want to work on the hearse. It has to be done though. Nobody is going to want to buy it if they can't drive it away.

A few hours in the hot late afternoon sun and the cables have been replaced. I had to remove the starter to get good access to the cable. There's a puddle of fluid underneath. Transmission? PS? Oil? whatever it is, it made a mess. I hope that it's just caused by sitting for so long and it will seal back up once it gets driven regularly - by a new owner. It seems that some bolts are metric and some are not. Whichever wrench I have in hand *almost* fits. Laying underneath, I drop a socket. It rolls ten yards away. My rubber gloves have torn. I'm being bit by mosquitoes. I brush them away and scratch, smearing dark gritty fluid on my clothes and body. This is not fun. Tightening a wire onto the starter, a washer drops. It lands perfectly on the edge, rolls ten yards away and vanishes.

With the cables replaced, the starter back on, tools gathered, and the battery charged I took it down off the jack stands and tried to start it. It didn't. I imagined that it was a little bit better - closer to running - but really it wasn't. That was yesterday evening. I walked away and had a sad beer.

By morning I hypothesized that the grimy fluid - transmission fluid - had gummed up the starter internally. Back to work.... This time I knew which wrenches worked where. I sprayed "Off" on myself to keep mosquitoes away and worked in the morning before the sun and heat became oppressive. It went much better. I removed the starter and gave it a thorough cleaning and re-greased it. I put it all back together. This time I kept it on the jacks while I tried starting it. It started! But... there was a terrible rattle and clatter. I quickly shut it back down. I thought for a moment. A bolt had fallen while I had the starter off. It had vanished, I imagined to the void where 10 mm sockets go when they never come back. I realized that it must have fallen into the lower cover for the bell housing and was getting kicked around by the flywheel. ...Once more under the car. Cover removed. Bolt found. Cover back on. Off jacks. Turn key. ...Success! After that it just need 1.5 qts of transmission fluid.

Now to unload it, clean it up, and sell it.

docwyte UberDork
9/7/20 4:59 p.m.

LOL at "the sad beer"

java230 UberDork
9/7/20 5:01 p.m.

In reply to AAZCD (Forum Supporter) :

How's it go, I'm sad to see you leave but happy to watch you go? 

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/13/20 9:31 a.m.

I was just offered a 1987 Ford Taurus wagon in trade. ...Never really thought much about a Taurus wagon, but I had a '95 SHO for a while so I looked up reviews. Very mixed results. Do I want a car for a car trade? No. Am I seriously considering it? Yes, it's a disease.

white_fly HalfDork
9/13/20 9:50 a.m.

My family had a string of Taurii. I think we had a total of four transmission failures in three cars and I remember them being awful in just about every way.

That said, a running car could be easier to sell than a dead hearse.

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/13/20 10:20 a.m.

In reply to white_fly :

Right... I don't think I want the '87 Taurus and the hearse is actually running well now. Vi is usually very understanding about my car buying, but when I texted her about it, she texted back "NO" ...twice in capital letters.

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/13/20 10:32 a.m.

I'm a sucker for wagons, but yeah, I don't see any way that an 87 taurus will make you happier than more space in your drive, and cash in your pocket.

docwyte UberDork
9/13/20 1:41 p.m.

Yeah, I wouldn't do that trade.  Cash only given the size of your fleet and amount of projects you currently have

slowbird SuperDork
9/13/20 2:01 p.m.

...what if you put a Boxster drivetrain in the back of the Taurus?

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/13/20 2:35 p.m.

Trading a cool hearse for a Taurus wagon?!?!


No way I'd do that

java230 UberDork
9/13/20 6:19 p.m.

NO! Keep the hearse 

AAZCD (Forum Supporter)
AAZCD (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/14/20 9:22 p.m.

It sat for a few days with zero views at $2,000. I dropped the price and chose a different lead pic and got 1,300 views in 24 hours.

I'm happy the way it worked out. That hearse needed to be built and I am too focused on my 914 project and keeping up with the Boxsters to give it the time it needed. Jason messaged me this afternoon with a cash offer 'unseen', driving from almost two hours away. He showed up early to the meeting place (Walmart) and handed me the money while I was still trying to show it to him. He's got a 4x4 Suburban parts car and plan that he can't wait to get started on. It has gone to a good home and is going to be built like I would have wanted to build it - probably better than I could have done. I know he's going to have fun with it. ...I hope it makes it home okay.

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