Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 125 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have all of the parts, many installed. I'm also switching over to R-134, since everything is essentially new.

New rotary compressor on a Milano bracket with clean, fresh PAG oil. Check.
New belt. Check.
New parallel flow condenser. Check.
New barrier hoses and fittings. Check.
Variety pack of BUNA O-rings. Check.
Dryer (from a SAAB, but whatever) and switch. Check.

I still have to replace the expansion valve, but apparently that can be a generic off the shelf part. I'm also sticking with the stock evaporator and blower, although if anyone has a suggestion for a alternative, beefed up blower I'm all ears. Plenty of salvage yards around. I'd love to get a VintageAir system but at the moment it's simply out of budget.

My neighbor has a manifold set and vacuum pump. I've watched a million videos on checking for leaks and said neighbor also has some experience with recharging AC systems.

If I get stuck or stymied I do have a pro place I can take it, but I really want to try tackling this totally DIY before I pay someone.

Any final advice or suggestions? I think I might want to try hooking up the eyeballs as the primary vents and maybe block the stock vents, mostly because I find even if the system is underpowered getting cold air on your head has a psychological effect (I've lived in the South my entire life, so I know this is a thing). Pros/cons?

FYI I attempted this a couple of years ago and encountered a leak I couldn't plug, so I threw in the towel, but vowing to return to the job. Turns out the high pressure hose to manifold gauges had a cut in it, as I learned last week. New hose procured and I'm now jazzed to face my nemesis.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
I'll be very interested to see how this goes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,613 Posts
Must change the evaporator! The stuff is all American. Surprised you didn't change it when you converted to R134?.
If you had the the system charged by a shop they would of done a leak test before the put in the R134 and changed your evaporator.
It's a must.
CHANGE IT!! It's not a OEM part and won't hurt the value!
Rockauto any parts or AC store. Got mine on Amazon and it looked like the original, but shiner.

If the blower motor is rattling, got an easy fix for that. Just PM me or post it.

Happy Monday!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
If your GTV6 is pre-1985, you probably don't have the Tropic-Aire upgrade version that came on the later models. Mostly add-on goodies vs swapping out components. It involves replacing the package shelf under the glove box with a second A/C evaporator with it's own fan. A plastic plenum gets fastened under the central A/C/heater console. This directs cold air from the second A/C box to BOTH eyeball vents at the ends of the dash. So, you end up with cold air from 6 vents (if you include the 2 for defrost). Gives you a double shot without eliminating your original unit.

If you aren't satisfied with your end results, I have an extra set of the add-on bits to offer. And can explain the process with pix, if needed.

Cheers,
Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Must change the evaporator! The stuff is all American. Surprised you didn't change it when you converted to R134?.
If you had the the system charged by a shop they would of done a leak test before the put in the R134 and changed your evaporator.
It's a must.
CHANGE IT!! It's not a OEM part and won't hurt the value!
Rockauto any parts or AC store. Got mine on Amazon and it looked like the original, but shiner.

If the blower motor is rattling, got an easy fix for that. Just PM me or post it.

Happy Monday!
Well, I haven't changed it because I've yet to get into there. The system has been no-functional since I bought the car a decade ago. I've bought some bits over the years but have never actually charged it, even with the new compressor installed. But I'll definitely look into replacing the evap unit. I was just under the impression that the evaporator was not a generic component, and replacing it basically meant replacing the entire in-car system, including controls, housing, etc (like a VintageAir rig).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
The evaporator is contained in the box under the middle of the dash. When you split it, you'll find the evaporator coil (In my GTV6 thread I've got it all laid out). Just replace the coil unit. My bet is that you'll need to find a universal of the same size, and may need to solder in the correct ends. At the very least, you could take it to a radiator shop and have them test and repair it if it has any leaks.

Peter! That explains the plenum on the bottom of the box. Mine was not connected to anything and I wondered about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
Blower motor replacement

There is a better replacement for the blower motor. Internal resistors, so no flame starter resistor board, and it is bigger and turns faster.
Mine is a NLA Frigette 209-101, BUT it cross references to several others so it must be a common motor. The OEM motor is undersized so Alfa made thick rubber spacers to make it fit. I replaced them with some rubber sheet and the new motor fits perfectly. Been running 10 years so far. A little creativity with the motor wiring from the 3 position switch is required.

Evaporator and coils: So now somebody tells me!! 10 years ago I had mine exposed to replace the blower motor!! Maybe this summer . . . .
 

·
Joe Elwell
Joined
·
98 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Luckily our public library system offers loads of auto repair books as digital loans. I'll look for this one!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
Thanks for that reference, I ordered it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
965 Posts
Peter! That explains the plenum on the bottom of the box. Mine was not connected to anything and I wondered about it.
That suggests that your GTV6 is an '85 or '86 model, unless a conversion was done later. As the Tropic-Aire units had a couple of minor modifications involved, you may already have the two black plastic block off plates on the interior side of the firewall at both sides. Earlier models got their fresh outside air from those firewall ports directly to the two eye ball vents via snorkels that slid over the back of the eye balls. If you still have the accordion flex hoses attached to your plenum, the hose on the driver's side connects the eye ball vent to the plenum. The hose on the P-side goes from the center plenum to the secondary A/C box. A third short flex hose goes straight up from the box to the P-side eye ball vent.

The rubber Freon hoses under the hood should have a union spliced in to feed the (missing) A/C box under the glove box. So you may have most of the components needed to became a T-A system. Including the switch and detail bits to get the 2nd box to turn on with the main fan in the center console. If you want to e-mail me, I can send pix to show what the secondary T-A box looks like. You may have that hanging around if you knew what to look for.

Cheers, Peter
[email protected]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
That suggests that your GTV6 is an '85 or '86 model, unless a conversion was done later. As the Tropic-Aire units had a couple of minor modifications involved, you may already have the two black plastic block off plates on the interior side of the firewall at both sides. Earlier models got their fresh outside air from those firewall ports directly to the two eye ball vents via snorkels that slid over the back of the eye balls. If you still have the accordion flex hoses attached to your plenum, the hose on the driver's side connects the eye ball vent to the plenum. The hose on the P-side goes from the center plenum to the secondary A/C box. A third short flex hose goes straight up from the box to the P-side eye ball vent.

The rubber Freon hoses under the hood should have a union spliced in to feed the (missing) A/C box under the glove box. So you may have most of the components needed to became a T-A system. Including the switch and detail bits to get the 2nd box to turn on with the main fan in the center console. If you want to e-mail me, I can send pix to show what the secondary T-A box looks like. You may have that hanging around if you knew what to look for.

Cheers, Peter
[email protected]
Yep, mine is an '84 Maratona, has all those things. Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
98 Posts
Chairman - I'm going down a similar route as you. I had the Tropic-Aire add on, but pulled it as I didn't get much benefit (read airflow) from it. Others get okay performance from their's so maybe I had some other issue.

One thing not on your list that you really should add is a fan for the condenser. The radiator fans don't really get much air moving through the condenser, so if you aren't moving, the condenser isn't working very well.

I'm replacing the hoses on my AC and found that the gasket in the firewall had hardened too much to allow me to attach the hoses to the fittings. If things go well this weekend, I'll post some pics of what I did to address this.

I didn't replace the stock fan or evaporator, as I am planning to replace the unit with an aftermarket unit in the next year or so. I did give the evaporator and heater coils a thorough cleaning with some AC coil cleaner from Lowe's. I was amazed at how much gunk came out. Not to mention the amount of leaves and other stuff that was in the AC housing - both the central unit and the TA one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
923 Posts
I have an 84 GTV6 with 'weak' A/C. I purchased from another BB member many years ago all the extra parts needed for the Tropic Air upgrade. Never implemented that solution, and in the intervening years have thought about 'blowing it all up' and going with aftermarket AC - either Vintage Air (most mentioned) or Restomod (more unique control/vent solutions along with main unit). I'm leaning towards Restomod...

That said I have all this Tropic Air h/w that would certainly benefit someone in this community... PM me if interested...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
I am thinking of reactivating my AC on my 1983 CA GTV6 that I have owned since new. Looking for a recommendation of what modern condenser to use. Terry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
98 Posts
I am thinking of reactivating my AC on my 1983 CA GTV6 that I have owned since new. Looking for a recommendation of what modern condenser to use. Terry
Get the biggest parallel flow you can fit. I bought mine from Max-AC. Going from memory, I got the 13 1/2" x 25 5/8".

Also, while you're replacing the condenser, install a pusher fan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Thanks! Put a fan on my OEM condenser years ago. Helped a bit but as an original owner the AC was pathetic the day the car was delivered! Terry
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
I picked up an anthology of R&T articles for the years that cover the Alfettta and GTV6. Per that book, the testers complained, among other things, about the inability of the AC to cool the cabin in 85* weather. Well, with our weeks of 100* plus weather in California's central valley, an aftermarket revamp is certainly my choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,174 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Charlie York is a local (Austin, TX) expert who has a lot of experience retrofitting Alfas with VintageAir (or similar) systems. I was in his personal GTV6 and it was blowing about 40 degrees on a 90+ degree day - SITTING STILL. I've been meaning to drive my car up to his place for ages now but just can't seem to find a day. Maybe once I get the basics of my system hammered into place he can help me fine tune it. It does seem you can do most of what a VA system includes for less, if not as high quality. New PF condenser, new rotary compressor, new blower motor, new evaporator. I just want my car to not be painful to drive on hot days.

On a side note, I'm going to try installing some thermal barrier as well. A friend of mine with a Supra mkII had a novel solution. They had a baby recently and had been getting lots of groceries delivered. He amassed a fair sized collection of insulated bags (sort of bubblewrap and mylar), about 18x20" each. He used some 3M adhesive spray and tiled them on the floor and even the interior firewall. He stuffed those with some flame-resistant synthetic insulation, cut to fit, to add some further insulation. Bottom line, instead of spending $200+ on rolls of thermal insulation specifically for cars, he did it for the cost of a couple of cans of adhesive and reported a net decrease of about 12 degrees ambient in the cabin.
The Supra mkII has a pretty similar shape, layout and greenhouse to the GTV6, so I think this might be worth a try. He has a stack of the bags left over, plenty for my car, so I just need to swing by and pick them up.
 
1 - 20 of 125 Posts
Top