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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Never had an Italian/Alfa A/C'd car so trying to determine what is normal for a Milano A/C. It has been hot here. Comments appreciated. Thanks.

Started up in hot garage, car heatsoaked, probably 100F. Outside air 95 and partly cloudy. On max a/c, max fan and recirculation mode. Measured a low of 41.4F discharge when underway. It was cycling every few minutes from 42 to 58 discharge, up and down. Cooled the car right down. After stabilizing, it settled in on the drive at 65 mph at 55-58. Seemed slightly less than comfortable inside perhaps 78. Disch ran up a few degrees when stopped.
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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That sounds like really good performance. If the compressor is cycling the system is running as cold as it's going to get: it shuts off at 37F at the evaporator to prevent ice-up.

Even at 55F outlet temperature thats 40F of cooling, which is pretty decent. My old Milano didn't work as well as yours is doing, but it was a R134A conversion so that probably cost some performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks. Wifey wants it cooler, around 72-74. Her thermostat stopped working. Just no where near as much cold as US cars I guess. Suburban will freeze your cookies; set it and forget it. A Peugeot 505 I had once behaved marginally also. I am trying to figure out from PO what Freon is in the system now. I have read that R134a is about half as efficient as R12 and you need a 2nd (doubling) condenser to get it to work well. Others suggested R152. ( A Monty A/C thread) PS: it's an SZ ES-30 with a Milano system but lot of glass. It is the 42-58 deg hunting every few minutes that concerned me but that hunting settles in to 55-58 as the trip proceeds. Thought it might be insufficient charge. I'll check the bullseye tomorrow.
 

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My Milano with R12 charge struggles to cool down from a heat-soak condition as well, but perform well when given good airflow. The outlet temps are about the same as yours.

I think you've got a fairly well functioning system.

The other issue, besides outlet temperature, is that the Milano HVAC has never really been great at spreading the air around well enough to really cool you down. It's just kind of a quirk of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea Joe, it's pretty much useless if it was sitting in the sun for a while (not starting in a shaded garage as above) on some of our 105 deg days recently. It can take an hour to get down and you are soaked by then. Thanks all.
 

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Euro cars into the 90s have what I call "dog breath air" works about as well as a dog panting on you.
When I needed a car to get around Phoenix in the early 90s I bought a (gasp) GM. Ice cold air that you had to turn down even with outside temps of 115f. Japanese cars the same, my wife's first gen Prelude would freeze you out.

My Milano actually works pretty well here with outside temps around 100f, as long as there is only the driver in the car and all the vents can be pointed at them.
It's changed over to R134. Sounds like your system is about as good as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I guess I don't understand how it could cycle down so low, and then settle in at 18 deg higher if there is demand? The outlet vent hit a low of 40.4F initially then slowly ratcheted up and down and up, to that 55-58F outlet band. It kinds feels like lukewarm wet dog breath breathing in your face. In the sun it is a problem with all the glass area and a black roof. It sure beats a non-A/C'd Alfa in this weather.

PS: Link to more pics in signature above.
 

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the COLD knob IS adjustable

its painful to access, but there is a small torx or allen adjuster on the back of the switch which increases/decreases range of the cold knob, the LOWEST sustained vent temp you need to aim for is 37F. below this temperature youll freeze up that evaporator in no time!

Im currently upgrading my milanos AC with a nice brand new and not full of bugs condenser of a new design - then installing a nice AC condenser pusher fan to engage with the compressor. should make it easier to keep me cold when traffic slows

ultimately for better cold performance a larger evaporator is needed. These older European cars have evaporators half the size of your Domestic counterparts, and as such smaller fans which move less air.

try also pulling the HVAC fan and vacuuming the leaves out of the evaporator, this increases airflow and prevents nasty car fires!
 

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try also pulling the HVAC fan and vacuuming the leaves out of the evaporator, this increases airflow and prevents nasty car fires!
Yes, 100% true.

And after it's clean spend about 10 minutes and make a screen for the intake so you don't get the leaves back in there.
 

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Milano AC condenser

"Im currently upgrading my milanos AC with a nice brand new and not full of bugs condenser of a new design"

Could you reply with a part number or year make and model vehicle the condenser came from? I have a Verde that had the condenser removed by a prior owner and would like to put a new one in instead of a used one.

Thank-you,

David
 

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In super hot weather, such as Phoenix, 110-114F, we had to pull the front license off the front of our Milano to get the a/c and coolant temperature down a few degrees. That plate blocked just enough airflow to make a difference.

It was comfortable enough at speed. On our way to Vegas in 100F weather, it suddenly shut off. Found out that there is a big connector behind the left side of the center console above your right foot, and that had become unclipped from the console edge and the plug pulled out of the socket, shutting off the fan and a/c. All ok after that was fixed.
 

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"Im currently upgrading my milanos AC with a nice brand new and not full of bugs condenser of a new design"

Could you reply with a part number or year make and model vehicle the condenser came from? I have a Verde that had the condenser removed by a prior owner and would like to put a new one in instead of a used one.

Thank-you,

David
Hi David!

Believe it or not there is a HUGE selection of universal fit air conditioning parts available and the one I ended up choosing was a brand NEW serpentine flow unit from UAC, part number I think was UAC CN7008C, but id check thier website, it was almost identical to the stock unit but its a newwer design and is more efficient. It was $45 brand new. I had to have a custom line made up between the compressor and the condenser as it comes off at a different angle than the original, no big deal as all in this upgrade costed like $100 total lines and condenser. Needed a little fab work to put on brackets to fit to the original spots and such as well. Since im using R290 refrigerant the system now blows cold in traffic and has lots of reserve capacity with the new condenser as well
 

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I would guess that an ES30 has the 75 HVAC system, which was different than the Milano's. The 75 heater valve used a capillary tube to measure the evaporator temp and crack open the heater to keep it from freezing over. It may be doing just that when you see the outlet temp increase. Maybe there's an adjustment on the heater valve to dial it back.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would guess that an ES30 has the 75 HVAC system, which was different than the Milano's. The 75 heater valve used a capillary tube to measure the evaporator temp and crack open the heater to keep it from freezing over. It may be doing just that when you see the outlet temp increase. Maybe there's an adjustment on the heater valve to dial it back.
Yes, no doubt since is was a Euro car, not destined for US market. I obtained the Shop Manual and will review for possible adjustment. It was the "hunting" that was the problem as you carefully discerned. Thanks, B
 

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Keeping heat out of the car is a big help. Any heat that did not come in is heat that does not have to come out. A reflective windshield panel made a big difference for me, when I have to park in a lot. Don't bother with the expensive custom fit Heatshield brand - almost $50 and it did not fit. I commend them, they refunded my money with no hassle, but said it was not worth it to them to source a car and make one that fit. I can see why, not a lot of demand for Milano heat shields. A $5 cheapy from Wal-Mart does the trick, though. Also, a dash rug helps a lot. I have a black dash and it acts like a heater when the sun comes through the windshield. Got mine from Coverking, custom fit, and it does fit nicely.
I know, that does not fix the A/C, but it makes what I have work better. It is almost bearable. (In Houston).
 

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one other thought re: heater system.
If the core is always "hot" and the heat is controlled by a blend door (not sure of the type of system),in addition to opening problem mentioned above,, the seals on the flapper can deteriorate and thus let heat continuously into the cabin. he quick and dirty solution is to install a valve in the engine so that during the summer there is no coolant to the cabin (there are also solenoids that do this). If it were mine, i would probably do it regardless, because a) you live in Texas and heat is less important than AC, b)there is a hot heater core radiating into the cabin which requires the AC to do some amount of offset (it might be minor or major), and c) it is relatively easy to do
 

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"If the core is always "hot" and the heat is controlled by a blend door'

The 164 is set up that way, and we install either a manual Pex ball valve or an electric ball valve somewhere in the engine bay to cut off the flow of hot coolant into the heater core during the summer so that the a/c works better. Works like a champ.

DO NOT use a standard Murray screw valve. They corrode and freeze up.

Since the 164 heater cores have a habit of leaking after a few years (cracked plastic tank ends, just like the radiator), I might also install a manual Pex valve in the return line from the heater core to be able to totally isolate that el cheapo core.

Would like to do this for the LS, but that would involve intricate plumbing since the hoses from the engine are shorter and closer to the firewall.

In any event, I recommend using a ball valve for the continually hot core problem.
 
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