Originally Posted by evilgidget
Ok, I've been given an ultimatum by the better 2/3rds of the household today. I have to get the airconditioning in the 33 regassed (from R12 to R134a) & working for the upcoming summer. Unfortunately that's easier said than done, and I need a bit of help.
The biggest problem is the fact that the car has been fitted with aftermarket "Kirby" airconditioning, with the condenser fitted in front of the already shaky stock radiator and using the pressure switch to override the titchy little stock radiator fan into running whenever the air is on. The obvious end result on a 35+ degree day is a car that you can't drive due to boiling either the engine or the occupants.
Now for the questions.
1. What can I do about the car overheating when I run the aircon. I know the stock rad is crap, so is there anything I can do to improve it?
2. Is there a way of possibly using a pair of 2-core condensers down in behind the unused front foglamp openings connected with a bit of air ductwork with a big-ass blower fan sucking through, then scrapping the one in front of the rad & fitting a big-ass blower fan in front of the rad to keep it cool? Do I stand a chance in getting this to work?
Any suggestions (practical/impractical/insulting or even unrelated) would be greatly appreciated.
Oh dear, the age old problem of 33's in hot climates. I have had two 33's with a/c in Australia a 1.7ie with the dealer fitted twin condensor setup and a Permanent 4 with factory a/c (also twin condensor)
Neither boiled- even in 40 degree days (the P4 with larger radiator didn't even seem to notice although performance dropped noticeably on hot days)
The 1.7ie had a factory sunroof which was most helpful and allowed a good flow of the small amount of cold air available to go past the occupants head before departing into the ozone layer.
If it is any consolation in my experience the non genuine units seem to actually cool better than the factory setup but: they also cause overheating problems.
R134a is less efficient than R12 and in a marginal system like the 33 and any changes to the system seem to be about as effective as rearranging the deckchairs on the titanic.
The only way I can think that you might be able to get the system working effectively is to increase the condensor and radiator area. One extreme method is to bolt in the Series 3 (16V) front end - Bonnet, grille, headlights and bumper which will give you space for a larger radiator, condensor and efficient fans in front of the existing radiator support.
The non genuine systems seem to work more efficiently assuming the car doesn't overheat so if it is in otherwise good condition maybe retaining it with a more efficient condensor location and size will solve the problem.
I did bolt a 1993 33 front end into a 1985 33 I used to race so I know it is possible but whether you can justify this level of modification is entirely questionable!