GTV6 Tropic-Aire refill quantity

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Murray
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GTV6 Tropic-Aire refill quantity

Post by Murray » Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:02 pm

I'm about to get a tune-up done on my 1986 GTV6 AC with North American Tropic-Aire auxilliary system.Does anybody have a definative answer as to the quantity of R12 these systems require.I converted to R134 a few years ago but at the time did not replace the receiver/dryer.I'm going to do this now.At the time of the conversion my AC guy used enough R134 to get things running OK but I would like to do it correctly.I realize that once I have the correct number for R12 I must convert it to the equivalent weight for R134.
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AC Capacity

Post by Terry Johnston » Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:40 am

According to the AC article in the technical section the quantity is 38 ounces. I know th e134 is cheaper but the AC on the GTV6 is so weak I would go with freon. When I put a rotary compressor on my GTV6 I stuck with freon. Its still not great but adequate for temps below 90. I have added a fan to the front of the condensor but have not checked the improvement out yet as I am putting in a new water pump and am not done yet. I had 134 in my 164S but reconverted to freon when I put a newcompresor in. In San Francisco 134 was adequate but in Utah where summer temps of 95 or higher are the norm it was awful. Terry
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Post by Murray » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:24 pm

Thanks for the weight Terry.Yes I agree even when everything is working at its best the 134 can barely keep up at 80oF.I figure that all the glass on a GTV6 lots of air leaks and an older design AC system requires the higher efficency of R12 to be satisfactory.In Canada R12 is strictly Verbotten so I'm going to give E12 a try.It was discussed on the Alfabb and sounds like a good solution.I discussed it with my AC guy and he agrees that its worth a try.
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Post by MD » Wed Jun 08, 2005 1:57 pm

Murray I hate to pour cold water on your expectation from a mere gas change. In my opinion, you could use ammonia gas and it would still not make any difference.

There reason is that the evapourator unit is too small to create sufficient heat scrubbing from the cabin. The fans within the evap. unit are also in pull mode instead of a push mode and the air stream inside the unit is mostly using only a portion of the evap coil and so the scrubbing is compromised even more compounding the whole design problem. Let's face the reality, Alfa at this time just didn't really have a strong idea about how to do this nor the likely experience and so it is a foul up from the start and you are trying to build a good system on crappy principles to start with. Is it any wonder you are tearing your hair out?

What's the solution? I don't think you will like it but here it is. Basically it is a slash and burn.

You need to replace the entire heater / evapourator unit under the dash and install an aftermarket one with a better fan location and much bigger evap. coil surface area.

I live in the tropics with high temps and high humidity which is a real test of air conditioner performance. I have done this conversion and use 134A gas in conjunction with an evap. unit with a capacity enough to cool a minibus.

I can tell tell you it works so well it can freeze the balls off a brass monkey. Otherwise mate as they say in Oz, you're just pissin' in the wind.

So there you have it, worts and all.
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Post by Murray » Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:34 am

MD I agree with your approach and would probably do the same if I was fortunate enough to live in the tropics.I guess in N.A. Alfa went part way to resolving this by adding the "Tropic-Aire" system which comprises an addditional evaporator and fan which are mounted under the glove box.Did they do this down your way as well ?
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Post by Reale » Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:59 am

I just got done resurrecting the A/C on my 86 GTV6. I replaced the condenser with a parallel flow unit from www.ackits.com and put a new receiver-dryer on it. I am still using the York compressor, but have a Milano unit on the way. I charged the system with R134, and it seems to work as well as it ever did (which was not great, but ok). I have to agree that the design of the in-cabin units is crazy. The second circuit, in particular, is almost useless, due to the completely stupid routing of the hoses. They are nearly squashed shut in their trip to the side vents. I put a piece of SCAT hose on the left outlet of the aux. circuit, and use it to blow cold air directly under my shirt, or for the kids to point at themselves in the back seat. Now that I have figured out the mysteries of the A/C system, however, I am going to be on the lookout for a deal on a more modern under-dash unit. At a minimum, it will replace the aux circuit, and I will keep the in-dash portion for windshield defog only.
-Al
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Post by John in Denver » Sat Jun 11, 2005 10:34 am

AL: be sure to post all the details of the update when you do it as I (and probably many others) would want to follow suit.
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Post by MD » Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:26 pm

Hi Murray

In short, I don't believe the tropic air mods were ever imported to Oz. Could be wrong but never seen one.

If you are looking for a change over evap unit try Formula King rated at 18,000 BTu's. I recommend a parallel flow condensor as big as you can fit behind the grill. Seal the space between the radiator and the condensor so the only path for air is through the fins and not around them. Install an air con. fan as a pull fan in the engine bay and seal it up against the radiator using door sealing rubber. So now you have a fan forcing the air to suck through the radiator and condensor fins alone. Do the same for the electric engine fan so they both work in the same way.
Connect the air con. fan so that it is on constantly when the air con is on. If you don't like that, the fallback is to run the fan off the electric clutch circuit so it runs when the compressor is pumping. If you use 134a gas, you need new hoses and connections due to the higher pressures. The old hoses will work but you risk the system leaking sooner.
Suggest the use of a Sanden rotary compressor and eliminating the role of the York. (makes a good boat anchor)

Tried to post some specs and a photo of the Formula King unit but it was a foul up so I have given up.

I am sure you are a better navigator than me and you should be able to find it under Products at this link :
http://www.jayair.com.au/front.htm
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Tropic-aire repair

Post by Reale » Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:16 am

Hello-
here is a copy of the post I made to Alfa Digest about my A/C repair:

The "auxillary circuit," as I will call the under-glove-box unit, was
connected to the main circuit via an electric valve, under and next to
the coil. Powering up the aux. unit showed pitiful airflow, since the
output was forced through cheesy plastic hoses, squashed under the center
console, and back up to the side vent. Hardly anything came out of the
right vent.

I read about R134, and parallel flow condensers, and decided to replace
the serpentine unit with a parallel flow one. I picked a 12x22.5" one (68 dollars), which was a little wider than the stock unit. I got it from www.ACkits.com.
There is plenty of room ahead of the radiator for it. I was able to install it by tilting the radiator back, and removing the
airdam/spoiler. Removing the grill would have helped, but was
unnecessary. I needed to bend the stock condenser's top mount tabs to get it out, but this was no big deal, since it was going in the trash. The generic universal install kit that came with the condenser was more than adequate for installing it on the stock mount points.
I got a SCS/Frigette # 207-237 receiver dryer per Mike's A/C discussion on the old gtv6 website. I found a local A/C place with a binary switch (high and low pressure safety switch) that screwed right into it. I have a GREAT hose place in town: Charleston Rubber and Gasket, and they made me new hoses from the
receiver-dryer to the condenser, and from the compressor to the
condenser.

One problem I encountered was that the R-134 fitting provided in the conversion kit was too long. You have to screw the adapter fitting onto the old R12 port on the "low pressure" side. The threads are coated with loctite, so the install is permanent. Fortunately, I checked the clearance first. When installed, it would be too close to the distributor mount portion of the cylinder head to get the fill hose clipped in. So, I installed it, as
per the law, and then put an inline R-134 fill port in one of the return lines-in this case, the one right next to the receiver dryer. It
actually makes filling the system a LOT easier with the shorty hose the kit had. Since the return portion of the system is only pressurized to 40-50 psi, you can use hose clamps here. I realize that there might be leakage.
Finally, I filled the system with 3 cans of R-134/oil/magic leak
sealer, etc. The actual volume of R-134 was about 36oz. I know Mike used 38, but I only had 3 cans. My sight glass did not go clear, and my final pressure was 38 (should have been 40-45). I will consider putting another can in, but first I want to see if anything leaks. The A/C blew fairly cold-especially the aux circuit air.
As had been pointed out, though, the actual VOLUME of air moved is pretty lame. To help with this, I put a length of 3" SCAT hose on the left outlet of the
aux. blower, and use it to supply cold air to the backseat (kids), or to
tuck under my shirt for "up close and personal" cooling.

Anyway, that is my story. I am sure I monkeyed some of it up, but given
that I was doing this by the seat of my pants, it seemed to go pretty
well. I am planning a compressor upgrade, and am considering replacing
the aux. circuit with something more effective. For now, I am going to
try this out and see what happens.

-Al
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GTV6 A/C

Post by DP » Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:40 pm

So is there anyway to actually cool a GTV6 to modern A/C standards?
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Post by MD » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:48 am

Hi Don,

Well in my opinion the answer is no-unless the system undergoes a radical remake including hand made ducting under the dashboard. This means a custom install just for this car. The majority of the original bits if not useless, they are second rate and should be replaced anyhow.

Speaking of radical, if you dont use the back seats, you could help the system you have by getting a transparent air curtain installed behind the front seats from floor to turret to effectively reduce the air mass to have to cool to the front only .

They use this technique in vans to only cool the driver's area instead of the entire cargo as well.

Lagging the exhaust system will also help to reduce radiant heat into the cabin via the floor especially during stop start traffic when not much air moves under the body to reduce heat build up.
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Post by SamW » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:50 am

I have an '86 GTV6 with stock AC except for the Milano compressor, filled with Freon, I drove around Sunday in 96 degree weather here in the South East US and had no problem with the AC, kept me very cool, only had the fan on the lowest speed and not on recirculate. After the car sat in the sun a little, it took it a few minutes to cool the car down, but i had no complaints. From everything I have read on AC, stay away form R134 and find one of the R12 replacements.
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Re: GTV6 Tropic-Aire refill quantity

Post by Melvivio » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:39 pm

I want to try to rebuild the AC in my car. Its a bit difficult due to the newer engine. Does anyone have ever seen these conversions and have any idea what modifications (pictures of some sort) were done to make it work?

Everything is probably standard so need to get the dash apart, and Kevin already told me a thing or two on what some modifications might be. But more information is always welcome!
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