Air conditioner on 93 Subrua froze up

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by mojack, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. mojack

    mojack Member

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    Missouri
    Our Air conditioner froze up on us yesterday in our 93 Subaru. Just as its starting to get hot again. I thought the belt may be bad and it looked a little worn. I replaced the belt that drives the compressor when I turn on the switch for air it kills the engine. Can it be unfrozen or will the unit need to be replaced?
    Thanks for any help.

    Jack
     
  2. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    East Central Alabama
    Jack,

    If it's locked up hard enough to kill the engine when the compressor clutch is engaged, that compressor is (most likely) toast. Sounds like it may have run low on oil and the bearings locked up. Either buy a new one this season and waste (at least part of) the parts and labor warranty, or when too hot roll the windows down and wait till spring and use it as much as possible while the warranty is in effect. Or put a junk yard unit on and hope for the best.

    Good luck!
     

  3. mojack

    mojack Member

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    Missouri
    Thanks for the reply Dave,
    I called the garage yesterday and they said the same thing and it would cost anywhere from $600.-$1000 to fix.
    I guess we roll down the window.

    Thanks.
    Jack



     
  4. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Has any work been performed on the AC before the compressor locked up? If it had it could have been the cause but even if it hadn't you will still need a new compressor. Now for the bad news, your car being a 93 most probably had R-12 for a refrigerant. This is the expensive controlled freon. To repair your car you might have to have it retrofitted to R-134 which is the newer design gas. I'm not very familiar with Subarus but many retrofitted systems don't work with the same efficiency as they did with R-12. Check for a sticker under the hood and it should say what refrigerant it used, that year is right about the time many manufacturers started changing over.
     
  5. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    beeman, the reasone R-134a is less effeiceint is because of the design of the R-12 system.

    to make your Subaru(awesome cars) a "cool" car, you need to replace the Air compressor, put in about 6 drops of ether oil, flush lines/condenser evaporator, and new accumulator, also DON'T FORGET THE ORFICE TUBE, it's what makes the Refrigerant do it's job, when doing a RetroFit, there is various sizes of Orfices, obviously the R-12 orfice won't work very well with R-134, I belive that R-134 needs a SMALLER orfice tube, thus the smaller the tube, the higher system pressures because the compressor is trying to push the same amount of Air thru a smaller hole, use ester Oil, draw a vacuum to 20 hg's, add refigerant until the Manifold gauge set reads the right pressures.

    when Retrofiting a R-12 system, you may want to SLIGHTLY undercharge the system, since R-12 wasn't designed for the higer pressures of 134, it will be easier on your system, be sure NOT to overcharge.
     
  6. mojack

    mojack Member

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    Oilpatch,
    Thanks for the info. I will check around and see what a conditioner will sell for. Would it be safe to buy a used conditioner?
    This car has a few miles on it 176000 and I really don't want to spend much on it. I noticed today that the defroster also uses the conditioner.
    When I turn on the defroster the belt begins to make a squeal and smokes.
    I will need a defroster by winter for sure.

    Thanks again.
    Jack




     
  7. not stated

    not stated Guest

    If the car is old it will be an aftermarket addon unit if it is newer say mid 80 or newer it may be a factory install. Some parts suppliers sell rebuild kits for compressors and some compressors can be rebuilt. the bone yard is gonna be a crap shoot and unless the system is still under pressure i would consider it a core and rebuild it. My understanding is 134a is a direct replacement for 12 and only the oil needs changed. capacity will be diminished but any ac is better than an open window usually. I would not attempt to reinstall r-12. It is ilegal to vent r-12 to atmosphere so it really should be removed prior to opening the system if any pressure still exists. All ac systems need evacuated with a vacumn pump prior to adding new refrigerants. dry nitrogen is good as a pressure test to check for leaks.