Converting from RV-2 to Sanden

live4theking

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This is essential the account of how I converted my 68 New Yorker from the factory installed RV-2 compressor to a more modern Sanden 508 compressor. This information can be dredged up throughout here, but I thought it would be nice to have it in one place. Honestly, when I bought the car I had no intention of fixing the AC at all. Last fall the bearing in the clutch went which ended up shelling the compress. The scarcity of clutches and the expense of clutch / compressors had me scratching my head.

When some of the guys began to talk about the process to convert to a Sanden I started to look into it. Here's the thread that got it all started. Many thanks go out to John (Big_John), Dave (70bigblockdodge). Brian (thrashingcows), 66Newyorker and others that have been down this road previously.

Anyway here are the different components that I purchased to make this happen.

Compressor Sanden 508 from Ebay Jamcoparts - Auction link

Compressor Brackets - There's a couple of options. BPE Be sure to get the correct one - AMHIK The kit comes with a bunch of washers to use as shims to make up with Chryslers sloppy tolerances where the main bolt goes through the bracket and the power steering bracket.

BPE4700 1967 and up Cast Iron Water Pump Housing
BPE4705 Bracket Kit Fits B/RB Engines With NON-A/C Pulleys & Brackets W/O Power Steering
BPE4710 Bracket Kit Fits B/RB With Factory A/C Brackets & Pulleys with Early Cast Iron & MOST Aluminum Water Pump Housing

Condenser (16x24) & Drier
from ClimaParts - Auction Link
I bought this because it was the largest condenser that I could find. If I were to do it again I wouldn't buy this one. I think I saw one that was 18 x 22. In my opinion it will fit better. It may also make it a little easier to install the lower line that runs to the drier. The factory condenser has the bottom passenger corner cut out for clearance. Any of the newer style condensers have both the input and the output on the same side. This will require some replumbing.

AC Expansion Valve - After purchasing the wrong one I did a bunch of research on Four Seasons website to try to determine which expansion valve would work, catalog. I believe the ones listed below will work, but I encourage you to check for yourself.

Four Seasons 38806 I bought this one from Rock Auto
IMG_6803.JPG

Four Seasons 39013 According to the specs this one should work too.
Four Seasons 38616 I ordered this one twice through the local parts house what came didn't look like the picture nor did it have the right type or size ends.

Hoses and fittings - I took Big_John's advice and got a hold of Mr. FOMOCO (John Kulak). We talked through what I would need. I paid him via Paypal and had the parts 2 days later - TX to PA - not bad if I say so. He's a great old school guy that is very happy to help. I ordered both a straight and a 90° of the #12 O-ring to #10 Hose just because I wasn't sure which one I would use. He ships the fittings with the needed o-rings and a few extras to boot. you can also get the needed Prestite Tape for sealing the expansion valve capillary tube to the suction line from John.

AC Fittings.jpg


If you would like to crimp your own lines you could always purchase the Mastercool (71550) Black Manual A/C Hose Crimper. I got a hold of a shop that often deals with big trucks. They crimped the four hoses for $20, I was pleased with that.

Getting it done.
Obviously before you can put the new stuff on you need to remove the old. I found it helpful to remove the battery and tray to grant easier access to the lowest bolt for the condenser on the driver's side and the line that goes from the compressor to the condenser. Some of these old fitting can be a bear to get a part so I soaked everything ahead of time.

I flushed the evaporator core out following Dave's (70bigblockdodge) recommendation of first spraying brake cleaner into the core then pushing it through with compressed air. Then I ran 32oz. of denatured alcohol through pushed by compressed air also. My goodness the brake cleaner was nasty when it came out. The denatured alcohol came out clear in the end.

I slipped an old piece of garden hose on the side of the evaporator that the expansive valve attaches too then on the suction side I found that a piece of 3/8" fuel line was a nice fit that I could then put the air nozzle into. Crude but effective.
IMG_6800.JPG


The old expansion valve gave a new definition to being difficult. I tried to heat it some, but the insulation between the heater box and the firewall would give off a little smoke with the least little bit of heat. I tried soaking it more. I bought some "freeze" penetrating oil - it didn't want to budge. Finally I threw caution to the wind and grab the sawsall. I cut the valve off leaving just the hex that is closest to the nut that screws it on to the evaporator. This allowed me to put an electric impact on it. Backed up by a 7/8" wrench and running the impact gentle I was able to back it out. The local AC repair place said they see a lot of evaporators being ruined and replaced because of not being able to get the expansion valve out.

The new expansion valve went in fine. I put a wee little bit of grease on the threads to help it thread in easily. Once in then I had the quandary of what to use to seal the capillary tube to the suction line with. Big_John dredged up a couple of options, but my impatience's would wait for something to be shipped in because none of the locals had anything. I remembered that we had this stuff laying around the shop with more than 10 years worth of dust on so I figured I would give it a try. Will (bluefury361) stated that he wrapped the capillary tube around the suction line on one of his cars. So, I did this too since I would be able to insert several inches of it nor lay several inches of it along the short fitting.

I reused the hard line that goes through the radiator support from the condenser to the drier and the hard line that runs down the passenger fender. I glass beaded them at work and then clear coated them. Hopefully this will keep them looking decent for a while. The short one that goes through the radiator support I had to warm a little and tweak it so that I could get the new hose to line up and go on it.
IMG_6813.JPG


The new drier was slightly smaller so I wrapped it in some rubber wrap that I had to get it where the bracket would hold it snugly.

The condenser was fairly easy to deal with. I just had to make up some brackets to mount it up. You can see my comments about condenser selection. I fabricated some brackets from scrap I got at work. Anyone can do this all I had to work with was a 4" vise to make the brackets. I certainly don't have a bunch of metal working tools.
IMG_6751.JPG


As others warned me in regards to hoses make sure that you mark the orientation of the ends when you are laying out how they are going to run. There is no twisting the hose to get them one once crimped. It worked out pretty well for me; one hose had straights on both ends, two of the others had a 90° and a straight (no orientation concerns there either just install the 90° end first, the suction line from the evaporator to the compressor had to be carefully marked on both ends to get the orientation right. I slide the fitting onto the line and then wrapped behind the line with masking tape. Installed one end of the line then did the same on the other end. While installed I marked both the fitting and the line (on the tape). I then unscrewed the fittings and left them on the hose so that I could crimp on the opposite ends.

Installing the new compressor with the BPE bracket is a bit of a pain. I got some 3/16" and 1/4" scrap from work to make thicker shims with. It's a pain to get multiple washers in there as shims. They listed a range that the boss on the water pump housings were made to. Of course mine was as small as could be. I used 2 1/4" shims to fill the void. I painted them black to help them blend in. I bought the wrong one. make sure you know which water pump housing you have. I didn't read the ad closely enough, duh on me.

shims.jpg


When you install the compressor you'll have to either make a new throttle return spring bracket or tweak the factory one. I made a new one out of some more scrap. You'll need to make it with less angle and about 3/4" taller if your car was a factory AC car. this will make up for the bracket originally being mounted on top of the compressor bracket. You may also need to get a few shorter bolts for your intake manifold. The new less angled bracket will cause you return springs to not have as much tension on them. You may want to shorten them up a little bit. I like a firm pedal.

When I stand back and look at it I think that it turned out well. The only thing that I don't like the appearance of is the 90° fittings coming out of the compressor. I don't know how anything could've been done differently there though.

Here are some completed pictures. I'll take a few more later on.
IMG_6816.JPG
IMG_6809.JPG
 

live4theking

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Nice job!!
Thanks Ross.
That was extremely helpful. Wish we could pin this post
Thanks Bob, that's a compliment of the highest order.

Here's some more completed pictures.
IMG_6833.JPG

Here's the wrap I used on the expansion valve. It is intended for use on overhead or underground wires, but it looked very similar and had a consistency that reminded me of what was described by others.
IMG_6832.JPG

This is the one thing I'm not completely thrilled with. It just isn't as clean to me as the rest of it.
IMG_6834.JPG
This worked out well mounting the hose where the metal line was mounted. I went to Home Depot and got a 1" conduit clamp because the factory one was too small.
 

traintech55

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Great looking job and thank you for making this thread. You ever consider getting a job with Chrysler as an engineer?
 

Samplingman

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Nice work, and thanks for the step by step. Can you give us an idea on the total cost for the conversion?
 

Polara_500

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Nice work, and thanks for the step by step. Can you give us an idea on the total cost for the conversion?
You are asking him to quantify the $ spent and publish it in a public forum where his wife can see??? C'mon man!!:rofl:
 

live4theking

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Very nice job.
Thanks
Good job! As long as it blows nice cold air it's a win! :thumbsup::thumbsup:
Once she's charged up we'll know for sure.
Great looking job and thank you for making this thread. You ever consider getting a job with Chrysler as an engineer?
Ah, I'd be way out of my league. I must say though I'd try to design things so they could be worked on easier.
Nice work, and thanks for the step by step. Can you give us an idea on the total cost for the conversion?
Sure.
You are asking him to quantify the $ spent and publish it in a public forum where his wife can see??? C'mon man!!:rofl:
No worries...
These are rounded figures.
Condenser & Drier $60
Compressor $150
Compressor Bracket $100
Hose and fittings $90
Crimping of Hoses $20
Expansion Valve $20
Misc. Small items $25

There are the guys mentioned in the first post and others that came along side in the decision making process that get credit as well though. They gave guidance in what to buy where to buy. My desire is that this simplifies it for the next guy.
 

Samplingman

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Thanks

Once she's charged up we'll know for sure.

Ah, I'd be way out of my league. I must say though I'd try to design things so they could be worked on easier.

Sure.

No worries...
These are rounded figures.
Condenser & Drier $60
Compressor $150
Compressor Bracket $100
Hose and fittings $90
Crimping of Hoses $20
Expansion Valve $20
Misc. Small items $25

There are the guys mentioned in the first post and others that came along side in the decision making process that get credit as well though. They gave guidance in what to buy where to buy. My desire is that this simplifies it for the next guy.
Thank you, seems reasonable. I will probably go this route as well.
 

live4theking

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Thank you, seems reasonable. I will probably go this route as well.
When you figure the rebuilt RV-2's with a clutch are running around $350, then you have to tear it all down to replace o-rings, expansion valve, and drier. Then you might need to replace hoses as well. I don't know about the old style condensers, but somewhere online I read that the new style condensers are a bear to flush out.

I couldn't see the sense in spending the money and still having some doubts. I still have one doubt and that would be the condition of the evaporator core, but when I flushed it with the brake clean and denatured alcohol I didn't have anything leaking in the car.
 

Ross Wooldridge

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The tip about flushing stuff with brake clean and denatured alcohol is good. I will definitely be doing my original condensor and the hardlines that way.

Any thoughts as to whether it's worthwhile or adviseable to flush the rubber hoses that way?

What about the suction line with muffler (part rubber and metal) and the high pressure discharge line with muffler coming off the compressor?

My evaporator will be new so no worries there.

Thoughts?
 

live4theking

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The tip about flushing stuff with brake clean and denatured alcohol is good. I will definitely be doing my original condensor and the hardlines that way.

Any thoughts as to whether it's worthwhile or adviseable to flush the rubber hoses that way?

What about the suction line with muffler (part rubber and metal) and the high pressure discharge line with muffler coming off the compressor?

My evaporator will be new so no worries there.

Thoughts?
The brake clean and denatured alcohol is Dave's (70bigblockdodge) tip, not mine.
I have no comment about the rubber hoses, because I didn't reuse any of them - Dave would be the one to comment there.
The suctioin line you can take a part so you could clean the metal part easily enough. I have no idea what is in the muffler though - same goes with the high pressure line off of the compressor.
 

Ross Wooldridge

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Yeah - I was referring to Dave's tip (not discount your great tips and advice on this thread!)

I would be interested to know if there's anything inside those mufflers.
 

bluefury361

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The rubber hoses should not be used if converting to R-134. The Teflon lining within a rubber hose is the best method. Rubber hose will allow R134 to slowly leak down.
New hoses are not that expensive.
I used a complete underhood changeover kit, Sanden type compressor, mount brackets, two new pressure hoses, thermostat and expansion valve for $500.00. Basically a bolt on. A new receiver dryer and a flush of the condenser and evaporator, evacuate and charge. Somewhere there is a conversion chart for R-12 to R-134 by weight.
 

65sporty

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With the modern systems some condensers cant be flushed, the hose assembly's with a muffler get replaced. This is only with a catastrophic failure of the compressor. With the old systems most everything can be flushed, replace the expansion valve and receiver/drier always though.
They do make a actual flush for A/C systems but you need a flush gun to shoot into the system. I guess you could pour it in but the gun is easier.
 
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