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Frigiking


tito559
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Hey folks! I currently have a Frigiking unit with working factory radio in my '69 1600 but not sure how well the A/C works, however the fan does turn on. My question is..are there any other options as far A/C's go because I personally find the unit rather ugly and would like to install a shift surround and console so I can place some guages and radio into it.

Also, what is the best way to check the health of the unit and to determine any ailments?

Are they worth any $ or trade value?

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gauges, but if you're going for authenticity, the Frigiking was what was available in 1969. Actually, if your Frigiking is all in the console area, and not the style with outlets filling the dashboard shelf (and the blower in the glovebox), your unit is from a later car, as the dashboard mount style was what was fitted in 1969.

As Creighton pointed out, A/C in a 1600 is even more of a power robber than it is in a 2002, and the results (i.e. cold air) isn't much either. You may be better off just removing it altogether and installing an OEM shorty console.

If you want to go with a Behr console unit, you can use it in conjunction with the Frigiking compressor, etc. Just get the wiring diagram for a Behr and wire it up accordingly. The Behr unit is wired so that you can't turn the heater blower on when the A/C is on; not so with the Frigiking.

Were it mine, I'd go with "6-55" A/C. That's 6 windows open, 55 mph.

cheers

mike

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1.6 ltr. or 2.0 ltr. = still doesn't matter

all the added weight, brackets, buzzing,

motor leak causing, wiring and hoses

running crazy all through the poor body,

ill fitting consols, added vibrations and noises,

sourcing aux cooling fan, more mounting foolishness....

Like Mike Said - open the window, DRIVE,

and enjoy reliable simplicity

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With all due respect to c.d., if you want working a/c in your 1600, and specifically want a different console (e.g., Behr) than the Frigiking, do it. I love having working a/c in my old cars. It dramatically increases how often I drive them, which in turn dramatically increases my enjoyment of them. And it's not like, in changing a console, you're doing something that's irreversible.

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What he said, there is no reason a system can't be installed professionally to eliminate the issues CD points out. If you live anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon it is a necessity if you drive your 02 year round. Living large with my Clardy!!

Earl

74 02Lux

02 M Roadster

72 Volvo 1800ES

With all due respect to c.d., if you want working a/c in your 1600, and specifically want a different console (e.g., Behr) than the Frigiking, do it. I love having working a/c in my old cars. It dramatically increases how often I drive them, which in turn dramatically increases my enjoyment of them. And it's not like, in changing a console, you're doing something that's irreversible.
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I have a Frigiking in my 73 and agree that it could be easier on the eyes. I've bought a few consoles in the past to swapped but always ended up selling it. I guess it has grown on me and everything works so I'm just going to stick with it. Plus I just go the shifter surround after years of searching!!!.

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Actually at this point, there is not alot of choice except used Frigiking, Behr and Clardy. I am biased towards Clardy. When I purchased and installed mine new in 1986, it was yards ahead of the Behr and Frigiking in my opinion. It was the only option that was supplied with a swash plate (Rotary) compressor, and a console that (once again my opinion) looked better in the 02 interior. If you can get the interior bits for a Clardy system and the compressor mount the rest of the bits are pretty much industry standard. Most of the used bits for the three brands occasionally pop on EBay.

Earl

74 02Lux

02 M Roadster

72 Volvo 1800ES

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Sorry, didn't see the second part of your question (how do you check the a/c).

It's rather a lot to bite off, but ultimately not beyond a DIY.

The main thing to realize is that if the a/c isn't working, it is virtually NEVER the case that "it just needs a recharge." Air conditioning systems are closed systems. They don't naturally leak (well, old 911s do, but that's another story). If there's no coolant, it's because it has leaked out, therefore something is leaking, therefore it doesn't "just need a recharge."

Basically, there are the two electric motors (evaporator console and condensor), the wiring and switches, the compressor, the ability of the system as a whole to hold pressure, and then, finally, the ability of the system as a whole to cool. If the a/c in the car hasn't worked in, oh, say, thirty years, odds are strong that there are multiple failures, and by the time you have a cold car, you'll have replaced the compressor, every hose, the receiver/dryer, and the expansion valve, and flushed the remaining components with mineral spirits.

But if you want somewhere to start...

If you turn on the dash switch for the a/c and you can verify that the fan inside the evaporator console and the fan in front of the radiator turn on, congrats -- both the electric motors and the wiring are basically functional.

Next, go to where the compressor is on the lower right side of the engine and find where the power wire runs into the compressor (it's usually attached via a spade connector). Disconnect the wire. Turn on the ignition (don't start the engine) and turn on the a/c switch so you hear the fans running. Reconnect the compressor wire. You should see it spark and hear a click as the compressor clutch engages. If it's not, perhaps there's not power there. Test it with a voltmeter. If there's no power, it's a wiring issue. You can run a wire to the battery and touch it to the compressor wire. If you still don't hear the compressor clutch engage, the clutch is bad. If it's the original York compressor, plan to throw the whole compressor in the garbage and buy one of the new rotary style compressors.

If the compressor clutch is engaging, the next thing to do is see if the system is leaking, and if not, check if it's actually pumping anything. For these things you really need a set of gauges and basic knowledge on how to read them. I like to pressurize the system with a tank of nitrogen and let it sit overnight. If it holds pressure, then you can move on, but if not, you're into the wonderful world of leak detection. A combination of UV dye and soapy water usually does the trick. A great site for all this is www.aircondition.com.

If you have to open the system up for any reason (and the odds are overwhelming that you will), you should replace the receiver/dryer. Then you start to slide down the slippery slope of whether or not to flush out every line and every component to clean the crap and old oil out of it. If you really want a cold car at the end, you're wise to do so. It's one of the few times that this Hack Mechanic "does it once, does it right."

Once it's all flushed out and leak-tested, then you fill it with the correct amount of new oil. Then you use a vacuum pump to pump the system down and boil off any moisture inside. Finally, you recharge it with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Oh, and as part of this rejuvenation process, you can choose whether to stick with R12 (Freon) or go with more ozone-friendly R134a.

Like I said, it's rather a lot to bite off. But at a minimum, you should be able to triage it yourself to judge whether you have a snowball's chance in hell. It'll either cost you $200 or $2000 to get the a/c working, but very likely nothing in between. And this may be the more salient issue than whether you prefer a Behr or Frigiking-style console...

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My Frigiking A/C sat unused in my '76 for like 11 years (was not opened up)...then this past summer I charge it with Freeze 12/oil (using the proper gauges), and although it wasn't ice cold it "did" work. My main complaint is finding the correct receiver drier to match the vintage 30+ yr old one in the car that I really should replace when I evacuate the system and recharge it properly. It's actually a very simple system...not rocket science. Just need the right tools and a little knowledge. But, let's face it...it's old technology...if you get a Frigiking to blow cold at all, feel blessed and move on. :-)

Any leads on where to find vintage-style receiver driers would be appreciated.

Nice write-up btw......

John

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