9:30am - 5:30pm EST

Blog posts of '2018' 'January'

What's the difference between the upgrade kits, and which one should I consider buying?

This is a common question that comes up when looking to troubleshoot your AC system and understanding which kit makes sense to solve your problem.  Tim took some time to explain the different kits and considerations when making your decision.  Check out the video below and learn how a kit can make a difference in performance and reliability.

Hey everyone, today I'm here with Tim with Classic Auto Air's Original Air and we're talking about upgrade kits so Tim tell me a little bit about the different upgrade kits and what I would normally get, so for example a stage one kit? Our stage one kit comes with the compressor, compressor mount, both of the hoses that connect to the compressor and the filter dryer or equivalent grade. And a stage two kit? Stage two kit would get everything in the stage one kit, plus the condenser and liquid lines. All right, and then I'm guessing everything is in a Stage Three kit? Yes, you get everything that's in the stage two kit, plus the evaporator and valves.

So Tim, tell me a little bit about these compressor upgrade kits. Why is this a performance upgrade? The main reason is that it's going to draw significantly less horsepower, two to four horsepower as opposed to the 15 to 20 horsepower that the original compressors drew. Great, I always like performance so anything else about it? Well, you can run them up high, high rpms about 6,000 rpms while the air conditioning is running, it's gonna turn the air conditioning off while you're maxing out. Awesome, what about reliability? There's next to nothing that's more reliable. The original compressors were plagued by shaft seal leaks, causing all the other problems associated with it. This is very nearly a bulletproof ompressor. So these condenser upgrades, what are the benefits of the condenser that comes with this kit? Well, most cars came with a tube and fin style condenser. They were great or the original R12 type systems but almost nobody uses R12 anymore. So what the new car manufacturers do is they go with a parallel flow condenser like this. They're all coming with 134a and this will actually make up the difference. In these original cars that we're dealing with, the 25 to 40% of efficiency loss, this condenser alone will make up that difference.

Great, and do I need to modify or do anything for this? Nope, just bolt in and install it just like the original. So on stage three kits that includes everything, a little bit more of an investment but why should I consider investing at Stage Three? Well, there's a number of reasons. The first is that you're gonna basically solve the majority of the problems that you're running into. An old air conditioning system that we're dealing with compressor failure, this is gonna solve it. Potential valve problems, this is going to solve it. All of the normal things that are going to happen over the course of the years these cars are out on the road, this will solve. It'll also eliminate every trace of contamination, and contamination by far is the number one cause of any component failure in the air-conditioning system.

When you're saying contamination, that's like going from an R12 to a 134a? No, it means oil, traces of a passed failed compressor or anything. Because it's contaminations like fragments that are going circulating through this system that get in the compressor and cause your valve reads to get damaged your compressor would even lock up and then once that compressor locks up, it starts to spread things out throughout the system. The dryer or the equivalent is designed to just help filter out some of that, but it's not going to filter out all of it and then your oil degrades. So for example, if you bought a compressor upgrade, stage 1 kit, you still need to make sure that anything you're reusing, the evaporator, the liquid line, the condenser, anything else that's in the system is clean and free of contaminations or you'll be replacing a compressor once again. Same thing even a stage 2 kit, the evaporator can still have contamination. So you get all this you spend $800 or whatever the kit costs, and your kit your air conditioning doesn't work and we find out well that the evaporator wasn't flushed out properly and now you have a seized compressor because the contamination from that compressor goes straight from the evaporator, through this suction hose into the compressor. You have a failed or contaminated compressor that's not pumping or sucking properly and you're calling us and saying, "My AC compressor doesn't work right", and it's because you had contamination in the evaporator. Besides that is the time down, additional parts I'd have to buy, all these things that I just spent initially and got the upgrade kit, the stage 3, because I felt like my system had been upgraded anyway or I've chased a lot of issues, this could probably solve majority of my issues, especially if I'm going r12 to 134a? It'll solve all of your conversion issues and essentially this is a conversion from r12 to 134a because there's nothing else in the system that will be affected by that, but it will save you the time too that you're not gonna have you playing the part of the mechanic who thinks that you have a bad suction valve, changes the valve, the system gets recharged and still not working and then you find out no it's this valve or that the compressor wasn't functioning properly, whatever the case may be. In one fell swoop, you have basically everything that holds refrigerant in your system replaced solving a good 90% of the problems, if not all of them.

Well if you have classic car and it's got the factory a/c system and are looking for reliability and you are looking for dependability, maybe some performance gains, that it just kind of makes sense to consider looking at one of these upgrade kits.