Does anybody know if it uses R-12 or R-134a? I inherited the car from my father
and am finding the air conditioner shuts off from time to time... just blows
tepid air instead of cold. It doesn't matter whether it's set on AC or Max AC.
At least it's intermittent. I figure it just needs a charge.
I am not interested in a major rebuild at this time as it still works and I've
already spent a chunk of change getting the brake system squared away along with
a new radiator. Gotta let my wallet cool down a bit first....
'92 should have been R-12, but chances are good that it's been
converted. The hose fittings are NOT interchangeable, so it's really
difficult to install the incorrect type. The R12 low pressure port is a
threaded fitting, while the R-134a has a quick-connect fitting (look
There's a sticker under the hood that will tell you for sure. I think it'll
be 134a though. However, if it's cold sometimes, and not working at others,
I don't think the problem is low refrigerant.
Thanks to both of you who replied. What do you think it is? Just because I
don't want to pay now doesn't mean I'll defer it forever. I just have to let my
credit card cool down a bit. It already sounds like a hot engine pinging and
tinging after it's been shut off. <G>
I've spent more on repairs on this care than it's worth but the worth is
relative. It's worth more to me for the convenience of a second vehicle as well
as being from my dad than the hull value alone.
And there's something to be said for owning America's Least Stolen Car.
If the refrigerant level is low, the compressor usually will cycle on and
off more quickly than normal due to the low line pressure. Eventually, the
pressure drops low enough that the compressor won't come on at all. Check
to see how long the compressor is staying engaged, and how long between
engagements. That'll tell you a lot, actually.
As to what else will cause the problem, it could be a lot of things I guess.
It could even be a problem in the dash with a blend door or something.
FWIW, I think that 1992 was the first year of the computer controlled
transmission. They were really prone to failure for the first few years.
If it's pre-computer, you're ok tho.
I found the sticker under the hood which said it was R12. As for a conversion,
it wasn't done on my father's dime. He basically would ask a mechanic if a
problem was dangerous. If it was, he'd have it fixed. Otherwise it got
deferred. That's how I managed to spend so damned much whipping the wagon back
On the plus side, the body and interior look good, tires are good, and now I
have new plugs, wires, distributor cap, radiator, entire new brake system
including hoses, calipers, etc.... even the brake booster was replaced. I spent
a ton of money on it... more than the thing is worth if you look at KBB. OTOH,
it's my Lowesmobile and it's quite handy for me. I had considered getting a
used pickup but the wagon gets 30 mpg... what pickup does?
So the AC generally works but then it gets warm after a while. After everything
else I've put into it, I'm willing to pay for a small repair such as a recharge
but I'm not willing to do a complete new R134a system. Not right now, anyway.
So it's R12.
Yep, 1992 would be R-12. If it cools good for a while then stops, a couple of
can maybe save you big bucks. It sounds like the charge may be ok. The low side
pressure switch is a failure item on 90's Fords. It's screwed onto the
"can" or the hose leading away from it, a 2 wire connector. Replace it, it's
$10. You can unscrew the old one and install the new one without losing the
Then, look at the compressor clutch when the system quits, Is the outside part
the clutch spinning with the rest of it? Stick a broom handle down there and
clutch face inward. If it kicks in, the clutch gap is too wide (common on early
Tauri/Sables). There are shims.....well,... do what I mentioned then report back.
If it cools like you say, the R12 charge should be ok and there is another
Oh, I almost forgot, Is the radiator fan running with the AC on?? This is
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