• Hint: Use a descriptive title for your new message
    If you're looking for help and want to draw people in who can assist you, use a descriptive subject title when posting your message. In other words, "1998 Town Car" isn't going to indicate to anybody that you need help. However, "Need help with my 1998 Town Car" will. Be as descriptive as you can. Please use common sense... This message can be closed by clicking the X in the top right corner.

83 Continental, AC/Heater/Defrost keeps switching back and forth all by itself. HELP

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
Hi all,
I finally got my antique plate 6 weeks later and decided to take my New (Old) car for a spin. Man, everywhere i stopped i got comments on how nice it is. :)

So, it seems i got all the bugs worked out but one. The AC system was bone dry, it took 1 big can and 2 small cans to fill it. The AC works great, BUT, as your driving along, you hear a hiss, then you can hear , the "Swing Gates" changing position under the dash and next thing you know HOT air is blowing out. And the next thing you know, you hear the Swing Door/Gate changes again and the air is coming out of the defrost vents. It cycles from AC to HOT air.
So, i turned the heater/cooler and fan to OFF position. Well it is Still blowing HOT air down on the floor. I had to ride 100 miles with the back windows down even though it was kind of chilly out.
A friend suggested there may be water in the AC system drier. OK i could maybe buy that, BUT, why or how would that cause the "Swing Gates" to change position? I assume this is operated via a vacuum system. Is there an actuator in there that may be faulty ?

Any help would be Greatly appreciated, thanks

ps: I still need a trunk lock cover/sleeve. I do have a couple of leads but they are all missing the spring.
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
Well comeon folks. 86 views and not even a guess ? The best guess i've gotten from my local mechanical friends is a slow leak in a the main vacuum hose, and on draw down it causes it to switch functions. AC to Heat to Defrost etc.. (i am not buying that either, but i will try and trace the main line)

PS: Shop manual is ordered, maybe i'll find a clue in there.
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
OK Guys/Gals, i never did find a hero in here to point me in the right direction. BUT, it did turn out to be a vacuum related issue. I thouhgt i'd include that here in case anybody else has a similar problem.

PS: now it appears like i need a garage to go with my "NEW" car. Damn trees keep spewing stuff on it. :)
______________________________
 

GBM

Member
64
10
8
What exactly did you do with regards to the refrigerant in your car ... that was ' bone dry ' ? I am concerned that you may have set yourself up for a shortened AC life and big expenses later.
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
After consulting a friend in the know, i probably did all the wrong things. I went to the parts store and bought a "small" can of new "replacement" refrigerant (with) oil. Well that did NOT fill it. So i bought another can (without oil). I added that, gauge still did NOT read full. I found the specs for a full recharge and discovered it "probably" required a BIG can to completely fill it, IF it was indeed bone dry. I forget now the specs, but it took damn near the full can to get gauge in the "full" zone.
My friend told me afterwards he had the vacuum tool thats required to pump the system down, which would have " boiled off" any moisture in the system. Well, by this point i had ??? 70$ worth of refrigerant in the vehicle.
But, the AC seems to be working fine.. Its just the mystery switching of positions that had me baffled.
 

GBM

Member
64
10
8
Well, good luck . Seriously. Usually without boiling off any excess moisture you can wind up with ice inside the system which can block either the TX Valve or the Orifice. If you start having problems hollar at me. You should read on the can and see if what you put in was a blend. and write down that info in your manual . If so...and it leaks... you will need to take all the stuff OUT and refill... as the ratio of that blend will change because the smaller molecules will leak out first.... the other bigger potential has to do with your compressor either wearing out prematurely or doing a ' black death ' and spreading burned oil and perhaps pieces of the compressor into the system..
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
wow, thanks for the input. I will consider draining out everything i added and doing a Mulligan. I am not driving the vehicle much, and its fall. I will refrain from using the AC at all for the time being.
(Still need a garage, i can't stand the thoughts of this car sitting ON dirt and under trees all winter) might have to break down and buy a tent garage and throw down some tarps. (and mothballs)
______________________________
 

GBM

Member
64
10
8
OK.. so it will all be together... after studying this for years... here is the over the top method ... designed to last seven to ten years with only a top off later in that cycle. And as cheap ... but not cheaper ... than possible. The Harbor Freight DUAL stage vacuum pump works just fine for this. Wait until it is on sale of course. ' capacity ' is not important in the same way you do not want to over AC a room in your house.. much of the AC importance is taking out the moisture from the air... if it cools and turns off too fast you will be cool but sweaty. ... . does not matter to you because you are not in the business and doing several ac pull downs per day...where time would be important. Buy or rent a Nitrogen bottle from the local welding supply. Nitrogen is ' DRY" and works at several levels for your purposes. First you are going pull the best vacuum you can .. meaning running the vacuum for several hours... .then tighten clamp off your vacuum but leave your gauges on... write down the exact figure they show. Leave it overnight. IF there is NO movement you half the way to checking to see if you have a leak... Then the Nitrogen is used in two ways at the same time... on House AC systems it is typical for pros to fill the system with Nitrogen and pull it back out completely three times in a row. This is because you can not wet flush a House AC system... so you are putting the completely dry Nitrogen in ... letting it sit some...and absorb water from the system... and taking it back out... Then ... you will fill your system with Nitrogen to a certain psi and LEAVE it overnight... So this is to check for a leak IN the working situation... with the seals at the joints under Pressure... not under vacuum... if that works overnight without any reduction in the psi... you should be good to fill it with either straight R134a or R12.. which ever it had in the system.... and for which is was made. You buy or rent a digital scale on which a 30 or so container can be set....and read down to the oz while slowly filling your system... the system will be running at high idle , windows OPEN, fan set on high. but later to check your AC output you do the same thing with the FAN SET ON LOW... so the air is in contact with the evaporator fins as long as possible. Take pains to clean those fins on that evaporator... as DOG hair and all sorts of things will really impede your AC output otherwise... You want close to freezing but NOT lower... lower will cause the moisture in the air to freeze on the evaporator FINS and stop up air flow completely.... You can read from the books how many oz's your system should require. but ac systems will work at several oz LESS than totally full just fine... but ONE oz OVER will work your system to death fast....as it is the difference between the high and low side pressures which is the basis for the ac working. So slowly add your refrigerant and do not go over. Keep reading your pencil thermometer which is sitting in your center vent off the dash. You may need to JUMP your compressor wiring to get it to take the refrigerant into the system even with you using a pressurized jug of R whatever... Put your refrigerant INTO THE LOW SIDE OF THE SYSTEM. and be SURE your hose is feeding off the top of your container.. thus taking removing vapor and NOT Liquid. If one knows what they are doing it is possible to put liquid in.. but if you put it into the wrong side it will FREEZE the valves on your compressor....and you will have to replace it....and start all over on this whole procedure. If working with a canister... not a problem.. but people using ' hand held cans' may turn them upside down and thus get LIQUID coming out.. Don't ask me how I learned some of these things back in the early 1970's. Two New compressors in a row ruined in the same day. Always wear goggles and a face mask and gloves when dealing with this stuff. Cleanliness is everything on this project. Clean from both sides both your radiator and your condensor fins. Always replace the receiver filter if you have one... ONLY open it at the exact minute you are about to install it into your system. They are cheap .. do not skip that step.. and they do go bad... they may have a bag inside which holds the silica jell... and after years of refrigerant flowing through it.. and constant vibration.. that can give way and put that trash it has caught and the silica jell into the system going to the TXvalve or orifice depending on your system.... If you take the system apart to flush any of the segments.. be sure to match up the color of your new seals AND the color of your lubricant. Depends on the refrigerant you are using . The lubricant is just the same oil you are using but in its thicker form. Flushing your entire system is the best way to start anew. but that is a huge hard job... unless you have the evaporator out anyway... and if you have one of the new condensors... they have tubes so small they can not be flushed.... So the question of how much oil you have IN the system...and whether it is too little , the right amount ... or too much.. which is just as bad... and will degrade your AC output... is very hard... almost impossible unless you take everything Apart... flush, and add the correct amount of oil as you start back together.... spreading the oil in several places around the system. Your automobile AC oil will be determined by the refrigerant in the system.... follow the factory recommendations to the letter no matter how much trouble in finding the right stuff....... Check your AC compressor if it has a place to flush and put new oil into it... and when about to run your HF vacuum... put brand new refrigerant oil into it just as you start the procedure and change it for each new running... any questions ? LOL
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
lol YES, do you live anywhere near Cabot/PA :cool:

#1 : Ok you sortof mentioned the nitrogen thing, but went off to Household AC. In my automobile, approximately what PSI would you recommend for the overnight leak test ?

#2 : I have been told you Can get o-ring kit for automotive application. Is this a relatively easy job? (assuming i have a pretty good leak) Beings my system was "bone Dry" and the car sat for a VERY long time, i think its safe to say it probably leaks.

#3 : Receiver Filter? Never heard of it. Where would this be located?

#4: AC Compressor oil flush fitting? I would "assume" it would be??? Where? On the bottom of the Compressor?

I am not, well Was not a big AC fan beings from Pennsylvania. But, i spent 7 years in Florida so i Became a Big Fan of AC while down there. I had a 1967 Firebird which was equipped with AC and to be honest rarely used it, but it did work just fine even though the car was 20 years old at the time. I guess my point is , i'd be happy with the car even if AC didn't work, BUT i do not want to ruin it. This car isn't really a good fit for me. I am an old Hillbilly type who just happens to like snazzy cars. I saw this one sitting and just had to "rescue" it. I suspect if somebody came along and offered me 10k for it, she'd be in somebody else's garage who maybe had the means to care for it properly.
I rarely go anywhere fancy , and it'd be a crying shame to put a bucket of minnies in the trunk and a canoe on the roof or load up the trunk with my tools and go on one of my "Community Service" house mechanic calls.
But i Value your input highly and really appreciate your time.
Thanks
~ Scott ~
 

GBM

Member
64
10
8
LOL
First while it is on my mind your system almost certainly was NOT Bone Dry OIL WISE . That would require too many things at the same time for all the oil to get out of the system. The oil POOLS in the low spots... multiple low spots... so even a leak AT an actual low spot which pushed oil out while the refrigerant left the system would still leave oil in the system. So without flushing your entire system and adding new measured oil into it ... you do not know how much is in the system. That is a bad and potentially expensive situation. The only way you can know how much and if your system has clean oil in it is to take the system apart, flush each part and put it back together and start the dehumidification process. Most people will not do that for various reasons. Nylog is the lube for the orings in your system... match the color using the ackits information to your refrigerant...
On the nitrogen. Just like in household systems... where I probably shared too much of the bigger picture.. or did not connect the analogy....Triple Nitrogen insertion and extraction is a good deal . Nitrogen is cheap and really dry. No matter which of the options you apply to your AC system triple nitrogen dehydration is a good deal since any water IN the SYSTEM mixes with the refrigerant and PRODUCES ACID... which typically attacks the metal parts... causing little flakes to come off and migrate to the TXvalve or Orifice.. the critical small points in any AC system.
Given the working pressures I think if you charge the system on both sides with 175 psi and it holds exactly all night you should be good as far as actual leaks.
The receiver dryer filter is replaced each time the system is opened up to replace anything OR you discover you have had a leak and need to service the system. I am mixing the wording on some of this to cover both old and new style systems... Txvalve and Orifice.... and I will provide a couple of reference places for you to read .
I do not know what particular ac compressor you have.... check your factory manual on that. ' flushing ' of a compressor is not the same as flushing the rest of the system.... for the compressor typically you only HAND turn it .. outside of the system.. and pour some of the same type of oil which your system uses...while the rest of the system can be flushed with flushes commercially available... AND pushed through using NITROGEN... then the ends protected while you flush the other items...
Here are a couple of places to read from.... well, the second had a hazard warning... so this is a good one for reference... When you find out what kind of system txvalve or orifice , what kind of refrigerant your system uses, and what exact compressor you have post that...
 

GBM

Member
64
10
8
The Nitrogen provides THREE different functions. You can use it to test the system in the pressurized condition so the orings are tested in the working condition. You can use it to help get the moisture out by putting it in... letting it sit a little while .. sucking it out...and doing that again... And you can use it to propel the Flush liquid out of the parts instead of compressed air since that would introduce moisture into that part.
______________________________
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
A little update for you guys. Yesterday my Lincoln stalled on me (in a VERY bad place). The upon restarting it was running Very rough and i could hardly get it home. Man i thought sure i was in for a BIG problem. Well, i couldn't even FIND the ECU,ICU, "computer brain" thinking maybe some moisture was involved. (why when i do a google search i can NEVER find the answer i do not know)
So i disconnected battery and did reset procedure. Low and behold it fired right up and runs like a top again. OK, thats great, BUT, what caused this potentially hazardous situation?
 

islandwoodsie

New member
28
7
3
Now my heater core exploded. Welcome to the wonderful world of Old Car ownership :) Looking for a 4 ' tall person who loves to crawl around under dashboards. Apply Within.
 

HTML

Top