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Fixing my AC


IIBRONCOS

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They are gone. The radiator was replaced a couple of years ago, but I don't know if the seals were there at that time.

I'm going to guess that getting the seals from Ford is not likely.
You don't need to get these from FORD. I had the old ones still on my original radiator. They just used square stock 1" x 1" x 17" long spongy soft foam strips. I used a spray glue to hold them on the front sides of the new radiator where the originals were to make a nice new seal to the condenser. Without them it would be hard for the fan to pull air through the condenser.
 


JerryC

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You don't need to get these from FORD. I had the old ones still on my original radiator. They just used square stock 1" x 1" x 17" long spongy soft foam strips. I used a spray glue to hold them on the front sides of the new radiator where the originals were to make a nice new seal to the condenser. Without them it would be hard for the fan to pull air through the condenser.
Thanks, I went and got some foam strips from the hardware store today. I hope to get them installed this week sometime.
 

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Installed the foam strips. First impression is that double the air is being pulled through the condenser.

Will it make a difference on a hot day? I don't know, I finished up after dark.

I taped the side foam strips to the condenser, the tanks on the radiator have strengthening ribs every inch or so and that would be a pain to get the foam on there nice. The condenser had nice flat runs to stick the foam to. The top piece I stuck to the radiator.

Nearly meaningless numbers. Garage 78 degrees, vent temp after 1 minute from startup 44 degrees. It got as low as 41 degrees but as the engine came up temp and the idle dropped to 900-1000 rpm the vent temp went back to 44 degrees.
 

wildbill23c

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The issue is the fan doesn't seem to have enough pulling power at idle. Even with the new fan clutch installed, damn thing is loud but doesn't seem to be pulling much at idle, engine temp climbs pretty high too.

I will try the foam tape too but like you it'll probably give the same results. How on earth did the AC work so well before LOL. Oh yeah, R12 worked better and ran at much lower pressures than the R134a.

How does your AC work out on the highway? Mine works awesome on the highway, I can run the fan speed on low once the cab cools down. Around town when moving its not bad at all but sit at idle for a few minutes and the vent temps start climbing pretty quick, start moving again and it cools right back down.
 
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JerryC

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The issue is the fan doesn't seem to have enough pulling power at idle. Even with the new fan clutch installed, damn thing is loud but doesn't seem to be pulling much at idle, engine temp climbs pretty high too.

I will try the foam tape too but like you it'll probably give the same results. How on earth did the AC work so well before LOL. Oh yeah, R12 worked better and ran at much lower pressures than the R134a.

How does your AC work out on the highway? Mine works awesome on the highway, I can run the fan speed on low once the cab cools down. Around town when moving its not bad at all but sit at idle for a few minutes and the vent temps start climbing pretty quick, start moving again and it cools right back down.
I wasn't having engine temp issues, but the radiator is pretty new, although only single row. Tonight the engine couldn't really warm up, I could tell by the gauge the t-stat was just barely opening. Full open is just under mid-gauge on mine and it was running at quarter. Even with AC going full blast so it was pulling hot air from the condenser through radiator. The foam trick seemed to help there.

My 86 we had back in the late 80's and early 90's was very "meh" as far AC went. We lived in the Phx area and it just didn't do a good job, but that's Phx... That was factory AC with R-12 in it. When we lived in TX it was "ok".

Mine doesn't seem to get any better over about 25 mph, that's pre-foam. But it's pretty good at 25mph. The other day I was driving around with the fan on the middle speed and it got down to 39 at the vent.

I'm ok with AC that is "ok", but I don't want super high pressures that are going to kill the compressor. It's cooling well enough for me, now I want the compressor and other parts to live a long time. Hopefully tomorrow it will be hot enough that I can tell if sealing up the air gaps helped or not.

Thanks to all of you guys helping me with this, I appreciate it.
 

wildbill23c

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Hmm, keep us posted on your findings, the pressures seemed a bit high on mine too but its working so I quit messing with it. R134A runs at a much higher pressure than R12, and right now its just too dang hot to mess with it anyhow. It works so I'm not going to fix what works. I'll try the foam tape though as soon as I have a day to work on it.

I was sitting in stop and go traffic yesterday and the temp gauge just kept climbing. This is with a 180 degree thermostat, so something isn't right.
 

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The weatherstripping is a success!
It didn't bring the idle vent temps to a miraculous low but it achieved the goal of stopping the high side pressures from rising non-stop when the engine is revved.

To recap, the high side pressures would climb if the engine was revved up while sitting in place. i revved the engine by pushing the throttle cable at the throttle body.

Today, 88 degrees out, 35 low side and 260 high side at a 900 rpm idle. Revving the engine raised the high side ~20 psi for a few seconds and then it came back down, hooray!

I can't say for sure that engine cooling is better. Here's what I have for anecdotal evidence, on a 95 degree day the temp gauge was dead on in the middle and today it was a couple needle widths lower.

It seems the AC works best when engine rpm is between 1500 and 2000. This is why in the highway vent air is actually a couple of degrees warmer than on city streets. I have 4:10 gears, 65mph is about 2600 rpm. Spinning the compressor faster is not better.
 

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Hmm, keep us posted on your findings, the pressures seemed a bit high on mine too but its working so I quit messing with it. R134A runs at a much higher pressure than R12, and right now its just too dang hot to mess with it anyhow. It works so I'm not going to fix what works. I'll try the foam tape though as soon as I have a day to work on it.

I was sitting in stop and go traffic yesterday and the temp gauge just kept climbing. This is with a 180 degree thermostat, so something isn't right.
I think it will help a good bit. For the cost ~$20 and couple hours of wrenching. why not? The only pain for me was draining the coolant, filtering (it always seems have crap fall into the pan) and refilling.
 

IIBRONCOS

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The weatherstripping is a success!
It didn't bring the idle vent temps to a miraculous low but it achieved the goal of stopping the high side pressures from rising non-stop when the engine is revved.

To recap, the high side pressures would climb if the engine was revved up while sitting in place. i revved the engine by pushing the throttle cable at the throttle body.

Today, 88 degrees out, 35 low side and 260 high side at a 900 rpm idle. Revving the engine raised the high side ~20 psi for a few seconds and then it came back down, hooray!

I can't say for sure that engine cooling is better. Here's what I have for anecdotal evidence, on a 95 degree day the temp gauge was dead on in the middle and today it was a couple needle widths lower.

It seems the AC works best when engine rpm is between 1500 and 2000. This is why in the highway vent air is actually a couple of degrees warmer than on city streets. I have 4:10 gears, 65mph is about 2600 rpm. Spinning the compressor faster is not better.
Glad to hear you have had positive results with the foam strips. Ford put em there for a good reason. I only noticed them because my B2 still had the original radiator in it. I would think any other air gaps between the radiator and condenser would be a good thing to fill in. I vac and charged mine when it was 105 degrees outside, and 1200-1500 rpm I was getting 40 degrees at the panel vent car not moving. If you at some point switch to Duracool you will notice lower overall system pressures.
 

wildbill23c

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I'll give it a try with the foam. There's a lot of air gap between the condenser and radiator without the foam, and the radiator I removed the foam wasn't on there either...course at that time the AC didn't work anyhow, but now that I have repaired the AC the air gaps definitely need addressed. Doesn't look like it will be too bad to do this job especially since the radiator isn't that hard to remove, and if I have someone help, I don't think I'll have to remove the radiator hoses, just push the radiator back out of the way enough to get the tape in there.

The AC vent temps on the highway are usually around 38-42 degrees. Around town they climb from 42-45 degrees, unless I'm sitting in traffic then they climb more but still not bad on a 29 year old truck LOL.

Its nice to have working AC in a 29 year old truck LOL, see so many running around in 100+ degree temps with no AC and I have already had a few ask if my AC works as my windows are up all the time....well no shit, you think I'd be driving around with the windows up when its 102 degrees LOL.
 

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I'll give it a try with the foam. There's a lot of air gap between the condenser and radiator without the foam, and the radiator I removed the foam wasn't on there either...course at that time the AC didn't work anyhow, but now that I have repaired the AC the air gaps definitely need addressed. Doesn't look like it will be too bad to do this job especially since the radiator isn't that hard to remove, and if I have someone help, I don't think I'll have to remove the radiator hoses, just push the radiator back out of the way enough to get the tape in there.
I thought the same thing, but since I did it by myself I just pulled the radiator. The foam strip I bought is compressed down to like 3/8" and when unpacked it expands to an inch. If I could have wrangled it in there before it expanded I could have done it with radiator in place. But dang that stuff expanded pretty quick.

The AC vent temps on the highway are usually around 38-42 degrees. Around town they climb from 42-45 degrees, unless I'm sitting in traffic then they climb more but still not bad on a 29 year old truck LOL.
That's far better than I am getting. Even so, it was 84 today when I took the wife out for dinner and it froze her out. :) The fan was on the lowest speed and she had the vent pointed at me.

Its nice to have working AC in a 29 year old truck LOL, see so many running around in 100+ degree temps with no AC and I have already had a few ask if my AC works as my windows are up all the time....well no shit, you think I'd be driving around with the windows up when its 102 degrees LOL.
it sure is nice, I thought my BII would never have AC. With AC and the weatherstripping around the back hatch it's like a different vehicle, cool and quiet-ish.
 

wildbill23c

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It was about 93 degrees when I left work this afternoon and you could tell it was cooler today the AC cooled down the interior a lot faster. I had 38 degrees at the center vent on low.

Going to try to tackle the foam when I get a chance.

Also decided to spray down the B2 the other day and found I have a leak in the windshield so I gotta get that fixed. Sure glad I found it though before it had a chance to damage anything. I have been hearing a whistling but couldn't really track it down, just thought it was the passenger side vent window since it seems to have separated from the black trim around the one side slightly, nope its the windshield LOL. Gotta get both issues fixed though before winter.

Everything for the AC was already there in this bronco 2, my 84 B2 the whole system had been hacked out so it would have taken a lot of work to replace everything in it, and with the issues it had it wasn't sensible to even bother. My 88 B2 is in far better shape and totally worth doing the work to...and the learning experience on top of that.
 

IIBRONCOS

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For anyone interested here is a picture of the original radiator out of my B2 showing what is left of the original black foam strips I discovered when I removed it for a new one. I have since put a few small pieces of foam in the upper 2 corners at the top of the foam strips on the radiator to condenser. The more the fan can pull through the condenser the better cooling and lower pressures for the A/C system. For those with an automatic trans with the factory trans cooler the more heat is pulled out of the cooler.
 

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JerryC

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For anyone interested here is a picture of the original radiator out of my B2 showing what is left of the original black foam strips I discovered when I removed it for a new one. I have since put a few small pieces of foam in the upper 2 corners at the top of the foam strips on the radiator to condenser. The more the fan can pull through the condenser the better cooling and lower pressures for the A/C system. For those with an automatic trans with the factory trans cooler the more heat is pulled out of the cooler.
Thanks! Is there seal across the top too? I can't tell from the picture. I put a seal across the top of the rad.
 

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It was about 93 degrees when I left work this afternoon and you could tell it was cooler today the AC cooled down the interior a lot faster. I had 38 degrees at the center vent on low.
Any concerns that it might freeze up when the temp drops?
 

IIBRONCOS

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Thanks! Is there seal across the top too? I can't tell from the picture. I put a seal across the top of the rad.
There is a factory rubber seal that pushes onto the top of the radiator and buts up against the front support to seal the top.
I have it on the new radiator in the B2. I can get a picture of it if you like. Looking at the end of it is kind of like 2 U 's together. UU
It just easily pulls off.
 

JerryC

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There is a factory rubber seal that pushes onto the top of the radiator and buts up against the front support to seal the top.
I have it on the new radiator in the B2. I can get a picture of it if you like. Looking at the end of it is kind of like 2 U 's together. UU
It just easily pulls off.
Thanks, you moved it over from the old rad or it came on the new one?
 

IIBRONCOS

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Thanks, you moved it over from the old rad or it came on the new one?
It was on the old radiator and I moved it over to the new one.
It is a semi rigid rubber seal.
 

wildbill23c

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You would think the replacement radiators would come with that foam as well LOL. Going to try and tackle that foam install ASAP, as well as find something to go across the top as well.

Not only do I have the automatic transmission with the cooler in the radiator, I also have an auxiliary cooler mounted in front of the condenser so that adds a bit of heat in the mix too.

I still think an electric fan is a great way to go. Seems the new fan clutch loves to be engaged most of the time until I hit the highway for a while then it finally calms itself down, but it robs a significant amount of power and uses more fuel.
 

IIBRONCOS

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You would think the replacement radiators would come with that foam as well LOL. Going to try and tackle that foam install ASAP, as well as find something to go across the top as well.

Not only do I have the automatic transmission with the cooler in the radiator, I also have an auxiliary cooler mounted in front of the condenser so that adds a bit of heat in the mix too.

I still think an electric fan is a great way to go. Seems the new fan clutch loves to be engaged most of the time until I hit the highway for a while then it finally calms itself down, but it robs a significant amount of power and uses more fuel.
You would think the aftermarket would sell an A/C equipped radiator with the strips installed, or throw them in the box.
Once you get the radiator to condenser sealed up you can put a couple fingers behind your auxiliary trans cooler and feel the heat being pulled out of it. So far I really like the full size flex fan. It is always on at low rpm when you need it and automatically off at the higher rpm's when you don't. It also moves a lot of air at idle. For reference I will post a picture of the factory top rubber seal on my radiator, in a day or 2.
 
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