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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at replacing the OEM A/C system and using an orifice tube/accumulator instead of an aftermarket expansion valve/dryer setup.
Right now, the compressor isn't sounding very good and I want to keep a very cold A/C without spending $500 just for another compressor. As of last year, the center vent temps on full blast non-eco mode gives me 40 degrees which isn't bad for Houston summers. Getting an aftermarket compressor, at least in my experience, kills the A/C performance. If aftermarket parts gives me poor results, I will probably go this route.
Meanwhile, I will be getting a shot of PAG oil and try that first to see if it helps with the compressor noise. Might be all it needs...

Before the Insight, I daily drove a 1989 Civic. If anyone has driven one of these recently, more than likely the A/C was bad and mine was no exception. At first I tried all the new stock aftermarket parts. I got 6 months out of that compressor before the clutch bearing locked up. Turns out the TR-70 clones don't last long and I wasn't very pleased with its performance with the 134a conversion (70+ degrees idling, lucky if I got below 60 on the highway). Got a second expansion valve and replaced the TR-70 compressor with a TRS-090 compressor for reliability. Highway temps bottomed out at 52 degrees when it was 100 outside. I then swapped the expansion valve with a Motorcraft part that did not have the refrigerant bypass line (not sure why it was there, may have been an R12 thing...). This forced all refrigerant to run through the evaporator and I got some decent results for the first time (low temp switch tripped between 40-45 degrees, idle temps were still above 60). It still took a long time for temps to drop, so I deleted the expansion valve and installed an orifice tube.

That orifice tube was the best thing to ever happen with that car. The A/C would instantly get cold and I would consistently see 38-42 degree vent temps on the highway. Idle temps would hover around 55 which wasn't too bad. Unfortunatley, I had to let the car go before I could figure out how reliable the new setup was.
After doing that conversion, I started thinking that orifice tubes offer colder temps even if everything is aftermarket. I would like to try the same thing again on another vehicle to see if I get similar results.

Anybody have any thoughts on this?
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