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97 Tahoe condenser recommendations

n8in8or

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The A/C quit on the Tahoe. Luckily I had dye in the system from when I replaced the hose seals on the compressor earlier this year. Found the passenger side of the condenser is glowing green. I can get replacement condensers, but apparently most of them are a parallel flow design instead of the factory serpentine design and don’t fit the trucks quite right. You need different rubber blocks to make them fit and they are discontinued by GM. I found a set on eBay that will cost about $70 shipped. It looks like I can get a serpentine design condenser off of Rock Auto still for $70 I think it was. I understand that parallel flow cools better which would be nice in a big black box without rear air on a hot summer day, but is it worth the hassle and cost of conversion? Also, regardless of the condenser I go with, which orifice tube should I go with. BTW, yes I will be replacing the accumulator while I do this repair. Thanks in advance for any info.
 

FellowTraveler

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#5

n8in8or

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I would run the VOV, Variable Orifice Valve. Explained in depth here:

http://www.imcool.com/articles/aircondition/VOV1.htm

Note I have run into a few from the local ORiley's that were stuck closed.
Thank you for that link. That was really neat info. I think I’ll give a VOV a shot.

Here is a good light weight dual core condenser to replace that heavy unit you have now it uses two stacked GM styled condensers that were designed for dual HVAC optioned on later CHEVY/GMC GMT400.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MILITARY-T...174797?hash=item2f05e2394d:g:1b4AAOSwCmZZTCRX
That’s neat, thanks. I don’t really want to do that much adaptation right now though. My current system wasn’t bad, I just wanted to figure out if there were any upgrades that made sense to do based on cost and amount of adaptation.

I think I’m going to go with the newer parallel flow condenser and a VOV, this way I don’t need to have new lines made. I’ll wait to order the the saddles that you’re supposed to need for the condenser - I’ll see if I can fab something up myself.....for $70, I can buy a lot of material to make something custom. Maybe even make a mold for silicone? I’ll see what it looks like. Maybe I just need to add a layer to the existing mounts.

Thanks for the input!
 

Twisted Steel Performance

Formerly: sctrailrider
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#7
Here is a good light weight dual core condenser to replace that heavy unit you have now it uses two stacked GM styled condensers that were designed for dual HVAC optioned on later CHEVY/GMC GMT400.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MILITARY-T...174797?hash=item2f05e2394d:g:1b4AAOSwCmZZTCRX
Interesting, I wonder how this would be to adapt to our trucks... maybe as simple as a few brackets and having hoses made... I may look into this more, I will have my grill off later and do some figuring..
 

WarWagon

Well it hits on 7 of 8...
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#8
If @Twisted Steel Performance @n8in8or want to fab something up: get the oil coolers behind the condenser. The condenser operates at 160 degrees F max on a good 110 degree day at idle. (300 Psig ~160 degrees) Anything over that isn't condensing well. You will find with an IR gun that the oil coolers are heating the condenser up.

A thicker condenser isn't doing any good if the air going over it is hotter than the condenser from the oil coolers.
 

FellowTraveler

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#9
If @Twisted Steel Performance @n8in8or want to fab something up: get the oil coolers behind the condenser. The condenser operates at 160 degrees F max on a good 110 degree day at idle. (300 Psig ~160 degrees) Anything over that isn't condensing well. You will find with an IR gun that the oil coolers are heating the condenser up.

A thicker condenser isn't doing any good if the air going over it is hotter than the condenser from the oil coolers.
Consider mounting it on the roof w/SPAL fan (s) and scoop to force air through at speed.
 

n8in8or

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I got the new AC Delco condenser set in place. It sits in the old saddles, it’s just a matter of making it fit snug in them. It shouldn’t take much - I have a bunch of old rubber pieces lying around. A generous helping of RTV should help, too.

2196549C-1976-4C76-B313-BDDD4665DF6E.jpeg D0084076-3CDE-42A7-8F97-FB57E34248C1.jpeg C945D48B-64CC-420A-AEF4-F4C06582FC5E.jpeg 8C7883B8-89C9-4F38-B407-2F423D19E26A.jpeg

The fit up of the bottom line concerns me a little though. I’ll probably have to do some notching of the core support to make it reach. Kinda sucks for OEM stuff.

70247F15-4246-423B-8F10-1F767AFE56F2.jpeg

Oh and I may have found why the stock one failed.....the bolts were missing from the upper saddle retainers! So it’s been rattling around for who knows how long. That couldn’t have helped.

26DA6BAC-6534-4236-ADED-2B9261A8B57D.jpeg 4E3A105C-42DE-4BD4-96DB-5CA95745AC36.jpeg
 

FellowTraveler

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#12
I got the new AC Delco condenser set in place. It sits in the old saddles, it’s just a matter of making it fit snug in them. It shouldn’t take much - I have a bunch of old rubber pieces lying around. A generous helping of RTV should help, too.

View attachment 53066 View attachment 53067 View attachment 53068 View attachment 53069

The fit up of the bottom line concerns me a little though. I’ll probably have to do some notching of the core support to make it reach. Kinda sucks for OEM stuff.

View attachment 53070

Oh and I may have found why the stock one failed.....the bolts were missing from the upper saddle retainers! So it’s been rattling around for who knows how long. That couldn’t have helped.

View attachment 53064 View attachment 53065
That road salt up in your AO surely does not help matters.........
 

n8in8or

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Well 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

First I made new condenser mounts last night. I dumped out my box of rubber pieces-parts I keep just for occasions like this and found that the factory mounts were actually my best starting point. I took a Ford radiator mount and cut it up to supplement the factory mounts. I used contact cement to adhere the rubber together and then used RTV to finalize the parts. This is how they turned out along with remnants of the cushion I sacrificed as well as one that is still whole:

C48C975E-B4BB-4BC0-8EF2-6A141D76EA1E.jpeg

Not show quality by any means, but they worked. And here are the glue and RTV I used:

0CCA5305-1C83-409D-A8A8-1A7AE6D25AF6.jpeg

Here they are installed:

A4286751-F939-499E-892B-3F9A75AE40ED.jpeg 5681AEE7-A211-4833-B93E-40AAB1D70478.jpeg FC5C1F04-9BED-4DA3-8365-7B3A12F64630.jpeg 50B212F3-B62F-4DEC-AA5B-9B7C9AFFF1A3.jpeg 37A6F0D3-661A-4A84-95E6-FA42975DA1E3.jpeg

So that was good. I also found that the lower tube was just bent a little and that’s why those didn’t line up, so I bent it back slightly and then it lined up......but then the problems began. I tried to install the new orifice tube and it was WAY short of going in as far as it needed - like well over an inch away from being home. The old one was better, but still not great. I tried and tried....massaging parts, trying to get them to go, but still no dice. I finally got it in further, but still a ways to go, but when I went to remove it, it came apart!! So back to the store I went. I have a new AC Delco condenser coming as well as a 4 Seasons condenser.....I’ll take whichever one the new orifice tube they ordered me slides into. This is dumb.


Here are some orifice tube pics. Here’s the old fixed tube on the left next to the variable orifice valve on the right:

C5275E91-39BC-46D5-8AE3-0F7F4AB3C6C3.jpeg

This is weird, it looks like there’s lint on the original tube!?

DEB06459-5C74-434F-85F7-2FD258D1ABDE.jpeg 5D39916D-D774-4B00-BE68-C9C7DCCF2BCF.jpeg
 

WarWagon

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#17
Remove 1 of the 2 orings on the VOV, in fact, remove both orings and use a oring off a GM orface tube. Instructions in some boxes mention this for tight fits.

X2 @THEFERMANATOR The correct ones looks like this: Well the colors anyway nevermind it's the exploded view of the 105+ degree unit. The colors matter.

http://www.thetruckstop.us/forum/threads/1992-6-5td-rescue.44332/page-6#post-537194

Lint? Cut the accumulator open and see if the screen in it has anything in it. It should be clear unless the dryer bag is coming apart. Only other place that can come from is the compressor esp. if that model has Teflon rings. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

n8in8or

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Ok, I’ll look into that, but so far a couple catalogs are telling me the 4 Seasons part number 38903 is the correct tube for my application (no rear AC, below 105 degrees). If anyone has any part numbers they could share that would be helpful. Also, when mine came apart, there weren’t any brass bits inside, it was all plastic. What brand was yours @WarWagon ?

I do need to say though that the factory orifice tube that came out of the old condenser wouldn’t fit in the new condenser either, so there was definitely a problem with that new condenser. It didn’t even have a chance to get to the o-rings for them to be the problem.
 

WarWagon

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#19
IMO its all one factory and relabel to customer spec. Murry is what the local store carries. RA should have them.

Got a picture of when it came apart?

Might measure the diameter of a GM tube and the VOV before assembly. The VOV should be black and white. I think a red dot indicates 105+ units.

When you charge the system watch both guages as I have had a few stuck closed out of the box as the project thread details.
 

n8in8or

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Here are some pics.

Exploded view:

2A01468E-D8D6-40A9-A9B8-2196E0A1093D.jpeg

Diameter of the orifice tube that came out of the truck:

DFEFB5E4-E2FE-4D01-9C14-F59B9EFDB799.jpeg 02451A55-E994-4091-B45D-C44302F7FC00.jpeg


Diameter of the VOV. Note that it’s a little larger in one orientation than the other. So this is why I was having more trouble getting the new tube in the condenser than the old tube, but still, the old one would not go in the new condenser all the way either.

32456DFB-4B48-49ED-9BBA-B5540141C17E.jpeg A23BD54A-9868-40F9-9854-9935B18DC801.jpeg 05A3D2C7-40FA-476E-9080-DEDD03B0E0CA.jpeg A9A9B89E-FF55-4207-AE00-5DFB56AAB381.jpeg 028809B5-8419-4CE0-AF2F-CED690D545FE.jpeg


The VOV slips in the old condenser just fine.

9B1C77A8-92EB-469F-BEF2-EF087310CBEF.jpeg

This is all the further it will go in the new condenser. Bad condenser.

C6567B10-EBD5-4E2B-B5A4-7C2C9AA5D06D.jpeg
 
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