Join Date: Jul 2016
DaveP is offline
Re: first gen AC help
I've had LOTS of 1st gen S-series. At least 12 of them. All have or had functioning A/C. I use stock radiators and engine-driven cooling fans. I never worry about heating up at idle or stop lights. These things can get to 230F at idle with no problem, as long as it comes back down when you begin moving again. The TBI 4.3 A/C clutch control system disengages the clutch with WOT throttle. So if you want the A/C to disengage, floor it. The CPI engines don't do this, they run the clutch as long as the cycling switch is calling for demand. The ECM does not control the clutch in the CPI; in the TBI it does.
My 91 ext cab DD has 335K miles on it. I've had it 20 years, and 220K of those miles are mine. Pretty much every one of them with the A/C on. The DD has the best A/C of any of them, except my 92 red/gry Typhoon was better. I never worry about heating-up, it's a CPI so I have power, and the system is still R-12. I've had to replace the compressor 3 times, but as much as I use it, 7 years from a $225 compressor is fine by me. There's a art to properly servicing and maintaining an A/C system, with leak detection and testing post-repairs being the key. If the system doesn't leak, it will provide maintaince-free service for years.
Electric fans are not necessary, and are not as efficient as the stock engine driven fan, as long as the fan clutch is operating correctly. And the power an e-fan uses DOES come from the engine. Through the alternator.