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:drool:I am looking at closing the deal on a low mileage 1990 Esprit. Since I live in Phoenix AC is a must. How well does the AC work in this model and is there any way of improving it if it is insufficient? I have heard it is not so great above 90 degrees.
 

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If it is in good working order and the condenser and evaporator are clean, they are actually pretty good. That system should be R12 and for best performance it should be kept that way. If it's been converted to R134-a, it will never be great.

The chargecooler condenser and ac condenser are combined as one unit even though they function as separate units. The fins tend to get clogged with debris limiting airflow and the ac system suffers more as it is behind the chargecooler condenser. To completely clean out the debris along with the radiator which is behind those two, you have to completely drop the radiator duct assembly from underneath the car. It is a bugger of a job to do but should be done every 2-3 years although most people neglect it until the engine starts overheating due to lack of air flow.

A new higher efficiency parallel flow condenser as big as will fit in the space would probably improve the cooling as well although you'd need to re-configure a chargecooler condenser and re-plumb everything so not a simple upgrade.

Hope that helps,
Jim
 

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With those oven toaster temps you get in Pheonix, the big green house windshield your A/C will be hard pressed. As the previous gent said, if it's clean and freshly charged it may work for a little while. Problem is there's no telling how much crud has accumulated in the system and short of dreaded radiator drop there's no way to tell.
Plan on doing your drives in the evenings during the summer months and good luck.
 

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Lol! I always love these responses! A well cleaned and working system will perform pretty well. If you can have a local tint shop tint the inside of your windscreen it will help trememndously. I know lot's of states don't allow that however. In all honesty though, you can expect reasonable performance from a well working system, but don't bet the house on it. I have yet to see an Esprit, granted I have only experienced about a dozen, with AC even the 2 V8's I have ridden in that perform on par with that of any of my other vehicles. My RX7 freezes me out after about 10 minutes on high, same with my Z and Escalade. Unfortunately, my AC in the Esprit cools well enough to make a drive in 100+ temps in KC with 100% humidity tolerable. Meaning I am not sweltering to death, but my back is sweaty on the seat. My knee however is very comfortable!
Artie
 

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When our '88's A/C is topped up with R-12, we suffer from "Freezing Knee Syndrome".



That's where the cold A/C from the dash vent blows on your right knee. (Later Esprits moved the vent up, into the instrument bin)

Anyway, your knee then begins to shiver, then shake, then it UNCONTROLLABLY presses the accelerator to the floor, then the driver breaks out into a s**t-eating GRIN... the speedometer needle bends.... Oh My.





(Sorry, I got carried away...) :crazyeyes

rotfl
 

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So....if I charge the a/c will you buy my car mr Jay?
You're really missing out. It is a bewt!
I've looked around,the price is comparable.
22 is well worth it.
Sell the TVR and you'll have the cash (;
You need to come and drive this thing
 

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I second that freezing knee syndrome my 88 gets pretty cold in that area. I work as a refrigeration technician and I can tell you if you perfrom the proper procedures or even close to it and use the correct equipment the AC in this car can be effective even with the size of the windshield, but if you arent sure, you can just take the car to a "reputable" shop that can do it properly for you. The only problem you may experience doing that is even though the refrigeration circuit in this car is no different really than any mid engine car, I would bet any garage is gonna add on Lotus size prices to work on it.

I say reputable shop because anyone that charges motor vehicle air conditioning or MVAC only, to get certified in it is an open book test that anyone can pass. Its that way because when they actually started making motor vehicle air conditioning subject to EPA guidelines, they didnt want to put garages and techs out of business because they couldnt pass a test you probably should go to school for, and it is still that way. I guess the EPA said, "whats more important? People having jobs or Polar Bears on ice floats." LOL

And there are MVAC techs that know there stuff, dont get me wrong, but I know quite a few that got that cert. just to buy refrigerants other than 134A that they have not a clue how to use.

To get a "universal" license (commercial refrigeration) you more than likely have gone deeper into study of refrigeration engineering.
 

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Hey Art,

You need to check mine out if you ever get down this way. Granted it's not the stock system but it may be the best in any Esprit out there, certainly better than any I've ever been in. With ambient temps in the high 80's I get vent temps in the low 30's and that's using R-134a. When the temps get in the upper 90's the performance does lag a bit but it still keeps me from sweating which is an accomplishment for me...

You're right that no Esprit will fare well against most modern cars and tinting the glass would help a great deal.

Next time you pull that engine, put some thermal barrier foil insulation on the bulkhead in the engine bay, it helps a lot with the sweaty back.

I would like to figure out a way to get more air flow volume out of the blower, I think that would improve mine even more...

Jim
 

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The A/C (and the heat) for it's day was pretty good, not great and not as good as more modern systems. It is vacuum actuated and completely manual. As far as cooling capacity, it should be adequate with a lot of caveats which include:
The condenser MUST be clean and allow full airflow
All of the vacuum actuators have to work and work correctly (no vacuum leaks)
There are no large air leaks in the ductwork and the foam seals are not deteriorated, missing, blocking things up.
The refrigerant is not leaking out and there is enough oil in the system
The system has not gotten contaminated.
Just about all of this applies to any old car. What makes a Lotus a little different is the LONG hoses, the difficulty cleaning the condenser, and the access to the service fittings underneath the car.
David Teitelbaum
 
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