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A6 A/C Compressor questions

Old 04-07-2016, 08:40 PM
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sting ray Ron
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Default A6 A/C Compressor questions

Has anyone had any luck with the double lip seal part #2105 from www.ACKits.com. I just received mine and before I install it I was wondering if I should install the ceramic seal in front of it. The seal supplier said no, but I'm not sure I believe him. What do you guys think about installing the ceramic seal in front of the double lip seal? Thanks, Ron
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sting ray Ron View Post
Has anyone had any luck with the double lip seal part #2105 from www.ACKits.com. I just received mine and before I install it I was wondering if I should install the ceramic seal in front of it. The seal supplier said no, but I'm not sure I believe him. What do you guys think about installing the ceramic seal in front of the double lip seal? Thanks, Ron
I recently helped another CF C2 member with his 1967 factory air car. He went thru a couple of ACDELCO ceramic seals and finally installed the AC DELCO double lip seal after discussing this seal with the current manufacturer of the reproduction A6 compressor. The lip seal is what they are using in all their new, reproduction A6 compressors.....which seems to be working well.

It has been about 6 months now and my friends AC system is still going strong with the lip seal in his old A6 compressor.

A major difference between the old A6 compressors and the modern ones is that the modern ones are using precision machined and chromed compressor shafts. That helps the fitup and should/will also prevent the double lip seal from eventually scoring the shaft.....................which is possible if it is used with the old A6 compressors. But then again, these old cars are not driven daily and wear and tear on the AC system is a lot less than a current driver car.

I would try it. I will try and find the Part Number for you and post it later.

Larry

EDIT: The company making the new A6 compressors is ALMA in Michigan. http://www.almaproducts.com/Transtar...ochure-(7).pdf

The AC DELCO lip seal my friend Rick used is Part Number D 15-30948.

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Old 04-07-2016, 09:59 PM
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Replacing a mechanical seal with a lip seal is like knurling valve guides or dumping Bar's Stop Leak in your cooling system. It's a half-measure at best that will not yield an acceptable long-term result.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SupremeDeluxe View Post
Replacing a mechanical seal with a lip seal is like knurling valve guides or dumping Bar's Stop Leak in your cooling system. It's a half-measure at best that will not yield an acceptable long-term result.
But just about ALL (or perhaps ALL) the new compressors being sold or installed in new cars have double lip seals.

I personally believe that the old ACDELCO ceramic seal is now being made cheaply and with poor machining/tolerences causing early failures.

But there is no $$$ in doing it any better it seems.

Larry
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SupremeDeluxe View Post
Replacing a mechanical seal with a lip seal is like knurling valve guides or dumping Bar's Stop Leak in your cooling system. It's a half-measure at best that will not yield an acceptable long-term result.
For what it's worth, I am still running the old DELCO-HARRISON ceramic/mechanical seal in my 1967 car. It is still holding, and it's over 25 years old. But not everyone has this good luck and they want to do something different. Let's let a few folks try it out and benchmark/evaluate their results.

Larry

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Old 04-07-2016, 11:36 PM
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I've tried both the ceramic seals and the double lip seal. I did not have much luck with either of them. I think most of the problem was in my installation. I used the "sticky" at the top of the page. It takes a couple special tools and a bit of skill. I was never able to get a perfect seal. I finally sent it out to the A6 guru and will have him rebuild the whole thing. Leaking seals can destroy a paint job and it wasn't worth taking another chance on a leaky seal. Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by jprop View Post
I've tried both the ceramic seals and the double lip seal. I did not have much luck with either of them. I think most of the problem was in my installation. I used the "sticky" at the top of the page. It takes a couple special tools and a bit of skill. I was never able to get a perfect seal. I finally sent it out to the A6 guru and will have him rebuild the whole thing. Leaking seals can destroy a paint job and it wasn't worth taking another chance on a leaky seal. Good luck.
Not to mention the loss of a few hundred $$ of R12 refrigerant..........unless you also convert to R134a.

You can now purchase an A6 compressor seal cover to help keep the oil off the underside of the hood.......... It's good insurance for the fiberglass cars, but damn, the seal should not leak in the first place.

Is the A6 guru you mentioned DOM from California. If so, you are in good hands. He is a friend.

Larry
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:55 PM
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sting ray Ron
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After re-looking at the cavity the seals came out of, I need to rephrase my question. I initially thought the double lip seal replaced the cage seal, but it appears to replace the ceramic seal. So my question is do I put back in the cage seal and put the new double lip seal in on top of it?
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sting ray Ron View Post
After re-looking at the cavity the seals came out of, I need to rephrase my question. I initially thought the double lip seal replaced the cage seal, but it appears to replace the ceramic seal. So my question is do I put back in the cage seal and put the new double lip seal in on top of it?
The ceramic seal consists of a ceramic and carbon running against each other. This is a caged design seal. There should only be a single seal in the seal cavity. Take your pick.: ceramic/carbon or double lip.

A felt outer seal/wick goes in last to absorb any oil that gets past the ceramic/carbon seal.................and for most folks it is WAY to much.

Larry
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Powershift View Post
Not to mention the loss of a few hundred $$ of R12 refrigerant..........unless you also convert to R134a.

You can now purchase an A6 compressor seal cover to help keep the oil off the underside of the hood.......... It's good insurance for the fiberglass cars, but damn, the seal should not leak in the first place.

Is the A6 guru you mentioned DOM from California. If so, you are in good hands. He is a friend.

Larry
I've had the cover on ever since I finished the car. Glad I did since it's been slinging oil ever since Classic Auto Air "rebuilt" it.. Even when I get it back from the rebuilder I'll continue to use it. As you said, cheap insurance.

And yes, Dom is rebuilding the compressor. I think he is very well respected in that business. If he can stop the leak it will be well worth the money.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Powershift View Post
But just about ALL (or perhaps ALL) the new compressors being sold or installed in new cars have double lip seals.

I personally believe that the old ACDELCO ceramic seal is now being made cheaply and with poor machining/tolerences causing early failures.

But there is no $$$ in doing it any better it seems.

Larry
Larry,

I own a company that designs and manufactures mechanical seals. Agree the quality of the Delco replacement is probably not the same as the original article. I am sure the carbon face is not the same grade or quality as OE, and it's questionable whether the carbon and ceramic are sufficiently flat to operate without significant leaks. The flatness spec for the ceramic needs to be <24 millionths (0.000024") flat. There is more forgiveness in the carbon, because it eventually wears to match the flatness condition of the ceramic. Any carbon seal faces coming from China or India are suspect. It's a difficult manufacturing process that relies heavily on tribal knowledge of the few manufacturers in the US and Europe who have developed their technology over many decades.

If I knew there was sufficient demand for a high-quality A6 compressor seal, we could easily set up to manufacture it. It may well be the demand exists, we just haven't ever looked at the business case.

A modern compressor has far better design and manufacturing control of shaft run-out and position, and is a good candidate for a simpler and less expensive lip seal.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SupremeDeluxe View Post
Larry,

I own a company that designs and manufactures mechanical seals. Agree the quality of the Delco replacement is probably not the same as the original article. I am sure the carbon face is not the same grade or quality as OE, and it's questionable whether the carbon and ceramic are sufficiently flat to operate without significant leaks. The flatness spec for the ceramic needs to be <24 millionths (0.000024") flat. There is more forgiveness in the carbon, because it eventually wears to match the flatness condition of the ceramic. Any carbon seal faces coming from China or India are suspect. It's a difficult manufacturing process that relies heavily on tribal knowledge of the few manufacturers in the US and Europe who have developed their technology over many decades.

If I knew there was sufficient demand for a high-quality A6 compressor seal, we could easily set up to manufacture it. It may well be the demand exists, we just haven't ever looked at the business case.

A modern compressor has far better design and manufacturing control of shaft run-out and position, and is a good candidate for a simpler and less expensive lip seal.
Thanks for the informative reply. I knew that you were associated with mechanical seal design and manufacture, as you stated that in this forum a year or so ago.

Working in the chemical industry in both design, construction, and production, I too am quite familiar with mechanical seals. Some learned by schooling and seminars, and some by the "school of hard knocks". I remember working with Burgman (Germany) to design from scratch a reliable (double) seal for one of our high pressure ammonia pumps. The pump was a troublemaker. It was a good experience, and we did succeed.

The current ACDELCO D 15-2191 mechanical seal for the A6 compressor is available for about $15/each including shipping. You KNOW for that price it is not a high quality item. FWIW.

Larry

EDIT: If you want to make me a "free" run of 25 high quality "prototypes" that we can test out the market, just let me know. But seriously, I feel that it would be a hard sell to produce these and sell them for more than $200 a seal. And I am not sure that you could do it for that amount and still make a profit. The chemical industry is willing to pay big $$$$$ for reliable mechanical seals, but most folks out there with the older cars just want it cheap.

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Old 04-08-2016, 12:35 PM
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This thread has good timming becouse last year only after being rebuilt for three months the seal on his A6 compresser failed and slung oil everywhere. Not good on a restored car with less then five miles. So sometime soon the compressor is going to have a new seal. But I don't want a continuing problem. So I am looking for a good one to replace it. Any leads would be helpful.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:42 PM
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Default Great discussion gentlemen!

I feel a little better now about my failures to get a long-lasting seal with the Delco ceramic.

Instead of beating myself up for poor technique, the possibility of a substandard part now has been raised!

But I suspect it's more related to shaft run-out or surface defects.

Anyway, some business with Dom is definitely in the plan...

Mike
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
This thread has good timming becouse last year only after being rebuilt for three months the seal on his A6 compresser failed and slung oil everywhere. Not good on a restored car with less then five miles. So sometime soon the compressor is going to have a new seal. But I don't want a continuing problem. So I am looking for a good one to replace it. Any leads would be helpful.
Short of SupremeDeluxe making one for you, the choice is the ACDELCO ceramic/carbon seal or the ACDELCO double lip seal. There are others offering similar seals to these, but they may all really be the same thing. I dunno.............but probably.

We don't have enough good history and experience with the double lip seal on these old compressors, so I can't tell you it is the solution. In my opinion, the biggest thing for the ceramic seal is attention to detail. DOM takes a lot of time in this area when he rebuilds an A6 compressor, and it appears to be paying off for him and the compressor owners.

Larry
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
This thread has good timming becouse last year only after being rebuilt for three months the seal on his A6 compresser failed and slung oil everywhere. Not good on a restored car with less then five miles. So sometime soon the compressor is going to have a new seal. But I don't want a continuing problem. So I am looking for a good one to replace it. Any leads would be helpful.
Like Larry said, A6's are being manufactured by ALMA Products under the "APCO AIR" line.

The APCO # that comes closest is 51-16262A. It does have metric threads, but everything else is good: 5 5/8" dia. clutch and 10 o'clock position of the coil plug.

I tracked down their distributer a few years back. Company called OMEGA in Texas. 972 812-7000.

ALMA's number in my notes is 877 427-2624. Spoke with Doreen at X269.

Let us know if you have any luck locating one of these.

Mike
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Powershift View Post
Thanks for the informative reply. I knew that you were associated with mechanical seal design and manufacture, as you stated that in this forum a year or so ago.

Working in the chemical industry in both design, construction, and production, I too am quite familiar with mechanical seals. Some learned by schooling and seminars, and some by the "school of hard knocks". I remember working with Burgman (Germany) to design from scratch a reliable (double) seal for one of our high pressure ammonia pumps. The pump was a troublemaker. It was a good experience, and we did succeed.

The current ACDELCO D 15-2191 mechanical seal for the A6 compressor is available for about $15/each including shipping. You KNOW for that price it is not a high quality item. FWIW.

Larry
Larry,

Now my curiosity is piqued to see just what the AC Delco seal is made of. I will order one and report back our findings.

All of what we do is custom-engineered seals for trouble applications or where standard designs will not achieve desired performance levels. We don't usually get involved with aftermarket parts (all OE), but I'm happy to take a look and see what can be done.

I admit I've never changed one of these seals on an A6 myself (I had an air car a long time ago, but never had to do this job). I would bet the shaft condition where the O-ring seals isn't in the best condition on many old compressors, and it could well be that many users are experiencing and O-ring leak rather than a face leak. We will figure it out.

Nick

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Geary View Post
Like Larry said, A6's are being manufactured by ALMA Products under the "APCO AIR" line.

The APCO # that comes closest is 51-16262A. It does have metric threads, but everything else is good: 5 5/8" dia. clutch and 10 o'clock position of the coil plug.

I tracked down their distributer a few years back. Company called OMEGA in Texas. 972 812-7000.

ALMA's number in my notes is 877 427-2624. Spoke with Doreen at X269.

Let us know if you have any luck locating one of these.

Mike
the local shop who did the work for dad used one of those "new" A6 units and put the inside working parts in his original housing to retain the original look with new rebuilt parts inside. the shop recommend for us to turn the clutch once a week to keep the seal lubed since it was going on a limited use car. we did this.

so the new Delco seal is that still available at any auto parts store?
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Old 04-08-2016, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
the local shop who did the work for dad used one of those "new" A6 units and put the inside working parts in his original housing to retain the original look with new rebuilt parts inside. the shop recommend for us to turn the clutch once a week to keep the seal lubed since it was going on a limited use car. we did this.

so the new Delco seal is that still available at any auto parts store?
Can't help with that question, but here's another lead on a new A6.

AC Kits 602 233-0090, their #20-10407 looks like it's the APCO 51-16262A.

They show the clutch coil at 10 o'clock in the photo, but the item description says 2 o'clock. So I'd definitely call before ordering.
I had this discussion with AC Kits years ago on connector orientation.

They said it's from the driver's perspective, which I think is NOT the industry standard (facing the coil).

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Old 04-08-2016, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
the local shop who did the work for dad used one of those "new" A6 units and put the inside working parts in his original housing to retain the original look with new rebuilt parts inside. the shop recommend for us to turn the clutch once a week to keep the seal lubed since it was going on a limited use car. we did this.

so the new Delco seal is that still available at any auto parts store?
The ACDELCO seal is available just about everywhere. Many autoparts stores carry them or can get them. You can buy them on Ebay and Amazon. You can also buy them from Chevrolet, but you will pay a hefty premium.

The ORIGINAL FRIGIDAIRE-HARRISON seal was either #6597840 or #6599114 from GM. The DELCO equivalent was D 15-210. This later became ACDELCO D 15-2191. This is what you buy now.

I still have a few very old seals in a plastic bag from GM, but am hesitant to install them. More of a conversation piece than anything.

Let me know if I can help you with you AC questions down the road.

Larry
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