Re: Tempo A/C left me...
Solution available! You need to check AC system, and recharge it with R134 freon. NO NEED FOR ANY RETROFIT PARTS (e.g. bigger compressor or condenser)!!! Any refrigeration technician can do it, or AC/ automechanics. Especially if you ask specific questions. There is a need for special equipment - gages, airpomp, freon tank, and knowledge.
TESTS: 1) Check if AC system holds vacuum. Done with air pomp connected to low presure side service valve.
-> If holds = no major leaks!
-> If doesn't = major leak, look first at condenser (in front of radiator, where rooks can damage it), then at other parts seeking oily residue. Might need special equipment (tester) for that.
2) Check if compressor pomping. Done (after making sure there is no major leak and charging AC with freon or other agent!) with gages connected to low presure side service valve. Pressure should get to ~ 30 PSI.
-> If compressor pomping, you are good to go = charge AC with R134 freon WITHOUT ANY RETROFIT COMPONENTS (or you can get small kit in auto stores for ~ $20.) and enjoy cool summer!
-> If compressor not pomping (most likely that compressor clutch worn), replace it along with clutch (it's one unit). Get it at junk yard for ~$70. or at stores for ~ $150. For that you'll need AC lines disconnect tool set (plastic semi-rings) for ~$10.
-> If compressor is making grinding noise = probably accumulator (receiver/drier) is clogged up. Replace at stores with NEW, ~$40.
-> If compressor is whining = AC system is probably overcharged. Check pressures and discharge accordingly.
3) Check pressure on both sides of AC after charging. High side ~ 240 PSI, low side ~ 40 PSI.
I just did fix (one day work) my AC on Ford Tempo '89 with a help of new neighbor Jonny, who is a refregirator tech, after 8 years (!?...) without AC! (All of those years suffered due to greed and retrofit hype from manufacturers... Tryed to fix it twice, was quoted ~1200. and 4 years ago ~700. Refused...)
This time got compressor at junk yard for $65. and replaced it myself. Had to take radiator fan and oil filter out to do it. Also got AC lines disconnect tool set (plastic semi-rings) for ~$10. Charged AC with R134 freon WITHOUT ANY RETROFITS, and it's working excellent!!! Total cost = 75. + labor + Jonny's help. I'm indebted to him now, and I'll pay back somehow. Just need to fix panel duct door's hinge, so it'll blow air to panel vents. But that's another problem.
One of my friends just did fixed his AC at honest mechanic for very resonable price, after driving his truck without AC for 5 years (!).
!!! NOTE: Charging old (R12) system with R134 freon WITHOUT RETROFITS makes compressor to work a bit harder and probably shorten it's life!!!.