AirCon how cold?

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AirCon how cold?

Postby Grosbard » Mon 14.06.2021, 05:03

I'm hoping to buy an Elan in the very near future, and as we're approaching the 100+ degree temperatures of the summer months (I'm located in California), I want to calibrate my expectations for how cold I can reasonably expect an Elan to get with modern refrigerant. In other words, in a well sorted system, is it possible to achieve modern car levels of coldness? Or are we talking 1980s sports car levels of coldness (i.e. terrible)? Or are we talking about something in the middle? I'm fine with putting a few thousand dollars into getting the system well sorted, but I just want to know what to expect in terms of coldness in a best case scenario. And then my next question is how to achieve that best case scenario. Thanks so much for your help! This forum is great!
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby Simon_P » Mon 14.06.2021, 07:52

Until recently we haven't really bothered with A/C in the UK, so I don’t have much to compare it to.

With a big raked screen and black softtop it can get a bit warm the A/C is sufficient to keep you comfortable. I fitted an electronic thermostat to the evaporator to tune it and I think that a bit more capacity may help it keep up in traffic.
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby muley » Mon 14.06.2021, 10:21

A while ago toured a bit of France in my black S2 ~ temp was mid - high 30s. Boy, was In glad to have Aircon!

It worked well. (but not a patch on the Aircon in my 2000MY Civic Coupe!)
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby HJ2 » Mon 14.06.2021, 11:40

Simon_P wrote:Until recently we haven't really bothered with A/C in the UK, so I don’t have much to compare it to.

With a big raked screen and black softtop it can get a bit warm the A/C is sufficient to keep you comfortable. I fitted an electronic thermostat to the evaporator to tune it and I think that a bit more capacity may help it keep up in traffic.


Interesting… how does it work / what shall it do?

My aircon works fine in temperatures of 30 deg. C by the way.
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby Grosbard » Mon 14.06.2021, 19:41

For everyone that replied, thanks for the input! Are you all running stock systems? Are they still using R12, or have they been updated to R134a? If they have been updated, what was that update process like?

I'd also love to hear from any of the US owners, since we generally deal with much worse heat than the UK owners!
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby HJ2 » Mon 14.06.2021, 20:05

Still use R12... No leaks!
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby CalElan » Wed 14.07.2021, 05:18

I’m in CA too. I bet my system has never been touched. Never have the roof up, but my toes stay nice and cool
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby tigerdog » Thu 15.07.2021, 15:15

Grosbard wrote:I'm hoping to buy an Elan in the very near future, and as we're approaching the 100+ degree temperatures of the summer months (I'm located in California), I want to calibrate my expectations for how cold I can reasonably expect an Elan to get with modern refrigerant. In other words, in a well sorted system, is it possible to achieve modern car levels of coldness? Or are we talking 1980s sports car levels of coldness (i.e. terrible)? Or are we talking about something in the middle? I'm fine with putting a few thousand dollars into getting the system well sorted, but I just want to know what to expect in terms of coldness in a best case scenario. And then my next question is how to achieve that best case scenario. Thanks so much for your help! This forum is great!


Another thread recently pointed out that Lotus list different compressors for R12 and R134, so it's possible R134 was used in some cars already - I had never seen it before the recent post (about a bum compressor clutch) dug a picture from the parts books.

All I can say is, the Elan's AC is definitely colder than my 1999 BMW Z3 daily driver.
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Re: AirCon how cold?

Postby Simon_P » Thu 15.07.2021, 21:20

I have an R12 system using R134a. One mod I made was to fit a digital /electronic programmable thermostatic switc to the evaporator so that I could get it as cold as possible without freezing.
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