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carguy8888
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Name : Brian Cohen
Joined : 2019-01-07
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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptySat May 23, 2020 8:57 pm

After replacing my AC compressor, condenser and receiver dryer it looks like I am going to need to replace the ac EVAP module behind the dash. My guy evacuated and refilled with freon and dye. He is going to check again when I come back in a week but if he does not find the leak he said it's inside and he usually does not miss. Also, I do randomly have a must or mildew smell in the cabin. I have a feeling I'm going for another $6-800. I guess it's just one of those things for buying a 20 year old car, you never realize how much stuff you're going to have to go through even with low miles.
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Jack the R
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Jack the R

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PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptySun May 24, 2020 10:00 pm

Damn though that's rough.
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carguy8888
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Name : Brian Cohen
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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyMon May 25, 2020 8:49 am

Thankfully I have it, I just don't want to part with it LOL.
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albertj
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albertj

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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyMon May 25, 2020 12:45 pm

carguy8888 wrote:
After replacing my AC compressor, condenser and receiver dryer it looks like I am going to need to replace the ac EVAP module behind the dash. My guy evacuated and refilled with freon and dye. He is going to check again when I come back in a week but if he does not find the leak he said it's inside and he usually does not miss. Also, I do randomly have a must or mildew smell in the cabin. I have a feeling I'm going for another  $6-800. I guess it's just one of those things for buying a 20 year old car, you never realize how much stuff you're going to have to go through even with low miles.

The musty smell just comes from crap (crap = technical term for organic flotsam and dusts that collect in the air box) that filters in thru the cowl vents. You can definitely get rid of the smell.

In general what you do is make up about a gallon of any reasonable enzyme-based cleaner, such as a carpet cleaner, pet odor eliminator, or laundry detergent. Really... as long as the cleaner uses enzymes. You just need a deodorizing concentration, which isn't likely to be much. See the product label for details. If you use a laundry detergent with enzymes, for instance, a capful makes 15 gallons or more of cleaning solution (wash cycle water). So to make just a gallon you are talking maybe just a tablespoonful. Then you simply pour that solution evenly down the cowl vents. After a day or two, pour a gallon of hot tap water down the vents to flush out debris, then make up another gallon of cleaner and pour that as before. What you are doing with each cycle is letting the enzymes "digest" the organic matter that's causing the odors, then rinsing out the detritus. Why this works? The cowl vents have screens, so the detritus is usually rotting pollen mixed with soot or other moisture-holding particles that will indeed flow out the drains if you rinse it out, and if it does not rinse out -- once you denature the stuff with the enzyme it will quit stinking. In my experience, one cycle of this cleaning may be enough. Nothing's getting damaged, though, so you can repeat this cycle until you get those boxes flushed. When I had to do it the first time, I did it for a few days. Since then, just occasionally. I've gone a few years at a time without bothering.

For a cleaner I use Odo-Ban made to Deodorizing (5 oz per gallon) strength. https://odoban.com/product/multipurpose-concentrate/ - originally it contained enzymes, I don't think it does anymore (they sell versions that do) but it seems to still work fine. At this dilution rate that gallon ($9) will last more than 20 years.

BTW the sprays in the dash vents and what not are, IMHO, a (colossal) waste of time and money as there is no place in those vents for organic matter to collect. It's all in the silly air box.

As for the evaporator, maybe it's leaking and maybe it's not. One of the problems with the current refrigerant (R-134) I am told, is that it eventually it seeps through the soft hoses. A leaking evap smells sweet, not musty, really. The seals at the evap connections are usually what goes. Given the trouble to replace the seals and the low cost of the evap coils, many if not most technicians will replace the coil anyway since they kind of embrittle due to cooling cycles in normal service. BTW in older R-134 systems, if you don't use them about all the time they leak like sieves because the seals dry out, and the hose seepage is a persistent problem. I 'top up' my AC refrigerant every 3 seasons or so. No stop-leak (gums up the compressor). Oh, and by the way, R-134 leak detectors are not pricey. if you or your AC tech don't have one, consider getting one and giving it to him after your repairs are done.
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carguy8888
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Name : Brian Cohen
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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyMon May 25, 2020 4:01 pm

The smell I get is intermittent and definitely not sweet. I was planning to clean the air box out with Lysol spray but your way is better. since this car was owned by a 90 year old lady I have a feeling the air conditioner was not used often. I am using the air-conditioning this week with the dye in the system so next Saturday my mechanic we'll check for leaks in the engine bay again. If I unfortunately do have to go for a new evap is there a particular brand I should buy or it doesn't matter because I want to do this once? Also if I do have to remove the dash will I have access to the air box? As usual Albert you're always helpful.
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LARRY70GS
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LARRY70GS

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PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyMon May 25, 2020 7:07 pm

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/buick,1998,riviera,3.8l+v6+supercharged,1303322,heat+&+air+conditioning,a/c+evaporator+core,6768

I think the console has to come out.

If a PO smoked in the car, that will get into the HVAC system and ferment. lol

_________________
98 Riviera SC3800  All stock except gutted air box.
1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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carguy8888
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Name : Brian Cohen
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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyYesterday at 7:27 am

Thanks Larry, I was told it does. The part is not a problem, I just wish I did not have to take the whole car apart to get to it but we'll see on Saturday.
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albertj
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Annoyed Empty
PostSubject: Re: Annoyed   Annoyed EmptyYesterday at 1:58 pm

carguy8888 wrote:
The smell I get is intermittent and definitely not sweet. I was planning to clean the air box out with Lysol spray but your way is better. since this car was owned by a 90 year old lady I have a feeling the air conditioner was not used often. I am using the air-conditioning this week with the dye in the system so next Saturday my mechanic we'll check for leaks in the engine bay again. If I unfortunately do have to go for a new evap is there a particular brand I should buy or it doesn't matter because I want to do this once? Also if I do have to remove the dash will I have access to the air box? As usual Albert you're always helpful.

I'd have to look in the factory manual but I think to pull the HVAC air handler box you need to pull the console not the dash.

As for the "leak" - R134 has a 30% faster leak rate (all other things being equal) than the old R12 did. See this for more about HVAC in your Buick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDbKbBQ-M_Q
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