The Buick LeSabres, Wildcat,
Electras, and Riveras of 1964 used a Frigidaire A6 Compressor. This robust
compressor, over-engineered for its time, was later used in transit busses
and farm equipment because it had a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTU. The
average $100 (2019 dollars) house window air conditioner has a capacity of
5,000 BTU. The compressor came off my parts car, as the factory air
conditioning had been removed from my car. I'm unaware of the actual
operating condition of the compressor. It spins freely, but I have not yet
charged the system. I was originally going to leave it looking as it did,
but after detailing out the whole engine bay, it would have been quite
visible being mounted at the top left of the engine. Below is the condition
of the compressor when the project started.
While I was able to get
reproduction stickers for the warnings and nameplate, I haven't run across
the stamp that says "OK FINAL TEST BUICK". I actually covered the stamping
in blue painters tape and then painted over the whole lot. Should I wish to
reproduce it in the future, or prove the compressors providence, I can pull
the tape off.
After much sanding and coats
of Eastwood paint, below, the compressor clutch is looking drastically
Because I knew replacing the
factory labels would be key to this cosmetic restoration, I layed a piece of
paper on the compressor before hand and traced where each sticker was
located. The stickers were not applied to the unit squarely nor straight, so
this template let me put them in place exactly where they were removed.
The serial number of the
compressor is punched in 1/8 high characters. I didn't do a search for
factory perfect punches, I used what was available locally. Because of the
size of these punches, and the character spacing that would result, I
couldn't punch the characters in one shot like the factory. Doing that would
have resulted in the characters overruning the box.
The decals are Jim Osborne
reproductions, sourced through
reproduction Fridgidaire decal is square whereas my factory original had
rounded corners, so I adjusted it with a pair of scissors.
Before the characters were
stamped I used a black magic marker to fill the box.
After the characters were
stamped I used an Alcohol prep pad to remove the non-depressed ink resulting
in visible letters. It isn't perfect, but this isn't a Concours restoration
|Here is a video covering the A6 compressor cosmetic restoration, putting a new gasket in the power steering cap, and using Brass Black to put a correct colored coating on the balancer bolts:|