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Enhanced A/C Performance
With The Smart VOV™
by I.M. Cool
Appeared Mar/Apr 1999 Cool Profit$ Magazine
© 2001

Mr. Karl B. Typical, along with his wife, two children and a '95 GMC Suburban live in Phoenix, Arizona. Karl's wife uses the Burb daily to shuttle the kids back and forth to school, sports, etc. All's well with Mrs. Typical and young ones during their trips until it approaches 90°F outside. During those days, which occur often, the inside air temperature of the Burb refuses to drop below the occupants' comfort level (even with a dual evaporator system). Consequently, Karl hears about it when he gets home, and he hears about it again the next night, and the next…“can't you do something about that darn air conditioner???”

Karl Typical and his original under_airconditioned '95 Burb (GMC Suburban)
Above: Karl Typical and his '95 Burb. The inside air temp was not near cool enough on hot days for his wife and children...and he heard about it!!
(Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.)

Obviously, much of the family's car time is spent at slow speed, traffic jammed conditions, causing the Burb's a/c system to come up a little short (or warm). Certainly, at highway speeds, the system works fine.

Karl, now desperate, goes to Jerry Alexander of “Auto Air, Alarms and Accessories.” Jerry checks out the system and finds that it's still at factory conditions. There's not a lot he can do to improve the performance short of a very expensive, major redesign.

Jerry Alexander, owner/technician of Auto Air, Alarms and Accessories
Above: Jerry Alexander, owner/technician of Auto Air, Alarms and Accessories (Phoenix, AZ) performed the FOT to Smart VOV exchange.

Then Jerry remembers reading something about the Nartron Smart VOV™ (Variable Orifice Valve). He speaks to Warren Willingham of www.acsource.com. Warren suggests that the Typicals' Burb would be a great test vehicle for the VOV because it is so…typical! They speak to Karl, there is agreement and an installation is arranged. The VOV was installed on an 85° day. The truck will be brought in for reexamination of the system on a much hotter day to come.

Smart VOV is a drop-in replacement for the OE condenser mounted Fixed Orifice Tube
Above: The Burb uses a condenser mounted orifice tube. Shown is how the original FOT can just be replaced by the VOV.
Below: Inside Jerry's shop in March. Empty bays are showing that will surely be filled by the time you are reading this article.

Auto Air, Alarm and Accessories' service bays 

Below: Performance comparison of before and after VOV replacement.
Chart showing a/c performance readings before and after VOV installation

Above are the performance results of the OE pre-check and post-VOV installation. Ignoring the examination and testing of the OE system, the VOV installation itself took about an hour and a half. Based on the immediate performance increase, the VOV looks like a viable replacement choice to the OE tube for this vehicle. The question is, will the performance gain be valuable enough to justify breaking into a properly operating OE system just to replace the tube? This is one of the questions that will be presented to the Typicals when they've had a chance to live with their VOV powered Burb during the peak of the Phoenix summer. Stay tuned, we'll let you know by the end of the season.                                            $$$

For an update to this article, click here.

Editor: Soon you will be able to check in with “current” radiator and a/c industry vendors on the web at: www.imcool.com/buyersguide/.
Vendors: If you would like to be listed as a vendor to the automotive (and Heavy Duty) radiator and A/C service industry, please call, fax, email or fill out the form on the imcool.com web site. Look for Buyer’s Guide Data Entry Form.
Your cost to be listed on the web site and in the 2002 Annual Guide is only $12. For that, you also get a subscription to Cool Profit$ Magazine. In addition, your web listing will be maintained for free (name, contact, address, phone, email, URL, etc.). One heck of a deal.

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