I am resurrecting the original air conditioning system for an early Pantera. It is getting new hoses, a new condenser, a new receiver/drier, and will be charged with R12 refrigerant. The mineral oil in the compressor needs to be replaced. Does anyone know the oil capacity of the compressor? Or better yet the oil capacity of the entire stock AC system?
Brand new York compressors - out of the box - contained 10 ounces of ESA-M2C31-A oil. Ford's part number for the oil was CAZ19577-A. That oil was supposedly equivalent to Texaco Capella E refrigerant compressor oil.
Measured with a dipstick inserted through the crankcase oil filler plug, a level of 1 inch is equivalent to 10 ounces, the maximum level. A level of 1/2 inch is equivalent to 4 ounces, the minimum level; those figures are from my 40+ year old hand written notes.
I have old air conditioning manuals (Both Ford and Chilton) that give different numbers for the oil level readings, but I tend to trust my hand written notes because I assume I arrived at them via actual measurements. Anyway the manuals specify the oil levels of a horizontally oriented York compressor are 1-3/16 inch maximum and 13/16 inch minimum.
When measuring with a dipstick you have to be careful to angle the dipstick enough to clear the boss cast into the floor of the crankcase, exactly opposite the boss for the filler plug, or else you'll have a false low reading.
When checking oil level, the crankshaft should be rotated until the keyway in the compressor shaft is oriented towards the compressor head ... this gets the crankshaft out of the way of the dipstick (based on memory).
With enough research one should be able to determine the factory fill level for the compressor, the stock York unit or the common Sanden replacement.
As for how much oil the entire system requires I have never seen a published value.
Likewise as for how much R-12 the entire system requires, to the best of my knowledge no one has ever found published specifications.
Over the years I have heard everything from 2 1/2 pounds to 3 1/2 pounds. However, this is a case of really wanting proper operation and for that most would rely on evaluating high and low side pressures and actual vent air temperature
If your drier has a view window,, and most do, filling until the system shows no air bubbles is certainly another approach you can take.
FYI - R-12 is readily available on craigslist and eBay and you should not have to pay more than $30 for a 12 ounce can.
Thanks George and Larry. I drained the oil from the compressor and got about two or three ounces of clean oil. Tomorrow I will get a quart of R12 Mineral Oil from Napa and will fill the compressor with 10 ounces of new oil and test the dip stick that I fabricated. I have already amassed an assortment of R12 cans from craigslist and plan to start with a charge of 2 1/2 pounds once the system is fully assembled and vacuum tested.