AC Delco turning to crap
Pretty long post here.
Ditto the previous complaints. I paid a premium for 30 years for GM parts because they were clearly better, they fit, and they came complete with installation pieces. Can't remember a problems with parts from the US or Canada, or even Mexico. Asia, specifically China, is a different story.
My Fleetwood's compressor just died after 140,000 miles of constant running. Never a problem or leak in the system in 21 years. That is just plain impressive!
So, I set out to re-do the whole system. I am pretty sure I won't have the same confidence in the system when it's done...
CONDENSER: I ordered the same Delco 15-6863 condenser for twice the price of the off-brand ones. Labeled made in S. Korea, but who knows. The quality feels a lot more like China. Twisted like a pretzel out of the box, mostly because the idiot factory packaged it in a lightweight box with bubble wrap. How can it survive a trip around the world like that? I remember when radiators/condensers were in good industrial cardboard, with styrofoam or tough cardboard to hold/protect them.
So, I returned it for a second one. Same problem, but the twist was minor. But, it has the same problem as the OP--the metal line is too small for the orifice tube. That same idiot factory used tubing that is 12 mm OD, not 13mm OD like the original. And, it's thinner-walled. There's no way it could ever fit the orifice tube. The tubing isn't anodized like original, isn't flared for the retainer plate, and is mis-aligned. Plus, the whole condenser is that cheap flat plate stuff, not the original round tube-and-fin. Overall impression--total junk. So, I'm back to having to thoroughly flush the original, straighten the fins, and re-use it.
ACCUMULATOR: labeled Delco, made in China. Who knows, it's simple enough that it should work, but the welding is sloppy around it, the flat surfaces on the top half are poorly formed, and the finish is scuffed. Overall impression--junk.
EVAPORATOR: Interestingly, this is a Delphi-labeled part supposedly from Michigan. The tube end is poorly aligned for the firewall, the fitting welds are sloppy, and the package omits the gasket and foam filter that should be included, so I had to peel them off the old unit and re-use them. Overall impression--junk.
AC HOSES: labeled Delco, made in China. The threaded fittings are now cheap aluminum. Plus, they shifted to a less dense foam for the insulating tube and thinner fiberglass fabric for the reflective heat insulation. I removed the fiberglass wrap from the old hoses, rolled it into tubes, and inserted it into the wrap on the new hoses, so hopefully that will help a bit. At least the rubber hose sections are still labeled Goodyear, for what that's worth. Overall impression--junk.
The new Delco compressor is from China, not Harrison in the US like the old one. We'll see how it does. The suction and discharge ports are now the same design--a blind hole with an angled passageway, where one used to be a much larger straight-through hole. Maybe that's better, or maybe it's just cheaper to make. It also lacked the mounting stud for the hose fitting, so I had to remove it from the old compressor.
At least the new orifice tube is US-made.
For future repairs I'm going to look for US-made NOS parts first before buying newly-produced parts. Not parts made by penny-pinching idiot contractors, but parts by people that had standards and gave a damn.