ACDelco 15-6863 - condenser is JUNK! DO NOT BUY~!!! - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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ACDelco 15-6863 - condenser is JUNK! DO NOT BUY~!!!

These units are garbage. The orifice tube will not fit into the condenser because the line is not flared correctly.

Does anyone know where I can score a good one?

1995 Caprice ERE 383, CIA long tubes, Dynomax VT's, RAISS, Kore3/Z06 brakes, 3.42 posi, Boss 338 20's, 12 way seats, Impala SS console, etc etc etc
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 01:11 PM
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I just recently ordered & promptly returned one from rock it was bent like a pretzel when it showed up.

I wound up using a poorly fitting UAC condenser that I was also going to return. The tubes required bending/tweaking to line up properly, and it didn't fit great into rubber isolators.
After seeing the spendy ACDelco POS that was not much better in quality or fit, figured screw it.

Wish I could have just kept/re-used the OE unit.

No idea on where to score a quality condenser, everything I've seen so far is pretty lacking
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 01:34 PM
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I have worked on cars, managed auto repair parts departments and shops, since the 70's. We used to get good parts and sold "Preventative Maintenance" WITH CONFIDENCE! Not anymore.

I am sick of trying to fix and maintain my cars, w/ the JUNK, mostly China and Mexico parts we get today! I had to order 5 Dorman (China)drivers door window switches, to get the 2 good ones, I needed.

I have installed 2 sets of Standard Motor Products (china, formally a GOOD US product company) Fuel return "cups"/hoses kits, on my 1986 F250 diesel and they STILL don't seal properly. Every darn "R&R" job is now a project, with unknown outcome!

God Bless America!

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2014 Chevrolet VOLT
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 05:07 PM
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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.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 11:03 PM
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FWIW - I have not used this heater core:

Made in the USA.

But I have installed several Spectra radiators - all made in Canada and always with fine results.

I have seen some Spectra products made in China and they looked OK to me. Made in China by itself should not be condemned. Some firms insist on higher standards and quality control and get it.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-07-2016, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by MWP View Post

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.
There is a common theme in this thread and it's sad. Even GM Replacement parts are going the way of the replacement part vendors. I believe GM has off-shored a lot of their parts in the past, but even those now are starting to have Sh!tty Quality Standards. Where do we as the Automotive Hobbyist turn now? another 10, 20 years?

It's really sad that US based manufacturers are outsourcing not only the parts being made....but apparently they are outsourcing the Quality Inspectors too. I know I keep my eye out for NOS or "decent" Used parts for just this reason. Way to go GM!!!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 04:12 PM
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I went thru about 5-6 of the AC-Delco Condensers from RockAuto...The first one had same issue as OP but surprisingly wasnt bent like a pretzel but the next 6 that followed were warped due to poor packaging. You guys are probably like why did you go thru 5-6 before saying screw it and that is because the second one I got was flared correctly to fit the Orifice but was warped/bent like a pretzel so badly I returned it. I continued to buy to just find one not so badly warped but flared correctly for the Orifice Tube installation but no luck...Sadly awaiting for someone to manufacture something that is compatible but not holding my breath. Im in FL so its imperative I find one for my baby at some point. Im pretty much just banking on finding one in a Salvage yard that hopefully is in good shape. If anybody knows of anywhere to find one please share your thoughts when you have a chance...I pasted a thread back in August/September of last year when I originally started my AC Project and this damn condenser has had me jammed up since. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\AC-Delco Condensers are JUUUUUNNNKKKKK//////////////////
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-31-2016, 05:20 PM
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I bought a UAC one off eBay. tubes needed tweaking to line up, but it works. IIRC it was $8x.xx shipped
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