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Thread: Question for automobile A/C experts.

  1. #1

    Question for automobile A/C experts.

    Kit car related (or not) it's pretty much the same.* I have a few questions and if someone has some experience and could shine in here it would be great....

    So I'm getting sick and tired of paying out the $$$ to have A/C work done; which usually requires some fancy tools, patience to find the leak, and a fill up with r134a.* Sounds pretty easy to do, after all building a car, one should be able to fix something as simple as the A/C eh?

    So here is what I've got...

    • I picked up a r134a manifold (typical high & low, with 2 vacuum ports)
    • I've got a leak detector, not sure if it's of much use in the real world.
    • I've got (on order) a dye kit, comes with light, glasses, and dye of course.
    • Got a vacuum pump with r134a and r12 ports.
    • Got a 30# tank of r134a.
    • Got some PAG oil and oil injector
    • Ordered a flushing kit (just incase compressor went bad.)
    • Got some misc tools to remove and replace valve cores in high and low ports.

    Not sure if I need anything else...

    So this is the plan.* I hear that most leaks are in the seals due to engine vibrations.
    I think I found a leaking valve core, so I'm going to replace it.* I figured I would replace all the O-rings and orifice tube
    since I have the system discharged, after all that's less than $10 in parts and worth the time to replace them now.
    (I'd spend more money in leaking 134).

    I can handle all that replacement stuff, but not sure on the procedure to charge the system.* What's the correct procedure to charge an A/C system?* And is there a better way to find the leak without charging the system?* I don't have any fancy recovery equipment, so if I charge it, then find another leak, I'm hosed.* Someone told me to charge the system with air, but I think that would be a bad idea with the desiccant bag.

    How much freon should I add to the system, should I also add OIL?
    Do I really need a scale, or should I just fill it up until I reach a certain PSI on the low side?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cowans's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
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    497

    Re: Question for automobile A/C experts.

    I paid enormous sums of $$$ to retrofit mine to 134A....! New compressor, new compressor hoses, new condensor, new almost everything. Worst mistake I ever made! The biggest problem was trusting people who 'supposively' had AC experience. Frankly, it was I who paid for their experience.
    To suggest some pointers....
    1) only fill your system with 75%(134A) of what your system holds of R12. (Otherwise you will be investing in a new compressor/ask me how I know)
    2) Find a reputable parts dealer to obtain a proper orifice tube that works with 134A. (there are new tubes that work much better than the R12 ones.)
    3) Most definately replace your Dryer. (the old one's dessicant will be saturated with R12 extract/oil).
    4) Flush your system well! Vacumn for a long time to remove excess flush.
    5) When your ready for the vacumn test, leave the vacumn guages on overnight to prove to yourself that there are no leaks.
    6) Leak dye is a pita...! If you have a leak, the dye will get over everthing, trust me on this!
    7) Use new 134A O-rings. (my own experience will dictate changing only those O-rings that have had been exposed, meaning if you have noty opened the section, then don't to replace the O-ring, as the aluminum threads become brittle and dissolve, creating a bigger expense/more problems.)
    I sincerely hope you have a better experience with AC than I diid. I finally sold the 2nd compressor, condensor, took a bath and do not have AC!!!
    good luck,
    Sandy

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    197

    Re: Question for automobile A/C experts.

    sorry to hear about that Sandy...I have had about 50/50 luck with A/C repairs but on my next turn-key I am seriously going to consider some of the new systems such as Vintage Air etc,regardless if my donor fiero has air or not.I think for the cost of repairs and conversion ,brand new is starting to have a lot more appeal to me. Plus the fact on a lambo the box unit itself is almost un-servicable up under the windshield on the front ...the aftermarket stuff is really small and could be serviced inside the cockpit ...john

  4. #4

    Re: Question for automobile A/C experts.

    I got my A/C to R134a for less than hundered dollars and the ac is verrrry cold and powerful.

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