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AC recharge

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by pagz, May 27, 2003.


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    1. pagz

      pagz New Member

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      I've got a 97 EXplorer sport 4x4 and the AC just went hot. I hear the compressor still cycling, but no cold air. Is it possible to get one of those R134 recharge kits from Wal Mart and just recharge it myself, or should i bring it to a dealership and have them charge me up the A$$ to fix it? Oh and yes i have checked the infamous blend door...
       
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    3. BradE.

      BradE. Active Member

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      You can recharge it yourself pretty easily. The kits at WalMart will work. :cool:
       
    4. oceanworker

      oceanworker Member

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      Yes , you can recharge yourself as long as you have some R-134stem. ( Once all the R-134 has leaked out, it is ba=est to have it evacuated before adding the freon). Be sure to buy a kit that has a low pressure side gauge and only fill the low pressure side 1/2 can at a time, checking pressure each time. If you get too much freon in the system, it can blow out seals in the compressor of o-rings. There should be an "optimum" pressure line or color on the gauge.
       
    5. oceanworker

      oceanworker Member

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      Sorry... that first line was to make sure you have some R-134 in the system.
       
    6. dogfriend

      dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

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      You could also take it to an independent shop and have it checked out. The advantage of doing it this way is that they can add a small amount of flourescent dye to the a/c system so they can determine where it is leaking and fix it.

      When I needed to recharge my Ranger, I took it to a shop at Arden & Fulton but they aren't there anymore. Usually there are some places that offer an A/C inspection for $30-40 plus refridgerant. The R-134A is not nearly as expensive as the R-12, so it shouldn't cost a lot to get an inspection and recharge.
       
    7. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      I'm with dogfriend. Good advice.


      Happy exploring

      Chris
       
    8. pagz

      pagz New Member

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      Ok i have all the stuff to recharge, but where is the low pressure side that i am supposed to hook it up to?
       
    9. pagz

      pagz New Member

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      found low pressure side, re-charged it and all is nice and cool now...Thanks for the help guys...
       
    10. quixel

      quixel New Member

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      i dont know where the low pressure side is please help i get conflicting stories
       
    11. dogfriend

      dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

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      The high pressure side is the line from the compressor to the condensor (mounted in front of the radiator). The low pressure side is the line coming from the accumulator/dryer (called the suction accumulator/dryer in the list) to the compressor.
       

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    12. dogfriend

      dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

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      I took some pictures of the system on my truck. I believe the high pressure port is the black cap near the battery. There is also a green cap near the battery; this is for the Evap System - don't try to use this port.

      The only other port that I see is on top of the accumulator/dryer (called the suction accumulator/dryer in the Ford manual). I believe that this is the low pressure port. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.
       

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    13. V8BoatBuilder

      V8BoatBuilder Transplanted Bostonian

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      Nice pics! BTW, the locations are the same on the V8 engines, if anyone was wondering.
       
    14. bionicsasquatch

      bionicsasquatch New Member

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      You may want ot look into recharging your system with HC-12a. This is what I have found during my research.

      1. Lower boiling point than r-12 or 134.
      2. Uses 35% to 40% less than 12 or 134
      3. compresses more effieciently, using less horsepower
      4. Better heat exchange than 12 or 134
      5. Totally compatable with either 12 or 134

      The only downfall I see so far is that it is about 4 times the price, but you are using less than half of what you normally would. I have just bought a case and plan on doing the recharge this week. I will let ya'll know how it goes. Here is the website that got me started in my research. Hope this helps.

      http://www.hc12ausa.com/
       
    15. dogfriend

      dogfriend Human-Animal Hybrid

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      The other drawback that I see is flammability. The HC-12a is hydrocarbon based; you could burn it as fuel (not automotive fuel, but in a propane stove) because it is a flammable gas. CFC-12 and HFC-134A are much less flammable because of the fluorine.

      The MSDS for the HC-12a warns to use spark proof equipment and to be careful of static electricity because of the possibility of ignition. Be Careful.
       
    16. 2000EB4x4inGA

      2000EB4x4inGA Member

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      I bought one of these kits from wlamart and got a reading of 25 right on the edge of what it says needs to be filled. However using the supplied can of refridgerant etc i was unable to get the system to take any r134 any ideas guys?

      Thanks in advance

      Brian
       
    17. msmith65

      msmith65 Active Member

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      If the pictures don't make it clear:

      The low-side valve is on a larger-diameter hose/pipe than the high-side valve.

      I believe that with 134 systems the fittings are different sizes, too, so they're idiot-proof. (That doesn't prevent overcharging, though.)
       
    18. spta97

      spta97 Well-Known Member

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      The low pressure port (which is what you would be dealing with) is in the same location.

      I have a question - what is the trick to getting all the R134A to take? I could not get mine above 45 PSI - how long does the can take to empty?
       
    19. 2000EB4x4inGA

      2000EB4x4inGA Member

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      I cant get my can to empty at all...the guage works fine... the can works if you just press the button...i am following the directions... Any ideas? Does it work better with the AC off...the can says to do it at Max AC engine running. I pressed down the button of a shaken can for a good 2 minutes with no result.
       
    20. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      First off... WHY would you want the low side operating pressure to be 45 or higher? Next... with the engine operating the low side will be at it's lowest, and will take in gaseous refrigerant most easily. In other words, low side gas charging is always done with the system running.

      (Biting my tongue about the "kits"... grrr... I'll just say this. AC pressures are NOT, repeat NOT like TIRE pressures. In other words you may add air until your tire pressure is 32 psi. AC pressures fluctuate, there is not a "full" pressure indication by using a cheapie gauge. Trust in the vent temps. For more info read "Converting you AC .." in the USEFUL threads and follow the links, LOTS of info there.) rant complete.
       
    21. 2000EB4x4inGA

      2000EB4x4inGA Member

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      ok here is actually the situation...

      My compressor cycles ALOT... at idle it almost causes the car to idle because the compressor kicks on and as the car adjusts its idle the compressor kicks back off.

      This in my experience means that i am low on freon (134) so i wa trying to add more. The guage i bought said that the range was between 25 and 45 for low side and i am right at 24-25 meaning no difference in the vent temp but i think i am working my equipment more than is needed.

      Thanks for advice and help.

      Brian
       
    22. spta97

      spta97 Well-Known Member

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      On the gauge I got it has a scale with blue, green, and red indicators letting you know where the pressure should be given the outside tempurature. When I was doing it, the gauge stated it should be reading 55PSI. I wasn't going willy nilly trying to blow it up but rather following instructions on the can.
       
    23. 2000EB4x4inGA

      2000EB4x4inGA Member

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      Yeah...again expertise is appreciated but we are just trying to keep our Xs in perfect condition.
       
    24. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Brian... you are correct, a fast cycling compressor clutch is most often due to a low charge state. When the compressor kicks in the low side soon falls below the low side cutoff (around 25 psi) and the clutch shuts off. Soon as the high side and low side start to equalize the switch kicks back in and the cycle (and cycling) repeats.

      I do not have, own, or care to own a "kit" hose/valve assembly... but in the 134 systems you may have to screw down the schrader valve inside the connector fitting - look for something that allows you to do that. You'll know once you start taking in the 134 (make sure the can is UPRIGHT as you do this) as the can will start to get cold. You may need to put the can into a bowl or coffee can of hot water to keep the process going, because at some point the can can get soo cold the pressure in the can will equal the pressure in the operating low side... AC is ALL about temperature/pressure. Boyle's law in real life. Others with experience with these kits may have some better advice for you on your prolem. Me ? I prefer my gauge set. A good $50 investment for anyone working on their own AC. Good luck.
       
      Last edited: September 24, 2004
    25. Brock94

      Brock94 Active Member

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      Glacier991-- I have an AC related question I'd like your help on. I have a 94 xlt (134A obviously). Last spring the charge was low, so I re-charged (I have the guage set)-- After recharge I notice a very slight bubbling leak at the high pressure port valve. I fiddled with the valve (carefully) with a small screwdriver until the leak seemed to stop. After a week the charge was completely gone. The next time, I was in a hurry to get my AC working, so I made a little silicone plug out of RTV (that I let dry on the bench), I charged the system and put the "plug" under the high pressure cap to stop the leak-- the cap is screwed down over the "plug" to hold it in place and seal the leak. This seems to have worked all season as I have not lost the charge, but I'd like to do a more permanent fix. The problem is that the valve in the high pressure port is not an ordinary schraeder valve, but it looks like a plastic or rubber ball. Do you know what this is and how I can replace it?

      (Obviously the system has to be fully discharged, then evacuated and recharged, etc.-- I'd just like to know about this kind of valve if you have any experience with it.)
       
    26. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      I am not familiar with what you describe.... are you sure someone hasn't put some sort of something OVER the schrader? Will it come out or is in internal to the design? If it is truly as you say... you might try posting your Q on www.aircondition.com. Sorry I am not more help.
       

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