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Where's the leak?

Discussion in 'A/C & Heater systems - HVAC' started by gsmaclean, May 8, 2007.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. gsmaclean

    gsmaclean Active Member

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    City, State:
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    03 Limited
    I've replaced quite a few parts on my 1994 Limited's A/C system, beginning with the tube that went from the condensor to the orifice tube, as it had rusted out. After evacuating and filling, the system works great for a day. After 48 hours, it has leaked down to 0 psi again. I have now twice put some UV dye in it, refilled it, ran it and let it leak down again, and I have yet to see any evidence of dye anywhere (and yes, I'm using a UV light to search for it, before you ask!).

    Is there anywhere in the system that it could be leaking that would not be obvious? Is there any type of leak that would not show the UV dye?
     
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  3. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  4. shamaal

    shamaal Well-Known Member

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    A/C leaks with UV are difficult to find. There is actually very little of the dye that will show. Common points for leaks are:
    1. Cracks where the tubing enters condensor.
    2. Accumulator under the insulation. I can't remember what year had insulation around the accumulator,
    3. Fittings, check fittings on back of compressor, including high pressure release valve.
    4. Removing the blower resistor pack on the side of the evaporator, lets you look inside. Evaporator leaks are very rare.
    5. With everything quiet, put some refrigerant in and listen for leaks, particularly while turning the compressor by hand. The compressor was my last leak - no UV but I could hear it hiss when I turned.
    6. New orings all around if nothing shows. Lube with refrigerant oil.

    As BB says, if it doesn't hold a vacuum go 15 minutes after being evacuated, the leak ain't going to get better under pressure.

    Good Luck
     
  5. gsmaclean

    gsmaclean Active Member

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    Well after several attempts (and many cans of R-134a) I was still completely unable to figure out just where the leak was. Not knowing what part to replace, I had almost given up on fixing the A/C in my truck, and figured I'd give this Cliplight "Super Seal Premium Pro A/C" sealant a try - after spending so much on parts and cans of refrigerant, what did I have to lose? Even though my system was leaking down faster than what the Cliplight documentation said it could fix, I thought I'd give it a try anyway.

    When it arrived, I was unimpressed. How could this tiny little can of sealant possibly fix my system? I evacuated recharged my system once more and followed the very precise and detailed instructions that came with the Cliplight kit.

    An hour later, my leak was gone, and the system was holding pressure. It has been three weeks since I used the Cliplight sealant, and my truck's A/C has held its pressure perfectly, and the A/C is blowing ice cold. I never would have expected this product to work, but it does - amazingly well! I can't recommend it highly enough.

    Do a search for "CLP946KIT" and you'll find the product.
     
  6. ChasAld

    ChasAld New Member

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    My '92 Explorer has been converted to freon r134a. I've had a lot of trouble with the schrader valve (especially on the low side) leaking. The plastic cap you put over the quick disconnects offer little hope as far as stopping this type of leak. Plastic will not hold the pressure due to its flexability.

    FWIW my son has had the same exact problem with his Jeep Cherokee.

    I am working on a solution to fix this problem (as time permits).

    It is not a good idea to put the so called LEAK STOP in an AC system. Most of the time it stops up the expansion orfice, instead of the actual leak, resulting in a more costly repair.

    Charles
     
  7. gsmaclean

    gsmaclean Active Member

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    The stuff I put in is not the "leak stop" you buy at Wal-Mart for $3. It's normally sold to repair shops only, not at retail, and it's $30 for a little can of it. It circulates normally with the refrigerant. When there is a leak, the stuff escapes along with the refrigerant, and in doing so cools (as refrigerant does when the pressure drops), causing condensation. The condensation reacts with the sealant and causes it to harden - so the only place it actually hardens is where there is a leak. Otherwise it is in gaseous form, just like the refrigerant, and is incapable of plugging the orifice or anything else.

    That said, it is extremely important that you replace the receiver/drier and evacuate the system completely before using it, to ensure there is no moisture left in the system.
     
  8. Glacier991

    Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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    Interesting. Thaks for the heads up on this product. More and more I am believing that the molecules on 134 are so small that the dye might get left behind.... meaning you need a sniffer.

    Keep us posted on how this product performs.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. gsmaclean

    gsmaclean Active Member

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    Well it's been three weeks of almost daily A/C use (at least 2 hours a day) since I put it in, and it's still holding pressure, so I'd have to give the Cliplight sealant product a thumbs up.
     
  10. LRich31201

    LRich31201 New Member

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    I have a 1988 Bronco ll with a big AC problem. When I don't have the AC on the car never heats up. When turning the AC on, the car heats up and when stopping, antifreeze shoots out. I have had two new radiators, new thermostats, new hoses, etc. Cannot figure out this problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  11. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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  12. Andrea P

    Andrea P New Member

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    Location:
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    1996 4WD XLT
    Leaking AC

    After many refills and putting the dye in AND taking it to a shop (who told me everything needed to be replaced @ $800), we think we have found the problem.

    I have a 1996 Ford Explorer and I live in Phoenix...we have been trying to find my leak since late last summer and with it already hitting 80 degrees here, it was becoming more and more important. After 5 to 6 times of the system being empty and putting more dye in, I was out looking with my uv light and began to hear a hiss. I could not find any dye. Low and behold, it was the high end valve that was doing the hissing. I took off the cap, which basically fell off and then I could see the dye bubbling. Now that I have found the leak, is this a valve that can be replaced or do I have to replace the whole tube?

    Thank you
    I'm still learning after having this car from day one. It now has 136,000 miles on it.

    Andrea
     
  13. ranger7ltr

    ranger7ltr Elite Explorer

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    Usually you would have to replace the line BUT...

    First try to tighten the schrader valve core first...Many times the valve core is loose and leaking...Ftrankly I am surprised that an a/c teck hadn't found this yet...Or looked for it even...

    The easiest way to get a tool to tighten the core is to go to Walmart or an auto parts store and get a valve core removal tool...It's a small round cylinder with a pair of tabs on the top of it...

    Insert it into the valve and turn clockwise...It doesn't take much torque to tighten up either...If it was just loose, the leakage will decrease or stop completely[obviously]...If the valve is otherwise damaged or if the core is damaged, tightening will not work and the leak will continue...

    And even if the core is damaged, the hose itself may be fine and you MAY just need a new valve core...And any reputable a/c shop would be able to replace the valve core without evacuating the system...

    Check that core and let us know if it's loose...
     
  14. pirate4722

    pirate4722 New Member

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    Clipkit stopleak

    I know this is an old thread,but I'm glad it's here!

    I was in the same boat as Mr. McLean with the entire system replaced,including the Evaporator.I read his post & felt the same way,what the heck,it was cheaper than having someone shoot Nitrogen thru it!

    Well it actually worked for me too. :eek: My Tech. said it was the 1st. time in 25 yrs. he ever saw a sealant work!

    Made a believer outa' me! :D

    Thanks Mr. GSMcLEAN

    Great Site,This Is!!!

    Pirate
     
  15. kevin74656

    kevin74656 New Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1996 Eddie Bauer
    Pirate, where did you buy it? The product has apparently been discontinued but I did find a few online retailers that still stock it. I've purchased (or attempted to, anyway) discontinued products in the past that were shown to be in stock on the retailer's website, only to be told that the item is no longer in stock.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  16. pirate4722

    pirate4722 New Member

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    Clipkit stopleak

    I found mine on EBAY @JBtoolsales02.

    Was 26.95 + 6.95 shipping @ was here like (snap) THAT! Good to deal with
    people!

    You do need to evacuate the system & follow the instructions,but I know of 2
    Peeps that it worked for.You need gauges too.

    I buy all my parts @ Rock Auto too but I still got a bunch of $$$$$ in it.

    I'm just as happy as of I had good sense!

    If you need any more Info LMK!

    Pirate
     
  17. kevin74656

    kevin74656 New Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1996 Eddie Bauer
    Thank you, sir! I have a set of manifold gauges and an electric vacuum pump, so I'll give this a try. At 144K I don't have anything to lose!

    Cheers,
    Kevin
     
  18. kevin74656

    kevin74656 New Member

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    Unfortunately the product didn't work for very long. It blew cold air for about 3 months before the compressor began cycling on and off every few seconds. Bummer. :(
     
  19. pirate4722

    pirate4722 New Member

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    Had to use mine today...and it still freezes me out!
     
  20. Chris from DE

    Chris from DE New Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
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    The leak for my 1996 Ford Explorer was in the hose shown here, just to the right of the tranny dipstick.

    It rubbed against the firewall and abraded through. I searched for a while for this leak and this post helped me find it.

    I had no luck w/ UV dye and instead filled it one more time and just listed for a hiss as a poster above said to do..

    [​IMG]
     

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