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Replacing A/C Line, Need Help With A/C!

williams.cory

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I am replacing the A/C line that goes from the evaperator to the condenser due to the line breaking near the orifice tube. Just ordered from Rock Auto. Question is, do I need any special tools to disconect the line?

More importantly, since I'm no expert on A/C, what all do I need to recharge? It has no freon in the lines at all and its been that why for a year. Do I need to vacuum the lines out? The freon I'm looking at includes 26oz bottle with a mix of freon and oil along with stop leak. Will this work?

I know the A/C works because I put 2 cans freon in when I first got the X and the compressor came on and air "started" to get cooler, like 1 degree cooler. But after 1 hour all the freon leaked out due to the line being broke.


Thanks for your help.
 
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williams.cory

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Ok, after doing some research I think I know what I need to do. Since the A/C line has totally broke off and it been exposed to lots of moister and air then I should put some oil in the system.

So first I should replace the A/C line. Then I will go rent a vacuum pump and manifold gauges from Autozone and leave the pump on for 30-50 minutes then turn off and let sit for 15 minutes to make sure there aren't anymore leaks.
Then add 7oz of PAG 100 oil let run for 15 minutes to even things out.
And then add my refridgerent.

Is this all correct? Is there anything else I need to do?
 
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scucci

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Go here:
http://www.autoacforum.com/
http://www.aircondition.com/

You will find many A/C Techs there very willing to help you.

I would replace the acuumulator/Dryer and the orifice tube as a minimum. It is difficult to give an exact oil quantity when it is not known how much oil is left in the system. Get the Johnsen refigerant oil guide and chart here:
http://www.technicalchemical.com/techsupport/lubricantguide4.pdf

Get the Napa Refrigerant and oil capacity guide here:
http://napabeltshose.com/news/index.cfm?location_id=1078&id=1517&show=newsitem

more charts here:
http://www.technicalchemical.com/techsupport.htm

Scucci
 
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Cobraguy

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If you add that much oil, you are probably going to have way too much oil in your system. Oil stays in the condensor, evaporator, compressor, accumulator, etc. You will not have lost it all. If you lost a lot of oil, there will be evidence of it where the freon leaked.

Quite honestly, you might be better off taking this to a shop and have them evac and charge it for you. Go ahead and replace the line yourself, but by the time you rent gauges, pump, etc, you might be better off having a pro do it for you...especially if you don't understand temp/pressure relationships. Just a thought...
 
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williams.cory

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If you add that much oil, you are probably going to have way too much oil in your system. Oil stays in the condensor, evaporator, compressor, accumulator, etc. You will not have lost it all. If you lost a lot of oil, there will be evidence of it where the freon leaked.

Quite honestly, you might be better off taking this to a shop and have them evac and charge it for you. Go ahead and replace the line yourself, but by the time you rent gauges, pump, etc, you might be better off having a pro do it for you...especially if you don't understand temp/pressure relationships. Just a thought...

Maybe putting 1-2oz will be just fine? I'd love to take it somewhere but really can't afford it.

But it all seems pretty simple to me now that I understand everything works. I'm just one of those types of people that loves to learn how to fix things and fix them myself....

I have been hearing that when you charge the system that you should stay away from the premaid mixs? Like a big 26oz can that has oil, refridgerent and stop leak sealer all in one bottle.
 
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williams.cory

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Go here:
http://www.autoacforum.com/
http://www.aircondition.com/

You will find many A/C Techs there very willing to help you.

I would replace the acuumulator/Dryer and the orifice tube as a minimum. It is difficult to give an exact oil quantity when it is not known how much oil is left in the system. Get the Johnsen refigerant oil guide and chart here:
http://www.technicalchemical.com/techsupport/lubricantguide4.pdf

Get the Napa Refrigerant and oil capacity guide here:
http://napabeltshose.com/news/index.cfm?location_id=1078&id=1517&show=newsitem

more charts here:
http://www.technicalchemical.com/techsupport.htm

Scucci

Thanks for the sites! I'll go on and ask my question there to see what everyione says.
 
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ranger7ltr

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If you have access to an air compressor I would blow out the condensor, remaining lines, replace the orifice tube and remove all oil from the condensor and compressor...

After being open for a year, even though PAG oil supposedly is not hydroscopic, I would remove the oil for wanting to remove any dirt or foreign matter that would have gotten into the system.

By removing the orifice tube you can see the state of your refrigerant system... If the tube has brown or black flakes or melted plastic/teflon pieces you will need to address those problems... The only place this debris can come from is the compressor and this junk can clog the condensor and lines leading up to black death...

Change the accumulator...Its job is to remove moisture from the refrigernat and once the system is opened you do not reuse it..Same with the orifice tube...Its job is to provide a metering restriction in the system and to filter out any debris and garbage in the system... They do wear out, get old, and stop working over time.. Whenever the system is open, take the time and opportunity to shotgun the parts in the system and replace any wear or maintenance items.. Think of the orifice tube and like a tranny filter and the accumulator like a permanent oil filter... Both just require more work to replace than those filters on the engine.. But since the refrigerant system is more sealed than your engine, there are fewer opportunities for dirt to enter and less need to replace these filters.

Tools... You are renting gauges and vacuum pump..Good first step...To remove the lines on most Fords you will need a set of disconnect tools.. They are similar to the same tools used to disconnect fuel lines on Fords... I have both the plastic set and the aluminum set...I use the plastic ones until I can't get the parts apart then I use the aluminum ones.. Also you MAY need an orifice tube puller...Sometimes a pair of needle nose pliers will work and in some cases the orifice tube is part of the line that it is installed in and cannot be removed. In that case the line needs to be replaced...

Repairing the system... Since this is an R-134a system you can't guess[ or should not guess] on the charge amount...A proper charge level is based on the weight of the charge and ideally a tank with a scale should be used...Now since most of us do not have those tools we rely on the guess and pressures method..We use one large can or a couple of smaller ones and watch the pressures go up and feel the inside air cool down and stop when it feels good to us...

You can remove all the oil in the system then replace the o-tube, accumulator, the broken line, all the o-rings on the fittings, add 7 ozs. of the recommended Pag oil then attach your vacuum pump and run it for 30 mins then shut it off and check for leaks.. If the system holds vacuum, then run it another 60 mins to verify the system is good and dry...At this point you have 2 options... Use the guess and pressures method or take the vacuumed and repaired system to an ac shop to have them recharge the system with the proper level of refrigerant...

Both ways work[ I have done both] but I prefer the weight method in the system and that way I don't have to wonder if I got the correct level of refrigerant in the system...Pressure wise you are looking for 2.3x-2.7x ambient temp on the high side...Low side will vary as the compressor cycles on and off and the heat load from the inside air changes...

One last item to look at is the engine driven fan and clutch and the condensor fins...Make absolutely certain they are functioning properly and the condensor is not clogged with dirt, bugs, debris, etc...Both will need to work harder to keep the engine cool and the vehicle cool so anything you can do to facilitate that helps not put more load on both.. If the fan clutch is marginal. now is the time to replace it...Clean the condensor now if needed while the system is apart and easy to remove from the vehicle...

I think that covers most bases on your system...
 
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williams.cory

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'97 5.0
If you have access to an air compressor I would blow out the condensor, remaining lines, replace the orifice tube and remove all oil from the condensor and compressor...

After being open for a year, even though PAG oil supposedly is not hydroscopic, I would remove the oil for wanting to remove any dirt or foreign matter that would have gotten into the system.

By removing the orifice tube you can see the state of your refrigerant system... If the tube has brown or black flakes or melted plastic/teflon pieces you will need to address those problems... The only place this debris can come from is the compressor and this junk can clog the condensor and lines leading up to black death...

Change the accumulator...Its job is to remove moisture from the refrigernat and once the system is opened you do not reuse it..Same with the orifice tube...Its job is to provide a metering restriction in the system and to filter out any debris and garbage in the system... They do wear out, get old, and stop working over time.. Whenever the system is open, take the time and opportunity to shotgun the parts in the system and replace any wear or maintenance items.. Think of the orifice tube and like a tranny filter and the accumulator like a permanent oil filter... Both just require more work to replace than those filters on the engine.. But since the refrigerant system is more sealed than your engine, there are fewer opportunities for dirt to enter and less need to replace these filters.

Tools... You are renting gauges and vacuum pump..Good first step...To remove the lines on most Fords you will need a set of disconnect tools.. They are similar to the same tools used to disconnect fuel lines on Fords... I have both the plastic set and the aluminum set...I use the plastic ones until I can't get the parts apart then I use the aluminum ones.. Also you MAY need an orifice tube puller...Sometimes a pair of needle nose pliers will work and in some cases the orifice tube is part of the line that it is installed in and cannot be removed. In that case the line needs to be replaced...

Repairing the system... Since this is an R-134a system you can't guess[ or should not guess] on the charge amount...A proper charge level is based on the weight of the charge and ideally a tank with a scale should be used...Now since most of us do not have those tools we rely on the guess and pressures method..We use one large can or a couple of smaller ones and watch the pressures go up and feel the inside air cool down and stop when it feels good to us...

You can remove all the oil in the system then replace the o-tube, accumulator, the broken line, all the o-rings on the fittings, add 7 ozs. of the recommended Pag oil then attach your vacuum pump and run it for 30 mins then shut it off and check for leaks.. If the system holds vacuum, then run it another 60 mins to verify the system is good and dry...At this point you have 2 options... Use the guess and pressures method or take the vacuumed and repaired system to an ac shop to have them recharge the system with the proper level of refrigerant...

Both ways work[ I have done both] but I prefer the weight method in the system and that way I don't have to wonder if I got the correct level of refrigerant in the system...Pressure wise you are looking for 2.3x-2.7x ambient temp on the high side...Low side will vary as the compressor cycles on and off and the heat load from the inside air changes...

One last item to look at is the engine driven fan and clutch and the condensor fins...Make absolutely certain they are functioning properly and the condensor is not clogged with dirt, bugs, debris, etc...Both will need to work harder to keep the engine cool and the vehicle cool so anything you can do to facilitate that helps not put more load on both.. If the fan clutch is marginal. now is the time to replace it...Clean the condensor now if needed while the system is apart and easy to remove from the vehicle...

I think that covers most bases on your system...


GREAT write-up! I appreciate that ALOT!
Right where the line was broke is about and inch from the orifice tube. When I noticed the break I saw the line and half of the orifice sticking out.

The previous owner had the A/C serviced a couple years ago because there is a sticker under the hood with a date on it. I looked at the orifice tube and there is no gunk on it at all, it looks brand new. So I am assuming that when it was last serviced the orifice tube and accumulator and maybe other parts were replaced.

I have the tool to remove the line! lol. I wouldnt have guessed that those little white round discs to remove fuel line would also disconect A/C line.

I can pretty well assume that all of the freon is out of the system because I have had this break in the line for about a year. I looked on Motorcratfs site and it says that the A/C for year and model takes 30oz of refridgerent... As for the oil I ordered a 4oz can(2oz of PAG 100 and 2oz of R134a.)
 
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marragtop

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Ranger7: excellent post!
 
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