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 AC system wont charge

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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

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PostSubject: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeMon Apr 08, 2019 8:18 pm

All the details.

It looks like the inside of the system did not get polluted, except the the orifice filter was completely clogged with a dry clay like substance. That condensor went right in the trash. The one I had from the 96 that got parted the same filter was clean and compressed air blows freely through it, so I installed it.

I flushed the rest of the lines, including flushing through the evaporator. The rest of the lines were pretty clean compared to some other systems I flushed. Flushing the evaporator I got a bit of oil out with with the flush, so I topped that off with pag oil. I followed the FSM and put 1 oz in the new compressor, 3.5 oz in the accumulator, about 2 - 2.5 into the evaporator (through the hose from the accumulator) and didn't put any in the condenser as I didn't take any out.

I got it all back together and vacuumed it down for half an hour or so. I popped on a can an it took in a little as it equalized the vacuum. I then jumped the low pressure switch to kick on the compressor and ......nothing.

The compressor runs (only let it go about a minute and shut it off), but it wasn't drawing any 134a out of the can as it didn't start to get cold like usual.....

I cycled the compressor a couple more times to no avail.


So did I screw up with the oil and maybe it's blocking the path? All the lines blew clear with compressed air. The compressor seems to run properly. I'm at a loss as I have done at least 5 ACs on vehicles and never ran into this...
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Rev Bob



Posts : 251
Join date : 2016-05-24

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 11:35 am

What did the Low Side gage read?

The dry clay you saw is what the desiccant beads in the filter/dryer break down to when exposed to moisture long term.
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Garrett Crozier

Garrett Crozier

Posts : 61
Join date : 2016-12-20
Location : Toledo, Ohio

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 12:00 pm

make sure the can is actually tapped and has pressure coming out the hose. I have had cans refuse to puncture before. I suppose it is possible that the orifice filter plugged again? Best of luck.
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 5:18 pm

the can was punctured I let some out to be sure. the low side was pulling about 27 on vacuum on the vac pump. I didn't check it on the compressor. I replaced the condenser and flushed and blew everything else out.....
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5069
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 pm

I am doing the same thing to my 92 OCC. I hope I do not get the same results.
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

Posts : 2530
Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 6:59 pm

FSM specs that you need to raise RPM when drawing the charge. I jam a screwdriver in there, slide it in until I get around 2000rpm. This really helps.
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 8:33 pm

I'm kinda wondering if I put too much oil in. I have never before put any in an accumulator let alone 3oz.... Of course its raining tonight so I can only sit and think about it.

After talking with someone who worked in an auto AC shop this eve. I have a plan.

1. hook the gauges up and jump the compressor to see what kind of vacuum its pulling if any.
2. if little to none, dump the oil out of the accumulator and try same.
3. Try Jay's method above (or maybe this is #2 as it's easier Smile )
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

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Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 9:51 pm

Rotate the compressor by hand first to make sure it isn't hydro-locked.
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeTue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm

jayoldschool wrote:
Rotate the compressor by hand first to make sure it isn't hydro-locked.

wouldn't shorting it and running it via the motor spin it the same way (I can hear it kick on)?

Also how do you manually turn it as the clutch is disengaged when it's off
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jayoldschool

jayoldschool

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Join date : 2009-06-14

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 8:48 am

You grab the front of it and turn, not the pulley. You do it by hand to make sure that you can actually turn it before shorting it. Turn it over a few times, move the oil out of there, then get back to charging it up.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

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Age : 70
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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 9:05 am

You could turn the key to accessory, and turn the AC on. That might energize the solenoid.
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 4:24 pm

When I short the low pressure switch the clutch engages and it turns, it just doesn't suck the juice out of the can Sad   Will have to time to work on it tonight
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Sprocket

Sprocket

Posts : 5542
Join date : 2008-11-04
Location : Palm Beach County

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 7:13 pm

Garrett Crozier wrote:
make sure the can is actually tapped and has pressure coming out the hose. I have had cans refuse to puncture before. I suppose it is possible that the orifice filter plugged again? Best of luck.

Not far off the mark. New cans of 134a are now sold with a 'self sealing' top. So when you screw in the needle it goes into the can and lets enough stuff out to pressurize the gauge. Then you back the needle out and it supposedly seals. It doesn't fully seal and you hear hissing when you start to unscrew the connector off the top of the can.

I suppose you could fill the system this way but the empty compressor would probably burn up[ before that happened.
Bottom line a trip to local parts store and $3 later I have an adapter and we are charged and running.

How I figured it out:

THe other day I wasn't using the manifold gauges was just trying to dump the can in.
Today I hooked up the gauge to the low side, opened the valve and jumped the compressor. I was pulling about 20 lbs of vacuum so that made me feel good. I then hooked up the can with the engine off and 'opened' the valve on top of the can and it jumps to 20psi not knowing it was very restricted.

tried again and the compressor is pulling but the can isn't getting cold. I had noticed the red on top of the can in the area where the needle goes in. I then have the brilliant idea to look at the instructions on the can and it tells me I need to go buy a different thing to pierce it with.

A quick check online an off to the store
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/interdynamics-idq-r-134a-piercing-style-hose-to-self-sealing-valve-adapter-dva-1/11022603-p?c3ch=PLA&c3nid=11022603-P&adtype=pla_with_promotion&gclid=CjwKCAjwy7vlBRACEiwAZvdx9rQMlZ2OpBY4ph2XcBRG0sbeSJLL2UYKdQPcWIb4DE3qaTafreLF1RoC9lIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds.

Got home in time to watch the Falcon Heavy go up from my driveway while filling it up.

Getting 47 out of the vents and it's 85 out
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 9:03 pm

Good info. I would have had the same issue charging mine.
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94Woody

94Woody

Posts : 1661
Join date : 2008-12-02
Age : 44
Location : Belleview,FL

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeThu Apr 11, 2019 9:09 pm

Thankful that we have about half a dozen AC machines at work Smile
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sherlock9c1



Posts : 2082
Join date : 2009-05-28
Location : Huntsville, AL

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeSat Apr 13, 2019 1:04 am

As I wrote on FB, I've had pretty good luck with that adapter for the new self-sealing cans. Just make sure to follow the directions exactly as stated. Also, Walmart sells that adapter cheaper than the parts stores do.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

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Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeSat Apr 13, 2019 7:21 am

I got a 25% discount at Advanced Auto by buying it on line, and picking it up at the store, and I do not have to travel out of my way to Walmart to get it.
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94Woody

94Woody

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeSat Apr 13, 2019 7:32 am

Fred Kiehl wrote:
I got a 25% discount at Advanced Auto by buying it on line, and picking it up at the store, and I do not have to travel out of my way to Walmart to get it.

Great isn’t it? I order most everything from Advance. No dealing with clueless counter people and a good discount.
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phantom 309

phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeSun Apr 14, 2019 1:17 pm

I use cans of instant a/c every spring to top up the fleet,
Here's my rountine
Fire it up quick check shorting low pressure switch to make sure compressor kicks in ok and no nasty noises.
Put hose on the can, attach it to the port, screw needle alway in then alway out. Idle works for me.
Then while its slurping out of the can i vent it a little out the high side port, to help it fill, till i think its had a chance to purge a bit of air
When the super accurate walmart 3 color gauge says its cycling in the green i've added enough.
Its usually cold by then. I add a can of oil/sealant first
I'm not as good a mechanic as a lot of guys here, but i get by.
Turn the can upside down, keep it higher than the port.
If the system is dead empty i like to change the orifice tube.
This works for me your results will undoubtedly be different,.and i do things the wrong/ not recommended way
I also have a home made fitting for attaching shop air to find leaks,.it saves a lot of time soapy water is cheap.
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Fred Kiehl

Fred Kiehl

Posts : 5069
Join date : 2009-11-13
Age : 70
Location : Largo, FL 33774

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PostSubject: Re: AC system wont charge   AC system wont charge Icon_minitimeWed Apr 17, 2019 1:12 pm

I got my AC working again. Replaced the compressor, condensor, orfice tube, and soft hoses. I had to clean out the metal hose. Fortunately I had an extra compressor, so it was not too expensive. I did have an issue when pumping it down...the fitting I used had a check valve, and I had to eliminate it. After that, all went well. I also replaced the radiator with one from the same 81K mile car that the other parts came from. I shot a half can of refrigerant with stop leak in it just to make sure it does not have a small leak.
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