Last-minute A/C questions before a recharge - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-27-2003, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default Last-minute A/C questions before a recharge

Now that I've got the new A/C evaporator installed, the system'* ready to be evacuated and recharged. But while the system is still discharged, would it make sense to open the condensor connections and give the O-rings some fresh oil, or would it be better to just leave things alone?

Also, is there anything else that would be good to do at the same time? The system has been basically sealed up but inop for several years after the evaporator sprung a leak. (Oh, shoot, I should probably see if the compressor will actually turn... )
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:57 PM   #2
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If the compressor hasn't turned in several years, any of the o-rings in the system may be dry and rotted. When you recirculate the oil, it will hopefully lubricate and moisten them. But that is not always the case. If you have the time, I would replace/lubricate as many o-rings as possible, but this is not always practical. So you hope that the mineral oil makes its way around the system when you recharge it.

Also ask the A/C experts at: http://www.aircondition.com/wwwboard/

Oh, and make sure you vacuum the system, and then I would add 4 more ounces of 525 viscosity mineral oil when I recharge the system to account for the oil that leaked out. Did you replace the accumulator? You must also measure the oil in that and replace the same amount.
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Old 07-27-2003, 09:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
If the compressor hasn't turned in several years, any of the o-rings in the system may be dry and rotted. When you recirculate the oil, it will hopefully lubricate and moisten them. But that is not always the case. If you have the time, I would replace/lubricate as many o-rings as possible, but this is not always practical.
Exactly. I was looking at the condensor connections, which are stacked one on top of the other and are kinda-sorta reachable. Haven't looked at the compressor connections at all.

As of now, the car'* back on the road. This morning I did some waxing around the usually-inaccessible parts like under the strut brace (and the brace itself comes out really nice and shiny when it'* waxed), then finished connecting stuff, and everything seems to be working again (other than the empty A/C system, of course). There'* also a _lot_ more air coming through the dash vents now that the clogged old evaporator is out of there.

Quote:
Did you replace the accumulator?
Um, no. I just put the original one back in.

I guess it'* not too big of a deal to put a new one in. What'* one of those going to cost me? And for that matter, why would I need to replace it? To get a new dessicant pack in the system or something like that? If so, can I just bake the existing one to recharge the dessicant?
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Old 07-27-2003, 10:13 PM   #4
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No, I don't think you need to change it. It'* replacement causes you to lose oil. That'* why I asked.
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
No, I don't think you need to change it. Its replacement causes you to lose oil. That'* why I asked.
Gotcha. Okay, I spent some more Quality Time with the factory manual last night and learned that the accumulator only needs to be replaced if it gets damaged (e.g. stripped threads), and if so, the replacement needs to have about 4 ounces of oil put in to compensate for what was in the old one. If the evaporator is replaced (which is what I did), around 3 ounces of oil must be put in; a replacement condensor takes one ounce.

The oil is supposed to go in _before_ the system is drawn down for recharging, so I guess I'll need to round up a little can of 525 someplace.
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Old 07-31-2003, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuddyduddy121
If the compressor hasn't turned in several years, any of the o-rings in the system may be dry and rotted. When you recirculate the oil, it will hopefully lubricate and moisten them. But that is not always the case. If you have the time, I would replace/lubricate as many o-rings as possible, but this is not always practical.
Exactly. I was looking at the condensor connections, which are stacked one on top of the other and are kinda-sorta reachable. Haven't looked at the compressor connections at all.
Update...

Decided that since an R-12 recharge was going to be a three-figure expense, I'd check all the other system connections first, so I'm holding off on the recharge until I've done so.

Last night I finally got some time to work on the condensor connections, and I'm glad I did, because the upper one was little more than hand-tight. I probably didn't need to use my big ol' wrenches to open that one; I probably could have cracked it loose by wrapping a shop rag around it and twisting.

Anyhow, both connections showed clean, slightly oily O-rings and no obvious signs of leakage (nothing as horrendous as the old evaporator, anyhow), so I put a bit more fresh compressor oil on the O-rings and connector threads, and buttoned 'em all up again.

Next up is the compressor; gonna have to put the car on ramps for that, so I'll tackle that over the weekend. More news as it occurs.

P.*. Even with no refrigerant, the clean, unblocked evaporator makes for such better airflow through the car that it'* more comfortable in there already...
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Decided that since an R-12 recharge was going to be a three-figure expense, I'd check all the other system connections first, so I'm holding off on the recharge until I've done so.

Next up is the compressor; gonna have to put the car on ramps for that, so I'll tackle that over the weekend. More news as it occurs.
Okay, Saturday is the big day: we try charging the SSEi with gen-you-whine R-12.

Had the car up on ramps the other night, checked out the hose connections at the compressor and found everything clean and tight, so I left it alone. Compressor itself turns fine by hand. Nothing left to do at this point but charge the system.

Talked to the local place and they sound competent. Going to leave the car in their shop overnight Friday night so they get a jump on it first thing on Saturday. They'll be putting in 4 ounces of oil and drawing down the system. If it holds vacuum, great. If it doesn't, we shift to Plan B: they'll put one pound in and use a sniffer.

If a leak is found anywhere, it'll most likely be at the condensor. Once they find the leak, they'll reclaim their Freon and I'll do a condensor replacement ASAP.

Hey, just to be totally pessimistic here, what will a new condensor cost me? Anyone...?
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Old 08-08-2003, 12:12 AM   #8
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$148.40 on ACkits.com

Wow. Remanufactured compressors are $338.16.

Hope mine doesn't go bad.
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Old 08-09-2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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[quote="acg_ssei"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Okay, Saturday is the big day: we try charging the SSEi with gen-you-whine R-12.

Talked to the local place and they sound competent. Going to leave the car in their shop overnight Friday night so they get a jump on it first thing on Saturday. They'll be putting in 4 ounces of oil and drawing down the system. If it holds vacuum, great. If it doesn't, we shift to Plan B: they'll put one pound in and use a sniffer.
Yee-Hah! The shop just called. The Bonneville held vacuum for 40 minutes, so they went ahead and charged it with 2.42 lbs. of R-12. They say it'* "blowing ice cubes."

Can't wait to pick it up!
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Old 08-09-2003, 02:30 PM   #10
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All right! Good goin.
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