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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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So then, what options do I have?

My A/C functions, but it's not very cold.
The right way to do it is to have the system fully evacuated and the have the correct amount of weighed refrigerant put back in, eg take it to a shop.

The not-right way that's still better than those recharge systems is to buy a set of AC gauges and use the 12oz refrigerant only cans. Using those you can at least purge the lines so no air gets into the system but its still not going to be a truly accurate charge, you can get into the ballpark enough to blow cold air using the pressure/temperature charts though but you might end up overfilling the system.

Like Dan said you probably have a leak in the system somewhere, topping off the charge without finding it isn't a permanent fix
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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View attachment 49982

You can weigh a 12 oz. Can the same .. all you need is a scale. 😉
I mean if you "top it off", there's no way of knowing how much refrigerant is left in the system to know how much weight to put in from the 12oz can(s). Doing it the right the system needs to be fully evacuated, legally and ethically requiring a visit to a shop to pull it one way or another, from there you can do it yourself using all that stuff to refill after finding/repairing the leak source.
 

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1994 Cougar XR7 DOHC/5-Speed
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This kind of hose/gauge?




That's not really any different than using the recharge cans, the same problem I mentioned earlier exists regarding air being introduced into the system. With manifold gauges that read both high and low side you can at least purge out the air from in the line the low side through the fill line, and then purge the fill line from the schrader valve after the refrigerant can is hooked up and opened.
 
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