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Resident Line Creator
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Wasn't exactly sure where to place this thread, so if needed, move it to the proper forum. I've been using the AC in my 89 for the past two days with the heat being near 100 (heat index near 110) and today it finally ran out. It's just blowing hot air now. I don't use the AC hardly at all until weather like this. How do I go about recharging the system? Can I buy sometime and do it myself? I also remember reading that there was a change in the type of freon used, or something to that extent. Please inform me with some helpful information. Thanks.
 

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Its real easy to recharge your own a/c. Most autoparts stores have everything you will need. It is a lot easier if your car has been retrofitted to R-134a (it was R-12 new). If the guy at the store knows anything he will/should know what you are talking about. Search and you will see how to retrofit if you need to. It is not all that hard to do.
 

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If you haven't already done so you'll need to retrofit the system. In 89 they still used Freon (R-12) and that stuff is no longer manufactured. It is still available, but you can't purchase it yourself and it is VERY expensive from any kind of repair shop.

They make a kit you can by that has all the fittings, oil and refrigerant if the system is still R-12. However, since your system leaked out all the refrigerant, there is a leak that needs to be found and fixed. If you don't do this, you'll end up wasting your money by retrofitting the system. More than likely if you charge the system it will leak out even faster than before because R-134 molecules (which is the refrigerant they use now that you can buy in any store) are smaller than R-12 molecules and will therefore get by the O-rings faster.

If you are looking to do the system yourself, I would do this:
1) Completely take apart the system and replace EVERY O-Ring. They make O-Ring kits you can purchase to do this.
2) Buy some A/C system flush and use it to clean out the condenser and evaporator. The condensor is the radiator-like thing in front of the radiator. The evaporator is inside the car in the same housing as the heater core. The lines to the evaporator are accessible in the engine bay and they go through the firewall.
3) Replace the accumulator. It is a very cheap component of the A/C system.
4) Replace the orifice tube. It is located in the liquid line (a skinny line that goes straight from the condensor to the evaporator.
5) Reassemble everything with the new O-Rings. To make reassembly easier, use PAG oil on the O-Rings when you reassemble.
6) Change the fittings and charge the system according to the instructions in the kit.

BTW I think you would have had much better results posting this in the "General Tech" section.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have no idea if my car has been updated to the newer version of it or not. Within the almost 5 years I have owned the car, this might be the 10th time I actually used the AC in it.

What your saying is, I have to update my system first to be able to recharge it? If that is the case, I think I will go without having the AC for the rest of the time owning the car. I can't really afford to do that right now.

And as far as being in the wrong forum, thats why I stated that a moderator could move it, if need be. Thanks for your help.
 

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No, you don't have to update the system to recharge it, but you do have to find and fix any leaks that may exist. Fixing the leak and evacuating/recharging with Freon (R-12) will cost ~$300 (must be done by a shop). That's if the system hasn't been retrofitted. If it already has been retrofitted, you can do it yourself for ~$100. If it hasn't been retrofitted and you want to do it yourself, it'll cost ~$200. It all depends on the situation.

If you've only used in 10 times in 5 years, I don't think it'd be worth it for you to spend anything at all. Just my $.02
 

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Okay, so I find myself in Las Vegas at this time where the temps everyday have been in the 100s; it was 109 yesterday.I can't remember when this system was last charged and I'm thinking of buying the kit I stumbled upon at Target yesterday (25 bucks I think) which comes complete with the gauge hose,and fittings. I've got another two days here and a hot desert facing me to get back home to San Diego. Recharging seems simple enough from what I've been reading on the net,AND given the youtube videos I've perused through. So the engine has to be on with the air conditioning at full blast as one dispenses the coolant into the system (Why must the AC be turned on?) is what I've gathered so far,but where I'm confused is where some advise to factor in the current temperature as I do this. Huh?

Also,which picture has the correct "low pressure" fitting where the hose attaches to? I lifted these pics off the net.I hope it's the one next to the radiator. :)

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y299/iridebmxinthe714/DSC01069.jpg



http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y299/iridebmxinthe714/DSC01070.jpg

Thanks as always,you guys.
 

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Your first link showing the fitting on the drier is the low pressure. It's very easy to get to from over the fender - I just added some freon to my system!

The second link by the condenser & radiator is the high pressure side - sorry that wasn't what you wanted to hear! lol

If I'm not mistaken, they are two different sizes and you can't hook a low pressure gauge to the high side anyways.
 

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Several things.

1) If the A/C isn't running, the system will assume the static pressure of approx. 85 to 90 PSI. Which is about what the can is at ... so it won't suck any freon into the system! You need it running to drop the low side to, well, low enough that the freon will go from the can to the system.

2) You factor the ambient temperature in because the hotter it is at the condensor, the higher the pressures will be. And you really don't want to overfill the system.

3) To do that, you also need a REAL manifold gauge set, where you monitor high and low side both.

4) TBH, at those temps, I'd recommend you take it to an A/C shop and let them top you off - since you were looking to put the can on a up-to-400PSI fitting instead of the proper one. An exploding can is NO way to spend your day, picking shrapnel out of your chest ... (Why, yes, that's ONE of the possible ends if you DID get it connected to the high side ... )

RwP
 

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Thanks Net and Ralph.I knew you guys would come through.Just talked to a guy at Jiffy Lube (they're open btw) and they want $149 for their service...Hmmm,so the connecting hook-up is on the canister by the firewall,huh?

If I decide to chance it by doing it myself,will one can suffice and make a difference? It takes two pounds and two ounces,so will anything beneath that be safe both to me and the system?

Thanks again. Frank
 

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Thanks Net and Ralph.I knew you guys would come through.Just talked to a guy at Jiffy Lube (they're open btw) and they want $149 for their service...Hmmm,so the connecting hook-up is on the canister by the firewall,huh?

If I decide to chance it by doing it myself,will one can suffice and make a difference? It takes two pounds and two ounces,so will anything beneath that be safe both to me and the system?

Thanks again. Frank
2 pounds 2 ounces TOTAL. How much is in there now?

That's why you need a full pressure gauge set and the training to read it.

Which is also why I tend to be the "Here, keep the Freon when you suck it out, and I'll weigh the can as I put fresh back in" ... I'm not THAT good at reading them! But I sure read my scales :diablo:

As to "will it make a difference"? Depends, how much is in there now? And again, that takes someone who knows how to read the gauges and the thermometer to decipher.

RwP
 
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