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Aluminum line stuck to steel nut

dnastrau on Wed July 02, 2008 4:52 PM User is offline

Year: 1995
Make: Chevy
Model: S-10
Engine Size: 2.2
Refrigerant Type: r134a
Country of Origin: United States

Greetings! I am changing the compressor, orfice tube and accumulator on my Dad's S-10 and I have run into a problem. The fitting on the hard line on the evaporator where the orfice tube is won't come off. The threads aren't the problem as those broke loose OK. Instead, the nut is stuck to the aluminum tube so that when I try to loosen it the tube starts to twist with the nut. I don't want to twist up the line and ruin it. I tried heating it with a propane torch and have used PB Blaster and Freeze-off penetrating oils to no avail. Any other ideas?

Thanks,

Andrew S.

retrofit on Thu July 03, 2008 8:14 PM User is offline

This may not work but it’s worth a shot before cutting the line.

First, use a strong detergent and water to remove all the oil residue. Blow dry or heat with torch to remove moisture. Wrap cotton string around the pipe (several wraps) at the junction with the nut. Wet the string with vinegar. Let stand for a few hours, then try to loosen the nut. Good luck!

Chick on Thu July 03, 2008 8:21 PM User is offlineView users profile

You try drilling a small hole thru the nut, use a good penetrating oil and let it soak into the hole, let it stand and keep adding the oil..Don't drill thru the line though, just to the threads...let us know what works for you...

-------------------------
Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

retrofit on Thu July 03, 2008 10:35 PM User is offline

Another thing to try: Loctite® Freeze & Release.

dnastrau on Fri July 04, 2008 10:54 AM User is offline

Thanks for all of the suggestions. Freeze-off, blaster and heat from a torch didn't touch this so I am not optimistic at this point. I don't want to have to replace this line as the connections on the condenser look worse than this one does. I am going to try the vinegar trick next.

Any thoughts on just leaving the orifice tube in there and just replacing the compressor and accumulator? I just hope I didn't damage it with the heat from the propane torch.

I'd add enough PAG oil to make up for those replacements. The compressor is leaking through the shaft seal and that is why I am replacing it. Hopefully there is no "black death" in there. The compressor was still quiet but I didn't want to mess with a 105K mile compressor to replace the seal, etc.

Thanks!

Andrew S.

dnastrau on Fri July 04, 2008 12:15 PM User is offline

Well, persistence won out and I got it off. The vinegar may have helped (not sure) but I also put a small hose clamp on the line just behind the nut to act as a counterhold point to keep the line from twisting. I held onto the clamp's adjusting screw boss with vice grips and then worked the nut back and forth with a box wrench. It finally worked free.

Thanks again for the help!

Andrew S.

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