My post earlier today kind of got lost by another member's question (I wanted DIYer equipment recommendations). I got recommendations for mastercool starter kits from the site sponsor. Thanks, it sounds like good stuff. Any thoughts on Interdynamics brand? One of their models, $80 - $100 range, has liquid damped dials. Is that better than the Mastercool starter set? Other brands that are good, others to stay away from? (robinair, ready-aire)
I've seen higher-end equipment that has an aluminum manifold instead of brass - I would think brass is better. Thoughts on that?
Otherwise, I think I'm ready to plunge. Wish me luck, and I'll be back. Thanks.
Interdynamics brand, the people who bring you the death kits..Mastercool quality can't be beat for the price..My opinio, go for the starter kit you can afford..It works!!!!
Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose
Yeah they make the death kits, but I'm not looking at those. They make manifolds with hoses and two gauges, just like mastercool. Any real differences?
Mastercool stuff is really nice for the price. Robinair is also well-known professional brand. You don't need anything elaborate for DIY use. The low end (err, "entry level") models of any reputable brand will work. The off-brands tend to be manufactured with poor tolerances, so you will run into situations like the couplers will fit on some cars but not others.
Does mastercool have agent in local or Just sold AC stuff by Internet?
Or where to find mastecool agent(like Autozone, Advance part, ACE, Sear,Walmart......)?
I am realy scared to buy stuff by Internet.
IF I can find local agent, that would be nice for me to buy AC gauge set and flush fluid and tool.
And you can ask questions, like does this site stiff their customers?? I wouldn't buy from anyone else unless it was a matter of I needed it yesterday..which rarely happens.. But, you can live in the stone age, Mastercool is a big company, they have outlets elsewhere I'm sure.. Or you can buy from Harbor freight, interdynamics etc.. and start posting the problems you have with their products 'here", since they don't have online support like you'll find here,,. just my opinion....
Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose
LOL... If it wasn't for the internet (online ordering) I don't think I'd have 1/10 the tools and equipment I have. You can research online, find the best price, check vendor reliability, order and have the stuff usually within 1-3 days. About the only trips I make out of the shop now is for immediate items--Things I forgot to order online.
Gauges are gauges. They cost about $6 each and are all made the same way. What you're paying for is the cast or machined bodies (manifold) and valves. If they seal, they work. You might save a little by buying a cheap manifold set but the 134a port connectors may be suspect as already mentioned. One good thing is that you can always get better replacement connectors and/or hoses. Infrequent use is harder on tools than frequent use so don't be concerned about having to replace O-rings in valves. Keep the valves just off seal for storage and keep ports capped or the hoses looped to the storage nipples. Dust or dirt is a killer for any system.
A vacuum pump is a must. From my experience, a big CFM pump is not required but a 2-stage is. These provide a deeper vacuum. Unless you're working on house or building systems, 1-2 CFM is plenty. An automotive system probably has less than 0.25 cu/ft in volume. That's equivalent to 1.87 gallons! A 2 CFM pump will draw that down to initial vacuum in about 8 seconds. You'll still have to wait for water vapor to boil off even with a big pump. So you can save there. Keep in mind that wet pumps (oil compressors) need frequent maintenance. If you use the pump less than weekly, change the oil after each use. The water vapor and any dirt that's drawn out of a system is pumped through the compressor's oil. Most pumps are designed to "burn off" this moisture through heat by use. Make sure your pump feels warm to hot before stopping the vacuum draw-down. This is about 20-30 minutes. It wouldn't hurt to run a Catch-All filter before the pump either. The filters are a lot cheaper than a new pump.
And what nearly everyone forgets: At the top of your list should be a temperature gauge/probe. You CAN NOT do A/C diagnostics without a temp gauge. They're cheap--Get two. One for ambient measured in front of the condenser and another for the center air vent. A bonus is having an IR temp reader for the hoses.
A recovery machine is a must if you work on an A/C that still has refrigerant. Release is a no-no. A one-time Q&D recovery system can be made from an empty refrigerant tank and your vacuum pump. Draw down the empty tank as you would a system. Close the tank valve and turn off the pump. Connect a hose between the system and the tank then just crack the valve on the tank. In most cases, the entire system will purge of refrigerant. You should use a recovery tank but for a one-time shot, it beats releasing refrigerant to the atmosphere. And I'll deny to the death you didn't hear from me that you can buy empty tanks at a scrap yard for a buck or two (valve included).
Custom Car Works
"Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools."
I'm just a DIYer and I really like my Mastercool laser IR thermometer and dual leak detector. I also have 2 Robinair manifolds, one for r134a and one for r22. All this stuff is a good value for the $$ IMHO. The Internet does indeed make it easy to indulge tool addiction. :-)
We've updated our forums!
Click here to visit the new forum
Copyright © 2016 Arizona Mobile Air Inc.