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Oil dribbling from compressor

Matt in AZ on Sat July 19, 2008 11:14 PM User is offline

Year: 1996
Make: Dodge
Model: Ram 2500 diesel
Engine Size: 5.9L
Refrigerant Type: R-134a
Ambient Temp: 105
Pressure Low: 48
Pressure High: 290
Country of Origin: United States

I just finished a system service. Prior to the leak check, the best I could get out of the center vent was about 60 degrees. I did a leak check with a Tek-mate electronic detector. It indicated a small leak at the accumulator fittings.

Replaced orifice valve with the purple one. The old valve was clean, with a very few shiny bits on the screen. I released the snap connections, replaced the O-Rings, lubed the O-rings with and fittings with nylog and snapped them back together. The green o-rings on the condenser fittings had turned gray but had not hardened badly. The o-rings at the accumulator seemed to be in better shape.

Replaced accumulator, and added 4 ounces of PAG 100 oil to the longer pipe attached to the accumulator. (4 ounces per Dodge factory service manual for new accumulator.)

Vacuumed system for about an hour. Held vacuum for about 15 minutes, lost just under 2 inches in that time. Vacuumed for another half hour.

Filled system with R-134a until center vent temperature reached a low of about 55 degrees. This was about 20 ounces of R-134a. At 20 ounces, the temperature starts to climb back up.

Turned off system and removed fittings. Did upper section leak check, no leaks. Looked under truck, saw about 1/4 teaspoon of very clear oil had leaked out of the back of the compressor, in the area of the manifold. Looked like a leak at the manifold O-rings, but that is not certain. Did lower area leak check. Got a very brief hit at the manifold area, when on high sensitivity. Wiped off oil. Blew out with electric fan. No hit with leak detector on high sensitivity. Ran a/c system again. Got about 1/0 teaspoon of clear oil. Repeated leak test. No major leak.

Did I add too much oil? Is this the relief valve on the compressor working? Is the compressor shot? (The internal bits of tubing I checked were clean.)

The truck has 73K Phoenix city miles on it. The compressor was replaced in 2004, at 50K miles, as were condenser and evaporator and accumulator. Hoses are OEM.


Edited: Sat July 19, 2008 at 11:18 PM by Matt in AZ

Chick on Sun July 20, 2008 5:08 AM User is offlineView users profile

What is the refrigerant amount on the underhood sticker, I show 32 ounces, but go by the sticker.. Can't find any listing showing 20 ounces..?? let us know.,.

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

Matt in AZ on Sun July 20, 2008 1:55 PM User is offline

G'Morning. The sticker calls for 24 ounces. It also calls for SP-20 PAG oil, which I think was replaced by PAG 100 oil. That's what I used. Thanks very much.

mk378 on Sun July 20, 2008 5:18 PM User is offline

You could add some dye to see if that's really compressor oil you're looking at and where it is coming from. The Tek-Mate should go nuts over a leak that big.

Matt in AZ on Sun July 20, 2008 7:28 PM User is offline

What brand and type of dye won't bollix up the system? I don't like to add anything other than refrigerant and the right kind of oil to a system.

Matt in AZ on Mon July 21, 2008 11:34 PM User is offline

Well, it worked great today. At 89 degrees this morning, the center vent looked like it was 38 or 40 degrees. On the way home at 102 degrees, it got down to about 48. No more big dribbling that I could see.

According to the Dodge TSM, this compressor has some sort of overpressure relief valve. I wonder if it vented a clot of oil that got pushed through the system. I had poured the oil into the longer of the accumulator ports, not thinking about which one I *should* have poured it into.

Chick on Tue July 22, 2008 6:22 AM User is offlineView users profile

I would do as mk378 suggested and add a little UV dye to confirm that AC oil is leaking or not, even if for future leak detecting. For now, it seems fine, can't ask for better vent temps at those ambients... Enjoy the cold air but check on it once in a while, as I doubt that the compressor thru a clot out, the oil mixes very fast once the compressor starts... Hope this helps..

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

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