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Leak Detection, Big Blue, DYE, Tek

rmmagow on Sun September 07, 2008 9:06 AM User is offline

Year: 1989
Make: Mazda
Model: 929
Engine Size: 3.0
Refrigerant Type: R12
Country of Origin: United States

The car sat for a year and the Refrigerant leaked out. I am going to fix the system and stick with R12 since I have a half-case sitting in the basement. I've looked through leak detection and don't think I can justify spending $250.00 for a TEK type leak detector. I'm thinking of Big Blue and maybe a Tracerline kit. Since the A/C was bone-crushing cold before the car was laid-up I think some o-rings may have dried out although the compressor is sort of oily looking too. Where would be the most logical spots for a leak to occur from sitting like this? How well will these products mentioned work in attempting to find the leak? Will an A/C shop do leak detection, repair, evacuate and let me re-charge, any shop I've talked to will not recharge R12, they all want to convert me. Although I have the 609 certificate, I'm not very well equipped. I'd need to buy a vac pump too so I get it right. I plan to see if ackits can provide the correct receiver-drier for this car. Has a low-pressure cut switch on the front and obviously a sight glass for r12.
Thanks for any and all advice.

Dougflas on Sun September 07, 2008 9:26 AM User is offline

You can borrow/rent equipt. from Autozone. I'd look at the compressor seal and hose crimps as my first suspicion of a leak.

mk378 on Sun September 07, 2008 10:26 AM User is offline

First inspect for oil and dye that may have leaked out already. If it has a DK compressor those are prone to leak at the case seals. Also check the connections on the condenser. The condenser itself can corrode out or get damaged.

UV dye only works with the system fully charged and running, meaning you would put a charge of R12 in just to have it leak out. So don't do that at first. You should install dye with the final charge though to help with any future leaks.

Do a static pressure test with some other gas. You can use air (which must be dry) or nitrogen if you're looking for soap bubbles. Do not exceed 150 psi testing pressure. After you think you have fixed the leak, put the system under pressure again and wait several hours to see if it leaks down. It works really well to put a little R-134a in and use an electronic detector. Do not mix R-134a with air, use it pure or mixed with nitrogen. During these leak tests, do not run the compressor.

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