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Service Port Problem

jrbauerjr on Fri September 12, 2008 12:29 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1990
Make: Ford
Model: Festiva
Engine Size: 1.3
Refrigerant Type: R134

I'm having problems getting low and high side readings on a 134 conversion. This is a Festiva RV tow car that we bought in 2003 with a a bad compressor. Had a Daytona AC shop install a new compressor and at their suggestion had a 134 conversion at the same time. Left there and went to MD where we used the car but the system didn't really cool at anything other then highway speeds. Brought it back to Northern CA and used it here and in Oregon and didn't worry about the AC. Had an emissions problem in 2005 and put it in storage till this spring when gas prices went out of sight. I love the 37 MPG this little thing gets, but my wife said "Fix the AC".

Had a lot of electrical bugs as the mice loved the AC wiring, the Ford service manual was no help as the AC appears to be a dealer add on by "Wynn Frigitemp". Had to trace all the wiring out to get everything hooked up and running. The heater blower goes on, the AC switch turns the compressor on, but the 2 part pressure switch is open on the condenser fan side, it may close when the pressure comes up???. The compressor side of the switch is closed, so I assume there is still a head of R134 in the system. There is heat on the high side of the THX valve but no cooling on the outlet side.

I assumed that I needed to do a bit more checking and wandered over to Harbor Freight for a 134 gage set to supplement my 30 year old 12/22 setup. It came with all the snap-on fittings that fit the standard 134 ports. I then drove to Sam's and bought a keg of 134. Came home and hooked the gages up. Snapped them into the low side fitting on the sankyo SD 708 compressor and the high side to the dryer/accumulator. Screwed in the valve openers on the 134 adapters and got NOTHING, nada pounds.

I said this couldn't be so I hooked up the 30 lb keg and decided to charge it. NADA... Only succeeded in charging up the manifold and the service hoses. Off with the adapters screw them in and out.... OK, seemed to be moving in and out to open the valve. Put them back on, nothing, took them off, stared at them again..... put them on, nothing, took them off, cursed a lot........ still no reading.

OK gentlemen, what am I missing here... They've got the standard blue and red caps on them, shouldn't the 134 port adapters open them up........

In the meantime the dear wife is commuting back and forth in her gas guzzling wagon 70 miles a day and tells me I can drive her around in my other car, a Ford Excursion, who's diesel mileage we won't mention.......

Thanks, Jim Bauer, San Ramon, CA

bohica2xo on Fri September 12, 2008 1:42 PM User is offline

A poor vehicle choice for a conversion, but you are already there.

The conversion fittings that were installed are the probable cause of your connection issue.

Many cheap connectors do not have a schrader valve in the new connector, and instead rely on a floating pin to depress the original schrader valve. A high quality conversion fitting will have it's own schrader valve, and the original valve is removed.

You may need to replace the conversion fittings, hopefully they were not installed with permanent thread locker.

If substandard conversion fittings were used, the balance of the conversion is just as suspect. Personally I would open the system & flush back to bare metal before refilling with oil & recharging.


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

jrbauerjr on Tue September 16, 2008 1:55 PM User is offlineView users profile


I do feel like a bit of an idiot here, do you have any idea what thread size of fittings I should order for this compressor, I've been an SAE guy all my life and am still having problems with the new language. I'll take your advice on doing some flushing and evacuating. Should I buy the Ford o-ring kit, the import kit or both, I have the feeling that this Ford KIA with aftermarket air may be a real pain in the neck. I'm afraid you are right about the quality of the conversion, after using the car in Maryland I probably should have taken it right back to Daytona, but my wife's sabbatical was over and she had go get back to teaching. Amazing how good hindsight is.

Thanks, Jim

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