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Rinse junk yard compressor before install? Pages: 12

JerryHughes on Sat May 09, 2009 6:56 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1997
Make: Saturn
Model: SL
Engine Size: 1.9 L
Refrigerant Type: R-134a
Ambient Temp: ?
Pressure Low: ?
Pressure High: ?
Country of Origin: United States

Hello,

I'm about to install a compressor that was taken off a junk yard car. I didn't do the actual pulling of the compressor but bought it used on Ebay and it's in the mail as I type. Since I wasn't the one to make sure the process kept the compressor clean, would anyone know if it would be a good idea to "rinse" the compressor by adding PAG oil or perhaps alcohol or mineral oil, rinsing, then draining? Then after the compressor drained of all the fluid, I'd add an ounce of PAG oil. Does that sound advisable, even if a visual inspection doesn't show any contamination? Thanks for any insight. Much appreciated.

Jerry

Edited: Sat May 09, 2009 at 7:30 AM by JerryHughes

NickD on Sat May 09, 2009 7:23 AM User is offline

As tight on money as I am, would never fool around with a junk yard compressor, way too much work with recovering and recharging, then to have to do it again. Even paying myself ten cents and hour, that can add up.

JerryHughes on Sat May 09, 2009 7:33 AM User is offlineView users profile

Thanks for your info, Nick, but I've tried the rebuilt option already and that cost me some bucks. But considering how I will be able to use a vacuum machine and manifold gauges, the cost is minimal. Anyone have any info on "rinsing" the compressor. Thanks.
Jerry

Edited: Sat May 09, 2009 at 7:35 AM by JerryHughes

Chick on Sat May 09, 2009 7:40 AM User is offlineView users profile

fill it with new oil, turn the hub a dozen or so times.. (Use only the right oil to flush the compressor).. and drain, then add the right amount back.. But for what it's worth, e-bay and a used compressor on that car??

And you can't blame the reman compressor you had, you took it apart, which was a bad idea with those compressors.......

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

---------------------------------------------

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

Edited: Sat May 09, 2009 at 7:45 AM by Chick

JerryHughes on Sat May 09, 2009 10:48 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Chick
fill it with new oil, turn the hub a dozen or so times.. (Use only the right oil to flush the compressor).. and drain, then add the right amount back.. But for what it's worth, e-bay and a used compressor on that car??
And you can't blame the reman compressor you had, you took it apart, which was a bad idea with those compressors.......

Now ya tell me. Ha, a little post compressor failure humor there. Yes, taking the compressor apart may or may not have been the reason for its doom and won't really know that now. Can't afford another $230 rebuilt compressor so I resorted to Ebay. For the $20 ($30 with shipping) I can afford to go through a number of these Ebayers. And who knows, I've heard that this type of compressor will run forever, as long as it hasn't been run low on charge. Same thing for the clutch. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I asked the seller how long the compressor was out of the car and he said about a week and that it was blowing cold air very nicely. He said it was out of a Saturn that blew its engine because it ran low on oil---something that is completely believable. So, maybe it is a good compressor. I'll find out but because he is handling it, etc., I'd like to rinse it first.

So I'll just stick to PAG 100 for the rinse. Thanks for the input and wish me luck. Oh, one last question. Should I pour and rinse in both the low and high side?



Edited: Sat May 09, 2009 at 11:01 AM by JerryHughes

TRB on Sat May 09, 2009 5:51 PM User is offlineView users profile

What was the response on the EBay forum when you asked this question? As Chick stated, drain any oil in the compressor, add some fresh oil turn the hub and then drain that oil. You can do this as many times as you like until you feel it is full of fresh oil.

-------------------------

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JerryHughes on Sat May 09, 2009 8:50 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: TRB
What was the response on the EBay forum when you asked this question? As Chick stated, drain any oil in the compressor, add some fresh oil turn the hub and then drain that oil. You can do this as many times as you like until you feel it is full of fresh oil.

Ebay forum?

NickD on Sun May 10, 2009 8:10 AM User is offline

My view is if that compressor or it's idler pulley bearing should seize while you are on a busy interstate, can cause a pile up for miles even killing you. May a harsh view, but when you spend your life as an expert witness in cases like this, it's not worth trying to save a couple of hundred bucks.

Do you even know if this compressor came out of a sealed system? Or was it left out in the elements for years? Or just write me off as being paranoid. You can take it completely apart and check out all the components, but will find out even replacing the gaskets would be more expensive than buying a good rebuilt.

Cussboy on Sun May 10, 2009 8:50 AM User is offline

Since you already bought it, do what Chick posted. I'll agree with others: in general, a used compressor is not a great idea. If it doesn't work out, you've lost all your labor, you refrigeration oil, and your refrigerant (unless you are actually recovering it) when you have to re-do it.

That said, when I was younger and less informed, I did get a parts yard compressor approximately 1992 for my 1984 Jeep Cherokee; here in Phoenix one assumes that most decent vehicles have operational AC when hit, and they took it off the wrecked Jeep as I watched. My compressor had frozen up in operation a mile from house while Mrs. Cusser was driving it, started smoking the belt, which I had to cut off (individual belts). So I picked up the used compressor (loved those manual shut off valves though, hardly lost any R-12), closed off the valves on mine, swapped in the new compressor added a few ounces of refrigerant, and it worked great. I did not change the receiver-drier as it was expensive and somehow attached to the radiator, maybe as a single unit, can't remember. I do remember that the used compressor was $75, new ones were about 10 times that. And I didn't have computer or know of these Internet boards then. So I was lucky.

JerryHughes on Sun May 10, 2009 10:20 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: NickD
My view is if that compressor or it's idler pulley bearing should seize while you are on a busy interstate, can cause a pile up for miles even killing you. May a harsh view, but when you spend your life as an expert witness in cases like this, it's not worth trying to save a couple of hundred bucks.

Do you even know if this compressor came out of a sealed system? Or was it left out in the elements for years? Or just write me off as being paranoid. You can take it completely apart and check out all the components, but will find out even replacing the gaskets would be more expensive than buying a good rebuilt.

How can the compressor going, cause an accident??? And yes, the compressor was in a sealed system, up until about one week before I bought it. According to the Ebayer, it was working well just before it was removed from the car.

JerryHughes on Sun May 10, 2009 10:33 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Cussboy
Since you already bought it, do what Chick posted. I'll agree with others: in general, a used compressor is not a great idea. If it doesn't work out, you've lost all your labor, you refrigeration oil, and your refrigerant (unless you are actually recovering it) when you have to re-do it.
That said, when I was younger and less informed, I did get a parts yard compressor approximately 1992 for my 1984 Jeep Cherokee; here in Phoenix one assumes that most decent vehicles have operational AC when hit, and they took it off the wrecked Jeep as I watched. My compressor had frozen up in operation a mile from house while Mrs. Cusser was driving it, started smoking the belt, which I had to cut off (individual belts). So I picked up the used compressor (loved those manual shut off valves though, hardly lost any R-12), closed off the valves on mine, swapped in the new compressor added a few ounces of refrigerant, and it worked great. I did not change the receiver-drier as it was expensive and somehow attached to the radiator, maybe as a single unit, can't remember. I do remember that the used compressor was $75, new ones were about 10 times that. And I didn't have computer or know of these Internet boards then. So I was lucky.

I totally agree. And I don't care about my labor---it's a learning experience. I've never done anything like this before so it's not only a learning experience but a little adventure. But since I already bought the rebuilt and failed, I just don't have another $230 to invest in another. Ka-peeeesh??????? Ideally, yes, I'd love to slap in another rebuilt or even better, a brand new compressor but gee, since I'm driving around in a car that has 165K miles, the money factor is a consideration. So I'm trying to make the best of the situation and gamble on a used compressor and relying on the honesty of an Ebayer. But if it doesn't work, at least I can get my money back.

All I can say is that I'm very lucky that "now-a-days" I can write forums on line and hopefully get good, reliable information from helpful people who are in-the-know about making the best out of a situation. :-)

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 9:25 AM User is offlineView users profile

Well, so far the compressor seems to be working well-------however, I don't think I put in enough R-134a. No cool air. But the reason I say that I may not have put in enough gas is because when I was purging the line, before injecting the R-134a I kept waiting for the cold gas to come out at the purge point. Nothing came out for about five seconds except for clear, ambient air. Then I noticed on the canister that the can was supposed to be used, upside down when filling. As soon as I turned the canister upside down, the cold, dye colored fluid started to flow so I closed the line at the purge point. So I lost some clear air from the canister. Anyone know if that clear gas was just a propellant from inside the can? That would account for no cool air coming out. I'm going to add some more R-134a this morning. So far I have all of the rest of the first can of R-134a and one more regular canister injected into the system. (Both canisters were 12oz.) The system calls for 1 1/2 lbs. Thanks for any info.

Cussboy on Thu May 14, 2009 11:26 AM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: JerryHughes
Well, so far the compressor seems to be working well-------however, I don't think I put in enough R-134a. No cool air. But the reason I say that I may not have put in enough gas is because when I was purging the line, before injecting the R-134a I kept waiting for the cold gas to come out at the purge point. Nothing came out for about five seconds except for clear, ambient air. Then I noticed on the canister that the can was supposed to be used, upside down when filling. As soon as I turned the canister upside down, the cold, dye colored fluid started to flow so I closed the line at the purge point. So I lost some clear air from the canister. Anyone know if that clear gas was just a propellant from inside the can? That would account for no cool air coming out. I'm going to add some more R-134a this morning. So far I have all of the rest of the first can of R-134a and one more regular canister injected into the system. (Both canisters were 12oz.) The system calls for 1 1/2 lbs. Thanks for any info.


Do you have gauges so you can read and report both high and low side pressures? 2 cans is 24 ounces, provided you didn't lose any, and one never gets it all, and you had a little problem with purging the lines. When you purge, at first the air in the line comes out, then the refrigerant R134a, a colorless gas, so you can't tell by looking. There is no "propellant" in the cans, the refrigerant IS the propellant. You need to use gauges or you're really guessing.

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 11:35 AM User is offlineView users profile


Do you have gauges so you can read and report both high and low side pressures? 2 cans is 24 ounces, provided you didn't lose any, and one never gets it all, and you had a little problem with purging the lines. When you purge, at first the air in the line comes out, then the refrigerant R134a, a colorless gas, so you can't tell by looking. There is no "propellant" in the cans, the refrigerant IS the propellant. You need to use gauges or you're really guessing.



I hooked up the can of R-134a and the system took the whole can, nothing left, didn't have to start the car either. The pressure reading before opening the can was at 63 (system pressure) and the can, before injecting, was 74 in/hg. Should the can have been at a higher pressure? Now, the system pressure and the can pressure are the same, of course.

I bought these cans of R-134a at Big Lots for $5 a canister. The brand name is Interdynamics and I'm wondering if they were poor quailty, and low on what was supposed to be the full 12oz.??? That, or I've got a huge leak somewhere. That makes three cans, or partial canisters, of R-134a I've used.

Chick on Thu May 14, 2009 11:46 AM User is offlineView users profile

your car uses 24 ounces, or two 12 ounce cans, no more.. Also, I think your gauges are not correct, there is no way you could pull 74hg.. If you put three cans in, you are seriously overcharged...

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

---------------------------------------------

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 11:55 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Chick
your car uses 24 ounces, or two 12 ounce cans, no more.. Also, I think your gauges are not correct, there is no way you could pull 74hg.. If you put three cans in, you are seriously overcharged...

What should I do now? The low side gauge says it's at 63 in/hg and the high side pressure is at 75 in/hg with the car and compressor off and cold. The manifold gauges I am using are from Harbor Freight and are brand new. I have a simple, cheap, handheld gauge that snaps on the end of a can of R-134a that I can snap on the low side. And I just did. The pressure reading from the cheap hand held gauge is about 70 p.s.i. again, with the car and compressor off.



Edited: Thu May 14, 2009 at 12:02 PM by JerryHughes

Chick on Thu May 14, 2009 12:02 PM User is offlineView users profile

I think you have hg (vacuum) and psi (pressure) mixed up..That said, does the car cool, did it ever cool while you were charging it?? Recover, charge into a vacuum two cans, check pressures and see if it's cooling, I think you have screwed up gauges they wouldn't be harbor freight would they??

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

---------------------------------------------

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 12:13 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Chick
I think you have hg (vacuum) and psi (pressure) mixed up..That said, does the car cool, did it ever cool while you were charging it?? Recover, charge into a vacuum two cans, check pressures and see if it's cooling, I think you have screwed up gauges they wouldn't be harbor freight would they??

I may very well have the hg and psi mixed up. On one end of that black scale on the gauge it has "in/hg" and on the other end of that same scale it has "psi". So, if I should be reading that psi scale, the readings I gave before were in psi, not in/hg.

The low side gauge says it's at 63 psi and the high side pressure is at 75 psi with the car and compressor off and cold. The manifold gauges I am using are from Harbor Freight and are brand new. I have a simple, cheap, handheld gauge that snaps on the end of a can of R-134a that I can snap on the low side. And I just did. The pressure reading from the cheap hand held gauge is about 70 p.s.i. again, from the low side and with the car and compressor off.

The car never did cool when charging or testing on the road with the two cans installed. In fact, the compressor and the low side line got so hot, I couldn't leave my hand on them. So I shut the compressor off and when cooled down I turned the clutch a few times and it turns pretty freely so I'm hoping there was no compressor damage by over heating.

GM Tech on Thu May 14, 2009 12:30 PM User is offline

I think what everyone wants to know is the pressures high and low side with the compressor and engine operating...we understand the static pressures- that's no big deal , 4 ounces or 4 lbs will yield 75 psi- it is all based on temperature.....can't tell by static pressure how much is in a system-- must be operating pressures.

I'll say it again, those Rotary Vane compressors can be a bitch to get them to start pumping--Have done two that I had to purposely overcharge to generate any head pressure.....then recover the overcharged amount and all was fine.....

-------------------------
The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 12:38 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: GM Tech
I think what everyone wants to know is the pressures high and low side with the compressor and engine operating...we understand the static pressures- that's no big deal , 4 ounces or 4 lbs will yield 75 psi- it is all based on temperature.....can't tell by static pressure how much is in a system-- must be operating pressures.



I'll say it again, those Rotary Vane compressors can be a bitch to get them to start pumping--Have done two that I had to purposely overcharge to generate any head pressure.....then recover the overcharged amount and all was fine.....

Okay but will starting the car and compressor, if it's seriously overcharged, hurt the compressor, etc.? If not, I'll start, check the pressures, then shut everything off right away. By-the-way, that cheapie hand held gauge did have my reading into its "red zone" of being overcharged. And another thing---that third can of R-134a emptied so easily and fast into the system,without having to turn the compressor and car on, shouldn't that be an indication of an under charge? Or at least a charge at mid range? Thanks.

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 1:10 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: GM Tech
I think what everyone wants to know is the pressures high and low side with the compressor and engine operating...we understand the static pressures- that's no big deal , 4 ounces or 4 lbs will yield 75 psi- it is all based on temperature.....can't tell by static pressure how much is in a system-- must be operating pressures.



I'll say it again, those Rotary Vane compressors can be a bitch to get them to start pumping--Have done two that I had to purposely overcharge to generate any head pressure.....then recover the overcharged amount and all was fine.....

At idle, after idle drops to normal and turning on the compressor, the low side reads 32 psi and the high side reads 90. (Ambient temp is 62F.) I tried to hold the idle at 2000 rpm's and while close to that the low reads approximately 15 psi and the high reads 85-90. That's with the windows open, fan on high, recirculation fan on and the compressor running. Still no cool air.

GM Tech on Thu May 14, 2009 1:27 PM User is offline

Either you have only about 1/2 or less of specified amount of refrigerant in there- or a weak compressor-- I'd add some refrigerant with it running- until head pressure comes up to the point it starts to cool--- You may have a really big leak-- Maybe I missed it, but did it hold a good long vacuum??

-------------------------
The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 1:55 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: GM Tech
Either you have only about 1/2 or less of specified amount of refrigerant in there- or a weak compressor-- I'd add some refrigerant with it running- until head pressure comes up to the point it starts to cool--- You may have a really big leak-- Maybe I missed it, but did it hold a good long vacuum??

I shut the vacuum off for 15 to 25 minutes and it held steady. I bought cheap R-134a cans at Big Lots ($5) and they took no time at all to empty. In fact, the third can, which I would have thought would have emptied the slowest, actually emptied in a couple minutes, with the engine off. I wonder if they were just not filled all the way? But as far as a really big leak is concerned, shouldn't that have showed up on my gauges while they have been attached this morning? Had them on for a couple hours and no change.

The cheapie little hand gauge I have now says the low side pressure, with the car off, is about 82 psi. I know that doesn't mean anything, just pointing out that it changed from the last time at around 70-75.

If I get another can (from Kragen this time) if the system takes it all just as fast as the last can, without the car running, I don't know where it's going. I'll fill about half the can first, check the air, then if no cool, continue to fill. Thanks.

Chick on Thu May 14, 2009 2:31 PM User is offlineView users profile

There is no way it would suck in "three" cans if the system holds two, so if it did hold a vacuum, the gas is escaping "Before" it gets into the car, if the vacuum didn't hold, it's going out thru a leak, but your vacuum should not have held.. .. I think you are not connecting properly or something.. or you're not reading/using the manifold properly. Also is the high side before or after the condenser. Have to figure why the high side won't rise, what was the original failure, in other words if the condenser is clogged, it could be pooling the refrigerant in there, giving a low high side?? Might be time to take to a professional to get it sorted out...

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

---------------------------------------------

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

JerryHughes on Thu May 14, 2009 3:43 PM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: Chick
There is no way it would suck in "three" cans if the system holds two, so if it did hold a vacuum, the gas is escaping "Before" it gets into the car, if the vacuum didn't hold, it's going out thru a leak, but your vacuum should not have held.. .. I think you are not connecting properly or something.. or you're not reading/using the manifold properly. Also is the high side before or after the condenser. Have to figure why the high side won't rise, what was the original failure, in other words if the condenser is clogged, it could be pooling the refrigerant in there, giving a low high side?? Might be time to take to a professional to get it sorted out...

Okay, I noticed a small leak at the high side schrader valve, after taking the high side manifold connection off. Once I "blip" the schrader valve, the leak appears to stop. But I have a really hard time hooking the high side manifold connection to the schrader. The low side goes on "okay" and hardly wobbles but the high side takes a few attempts before it appears to seat properly and then not quite as securely as the low side. But when filling, and when the compressor is running, I felt my hand along that high side connection at the schrader and didn't feel anything escaping. Same for the low side.

I filled about 2/3 more of a can of refrigerant with the car and compressor running. No cool air. I started and stopped the A/C three times and quickly looked at the gauges. Here is the result---

High side, compressor start #1=230 psi
start #2=200 psi
start #3=180 psi
But each time, the high side quickly returns to around 90-100 psi and stays there. That takes about 10 seconds for the high side to drop to about 100 psi.
(Low side remained pretty steady at about 29 psi.)

The high side is right at the compressor so it's before the condenser. The original failure was a bad clutch so the whole compressor was replaced with a rebuilt. The rebuilt wouldn't build pressure, again on the high side, and finally blue out a side gasket but I checked the oil at the end of both lines and when I took that compressor off, I couldn't see any debris in the oil I emptied. So I got this junk yard compressor and have this problem. If the connections were not on securely, wouldn't I feel a leak at one or both, especially when filling?

Edited: Thu May 14, 2009 at 4:22 PM by JerryHughes

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