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does AC condenser replacement require Dryer-Accumulator replacment?

SteveMPS on Mon July 05, 2010 9:36 AM User is offline

Year: 1994
Make: Jeep
Model: Cherokee Sport
Engine Size: 4.0L 6cy
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Ambient Temp: ??
Pressure Low: ??
Pressure High: ??
Country of Origin: United States

My condenser has a leak and I am replacing it, do I need to replace the Receiver-Dryer-Accumulator at the same time? Where is the best place to buy these parts? Does anybody have any experience with http://www.autopartswarehouse.com

The Haynes manual mentions adding one once of oil when replacing the condenser and another once of oil when replacing the dryer. The Jeep service manual only mentions adding an once of oil when replacing the condenser but doesn't mention adding oil when replacing the dryer. If I replace the dryer should I add oil? When I have the system charged, can they determine the amount of oil in the system and make sure it is correct?
Thanks for your advice.

94RX-7 on Mon July 05, 2010 10:02 AM User is offline

The drier should be replaced any time the system has been opened unless it is a brand new drier that hasn't been on the car for any appreciable length of time. Preferably the drier should be un-sealed and then immediately installed on the vehicle as the last step to seal up the system, and the system should then immediately be evacuated.

I, personally, would do 2oz. Better to have one ounce too much. However, it is not better to have, say, 4oz too much....too much oil can cause problems.

Sadly, no, there's no way to tell how much oil is in a system.

SteveMPS on Mon July 05, 2010 10:22 AM User is offline

Thank You very much, I really appreciate the advice. I will replace both of them and add the oil. Can I install the dryer and then drive over to the the AC shop and have them recharge about an hour later? Or should I have them install it and then immediately recharge?

94RX-7 on Mon July 05, 2010 4:53 PM User is offline

It would be *optimal* to drive over there with the system sealed up with the old drier in place, dump the extra oil in the new drier, and swap it with the old one then immediately vacuum it down.

In reality, it would probably be fine if you put it on, then drove over there and had it vacuum'd down and recharged.

fonebone on Mon July 05, 2010 7:13 PM User is offline

Hi 94rx7- Another way to look at this- If you mess up on the installation and there is a leak, say you pinch an O-ring,--you pay for the fix. If you let them install it and there's a leak, they eat it. If you want to do the work, be very careful re-attaching lines, coat o-rings with oil that goes in the system, or better yet, coat with NYLOG for 134 systems, available at this site; great stuff for any fitting to prevent leaks. Hope this helps.

Edited: Mon July 05, 2010 at 7:14 PM by fonebone

SteveMPS on Tue July 06, 2010 11:18 AM User is offline

The nuts on the lines from the condenser are stuck so I soaked them with PB Blaster and WD 40, I used flare nut wrenches that fit really good, but the lines are very rusty. I twisted the top line and it is ruined, I plan to replace it for $36 from jeepair.com however, I left the bottom nut overnight to see if it will loosen up a little. My question is, can I heat that nut with a Mapp gas torch to loosen it? If not, any other ideas, or other loosening sprays?

fonebone on Fri July 09, 2010 11:47 AM User is offline

http://www.ackits.com/pdf/corroded Check out this link; copy,paste in google, about third one down, A/C Kits ref. article

Edited: Fri July 09, 2010 at 11:54 AM by fonebone

Gerald K4NHN on Fri July 09, 2010 8:10 PM User is offlineView users profile

I've done that on one before and it worked and saved the joint.

Gerald K4NHN
Cayce, SC

Quote
Originally posted by: fonebone
http://www.ackits.com/pdf/corroded Check out this link; copy,paste in google, about third one down, A/C Kits ref. article

SteveMPS on Tue July 20, 2010 2:32 PM User is offline

My AC repair, start to finish.
The AC was blowing cool but not cold air so I added a can of R134a and it immediately got very cold. It did not last. At first I thought that I messed things up because I held the can with the fill hose on the bottom so that liquid was going into the system instead of gas, but that did not seem to cause a problem. The R134a that I added had a dye in it to help find any leaks but I could not see any dye glowing so I took it to CarX and made it clear to them, specifically, that all I wanted them to do was find the leak. They also added more dye but could not find the leak; they wanted to charge me $136 dollars for not finding the leak that I was paying them to find. After telling them the idea of paying for not finding what I was paying them to find was absurd, they said, ok, no charge. When I got home I noticed R134a bubbling and hissing and leaking from the condenser, front and center of the car. Funny that CarX did not see this, even though I had removed the front grill before taking the car there and the condenser was exposed in plain sight.
I managed to get a condenser at wholesale price, $70, but then I could not get the top nut loose and I twisted the hose tubing so I ordered a hose from www.jeepair.com, which cost $36 and I had to wait 5 days for delivery. To get the lower nut loose without breaking it like the top one, I heated it with MAPP gas, just a little heat and it loosened right up. I put a heat protection cloth behind it to shield the radiator from damage. When I was installing the new condenser I realized that the threads on the lower hose were stripped from the previous installation and it would not go on so I bought a new lower hose. This time, I checked with AutoZone and even though they had to order the hose, they had it the next day for the same price as jeepair, $36. The hoses came with O-rings so don’t buy a pack of O-rings if you don’t need to. Also, the guy at jeepair said not to put any thread sealant stuff on the threads. After installing the new condenser and hoses I drove over to CarX and they put a vacuum on the system and said that was supposed to sit for 30 minutes with the vacuum on. They checked that the vacuum held so there were no leaks and then added R134a; I think it was two pounds. CarX has a $40 deal to “check” your AC system; this is basically to get you in the door, then the charges start adding up. They charged me $140 to vacuum the system and add the R134a, it seemed excessive to me.
All is working well, very cold air.
condenser $70
hose $36
hose $36
vac and charge $140

total $282

Cussboy on Tue July 20, 2010 2:54 PM User is offline

Sounds good. I wouldn't say $140 for evacuation, vacuum hold test, adding refrigerant is out of line. And it's working, so good.

How did they miss that leak - who knows. But you were absolutely right to fight them over not finding the leak, that's what you were paying for, not a cursory "we can't find it". Did you tell CarX that you found the leak yourself, readily? If so, what did they say?

SteveMPS on Thu July 22, 2010 1:59 PM User is offline

Now that you mention it, I forgot to tell them that I found the leak. I probably forgot because it took so long to get the hoses. It was one week between visits to CarX. Thanks again to everybody for all your help.

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