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93 civic ac system: vacuum pulled VERY quickly

matic on Wed May 18, 2011 6:25 PM User is offline

Year: 1993
Make: honda
Model: civic
Engine Size: 1.6
Refrigerant Type: r134a
Ambient Temp: 95F
Pressure Low: .28
Pressure High: 0

hello auto ac forums!
so i've got a civic here that's been driving me up the walls.
here's a little background on the car.

the car originally came with no air conditioning.
the original owner took it to a local shop and had the complete ac system installed.
system was installed with a new thermal expansion valve and new receiver dryer.
this winter, when i had the car, the car's radiator mounting "post" i'll call it, broke and the vibration caused the radiator to rub on an ac line at a bend and the line developed a hole.
so i've since replaced the line and receiver dryer.

this is where the problems start.
i figured since the system was empty, i'd clean let whatever oil is in the compressor our and refill with PAG oil.
i bought a retrofit kit and installed new valve cores and put the r134a valves on.
lastly i replaced the receiver dryer since the system had been opened.

i attempted to vacuum out the system following an online guide.
i connected the ac vacuum to a manifold gauge set, turned on the vacuum pump and opened the plug valves and valves on top of the gauge manifold set to be sure that the vacuum was working.
i could hear the vacuum sucking and put put the valve to my palm to test the vacuum, it was sucking on my skin.

so i attached the plugs to the high and lowside new r134a valves and proceeded to vacuum.
i noticed that the gauge manifold set showed near perfect vacuum after only a minute of vacuuming.
this, of course, isnt right at all. i closed the valves on the manifold set and turned off the vacuum.
i pressed on the high side shrader valve and relieved only a small amount of pressure (should there even be any pressure?)

there's a long list of things i'm fighting with this ac over, but this is the first.
what would cause the vacuum to be pulled so quickly? i checked the new ac line before installing by blowing into it, so there's no debri in it.
there has to be a clog somewhere. i'm figuring a system flush is in order before anything?

here is a diagram of the said ac system for those unfamiliar

matic on Wed May 18, 2011 6:29 PM User is offline

oh and just to clarify, the system was working perfectly after the shop installed it.

and the ac line that was replaced is the left portion of the ac line that runs in front of the condensor to the thicker line that goes into the ac box that houses the thermal expansion valve.

mk378 on Wed May 18, 2011 7:01 PM User is offline

When you first start to pull vacuum, open only the high side valve on the manifold.. If you see the low side gauge drop into vacuum, you know that both lines are connected to the car OK. Then open both valves and let the vacuum pump for at least 15 minutes. The gauge may stop moving after a minute but you need to pump longer than that.

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