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13 Months Later - Part Failure

Riptides99 on Tue September 06, 2011 7:47 AM User is offline

Year: 1989
Make: Ford
Model: Taurus
Engine Size: 3.0
Refrigerant Type: R134a

Was doing some yard work with the wife on Saturday and it started to sprinkle, as we were coming around the house right in full view of where our cars were parked we were treated to an explosive BLAM and the rapid decompression of the AC system on the old Taurus.
This isn't a fitting I made up myself, it's a factory part fitting. And the car itself hadn't been driven in over 3 days.

Unfortunately the part involved only has a 12 month warranty and we're right at over 13 months since purchase and install.

I did tape off the ends of the fitting and rinse the engine area down with Dawn dish washing liquid using a spray bottle and water hose.

My question at this point is, is that fitting (dryer and hose line) garbage or can a shop reliably repair this?

GM Tech on Tue September 06, 2011 8:21 AM User is offline

low side only sees high pressure when static pressure rises-- must have been a warm day--or just its time to fail.

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......

Riptides99 on Tue September 06, 2011 8:34 AM User is offline

It was actually the first in a day that was cooler than normal for us. And I hadn't seen any change in the AC over the entire summer, it wasn't running cooler than usual the last day I drove it.

This really doesn't surprise me that it happened I've been having one of those "past couple of weeks".

But being funny for a moment, I don't suppose I could stick the f*cker back in, throw about 4 hose clamps on there and call it done?

I'm guess I'm just going to order a new part and replace it, throw a few Oz's of oil in there, pull a vacuum and take it to a shop to figure out the rest. After throwing about $800 into it last summer I just don't want to let it sit open for any longer than it needs to.

bohica2xo on Tue September 06, 2011 9:02 AM User is offline

I just can't imagine why your first though with an open system was a garden hose. I would have just shoved the connection back together to keep it clean & walked away.

If you had to, that joint could be clamped back together - have a look at this thread:

Clamped connections

Use a cross bolt type clamp, or two. The low side sees a static pressure under 200 psi, and a running pressure under 60 psi.

"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.

Edited: Tue September 06, 2011 at 9:06 AM by bohica2xo

Riptides99 on Tue September 06, 2011 9:43 AM User is offline

My first thought was getting the system sealed up against moisture, which I procured my tools for while my wife took a photo of the failed joint, as seen above.
My second thought was to clean the finely misted coating of refrigerant oil off of every part that was under the engines hood.

This flow of thoughts does not include all the ones associated with my seeing red and I've omitted the ones where I cursed vehemently the automotive gods, but they had their place in my thoughts during the process.

Riptides99 on Wed September 07, 2011 1:25 PM User is offline

Well I got a new entire dryer/hose assembly on order, figure even with the hoses connected and taped up together, having it sit since Saturday has probably ruined the dryer desiccant and I just don't trust putting clamps on the part just to have it fail again.

I did go back and check the temps of last week locally, and we had a cooler week last week, but it did heat back up into the 80's on Saturday. I live in the south and prior to the cool spell we had been having 90s every day up until the cool part. The car gets driven maybe 2 days of each week as it gets better mileage than my truck and for an 89 Taurus I'm still sitting under 103,000 miles on the car, and mechanically it's sound as I've kept it up. But seeing that it sits more often as not, and has done so for much of the summer, I have to just figure (hope) the failure was part related.

The failed part was a Ready Aire part, I'm getting 4 Seasons this time, hopefully this will be a better part, and I just thank god it didn't blow out or fail while I was operating the vehicle as it could have had a bad result.

Also I've found a 4 Seasons piccolo style Condenser that was on closeout for more than half the price off that will work in my car, so I picked that up to change out the old original fin and tube condenser currently on the car, maybe this will help to reduce the temps a little bit more, although when I did drive the car on the hottest day of the year for us here the temp on the vent did approach 48 on a long ride home one afternoon. If I could shave off 2-4 degrees I would consider it worth the effort to swap it out, and it's time for the yearly radiator flush, so might as well.

BTW, if you noticed that the low port is missing the R134a adapter, it's because with the adapter installed I was experiencing a small leak on the schrader valve, also the high port sits too damn high to have an adapter on it, would getting 90 degree adapter fittings be prudent in my case?

Thanks guys, this site is a well behaved font of knowledge in the auto A/C realm.

chris142 on Wed September 07, 2011 5:33 PM User is offline

Whoever made that fitting used the wrong style of barb with the wrong style of ferrel.

Riptides99 on Wed September 07, 2011 7:14 PM User is offline

Most likely Huang Foo working at plant #133 in Motorcar City located in scenic Schewan Provence, China.

TRB on Wed September 07, 2011 9:29 PM User is offlineView users profile

That looks like someone tried to replace the hose.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

Riptides99 on Thu September 08, 2011 12:25 AM User is offline

That's the hose/dryer part I got in the plastic bag last summer and installed in the car.

The only thing suspicious about when I got it that there seemed to be a bit of play in that hose.
Not saying it was loose, but when it came out of the shipping box it was rotated so the dryer was flat to the hose and I had to twist it into an L shape to fit against the car fender to install and attach to the evaporator.
My initial thought was that it was easy to twist that joint, a bit too easy...

But to be honest I don't know enough about high pressure hoses/lines/barrier hose connections to know if that was normal or not, nor would I do anything that would jeopardize anyone when driving, so..

I pulled a vacuum on it, then took it by a local shop to do the charge up, they did a pressure/leak test to verify my work and then threw a charge in it.

It's just my luck that a little over 13 months later it just up and blows out, and like I said, thank god it did it in the driveway and not while I was driving as I drive in busy traffic and I can only think such a thing would have caused an accident had I been on the road because it was explosive when it let go.

Going by what you guys are saying and me looking over the pic, there are 4 ribs on the barb but 3 on the collar crimp thing, so that's what y'all are talking about it not being right?

At least I think I'm learning that when the next one shows up I should know what to look for?

I don't mind posting up pics when I get the new part here in a few days, and am thinking it would be prudent to do so.

Riptides99 on Tue September 13, 2011 12:36 PM User is offline

Got new dryer/hose assembly in today.

Firstly the crimp ferrel is same style as previous part, unknown about the barb.

Secondly, I CANNOT twist that connection on the new part, unlike the old one.

Plus the 4 Seasons part came with all applicable O-Rings, the other part was missing them all as well as missing one of the hose seals..

I have to wonder if the previous part I received last summer was a refurb of some sort as it was an Autozone item.

I had this shipped to my shop so have no way to get pics on this computer, will post photos of new part later.

EDITED to Add:
Comparing the two parts side by side it's obvious what the issue was and why it failed.
The old part ferrel is barely crimped in compared to all the new hose connections.
In fact on the old part it's the only ferrel that wasn't crimped properly to the barrier hose.

Edited: Tue September 13, 2011 at 3:09 PM by Riptides99

Riptides99 on Wed September 14, 2011 10:38 AM User is offline

So am I wrong in figuring it was just bad manufacture?

Got it installed yesterday afternoon, pulled an 1 hour vac then took it by the AC place to get it charged, showed the guy the pics of the old vs. new hose and he just shook his head and says he sees a lot of this lately with aftermarket parts.

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