A/C lines - safe to wrench?
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This is a discussion on A/C lines - safe to wrench? within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My A/C has been dead since I got the car - it's been winter for most of the time, but ...

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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    A/C lines - safe to wrench?

    My A/C has been dead since I got the car - it's been winter for most of the time, but now that's it's effing hot outside again, I was reminded that I really ought to look into that.

    I supposedly have UV dye, but I don't really need to use it to realize that there's a huge green stain that is clearly a leak originating from the connection between one of the A/C lines and the condenser (the one on top)

    Can I just wrench off this line to take a look at the o-ring or whatever? Will I let the refrigerant leak, or is it all somewhere else with the car off? Or does it not matter at all because all the refrigerant is gone anyway?
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    Registered User SKI.WRX's Avatar
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    I had the same issue with mine. I put a sheet of plastic under the car and then took the AC line out. a little bit of coolant dripped out but not much. Since there is a leak there was no pressure and I am guessing most of it stayed in the compressor or had already leaked out. I replaced both the high and low side o-rings and after getting the lines vacuumed and filled ac works great.

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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    AC is my opinion isnt for a novice...First thing I would do if you suspect the lines are empty is...remove the low side dust cap on the ac line and take a pen and depress the schrader valve. you will know immediately if there is pressure in there or not. once you are sure there is no pressure, than by all means you can loosen that line you are mentioning and inspect. a tad amount of R134a might escape but not too much....of course if you ask the EPA this question, as far as they are concerned you are breaking the law....

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    I just did the exact repair you are discussing.

    See:
    A/C line bolt spec?
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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Don't tell the EPA but I bled my system by just opening it up. And I helped Josh do it the same way.....
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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    Don't tell the EPA but I bled my system by just opening it up. And I helped Josh do it the same way.....
    Wait a second, didn't we change to R134a because R12 was bad for the environment and R134 was perfectly fine? Oh, that's right, they have no idea what they're talking about!

    If it's leaking that bad I'm sure there is very little freon left in the system, you should check first but you should be fine
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    Wait a second, didn't we change to R134a because R12 was bad for the environment and R134 was perfectly fine?
    No. We changed because R12 and the processes used to generate it were bad for the environment, and R134a was at the time the most feasible solution that was better. R134a had similar enough thermodynamics but its effects on ozone reduction were themselves reduced compared to R12 -- not eliminated.

    R134 is now banned in 27 countries due to its effect on climate change.

    I don't have a better link than this at the moment (petrochemical company link so biased, but the basics are all there re: 134a and the EU I think). CO2 seems interesting. I think SAE are looking into something else but I don't remember what.

    http://www.icis.com/Articles/2008/02...out-corre.html
    Last edited by SD_GR; 04-11-2011 at 01:27 PM.
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    Registered User jd92677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    No. We changed because R12 and the processes used to generate it were bad for the environment, and R134a was at the time the most feasible solution that was better. R134a had similar enough thermodynamics but its effects on ozone reduction were themselves reduced compared to R12 -- not eliminated.

    R134 is now banned in 27 countries due to its effect on climate change.

    I don't have a better link than this at the moment (petrochemical company link so biased, but the basics are all there re: 134a and the EU I think). CO2 seems interesting. I think SAE are looking into something else but I don't remember what.

    European auto, chemical industries seek next generation of refrigerants, as R-134a is phased out - c
    That was sort of my point. It's like eggs, one day they're good for you, the next they'll kill you.

    I thought I remember reading that the new "freon" will be a derivitive of R22, but I dont remember where I heard that.
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd92677 View Post
    That was sort of my point. It's like eggs, one day they're good for you, the next they'll kill you.

    I thought I remember reading that the new "freon" will be a derivitive of R22, but I dont remember where I heard that.
    Not in the EU. I think they are looking at CO2 instead. I think maybe in the US though?

    I seem to remember R134a was known not to be a saint but was the best option at the time -- but it's been so long!
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    Supporting Member yamaha_rider619's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teflon_jones View Post
    Don't tell the EPA but I bled my system by just opening it up. And I helped Josh do it the same way.....
    Jeez trying to get me into trouble...

    easy fix IMO, just time consuming
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    If you can't pull a vacuum at home though I'd take the car to a shop for the recharge. The system will be exposed to atmosphere for the fix, if not because of the leak itself. I could pull a vacuum and had gauges at home so I DIYed it.
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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    If you can't pull a vacuum at home though I'd take the car to a shop for the recharge. The system will be exposed to atmosphere for the fix, if not because of the leak itself. I could pull a vacuum and had gauges at home so I DIYed it.
    I can't personally, but I have a couple of uncle mechanics - I'm doing my clutch with them soon, so if I can try to seal up the A/C system and have them help me recharge it, I'd save them some hassle, and get A/C back as quickly as possible

    It should definitely be fine to try out the fix and then drive it for a while before the recharge, right?

    and, btw, it's been leaking since AT LEAST september (I think they probably did a recharge to sell the car - I lost cold air on the (200-smth mile) way home). Probably not much left.
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    Registered User poly_poly-man's Avatar
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    hmm, alright - I tested the schrader valve on the high side - still got a bunch of pressure. I'll figure out a way to vent that (gee, I wonder how I might be able to do that ), and take a look when my engine's just a little cooler (man, that thing retains heat from a run for a long time!)
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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Usually someone that can pull a vacuum for you can also reclaim the R134a for you, so you might just ask before venting to atmosphere.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamaha_rider619 View Post
    Jeez trying to get me into trouble...

    easy fix IMO, just time consuming
    I think you probably get into enough trouble on your own. Did you ever get that bracket replaced that cracked?
    Scott
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