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MVAC parts question

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  • #582020
    PeterPeter
    Participant

      Hey all,

      A little background on my and what I’m servicing before I get to my question.

      I’ve been working on my families cars for the last few years, and have a decent complement of tools at my disposal. Additionally, I’m EPA 609 certified (so I’m licensed to handle r134a), I have some experience working on auto hvac systems, and I have all the equipment necessary to do the work safely and legally (a r134a manifold/hoses, vacuum pump, recovery machine, reusable pressure cylinder, and all the fittings to make them work together. Now for the question:

      I’m working on my daily driver (a 2004 Dodge Stratus SE with a 4 cyl 2.4L PZEV engine). My transmission cooler/ac condenser started leaking a month ago, and I finally found time to fix it properly (instead of topping it off with ATF every week).

      I’ve ordered the parts, and just I got my new receiver-drier in the mail today (ordered from rockauto). What concerns me is that one of the ends on the drier was unplugged upon getting it out of the packaging. The plastic bag it was packed in was ripped as well (as was part of the box it arrived in). I’m concerned that my new replacement drier has already absorbed a lot of moister, and I don’t want to de-gas the whole system again to replace it (if it freezes up or worse). That said, I’ve already replaced the drier once last summer after fixing a leak and recharging.

      So in summary, should I install my new drier (that I received uncapped at one end), or reuse the one that I have on there? It’s only been around 40% humidity around here for the last few days, so I’m not quite sure if my replacement part is still good. I just don’t want to risk seizing my compressor if some super-saturated desiccant breaks out of my replacement and makes its way to the compressor…

      What do you guys think? Am I being overly or justifiably cautious?

      Thanks!

    Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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    • #582087
      MathieuMathieu
      Participant

        With the ac leak, you need to replace the refigerant gaz inside It. The way to replace It It’s to create a vaccum inside the system (by the way, you will find if you have no more leak). The the air and humidity is gone. Time to refill the system with the gas. See the video below to have more information.

        [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lglPJuBXVeE[/video]

        #582110
        PeterPeter
        Participant

          Thank you for the reply, but did you read the first post? I know the procedure and have the tools, but I’m not sure if I want to use my replacement drier (which came without being capped on one end to prevent moisture inside) or reuse the one currently on the vehicle (less than a year old).

          Is there anyone here with a little more hvac experience than me who can chime in?

          Thank you.

          #582118
          WayneWayne
          Participant

            I think I’d contact rockauto and return it for an exchange, explaining your concern. I would still probably replace, were it me.

            I spent the whole $15 it takes to get cert’d online as well, but by no means do these for a living, just repaired my fair share for myself and a few friends, so take my opinion with that in mind. I’d just rather do something once and not risk anything simple like that causing me grief, so justifiable in my mind.

            #582120
            PeterPeter
            Participant

              That’s what I was thinking. Considering the time and expense of replacing a seized compressor, making sure I get a sealed drier is the best plan. Despite the (comparative) expense, I think of these parts like oil filters in a lot of ways.

              Extra question: since I’m de-gassing the system myself, should I just reuse the refrigerant I had in there? I’m going to need to put in new PAG oil anyway, but I wasn’t sure if I should go get some virgin r134a or use what I have. I do my recoveries with at least one filter/drier (and have a few extra laying around in case I need to recover a burned out system), so I’m thinking that cleans it up enough to reuse?

              Thanks!

              -EDIT-

              I just submitted a claim to get a new one through the website, and they’re telling me that I don’t need to send back the old one (which is cool I guess). We’ll see if the replacement’s replacement comes in any better shape…

              Thanks!

              #582123
              A toyotakarlIts me
              Moderator

                Don’t re-use refrigerant that you have from a bad compressor. I recommend to do a complete flush of the rest of the lines (and the evaporator) with special A/C system flush (using compressed air to power).. There is a special tool for this. When systems go bad, they leave shards of metal throughout the system…

                Also, find out the right amount of oil for your system… Drain your new compressor and find out how much is in it (using a measuring cup)… Also add an ounce of oil in the dryer.

                Also, I agree, get a new dryer… Not worth the risk…

                I am sure you also know to evacuate the system before recharge as well..

                -Karl

                #582125
                PeterPeter
                Participant

                  I never said the compressor was bad, I said I didn’t want to risk damaging the functioning one already in the car by installing a saturated replacement drier. That said, the refrigerant is less than a year old and coming from a fully functioning system. Does that change anything as far as being able to re-use it?

                  Thanks!

                  #582131
                  A toyotakarlIts me
                  Moderator

                    If your recovery machine has the ability to filter and separates oil, and your recovery tank is known to be clean, then yes you can re-use it…

                    -Karl

                    #582139
                    college mancollege man
                    Moderator

                      Glad you are getting a new drier. For the small amount of R-134a
                      I would use virgin refrigerant.

                      #582420
                      MathieuMathieu
                      Participant

                        All the time and tool to get a small amount of refrigerant, you really need to have a lot of condensation and compressor to have enough gas to reuse It in your car and sell the rest. But don’t forget the Nitrogen contamination if the refrigerant gas (lighter then nitrogen) enter in contact with air. So despite to have too much tools to capture this worthy gas, I will spend money on new virgin gas.

                        #582619
                        EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
                        Keymaster

                          I would send the dryer back. It really doesn’t take much to contaminate them. You spent good money on it, you might as well get your monies worth. RockAuto is a good outfit. They shouldn’t give you any trouble.

                          Good luck and keep us posted on how things go for you.

                          #584745
                          PeterPeter
                          Participant

                            Hey all, I finally got got around to my repair yesterday/last night and everything worked well.

                            The only time killer I had to deal with was removing refrigerant line mounting studs off my old condenser to transfer to the new one. I needed external torx bits to remove them, and home depot/lowes didn’t carry them (though they had torx drivers…) I ended up spending an extra $40 on a set of gearwrench sockets, which are better fit/finished than I though they would be (but not $40-for-10-sockets nice). All this running around meant I needed to re-assemble everything in the dark, with only a droplight to see. Luckily, it held a vacuum once I was finished and I charged it up without issue.

                            Also, my new rockauto condenser had some fitment issues… When they boxed it up at the factory, someone bent the trans cooler inlet/outlet inward towards the body of the condenser. I ended up carefully bending it back, but even after they were set true I had problems with the bolt holes lining up. My replacement receiver/dryer (the second one rockauto sent me) needed some persuasion/bending as well in order to get it installed. The lines going to and from it brazed onto the cylinder, and the line going to the expansion valve is a 3 foot long hard line:

                            At least my new a/c recovery machine and cylinder worked flawlessly! See the pic below for my recovery setup:

                            Also, for those of you using Harbor Freight r134a gauges, use these o-rings when you assemble/re-o-ring your manifold: The black o-ring sets they sell at HF just don’t hold up well for HVAC applications. I’ve even had some of the black o-rings fail after only a few minutes of diagnostic work.. Use these o-rings or similar and you will be much happier:

                            HNBR O-Ring Kit

                            Also, rockauto told me to keep the original drier they shipped, and they sent me a replacement free of charge.

                            Thanks again for all the input!

                            #584764
                            college mancollege man
                            Moderator

                              Looks like a professional job going on Well Done. 🙂

                              #584946
                              EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
                              Keymaster

                                Nice! Thanks for the update. Keep us posted if anything changes.

                              Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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