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AIR COND Leak


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2001 2500.  Has a leak since new. Dodge had it in 12 times in the first 5 years. I finally gave in and got a charge kit. Back then it needed a chg every 6 mos.  Now it is up to every 30 days. Tried some canned stop leak. Tried dye and black light. finding nothing. Is there a hi teck sniffer leak detector that could be rented? Can not see into the interior ac compartment. How likely the leak to be in there? Checked for dye around compressor and all connectors and every line except the wrapped lines.  Any help?

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Mine was the compressor front seal but you'll never see the dye being its inside the pulley. But before you do all that I would try getting a cheap $11 seal kit at NAPA and reseal the entire system. It'll take about 1-2 hours to do. Then put a vacuum on the system and leave it overnight to see if the vacuum holds. If not you still got a leak. Then I would consider the evaporator and/or compressor.

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2001 2500.  Has a leak since new. Dodge had it in 12 times in the first 5 years. I finally gave in and got a charge kit. Back then it needed a chg every 6 mos.  Now it is up to every 30 days. Tried some canned stop leak. Tried dye and black light. finding nothing. Is there a hi teck sniffer leak detector that could be rented? Can not see into the interior ac compartment. How likely the leak to be in there? Checked for dye around compressor and all connectors and every line except the wrapped lines.  Any help?

There are sniffers but I'm not sure where you'd be able to rent one... maybe find a small mom-and-pop AC shop and see if they'll do a cheap diagnosis using theirs? 

I've got a leak on mine as well, and I'm 99% sure it's coming from the low pressure fitting. It shines like a lighthouse under UV...

 

2j27y3o.jpg

 

Fortunately the entire hose assembly is only $55 with Prime next-day shipping, so I'll be getting a vacuum pump Thursday morning...

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Under the UV light, that is what mine looked like also until I washed it out.  Thanks for the answers. I went on e-bay and found a sniffer for $46.00 delivered. It had several good reviews. One was from an AC shop. I will let you know what I find.

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Leak test sniffer worked great. Leak at the low QD. That said, is there an after market cap with a good seal? My low side plastic cap has threads stripped off. Probably stripped by the many dealer mechanics. Going to see if a new tight fitting cap solves my problem.  Mike keeps saying to reseal the couplers. That looks like a hell of a job. Sniffer says no leaks at couplers. Time will tell.

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About a one hour job to run though the seals on the lines. But if they are not leaking don't mess with them. You might grab a UV light and look over the system quickly looking for UV dye. If the low side port is leaking a cap will not stop the leak. I've been lucky a few times to cycle my lo side hose on and off the fitting a few times and get it to seal again. If not then that hose will have to be replaced.

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I replaced my is discharge hose, and after vacuuming it down and getting ready to charge the system, I discovered I was out of refrigerant.

So, a trip to my buddy the refrigerant guy solved that, and I went ahead and charged the system... Only to discover a new leak, in the high-pressure fitting. This one was pretty easy to identify, by the geyser of 134 shooting out of it. Fortunately my local Autozone had that line in stock, so I picked it up ($39) and will put it on tomorrow before work...

Triage on the old low-pressure fitting shows one badly nicked o-ring in the valve. Hopefully this new high-press line solves my problem...

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That line is a right royal $%^@% to replace! None of the standard line disconnect tools are thin enough to engage the spring. I had to get creative with the Dremel... but, AC is cold as now.

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Leaks at the high and low pressure valve core fittings are common enough that there is a tool to replace the valve without loosing the charge in the system. here's one of those tools but at this price it's cheaper for the do-it-yourselfer to fix it a different way.

http://www.matcotools.com/catalog/product/AC58531/R134A-VALVE-CORE-INSTALLER/

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Hmmm... My cheap $8 release tool from NAPA works fine. Matter of fact if you think that is tough try changing a compressor on 2006 Ford Taurus. Changing the flex hoses on a Dodge would be a walk in the park.

The cheap 4-way tool I had didn't fit inside the fitting even after I ground a considerable amount off the circumference. 

http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znetcs/product-info/en/US/grn/25042/image/4/

 

I also tried these, and the one that fit properly over the line wouldn't fit inside the connector to work the spring...

http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znetcs/product-info/en/US/grn/25052/image/3/

 

I also have a set of these, and they, too, were too fat to fit up inside the fitting far enough to expand the spring. 

http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znetcs/product-info/en/US/grn/25182/image/3/

 

The only other set I could have tried would be the big fat plastic ring-type, but my nephew had to go home and I wasn't about to put everything back together to drive my truck the 14 miles to the nearest parts store. They might have worked, I dunno. But looking on Amazon at the "good" Lisle set, it appears that it also would have been too fat to fit inside the high pressure line. Maybe it was replaced at some point in the truck's life. 

 

Also note that this was the hard line that goes from the lower evaporator port, up the fender, behind the battery, and into the tube on the condenser - not a flex line. And I know what you mean, I did the compressor on an '05 Taurus a couple years ago with a buddy of mine. Also, an '02 Windstar. Blech.

 

I'll have to cut the old valve apart later today. It's definitely NOT a serviceable valve. Instead of a Schrader like the low side, it's a flat brass slug with a thin o-ring around the outside that fits inside the Acme fitting, similar in operation to a Schrader but not design. And the connector itself doesn't unscrew, either. 

Edited by ronman
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Here is what I use in my set and work on nearly everything. Works great for tight places and against firewalls.

http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx/A-C-Fuel-Line-Quick-Disconnect-Sets/_/R-SER774031_0006544316

Is The NAPA item removal tools for the QDs? Never removed these QDs. I need to change my Evaporator. Where do I start? I finally drilled a hole in my heater box near the evaporator. My leak detector sounded off as I got near the hole. Found that it also would sound off if put in the outlet ports of the heater box if I waited a while after shutting down everything. Tried that with it running but I guess the incoming fan air diluted the sample. Any advice on removing the evap would be helpful.
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Just found your vidio on u tube. NAPA usually has good quality parts. Going there for a new core. On that leak at the low side fill port, I bought a new cap at Napa and the leak detector could find no leak around the new sealing cap. Thanks for all your help. You and this forum are gold.

Edited by oldbeek
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