'93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:23 pm

My orifice tube didn't look near that bad the first time around...

Let me be clear - when I first tore into this job, there was no freon and I pulled the orifice tube and that's when I decided the original compressor had died - gunk on the tube but nothing like that video. Mine had fine, metallic gray stuff on the tube...

At that point I replaced the condenser, evaporator, accumulator, orifice tube, hoses were pulled and flushed and pressure tested, and I replaced the compressor (this would be the first new one). This compressor burned up on me and I have replaced it with a NEW (2nd one) Motorcraft compressor. I checked the orifice tube after the first new compressor overheated and saw no evidence of any gunk in the system, so that led to me replacing just the compressor - with the second Motorcraft one - pressure testing the system and now drawing a vacuum. I think I'm ready to recharge...but I'm taking my time.
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:27 pm

OK - If you want to proceed without flushing it out you need to know when close if it's cooling at all on time or as said you'll do it all over again leaks or not but leaks are the reason for wrecking compressors usually.

Said already oil is carried by the refrigerant but only when at a point where it can condense and evaporate, go full circle around system oil and all back to compressor and repeat.

All tests for leaks and evidence. Don't forget you can check where condensate would or did drip from for oily evidence too. Any is bad news.

Electronic leak detectors can find the smallest of leaks with any CFC in a system with some pressure. They will also be fooled by any oily burning junk engines just do or any recent sprays used to clean, lube threads of things or for penetrating oil sprays.

I don't trust the look up I just did on the condenser now not the first you just said. One listed was a tube and fin type vs "high efficiency" where the tube flow paths are so thin they are totally intolerant of anything.

Hate to see you waste good R-12 harder to find virgin stuff and I don't trust much of the recovered stuff as real or pure and don't have a tester for it.

There's a limit to how much you can spend on equipment even if in the biz. Around me I think only one place left can recover R-12 and fully service them. Others when equipment finally fails just don't bother as not enough work with it to take up space.

Just know that R-12 is a thick molecule and less likely to leak than the others. I'm really not sure if plain air pressure would leak faster or slower? Just don't know.

Industry would call a system that held a vacuum for even 30 minutes (shut off the pump) good enough to proceed.

There's always a lurking risk - new everything or not it's part of the game and makes this an expensive little sport if you will.

Check away and let us know how you made out. Good luck,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:40 pm

I just can't get this thing to charge...was hoping the vacuum would draw some freon in - it didn't...so I jumped the low pressure switch and it doesn't seem to be working either. Compressor clicks on but I just can't get the vapor from the can in to the vehicle! I have been keeping an eye on things when jumping the LPCS, so I turn it off after a bit and don't let it run continuously...

Any ideas?
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:17 pm

The low side pressure is really high - above the 125psi mark on my gauge and in the Retard zone...also, the pipe at the low pressure valve (where I'm trying to recharge is REALLY hot - wouldn't you think it would be cold right here))

I'm confused...
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:35 pm

Just how are you charging this? Gauges with yellow hose to source on to manifold with gauges, blue to low side, red to high side.

From vacuum - same gauge set you can unhook from pump and fast hook up to source container. Pressure in that container must be higher than where it's going of course and ends up thru a Schrader valve that may or may not depress the tab with wrong end of some hoses!

Equipment varies with adaptors, adaptors with Schraders to lock flow one way or wont flow at all without them. YOU have to know you specific equipment.

Just hooked up to source should be able to read pressure of source by knobs or levers open or closed.

Low side being hot and reading pressure (if it is) of 125 PSI means if gas that's 105F degrees or so. Source if same or lower isn't going into that.

Something all wrong with hoses and how used? The heat you feel is probably just engine heat and jumping LPCO would have vacuum or low pressure waiting you just aren't connecting to it,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:20 pm

I have been thinking it might be a hose/schrader valve issue...I replaced the front AC suction hose in the repair process and the low side port seems slightly different than the old one. I was having trouble getting the low side (blue) hose to connect without leaking - it wouldn't screw down far enough...so I switched the red and blue hose and the red one seemed to connect better...I've been careful about realizing that the low side is now a red hose and the high side a blue hose, but I'm wondering if that is somehow making the connection through the low side schrader valve a problem...

I don't know...
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:51 am

Just comments on hoses and common equipment:

From my own experience, some hoses just have an attitude and some fitting don't match up well. You try another whole set or swap hoses which I have done many times with assorted problems of needing right angle ends.

About any set of gauges (a manifold set) you should be able to hook up to a source of gas/vapor if only air with something you make up if needed to get the hang of how they work.

Need to always know where they are locking pressure to show at gauge only and how to lock that off to show either source pressure or a system pressure.

Here's one of many types..........
Image

Just look at the brass manifold of that one. All do about the same either knobs, levers or what you have. That manifold will direct flow the way you wish to any or from any higher pressures to lower. The gauge dial itself is just telling you what the pressure is you directed it to be watching - only.

If you don't have a grip on exactly what part of your set is pressure, vacuum and which way it's directing what stop everything and learn how to use them

It sure can screw you up when a hose doesn't flow because it's crooked, just failed connection that may work with a retry or whatever.

Never mind a vehicle you need to know the equipment you are using and what to trust or not. There are rubber seals, wadding in knobs, "o" rings all subject to fail. Add possible Schraders that must touch just right or no flow there.

Pressure travels from high to lower pressure no real different than filling a tire with air. If source of air is lower than the tire the tire would blow air back out if pressure is higher in it.

A lousy connection nothing happens either way or just a hiss.

It really is a brain game to know what's happening where. Just for myself and not doing this stuff anymore except for my own only have 2 full sets now and a bunch of hoses. Takes time to set up what I might want to see or do. Can hook up two hoses with a union and read pressures while driving if need be.

In short - it's day's work to understand your stuff on just the tools never mind the vehicle and don't think you do.

If that's so we are dead in the water now till you understand what you are working with which probably isn't the mega thousand buck stuff a full time shop would have.

Page two on all this and we/you can't figure out your equipment yet as I see it. It could be defective and you need to know enough about what to expect to even know that.

This whole job is dead till I/we can believe you understand your equipment,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:07 pm

I understand my equipment - I have used these same set of gauges for years now. I recently changed out the o-rings in the hoses etc. What I don't understand is why the new suction hose I put on has a slightly different thread connection. I would post a pic, but let me explain. Remember, this hose/pipe has the low pressure port on it - on the old one there are 4 threads and on the new one there are at least five. For some reason, I can not screw the manifold gauge blue hose on tight enough now to the new port on the new suction line...I don't think the schrader valve is engage I get leaking on the back side of the hose screw-on connector...Like I said earlier, the red hose from my set does screw on better - no leaking, but I'm not POSITIVE I'm getting past the schrader valve. It seems to me that my gauges could be reading vacuum and pressure in my hoses ONLY and not in the system...??

The schrader valve inside this new pipe does depress and it does discharge, but I'm not POSITIVE I'm getting freon past it - I'm just not getting any freon into my vehicle's system...
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:54 pm

Quote you ">>It seems to me that my gauges could be reading vacuum and pressure in my hoses ONLY and not in the system...??

The schrader valve inside this new pipe does depress and it does discharge, but I'm not POSITIVE I'm getting freon past it - I'm just not getting any freon into my vehicle's system...<<"

My best gauges I still use were new in 1978! Got the ends so they do both 12 or 134a or 22 as needed. Many lesser gauges have seen the trash can and still have those.

What happened? R-12 was all there was then 1993 came by and 134a was it and the only for vehicles mid year and then on. Now new parts will not be exact for direct replacement as any still left are mostly converted to 134a with the hysteria that the older type rubber would leak like crazy and doesn't if older alone but sure could leak.

So the fitting isn't necessarily cooperating for you and info on dials confusing everything.

What I've done with many of these is put on 134a adaptors - the quick connect ACME high and low when nothing cooperates up to taking the Schrader out of the original fitting and get adaptors with new size Schraders and avoid ball valve types. Then you can fully work with R-12 still but by all rights it must then be clearly and permanently marked that it's an R-12 system just fitting are not OE for it. Had to on some, legal or not was all that could work.

I'm lost where I live to get custom made OE perfect hoses made up and do not have equipment to do so.

So - seems you know the problem and I've had that before. Pin of a Schrader doesn't line up or too deep for a good contact with hose and if you loosen it, it would leak all the time so screwed on what to do.

Dare say this is your issue totally. Bad info from your gauges is worse than none. It can't flow makes little sense but there are gauges that lock flow and older ones do not and a problem there messing you up?

A/C anything can be a pest just anyway - this is just causing extra frustration. I can't know your exact gauges vs ones I've owned there are too many different types that should be doing the same things except a law that you can't have longer than so many inches of hose to a fitting that doesn't self check such that no refrigerant but the last foot or so could possibly escape with that hysteria of venting refrigerants.

IDK - Do you have adaptor ends for you gauges? Think about putting on the adaptor/retrofit, fittings either temporarily or permanently to get this to work for you as it's going nowhere if you can't discharge refrigerant now,

T

(edit in) I feel your frustration - really. Local shops would send these headaches to me as I worked for myself and could spend the time to fool with these issues where they couldn't. Right now and even back when shops would just refuse this work at all as unprofitable to bother with up to most where I live don't do refrigerant side of A/C at all. Not worth it for such a seasonal demand to waste the space.........That and most folks with older stuff wouldn't think of paying $$ to fix A/C where I am.......
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby cornbinder89 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:53 pm

rgnprof wrote:I understand my equipment - I have used these same set of gauges for years now. I recently changed out the o-rings in the hoses etc. What I don't understand is why the new suction hose I put on has a slightly different thread connection. I would post a pic, but let me explain. Remember, this hose/pipe has the low pressure port on it - on the old one there are 4 threads and on the new one there are at least five. For some reason, I can not screw the manifold gauge blue hose on tight enough now to the new port on the new suction line...I don't think the schrader valve is engage I get leaking on the back side of the hose screw-on connector...Like I said earlier, the red hose from my set does screw on better - no leaking, but I'm not POSITIVE I'm getting past the schrader valve. It seems to me that my gauges could be reading vacuum and pressure in my hoses ONLY and not in the system...??

The schrader valve inside this new pipe does depress and it does discharge, but I'm not POSITIVE I'm getting freon past it - I'm just not getting any freon into my vehicle's system...

I just may be as simple as a defective part. Hard to tell even with a picture. I have had poorly made fittings before, even had one on a hyd fitting that was not drilled all the way thru, the scary part was it was in service, and had been for a few years on a piece of equipment. It was part of a safety, system that cut the pressure when a deadman was tripped. Neither the factory nor subsequent inspections cought it. I did when doing an annual inspection on the machine. It was hard to find because in normal operation it didn't effect anything.
I have had several NPT fittings that weren't cut right and would never seal. Sad state, but much of this stuff is mfg off shore and "made to our exacting spf in XXXX" doesn't translate to a part mfg here.
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:26 pm

Ok, I've pulled everything apart this morning (do it a couple of times and you get the hang of it!!). Flushed the condenser with compressed air - no problem, no blockage (80-100psi), flushed air through evaporator at 80 psi - again no blockage. Flushed solvent through condenser - made a mess but flushed ok. Flushed manifold hoses - black, oily stuff in the high pressure line and not much of anything from the suction hose. No oil drained from compressor...pulled orifice tube and it had some metal shavings on it - not much.

Any way to check the compressor? I discussed my situation with a friend last night who does AC work - he thought it sounded like the compressor might be bad - not pumping!

I am actually rethinking my R12 plan and considering r134a - ADVICE? I have a brand new condenser already and I know the system will work much better with a parallel flow condenser, but I don't think I want to go to the trouble of fitting new hoses...

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Just comment on 134a on a 12 system: They work fine you just need to find the right charge yourself not a listed %.

This is personal choice of your demand for A/C to be the quickest and coldest it can be vs saving some bucks on the gas if paying for it.

You can leave it totally alone except oil and charge carefully. Save that for a separate thread as it's timely first time to find the right spot with all OE R-12 sized components.

This is what you'll lose: It wont be fast to blow its coldest air especially when whole vehicle has sat in the sun over hot pavement to boot.

Without jumping hoops you will lose 20% or so of OE BTU cooling power but continues to dehumidify just fine.

Advantage. Your condenser isn't going to be frail and a disposable issue every time you need anything. Leaks should be slow even if some old rubber no barrier type is kept works fine anyway.

Disadvantages of being slow but will get there if you drive long enough. Not the world for many. You can choose oils either PAG or Ester which I prefer as it's compatible with remaining mineral and not hygroscopic (absorbs moisture like brake fluid does) and turn acidic in time if exposed.

You will learn to boost system maybe every year and know where to feel for what temp on items if you know the ambient temp and humidity on these gets easy but YOU learn it specific to that vehicle.

I would think about a strong fan clutch or one for HD service at the cost of some fuel and annoying roar if most driving is slow speed otherwise just one that hold engine temp exactly steady is enough.

NO GO if you fill this with passengers the body heat of people is constant inside. Ave heat added per ave adult is 2,000 BTUs per person! Factor that - it's real.

Think on that. Ever been in a crowded room even fully air conditioned and nothing keeps up? That's what I mean - people are heat making machines! Smile,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:22 pm

So, you think I can get "adequate" cooling with r134a and my original (though brand new) condenser? If it gets real bad, we can always run the house air with the genny on...
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby cornbinder89 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:44 pm

My take is this:
I've done conversions with stock components and found they cool "ok". I never had one rival the stock R12 system
I've done conversions with up sized and style condensers and found they will rival the stock R12 system.
Ford adds an additional wrinkle with their "spring lock" connectors. From what I've seen fitting mfg are phasing out all springlock fittings.
If this repair is a "one and done" meaning you never are going to service it again, and you just want it to work well though a season or so, then R12 and forget it.
If you are going to keep it for the long haul, I think you would be money ahead to make a complete conversion, eliminating as many spring lock connectors as possible, and going with as large a parallel flow condenser as you can fit. Yes it means new hoses and if you don't have the tooling to make your own, can be more money. The advantage of having an easy to service system wil pay off in the future, but not the short term.
Much if not all the "penalty " of using 134a can be re cooped by increasing the condenser. One text book I have recommends a 30% increase to maintain the same cooling.
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:43 pm

We are on the same page - it's up to YOU the owner about it. There's NO CHANCE to equal the caloric value of R-12 with the same components.

Now the "BUT."

But, most folks haven't changed a fan clutch in so long (about anything over 5 years they stink) that in swapping out doing nothing with a new fan clutch they only notice it's a bit slower at start up as said.

My own: 1988 Lincoln Town Car in storage indefinitely I did convert it ages ago now. It would freeze you out still and was obnoxiously cold new, fog windows and eyeglasses no problem. Kept as it's totally mint still just dusty waiting and cared for, for later so runs fine, not driven or moved just run.

All OE part even the spring lock "O" rings that failed usually in the first year on almost all.

Now understand I'm in Massachusetts, inland 25ish miles from Boston which is on the ocean which never warm water but that "ocean" effect cooling or moderation doesn't come inland - wind prevails out to sea here.

So, inland becomes suburbs quickly. Monster trees shade most roads except some numbered state roads and of course the interstates but you are moving along on those hopefully. The ground never warms up much either.

To each their own with their own driving needs. I'm also within 3 miles of anything I really need so no time to cool off a super hot vehicle anyway but also I don't mind that much. Some folks turn on A/C when temps spike to a whopping 60F after Winter here!
(Rest in peace Mom) - OMG couldn't ride with her without a coat - ever.

Sorry - in short it's what you want or need. I really don't know why I need A/C at all in a car but do at a home.

Expect less than the best you ever knew it but could be fine. IDK - did so many back when spent more time figuring out the person's needs than what the job would be.

One good thing is if you don't like the results you've only lost some oil and the refrigerant and can go nuts later if vehicle still good and worth it,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:53 pm

Ok - here's where I'm at (let me know what you think of my reasoning...)

I think I am going to convert to 134a and for the present time just leave the condenser as it is (I just bought and install a new one)...I realize the issues but here's my reasoning.

1) I just paid $5 a can for r134a - the cheapest I can find R12 for online is $30 a can. I still have some cans of R12, but I also have an '86 and '91 Mercedes with R12.
2) It's a motorhome...we don't use it that often and we always have the coach AC we can turn on (and have to anyway if it's really hot, because even with the R12 working, it wouldn't
cool down the entire coach on a hot day), and
3) as Tom stated, if I can't stand it, we can convert it back.

I have one conversion question - what color orifice tube should I now go with? I have read different opinions...

What do you think?
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:50 am

RED!
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OK - finishing end of page 2 on this thing. Go for OE all around is what I'd do. Why - it's all tougher stuff - an opinion. DO NOT BUY INTO THE VARIABLE TYPE. Never used but hear nothing but troubles or noise?

Now you say it's a camper back to the thing so nothing about the OE A/C would have ever cooled it as you just said.

This puts a new spin on it. Whatever if anything separate front passengers from the rear could or should be isolated as is practical and to your liking.

Haven't priced assorted refrigerants in a while but duly noted prices drop off season you may have noticed.

Going forward: Quit it with the 12oz cans and get the 30lb bottle and a scale. Fine to use the little cans but the games of changing one to the next for full charges is room to get air into system and there's enough trouble fussing with equipment already.

Nothing about A/C is particularly cheap to do right, doing things well the first time always best.

A reason to give up R-12, little cans now is ones you see for sale are old. The gas doesn't care, the cans do. That sealed top you can find them empty already untouched or rusted bottoms. The turn and pierce taps are pulling the tops such that they leak quickly for me now down to just a few more left all given to me by shops, stores, folks who can't find a use for them. Still have a new virgin Dupont Freon by brand name sealed and will crap if the stem leaks if opened.

Why new old stock? I was given a 1/2 full recycled bottle of R-12 to finish up with boosting assorted vehicles now empty buy ages ago and only boosts for mostly vehicles on their last legs totally never mind A/C. I swear the stuff was mixed or not pure R-12 product just with observations of performance a little goofy using that vs just one car left still R-12 in use by me as a real Sunday type driver or fair weather only if at all possible.

I'll convert that one if a leak shows up and need to open it up. Can't guess when or if a new leak may happen. Said in here that one is all OE untouched but did show a new car warranty job of replacing "O" rings when new. Otherwise just boosts mostly to save the compressor - already beat on that, that running system when low is the compressor killer.

I keep a wired thermos in center vent all the time on all my vehicles to watch the temp. Anytime any of them don't behave shut them off immediately and find out why right away before the grenade compressors. Done this since forever and never replace compressors in my own - of countless vehicles over the years.

Granted didn't keep many all that long mostly acquired as good fixer uppers for resale - whole vehicles - mechanic to all but finish body work.
********************************************
Seems the time is coming for me to write the whole novel on how to tweak out a system and charge one that has an unknown capacity which I'm very good at. Boats (yachts - non engine driven compressors at all) , cars - whatever creation came along.

Just finding the right charge with total unknowns or boosting now older stuff takes hours to pin down just right always best when I can catch just the right day or better two in a row with similar conditions. Can heat shop to 100F is about it and done doing that for Winter is still too much guessing so put all those off in state of positive charge, system disabled till weather cooperates later.

Same problems when way too hot as well. First problem is I can't take that much heat meaning the over 100F stuff with running engines - it's all over for any car work.

Lastly on refrigerants - stay with known product, new virgin stuff, no additives, no sealers, no special oil crap just pure products.

Read containers and know it's the real stuff. All make claims of being the better product but should really be just the product no tricks or mixes - there's just no magic out there at all that makes a system better than what car makers use OE. If there was a trick product it would be used when vehicles were new - case closed on that,

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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:08 pm

Do I have to change out the schrader valve cores? I got screw on r134a fittings...just wanted to make sure there's nothing special about the valve cores??
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby cornbinder89 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:59 pm

The 134a fittings should have a core in them already, remove the core from the R12 fitting before screwing on the 134a retro-fit fitting. You don't want 2 valve core in a row.
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Re: '93 Ford E350 - Nitrogen pressure testing and recharge

Postby rgnprof » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:13 pm

Nope! No valve cores in the r134a adapters...they just screw right on the old ports.
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