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Old 05-03-2008, 03:01 PM
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Trouble shooting Vintage Air for the Novice

The Vintage Air in my 55 has quit working - - - I had it re-charged a couple of years ago and that didn't last very long.

Is there anything I can do to find out what parts need replacing before I take it to a garage for final charging?

I've checked the blower fan, power to the compressor clutch, the compressor pulley turns freely and I have moved the condenser closer to the rad where it gets good air flow.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Peace,
WR

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Old 05-03-2008, 05:36 PM
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Sounds like you have one or more fittings that have a slight leak. Vintage Air and some of the other aftermarket air conditioning manufacturers use little "O" ring seals at the end of the lines that if not properly lubricated when initially installed will leak in short order. A competent A/C shop should be able to check for leaks with little trouble. That's most likely your problem.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:54 PM
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You can buy R134 refrigerant with a dye it in. I think you use a UV light and special glasses to see the leaks. Might be worth the trouble if you hate to see a mechanic as bad as I do.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:44 PM
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You don't want to mix R134a with an older R12 system though, but I believe they do make R12 leak detection kits to, but don't quote me on that.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:57 AM
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vintage air no workie

One way to check for leaks is mix liquid dish soap and water.squirt around every fitting when bubles apear presto a leak. obviously. If it is a a O ring
use only air conditioning O rings
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:22 AM
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I have an old receipt from 2 years ago that saysAC freeze 12 then F12 recharge - - is that the same as R12??
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like it-don't forget that they use Barrier Hose for 134, so you may lose a charge in the future if you change over-
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:23 AM
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Freeze12 is one of the alternative products that is compatable with PAG, ester and mineral oils likes found in an r12 or 134 a system.
http://autorefrigerants.com/co00030.htm



I don't like the alternative stuff. I have had mostly poor luck with using it in the systems I've charged it with.

If your system has just stopped working, meaning the compressor clutch won't energize, the refrigerant pressure may be too low to close the binary switch...Look for that switch in the highside hose that goes from the condensor to the evaporator.

Pull the 2 wires off, and jumper them with a piece of wire ..if after jumping the leads, the compressor comes on when you turn the switch on your ac control panel, to "AC", the charge is too low.





Vintage air has been selling 134a systems for quite some time now, and avoiding selling r12 systems. you can find out which system you have by looking at the charge ports, a r12 system will likely have the charge ports on the compressor, while a 134a system will have the charge ports on the fittings or an inline fitting. Also, a vintage air system will have a tag on the side of the evaporator case, on the fan housing that says which type of freon it needs.

See the different type ports below.

Top one is r12, two on the bottom are 134A.



Finding leaks...

Sucks.

All of the previous posters in this thread are correct..

Soapy water does not do well with slow leaks though..

If it were me, I'd start by getting rid of the alternative refrigerant...then replace the O rings, using an ester type oil to lube up the o rings. Change the filter/drier while you are in there...

The O rings that VA uses are easily found at any good auto parts store. Vintage air can get you a new filter/drier, or you may be able to match one up at your parts store..

Then you or your AC guy can charge the system with and you can start looking for leaks.

Or you can evacuate the system yourself and see how long it takes to lose its vacuum.

Keep in mind that for you to properly charge, evacuate or assess the system yourself, you need a manifold set. and a vacuum pump. I have found the equipment at garage sales paying pennies on the dollar for them, or on Ebay as well.


You can use the leakcheck dye, it works, but you need to have a decent charge and run the system for a while..it gets injected in the lowside charge port with a syringe of sorts and you use a blacklight and special glasses to see it where it ozzes out from where ever it may leak from.... A bunch of companies sell the stuff..just do a google search for ac leak detection dye.


I bought my kit from the matco truck guy ...it has glasses, injectors, a cool blacklight for looking at phlorescent dye wet spots or looking scary on halloween.....a bunch of other leakcheck dyes for trannies and motors and radiators and it was about 85.00 when I bought it a few years ago..


It has enough stuff that would give a DIY guy a lifetime of checking for leaks on his and his buddies cars.

Next up is a leak tester, I have 2, they both suck for finding slow leaks....Here is the better one I bought...and it is just as sucky as the crappy one..It is a corona discharge type, notorious for false alarms...



The real good one has a heated diode sensor instead of the corona discharge....but at over 500.00 I wasn't going for it.

I also find leaks by looking for oily deposits around fittings, and hose crimps. The oil flows throughout the system, aand will seep out under pressure.

You can put a can of freon with stop leak in it, Castrol makes a 134a with 2oz of stopleak stuff ..I put it in some systems to prevent callbacks on the 134 a systems.. (sorry...I'm a HO )

Barrier hose for 134a takes a different crimp than the old r12 hose . r12 gets a crimp inline with the hose, while the beadlock fittings required for 134a get a bubble type crimp. Make sure you have the correct crimp for the fitting you are using. Barrier hose works with both types of fittings and refrigerant.



Hope some of this helps..

Mikey
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Last edited by powerrodsmike; 05-07-2008 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:27 AM
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Thanks, Mikey, (and eveyone else also) that is a very informative post and helps me a lot. The ports are definitely on the back of the Compressor in my case - - - so I guess my next step is O rings and ETC.

GBOT,
wr
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