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Thread: Charging Air Conditioning System

  1. #21
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I may have messed up... while charging I didn't have the rear AC turned on... just forgot. So while cruising around today with the front blowing ice cold I turned on the rear and it gets sort of cool. Now the front temp is blowing warmer. I haven't checked the sight glass again but my thoughts are that I should have had both running while charging so I get the correct level of refrigerant to run both the front and rear units. Correct? Not sure how or if they are separated when you engage the switches.

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I'm not sure how much difference it makes, but when you're servicing the system, everything is supposed to be on and running. Since that's the way you're supposed to do it, I never tried doing it any other way (so I don't have similar experiences to share with you). Probably no big deal. Worst case scenario would be you under serviced the system. Like you said, turn it all on, & check again for bubbles. If bubbles are present, then add Freon until they are gone (or at least tiny).

    FYI, even when properly serviced, the van AC never was all that great. If you're driving all day and the cabin temp has been maintained in the comfort zone, then the van AC is adequate. If however the van has been baking in the sun, and you turn it on for >1/2 hr drives, then you're asking too much and it won't be able to keep up. Tim

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Did anyone worry about changing out the drier before adding redtek or more r12? Is it necessary?

  4. #24
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by djshimon View Post
    Did anyone worry about changing out the drier before adding redtek or more r12? Is it necessary?
    Good point. When servicing AC systems, it's always best to evac the system, replace the receiver/drier, pull a deep vacuum, then recharge the system with the correct volume of oil and Freon (either by weight or volume). Having a good manifold gauge set is also important as to avoid over/under charging and to help identify/troubleshoot problems with the system.

    This thread though is more along the lines of trying to get away with cheating by simply adding more freon from a can. Assuming the system was properly serviced in the past, and has simply lost some freon, then this can be done with a cheap piercing tool, a can of freon, watching the sight glass of the receiver/drier for diminishing bubbles, and checking AC output temperatures. Tim

  5. #25
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Great thanks. I'm going to go the Redtek route and add it to the system which I've read should work. I just got my a/c running last fall after I'm guessing 10+ years and it doesn't seem to stay cold for long on hot days, especially with the rear a/c on.

  6. #26
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by djshimon View Post
    Great thanks. I'm going to go the Redtek route and add it to the system which I've read should work. I just got my a/c running last fall after I'm guessing 10+ years and it doesn't seem to stay cold for long on hot days, especially with the rear a/c on.
    I am interested to hear how the RedTek 12a project goes. Let me know when you get it done.

  7. #27
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Will do.. I've read good things about it.

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I went the RedTek route and got some strange results. The front is blowing hot now 85+ degrees and the rear is blowing around 62 degrees.

    From the bubble window, there is a frothy mixture. Should this be clear?

    Update- I added the second bottle and reved up the RPMs to 2000. The front is now blowing at 65!
    Its still frothy in sight glass though. Not sure I want to add anymore though without a manifold.
    Last edited by LateralTech; 06-29-2016 at 02:33 AM.

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    thanks everybody for this extremely helpful thread! trying to figure out what the best refridgerant to use would be, but am a little confused since i don't have experience doing this before. I take it R12 and red tek are different? but when looking for red tek, found this: https://www.amazon.com/Cans-RED-Refr...ek+refrigerant

    trying to find somewhere i can get something legit locally, rather not have to buy it online, but also need my air conditioning to get as cold as possible this summer cause i have skin issues that are really irritated from the heat.. already pretty miserable in over 90 weather. any info, suggestions?

    also when i ran the a/c in order to check the sight glass, i did not have the rear a/c turned on. would this affect the reading? seems i have no refridgerant at all in there.

  10. #30
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I still haven't added anything to my a/c-it was blowing mostly cold but cycling on/off until part of the compressor started making a horrible whining sound. I'm hoping it was just clutch mechanism but I'll have to figure it out soon because it's getting hot here(especially in the van).
    I am now leaning towards straight r12 but became lazy when the weather cooled last fall.
    Glad to hear the RedTek worked great for you LateralTech!

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    i did a charge using the RED TEK R12a Kit for 69.00. i used the included LeakStop and one of the cans of the R12a back in april. ran good and cold but might have started getting less cold a couple months later so added a can of Red Tek Pro Seal and another can of R12a

    i'll see how long it runs cold this time. if it drains out by next summer i might try another Pro Seal can and possibly go back to older R12 freon - i've seen some for sale on local craigslist

  12. #32
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I'm considering getting a vanwagon for a summer rig(live in the northeast), so i'd want the a/c working. Has anyone retrofitted to r134a?

  13. #33
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by 95-le/sc-all-trac-rip View Post
    I'm considering getting a vanwagon for a summer rig(live in the northeast), so i'd want the a/c working. Has anyone retrofitted to r134a?
    Yes I have had (3) or (4) R134 retrofits and it works good not great like R12. You get the new R134 fittings a new A/C dryer and 3 lbs. of Freon if you have a dual A/C system and an ice box and your good to go. Sometimes its necessary to replace the A/C compressor if its been many years since the A/C was operational

  14. #34
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    is the condenser still available for the 2wd dual sunroof, cooler box ? Rockauto says not in stock. I don't have a vin # to check with a stealership on.

  15. #35
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I used this one: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....1279751&jsn=12. It's a Denso, probably factory OE except with a decent price. Listing claims it fits 85 - 89 w/ ice box or without. I used it on my 86 with factory dual air (front & rear), but no ice box.

  16. #36
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    That is showing just the accumulator?






    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I used this one: http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....1279751&jsn=12. It's a Denso, probably factory OE except with a decent price. Listing claims it fits 85 - 89 w/ ice box or without. I used it on my 86 with factory dual air (front & rear), but no ice box.

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Duh, so it is........When I read your post, for some reason my brain interpreted condenser as accumulator. Sorry. What's wrong with the condenser?

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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I've heard that it can be a typical problem. Every Vanwagon that I look at has non-functioning a/c, I guess I want to prepare for worse case scenario.

  19. #39
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by JPERL View Post
    Yes I have had (3) or (4) R134 retrofits and it works good not great like R12. You get the new R134 fittings a new A/C dryer and 3 lbs. of Freon if you have a dual A/C system and an ice box and your good to go. Sometimes its necessary to replace the A/C compressor if its been many years since the A/C was operational
    What's the a/c dryer?? I'm thinking of going this route.

  20. #40
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    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by dogger562 View Post
    What's the a/c dryer?? I'm thinking of going this route.
    It's also known as an accumulator or a receiver.

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