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Discussion Starter #1
Folks,

Falling back on Jenny (164L) since Sophia had cooling issues described in an earlier thread, I found myself without effective A/C in the late Summer FL heat.

This A/C system was rebuilt early in the year per prevailing BB standards and worked nicely until I had to use this car the past week or so.

I spent the usual time checking the usual stuff and finally connected the gauges.

Here is what the gauges presented:

Initial connection with car off - high 135 low 80 (unbalanced?)
Car initially on and A/C on AUTO - high 160/245 low 20/25
After 10 minutes - high 150/165 low 19/23
Turned A/C Off - high 125 low 77 (about same as initial)

At the moment I have no idea what these readings are indicating as they seem to be way out of line.

There is no cold air.
Low and high speed fans work fine.
Less than three thousand miles since total A/C rebuild using new drier, expansion valve, compressor, condenser, seals and flushed everything else.
Vacuumed and filled with recommended R134/Ester Oil charge.
It worked nicely.....

Any ideas Folks?

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Agree. Low on refrigerant. Got a leak somewhere. If you want to borrow my electronic sniffer, send me a PM.
 

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Did you put in new valve cores in the R134a service fittings or complete new NAPA service fittings earlier this year? Was compressor new/rebuilt with new shaft seal?

I would test tightness of valve cores with insertion/removal tool. Has to be a deeper/longer A/C one than a normal tire valve core too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for prompt feedback Folks.

Much as expected although I wanted to hear something else.

I will get cracking on leak check which of course will lead to full evacuation, flush and whatever else is required.

I am not sure when it will be done as it is second priority to house renovation and of course I have another ALFA......what a pleasure.

I will be back.
 

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"I will get cracking on leak check which of course will lead to full evacuation, flush and whatever else is required"

First, maybe you should try the high mileage 134a with stop leak in it first (I paid about $10 per can). Had a slow leak in my new system for the 91S (I suspect a leak in the evap), and after a couple of cans of that, the system seems to be staying up, at least long enough for a Seattle summer, although we are slated to set a new record for number of days this year over 80F. Seems monthly and yearly temperature records are being set all over the world on land.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I put stop leak in both my 164 A/C systems.
First, maybe you should try the high mileage 134a with stop leak in it
Good Saturday Morning Folks,

It was my understanding from other posts and having done considerable research at other times that the Stop Leak stuff ruins the compressor as it tends to clog the little orifices.
Apparently not it seems......I also wondered how Stop Leak could be marketed if it causes internal damage.

Did you put in new valve cores in the R134a service fittings or complete new NAPA service fittings earlier this year? Was compressor new/rebuilt with new shaft seal?
I would test tightness of valve cores with insertion/removal tool. Has to be a deeper/longer A/C one than a normal tire valve core too.
Right now I cannot remember but my initial response is to say yes I did replace the valve cores because I spent a lot of money on those NAPA fittings.
Whether or not they are the right valve cores is now in question as I do not remember being picky about depth/length at the time.

I will try and get to this over the weekend amidst the major renovation stuff which I am now taking part in as the builder has used up all the money.....

Have a good weekend Folks and I appreciate the input.

Ta,

Neville.
 

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You should probably take up Roadtrip's advise to use an electronic sniffer. As you know the schrader valves are not the only places to look for a leak. You have at least 12 other places including the shaft of the compressor and trinary switch, so you might go over each of them carefully. To compound matters you have besides the connector side of the hoses, the crimped side too. It's super easy to have a badly fitting o-ring, or even an incorrect size o-ring especially on the small fittings. Even the Pros make their share of mistakes. I don't remember if you said if the hoses were replaced with 134a compliant hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Pinino you point out the obvious and indeed I will get to the obvious.
I did the the old spit test on the Schrader valves and watched for over a half hour and they are not the problem.
I will probably apply the leak detector charge I have on my shelf and see whether anything comes up.
When I did my A/C rebuild I did not replace hoses but I did flush them and they looked pretty good at the time.
I do not expect any leaks from the hoses.
One part I did not replace was the evaporator but it does not seem to be a part we need to replace.

Good input and appreciated.....
 

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If those are the original R12 hoses they may look good but they are at least 24 years old and rubber nitrile does age. But more importantly the hydrogen contained in 134a causes nitrile to rapidly deteriorate. 134a hoses are designed with an extra nylon inner lining to reduce refrigerant leakage; they are not expensive but you need a AC shop like Nostalgic to make them up for you as two Alfa-specific connectors need to be reused (the u-shaped fitting at the top of the condenser and the u-shaped fitting that attaches to the dryer-receiver).
 

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My system leaks very slightly over the winter. I have to put a pound or so of R-134a in at the beginning of the season. I know the joints and compressor seals are good. Given the very slow leak, I'm pretty sure it's going through the old R-12 hoses that I did not replace. I think the conventional wisdom that the R-12 hoses are coated inside with "gunk" such that they won't leak is overstated. I think they do leak R-134a. It's just a question of economics . . . . Put $20 of refrigerant in every season, or replace the hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Folks,

Thanks for the input and it is all well taken.

I will do the necessary to check for leaks before I assume the old pipes are no good.
My system seemed to have failed suddenly rather than over time, but then again it may have been leaking slowly and all of a sudden the bad threshold is crossed.

Fortunately older Sophia (164B) is back in action for the daily commute and also the outside temperatures are becoming a little more moderate although FL humidity prevails.

If I find that I need to do a total recharge I will have my friend Jon at Viking Auto rebuild my hose fittings onto new pipes.....he did this well in the past.
For all future A/C rebuilds I will add the new hoses to cost.

We probably need to upgrade ROADTRIP's write-up to this effect......John what do you think?

Ta,

Neville.
 

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When we end up with the new mandated fluid, you will probably have to change it again, lol. Due in just a couple of years I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I never did get to the bottom of why this car (Jenny 164L) lost so much refrigerant.
The problem is currently resolved as I took it all apart and re-flushed pipes and condenser and re-primed the compressor as prescribed by John and Alfisto.....I think I know those write-ups by heart.
I have my theory on what happened but I need to prove it and my house renovation comes first.
This car has been cooling me nicely as the FL heat comes on.

Meanwhile my other Alfa Sophia (164B) ALSO lost almost all the refrigerant for no apparent reason.
I am doing something wrong!!!!!

I could find no signs of any leaks using a leak detector.
Pinino alluded to old pipes as a possible cause but I find it difficult to believe that all the gas would escape by that means.
When I hooked up the gauges there were no readings......when I pressed the release valve on the gauges there was barely a hiss.

So without doing anything I pulled vacuum for an hour and it held that vacuum for the next twenty four hours.
I then refilled with 36oz R134a.
That was about a week ago and the gauges show around 100psi for each side when turned off.
When the A/C is turned on this changes very little because the compressor is not engaging.
This tells me that there is no leak....yet.....maybe when the compressor engages a leak will start.
If I can get the compressor to engage then I will introduce leak dye.

I have successfully tested the low speed fan etc.

It seems to me that the trinary switch is not operating as expected.

Keep in mind Folks that the compressor, drier, X valve, condenser were all redone as new about a year ago and the system worked well.....and now it does not work at all.

When AUTO is pushed at coolest setting the blower comes up to speed but the compressor never engages.
The cooling fan two speeds work fine.
I swapped out the applicable relays.
Fuses are good.

Any ideas?

Ta,

Neville.
 

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Mmm, haven't heard anything new, but will poke around to see if they have a schedule.

This is what I've found on a quick search:

"R-134A WILL CONTINUE FOR CURRENT VEHICLES AND OLDER VEHICLES

As of this writing, there are no plans to eliminate R-134a as happened to R-12, or to require retrofitting older vehicles or current vehicles that have R-134a A/C systems to the new HFO-1234yf refrigerant. R-134a will remain in production to service existing A/C systems.

R-134a should only be used in R-134a systems, and should NOT be used to top off a R-1234yf system. Likewise, R-1234yf should NOT be used in an older R-134a or R-12 A/C system due to material compatibility and lubrication issues.

R-1234yf A/C systems will have their own unique service fittings (which are different from R-12 and R-134 fittings) to discourage accidental cross-contamination."

"Here is a list of late model vehicles sold in North America that are using R-1234yf refrigerant in their air conditioning systems:

BMW i3 Electric
Cadillac XTS (2013 and 2014)
Chevrolet Malibu
Chevrolet Spark EV (2014)
Chevrolet Trax
Chrysler 300 (2014)
Dodge Challenger (2014
, Honda Fit EV (2013 and 2014)
Hyundai Santa Fe & i30
Ford Transit
Infinity Q50
Jeep Cherokee (2014)
Kia Sorento, Optima & Cadenza
Mazda CX-5
Mitsubishi Mirage
Range Rover and Range Rover Sport (2014)
Subaru BRZ, Forrester & Impreza"


As well to the above, evidently the Germans are not wanting to change, as there is a very small chance that it is flammable in some occurrences. GM, though, has evidently signed on to the change.

So... it is not mandated at this time, nor anytime in the near future I guess.
 

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Just need to start at the compressor and work your way back to see where the loss of power is.

I also believe there is an inhibit based upon outside temp being too low. I'll have to look that up.
 

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Just need to start at the compressor and work your way back to see where the loss of power is.

I also believe there is an inhibit based upon outside temp being too low. I'll have to look that up.
I posted this on your green wire post but here it is again:

Go to compressor clutch red coil wire and apply 12v directly at green-black wire connection to red wire and see if clutch will engage.

If that works and you have enough freon in system jumper pressure switch red connector green and gray-black wires tp pressure switch on receiver dryer and frost switch gray-black and gray-green wires to be sure you have a good ground to relay located behind speedo if not maybe pressure switch or frost switch bad.
 
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