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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 1988 Spider Graduate that I am trying to restore. When I purchased it, the A/C did not work at all, although the compressor would engage when I switched it on. The dryer window showed no bubbles, so I had assumed that the problem was the lack of R-12. The system had some gas left, as I once depressed one of the valves for about a second, and heard the hiss of gas.

I recently got a hold of some R-12 and some gauges, and tried re-filling the system myself. Unfortunately, I cannot get the system to work at all. I managed to get some R-12 into the system, as I can now see bubbles in the dryer window, but the unit is not refrigerating at all. The low pressure gauge is showing a high value (about 75 PSI), and the high pressure gauge is showing a pressure of about 125 PSI. Does this mean the compressor is shot?

Your insights will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Kevin
A very good link you've provided there!
rmatrix
I'm afraid it's seldom as simple as "adding a little charge". That's the used car salesman's line.
Your low pressure side is actually "in the ballpark", depending on ambient temp at the time of checking. Your high pressure side is reading low but the cause can be due to a number of reasons. It's tough to diagnose these via the internet.
Regarding bubbles in the sight glass; a full charge is reached when bubbles have been seen and then a clear glass is observed. This indicates there is sufficient liquid refrigerant available to supply the expansion valve or "orifice"(which is a term used for a fixed length of capillary tubing used instead of an expansion valve).
You haven't damaged anything yet. My advice is to have a shop that knows A/C fix it properly. Then you can enjoy the season rather than troubleshoot the climate control problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the responses.

An additional detail I forgot to mention is that the system does not seem to be taking in any more Freon. It seems to be stuck at the pressures indicated in my previous note. The Freon tank is still half full, but I can't seem to get any more gas into the compressor.

Again, thank you BB members foir your help!
 

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I think it's best to see a pro and have the system completely flushed. If you don't know the complete history of the car, there's a very good chance that some previous owner, in an effort to sell the car, squirted in some different refrigerant to get it going on the cheap. Who knows whats in there. If the oils are wrong and the compressors fails, it can send a mess of shavings throughout the system which will in turn destroy a new replacement compressor. Then you have to REALLY clean it out. Lot's of work. Don't gamble.
 
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