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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to throw in the towl on this project until the spring...

I've replaced most of the hoses, all of the o-rings, the condenser, the compressor, and there's still a leak. I can pull a vacuum down to -28 or 29 (not totally sure how accurate these HF gauges are, but low enough), but within seconds I can see the needle on the low/blue side start to move. Within 20 minutes it's back to zero. SO I pull hoses, replace o-rings, relube them, tighten everything back down, and have the same results. I've done this numerous times.

So I think I might just wait until spring and take it to a shop with a few hundred bucks in hand.

I'd try some refrigerant with leak sealer, but at the rate it's bleeding out I doubt it would work. Any thoughts? I'm desperate to drive the car this fall, now that it's cool enough outside to enjoy it, and don't want it hood up for the next several months.

Very frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I didn't replace it, but I did remove it when I flushed the evaporator and replaced the o-rings. There was some tar tape that got into the threads, so maybe that's preventing it from tightening down enough? I tried cleaning the threads with both the flush solvent and straight acetone but it was pretty dang stubborn. Maybe pull that all out again and use a brass wire brush, then more acetone?

I suppose there could be a leak in the actual evaporator core. That would be awesome.
 

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I would NOT use leak stopper.

Use some dye or a electronic leak detector. At the rate of leak you describe, an electronic leak detector should pick it up easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The manifold gauges came from a neighbor, who uses them annually for his old Celica. He assured me they were A-OK.

I went back through the system one final time, and did find an o-ring in the compressor's high pressure fitting that had bound and slightly separated. So I got all excited and replaced it, thinking I'd found the issue. It still loses all vacuum within 20 minutes. I'm really worried it's an evap issue, but I don't own the equipment to diagnose the issue, don't want to spend the money to obtain it, and none of the local parts store rent it. I think I'd rather just have an expert figure it out in 6 months.

So, I just buttoned everything back up and will wait for next spring to diagnose, and at a shop. I wanna drive the car! Needs a few hours of basic maintenance after sitting for so long, and a good wash, polish and wax.
 

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I'd pull the vacuum on the gauge set exclusively and make sure you don't have a leak there. I've had manifold gauges go bad plenty of times.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They were jusy HF gauges...

And no, I still haven't resolved the issue. I developed an ignition problem not soon after, then I had couple of valves go south. I'm still rebuilding my top end.
 

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They were jusy HF gauges...

And no, I still haven't resolved the issue. I developed an ignition problem not soon after, then I had couple of valves go south. I'm still rebuilding my top end.
I know the feeling. I thought I had my brake problem sorted out and last night one of the rear calipers seized partially closed, heated up the brakes and boiled out the fluid. Back to square one.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Do you get secretly, slightly masochistically excited when something breaks?
"Ooh, now I have to take something apart and fix it! Naughty girl..."
 

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Do you get secretly, slightly masochistically excited when something breaks?
"Ooh, now I have to take something apart and fix it! Naughty girl..."
Ha. Actually I found myself saying "If you don't get your act together I'll part you out and get a Miata" (Because Miata is always the answer).
 
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