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Old 05-12-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Dash A/C Problem

RE: 2002 FDDS Alpine

A/C compressor went out, replaced, and checked entire system. No leaks up front or rear in the usual areas. Checked lines as much as possible, but system will still not hold freon.

Has anyone with an 02 had chaffing problems with the lines? If so what location?

Thanks

Bernie
Pearland, Tx.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:46 PM   #2
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Bernie have you tried having the tech add dye to the Freon to check for leaks?
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for the idea...the tech has been using his freon sensor. He found a little leak and changed o rings. There is a section in the bay that runs thru the frame rail and is covered by tanks. We doubt it is a chaffed line, just checking with other 02 owners.

Bernie
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:36 PM   #4
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My low pressure line burst where it routed close to the engine, under the access panel by the bed. Engine heat slowly baked the rubber.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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RE: 2002 Alpine 36FDDS, 350hp, 150k miles


After checking the system several times, it appears the condenser is leaking. Was the condenser supplied by Acme or the radiator mfgr? Anyone have a part number or optional source?

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Bernie
Pearland, Tx
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:42 AM   #6
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Try these people A/C Parts Automotive and Motorhome
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:22 AM   #7
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Algoma, thanks for the link. I had contacted ACME with pics and dimensions, they indicated it was not their part, but would help, if possible. I couldn't see any P/N, mfgr info on the front or sides of the condenser. Perhaps when removed?

Bernie
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
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Dash A/Cs on early model Alpines is a particular "passion" of mine. To answer you question--the radiator stack was made by Radiator Specialist of Sacramento, Ca. Dont know if that included the condenser but am of the impression the condenser is a pretty generic design.

Also being a south Texan, I have been frustrated by the overall design of the early model Alpine dash A/C systems--do a search on this forum if you are interested. Basic design problem is the lack of interface between the A/C's need for air-flow thru the condenser vs the wax-valve fan controller which is strictly tied to engine cooling needs. The end result is that the dash A/C frequently operates at very high freon pressure levels during hot weather--putting stress on seals, hoses, and other system components. As the forum points out, there are some work arounds like hydraulic solenoid valve overrides or adding electric fans but all have some install or ops limitations. Good luck.....
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:50 AM   #9
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Thanks Old Scout!

The high pressure issue supports what the tech believes is the problem. He thinks it is a small leak at idle, that gets worse while driving due to the high pressure.

He added 5 cans of freon, then I drove 300 miles and the a/c was fine. I parked for four days then no a/c. The only thing he can find is a little bit of oil on the condenser. I have an appointment for a second opinion before I start replacing parts.

I guessed the condenser is generic, just need to locate one (after confirmed).

Bernie
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:03 PM   #10
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OK--the volume for this system is approx 3-4 cans so if he added 5 cans [12 oz]; that would/could also account for some temporary over pressure--think I would get a second opinion. The only good way to check freon levels is with gauges, a thermometer, and an ambient air temp chart. Then, because of the air flow issue, you need to set a box fan in front of the condenser to maintain air flow during the measurement.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #11
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Old Scout, he uses the gauges, temp, etc. Actually, we have been pretty careful about ambient temp when checking/filling. (Did not use the box fan). They guessed somewhere between 4-5 cans when we started. The 5 cans has been consistent w/o box fan, and the air did come out cool (very). Noticed a recent post asking about the freon capacity, but the total seemed elusive. These are pretty good techs, he takes care of all my cars, and others trucks. They are "old style" mechanics and don't want to just replace parts w/o total confirmation. I and my wallet appreciate that!

Waiting for an appointment for second opinion, they can check the system indoors. Will advise outcome and P/N, sources, etc.

We are heading from Houston to the UP of Michigan early July, so I'm trying to get a jump on the condenser. I can work around the situation, but the copilot can't, and that could be a long/lonely drive!

Thanks for the help and ref material. I am also thinking about an aux fan.

Bernie
Pearl and, Tx
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:51 PM   #12
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Sounds like your guy is knowledgeable about A/C--that helps a bunch. Aux fan is one of the options but challenge is the narrow space between grill and condenser. Generally, air flow is not an issue once at hi-way speed. The problem is running the air when you first start out[diesel doesnt call for fan] and when you are in slow traffic or stop and go. I have an "idiot" light on dash that is wired to my hydraulic override valve--its amazing how often the OEM freon pressure sensor on the ACME system is calling for more air flow[ie, high freon pressure].
PS--once you get the system back in working order, there are two other things that improve dash A/C performance--1] keep the A/C selector on "max air" so inside air is cooled and recirc; and 2] for really hot weather, hang a curtain right behind the drivers and pass seats [of course, you can always run the genset and roof A/C if it gets really bad.....
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:44 PM   #13
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Wax valve

Recently spoke with Scott from Source engineering and they have a orifice fitting that goes inline from wax valve to fan motor. 18 thousands hole as I recall. This has the fan turning at about 300 to 400 rpm on startup. They did this for high intake air temps and high a/c head pressures when fan was not turning because of low engine temp and calling for fan. Part is about 20.00 plus shipping. And appears to be very simple to install
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:01 PM   #14
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On my 03, the normal position is full closed when cold--no fan RPMs. I do recall that some owners indicate low fan speed at start-up. Unless this fitting some how by-passes the wax valve externally with a minimum flow, not sure how any flow would get thru a cold wax valve, except as noted by some owners.
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