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Old 06-05-2014, 08:52 AM   #15
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Good chance your 2002 dash air is 134a--bottom line, if you buy a std 134a refill kit and the connections dont fit your system, its probably not 134a. IMHO, mostly good advice here--if you buy refill kit, take it slow and use a thermometer on an inside A/C vent to measure cooling improvement. I am told / understand the typical/max differential between inside air in your coach and the cooled air exiting the vent is about 20 degrees F. [eg 80 degrees in the coach, around 60 degrees at the vent]. If you get it down to around 20 degrees dif--you have accomplished your mission. Slow leak--DIY and live with it; big leak--find a pro. I am sure opinions will vary,,,,,
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #16
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Short answer: YES,
Medium answer: I just did
Long answer: it might not be coolant, it might be the heater flow control valve,, On many motor homes, mine included, the dash A/C is not controlled by a thermostate, it is controlled by mixing warm air from the heater and cold air from the cooler... The heater is controlled via a water flow valve, which sometimes fails to close (NOT MY PROBLEM).. I tested for this before adding coolant.

And Freon is R-12, today they use something newer, like 134A Make sure you get the right coolant.

The proper way to add is with a gauge to monitor system pressure, I could not find the hose with the gauge so I just dumped in 12 OZ.. I'll have a pro check it later.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
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. Slow leak--DIY and live with it; big leak--find a pro.
Ditto..

The refill kit is the easiest/cheapest way to diagnose a leak.
When one figures the cost of labor into car repair, it can be a lot cheaper to just throw a few parts at it, and see what happens, especially since that is what so many mechanics do anyway.
An AC repair person will still refill, and see if it is leaking.....you just pay 100 per hour for him to do what would take you a few minutes to do, and a bit of patience to wait and see if it leaks out... if it takes a year to leak out, yep, you have a leak but for 6-12 bucks a year, who cares...
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:12 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the comments fellows! Since my MH is a 2002, would it have R12 or R134A in it? It it does have R12, and it is no longer available, can the R134A still be used to add to the system?
It was banned after Jan. 1, 1996, most automotive A/C had quit using R-12 years earlier. If you're doing it without a full manifold set, just be sure to keep a thermometer in the inside vent and watch temperature drop. It's the only way to prevent overcharge without high pressure side monitoring.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:44 AM   #19
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I doubt very seriously you have R12, that was phased out way before 2002. Just did my neighbors 1998 Mercedes and its 134a. Went ahead a looked it up as I am sure there are some that will swear to you otherwise. "Auto manufacturers began using R-134a in 1992. By 1994, all new-car air conditioning systems were manufactured with the new substance. While R-12 is no longer produced, it is still available in limited quantities."
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I agree
My '96 has R-134a.
I used a hose/guage "recharge kit", from Walmart, (like this: Deluxe R-134a Recharge Hose and Gauge: Motor Oil, Transmission Fluid & Car Lubricant : Walmart.com) to add one 12oz. can of refrigerant 3 years ago at (120k miles), which improved the temperature output of my dash air.
If it works this well for another 15 years I will be one happy camper.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:58 AM   #20
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Our 1995 Chevy chassis is R134a ... I have bought the wally world kit... got it working again nice and cold .....
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:30 PM   #21
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I just checked the temp of the air coming out of the dash. It's only about 10 degrees colder than the outside temp!
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:34 PM   #22
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I just checked the temp of the air coming out of the dash. It's only about 10 degrees colder than the outside temp!
MSHappyCampers
The temperature differential, (also known as Delta T), between the condenser's intake air and the evaporator's output air should be 15-20 degrees F, (I believe 20 degrees is the most you can expect).
BTW, I've found if/when I set the dash air control to "max", (aka: "recirculate"), the output temperature often drops in10-15 minutes.

Humidity plays a factor, (because humid air is dehumidified as it passes through the evaporator core).
The process of making condensate steals some of the ability to lower the output air temperature so your Delta T may drop to 16-18 degrees rather than 20, depending on just how humid it is....(the dryer the OS air the cooler the output).

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Old 06-06-2014, 04:29 PM   #23
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I picked up the recharge kit from Auto Zone today and ready to try my hand at this new venture!

I think someone said that the hose connections are different sizes for the high and low sides, and that the hose with the recharge kit will only fit the connector on the low side. Is this correct?

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:46 PM   #24
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The two lines connecting the compressor to the evaporator & condenser are of two distinctly different diameters. The LARGER of the two lines is the suction line and it's charge port fitting is a different size than the one on the smaller diameter discharge line. The kit you purchased will only fit the suction side fitting. Use caution, particularly when you've completed adding the charge. When you disconnect the charge line, I would suggest you do it while the system is in operation. The reason for that is the pressure on the suction side while the system is running should be in the 25-35 PSI range. When the system is off and the pressures equilize, the pressure in that same port will be closer to 100 PSI depending on outdoor ambient temperature. Regardless of when you choose to disconnect, there will be some pressure/referigerant lost in the disconnection process and that escaping refrigerant will be cold enough to cause frostbite. Wear protective glasses to protect your eyes from that fraction-of-a-second spray, and disposable gloves to protect you hands in the same manner.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:49 PM   #25
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The two lines connecting the compressor to the evaporator & condenser are of two distinctly different diameters. The LARGER of the two lines is the suction line and it's charge port fitting is a different size than the one on the smaller diameter discharge line. The kit you purchased will only fit the suction side fitting. Use caution, particularly when you've completed adding the charge. When you disconnect the charge line, I would suggest you do it while the system is in operation. The reason for that is the pressure on the suction side while the system is running should be in the 25-35 PSI range. When the system is off and the pressures equilize, the pressure in that same port will be closer to 100 PSI depending on outdoor ambient temperature. Regardless of when you choose to disconnect, there will be some pressure/referigerant lost in the disconnection process and that refrigerant will be cold enough to cause frostbite. Wear protective glasses to protect your eyes from that fraction-of-a-second spray, and disposable gloves to protect you hands in the same manner.

Thanks, that's exactly what I needed!
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:58 PM   #26
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Also remember to hold the can upright when charging. In the upright position, the can will be dispensing the referigerant in a gaseous state. The compressor is not designed to compress a liquid which would happen if the can is held upside down.

The system should be running when you charge and may cycle on/off a few times before enough refrigerant has entered into the system to keep the pressures high enough to maintain operation without the low pressure switch temporarily shutting the system down.

Take your time. It may take 4-5 minutes to completely exhaust the can.

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Old 06-06-2014, 08:10 PM   #27
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Suggest you lightly rock the can from side to side as you empty it; another "trick" is to place the can in a small container of warm water to keep the can from freezing as it empties. Again, lots of good advice here--some conflicting. Systems vary in pressure with ambient temp, air flow over the condenser, condition of the evaporater and filter, etc. Go slow and monitor both the low side pressure and the ambient air differential. Some also suggest having the engine rpms slightly above idle so the compresser is running at an efficient ops speed.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:16 PM   #28
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It's blended

134A is a blend of refrigerants. If you have a leak, different parts of the "blend" will leak first. You are left with some refrigerant in your system that is missing some of it's parts, so it might work, but it won't work as well.

Hurry on down to Walmart and pick up some of the cheapest 134A on the planet. Don't worry so much that you can have pressures nearly or exceeding 300 pounds on that hose the "kit" came with, because it will never rupture, taking your hand off.

But remember, something is broke, that's why the air conditioner quit working. Adding refrigerant isn't fixing anything, it's just maybe making it work, for a while. Never mind that you could be drawing in moisture, contaminants, waiting for the expansion valve to explode sending parts through out the system. That cheap can of refrigerant can cost you a compressor, expansion valve, condenser, or evaporator. That $100.00 per hour the real tech might charge you will be cheap compared to what you could pay.

Now we can't argue with the successes stated in the previous posts. And you won't be able to argue with the professional when he says the bill could be $1000 or more to fix your short cut.
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