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Old 09-14-2020, 04:36 PM   #1
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Request info on a quality set of A/C manifold gauge set w/hoses

Hey gang,
I'm looking for an A/C manifold gauge set, with hoses. I've spent a few hours reading reviews on Amazon and so far, not one seems to be of quality enough that there's ALL good reviews. I'm not looking to spend a lifes savings on a Snap On or, MAC etc. set. I just want a good set. I've got trouble with my dash A/C on our Freightliner chassis, Itasca Horizon coach and, am tired of paying for it to be charged only to have it loose it all in a few days. Yes, yes, I and a couple of companies have searched and searched and can't find a leak. So, for the time being, 'till I find the leak, I'm just gonna evacuate/charge the system myself. But, I need a decent set of gauges and hoses, at least 5' in the hoses.
What kind of recommendations do any of you A/C guys have?
Scott
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Old 09-14-2020, 07:06 PM   #2
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Just ask my son he owns a automotive shop and does a lot of a/c work. He recommended
yellow jacket brand and master cool. Said he has both brands and hasn't had any problems with either.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:31 PM   #3
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I bought one from Harbor Freight. Good reviews. But failed.

I have borrowed one several times from AutoZone. It keeps my old system running fine.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:05 AM   #4
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Here is a great idea....rather than constantly recharging the system, first find the leak and get it repaired....Just a thought.

Ken
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #5
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Here is a great idea....rather than constantly recharging the system, first find the leak and get it repaired....Just a thought.

Ken
The "Great idea" has been tried, multiple times, by many people. All the visible, *potential* spots for a leak, have checked, re-checked, and re-checked again. I'm not giving up, but, it is possible that, the leak is somewhere in the 72' (36' up and back) with incoming and return lines, buried either inside the floor or, someplace up under that coach. Believe me, I would rather "fix the leak" than keep throwing R134a at it. But, to pay a company to tell me, " we can't find the leak" time and time again, is Ludacris. I'd rather tell myself "I can't find the leak" and not pay for it. I by far, am not alone in this situation. There's plenty of threads with folks having the same exact issue, with dash A/C leaks that cannot be found due to the complexity of the systems on those style coaches.
Scott
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:11 PM   #6
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Yellow Jacket. Make a good reliable analog system. Have used them for years. Still have the original ones that I bought back in 1974!
Stay away from anything master cool.
I suspect that your leak is at the compressor shaft. A coach that old is highly likely to have dried compressor seals. Very hard to prove that it is leaking there.

As a tech I can be fined heavily for adding refrigerant to a system without finding and repairing the leak.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:25 PM   #7
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I bought a manifold gauge set from Mac Tools in 1970 something, still going strong. I guess you get what you pay for...
Yellow Jacket is also another great choice. My good friend uses Yellow Jacket stuff and has been in the hvac business 40+ years. He thought it would be a good idea to fix our dash air leak also. We twice evacuated, dyed, charged our coach dash system and leak tested. No leaks found but loses a one lb can every four months. No visible uv dye anywhere. We about wore out the batteries on his sniff tester too...
I finally removed the compressor belt and just use the roof air. Some things just aren't worth fixing. Of course, that's easy to say living in a cool climate. Good luck finding it!
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:06 PM   #8
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Simple but possible leak spot. The caps on the schrader valves or valve itself, does the cap have an o ring in it? If not put one in tighten the caps after replacing the valves. Just a thought.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:52 PM   #9
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Yellow Jacket. Make a good reliable analog system. Have used them for years. Still have the original ones that I bought back in 1974!
Stay away from anything master cool.
I suspect that your leak is at the compressor shaft. A coach that old is highly likely to have dried compressor seals. Very hard to prove that it is leaking there.

As a tech I can be fined heavily for adding refrigerant to a system without finding and repairing the leak.
Well Sir,
First off, the techs have applied dye to the system more than once and, no leaks around that compressor were detected. However, the BACK of that compressor, below the line connections, was a bit encrusted with old (as in years) oily dirt. So, he suggested that it's possible the connections and or some part of that compressor is failing. I asked for an estimate to replace that compressor. He uttered something in the neighborhood of $1,500 - $2,000 for the total job, vacuum, leak check and charge.

I called my local Freightliner Service Center in Kingman AZ and, told them the part number of that compressor and asked if they had one. "Yep, our last one, seems there's been a run on them". So, I jumped on the motorcycle and, an hour later, I had that compressor in my hot little paws.

It took me the better part of two days to remove the old one and install the new one. Rear engine diesel work is not for the faint of heart, especially if it's a rear radiator version. Anyway, I got it on, making sure all was surgically clean in connections etc. and, took it in for a charge. They said they drew a vacuum on the system and, it held for the required time. They then charged the system and CHARGED me another few hundred bucks.

Well, it lasted one days driving in 100 degree weather. After that, warm air. I bought a 16 oz. can with a gauge on it at Walmart in Cedar City UT and, didn't need it for the trip from CC to Williams AZ. But, knowing how hot it was gonna be on the trip back home to Lake Havasu, I installed that can of R134a in Williams and we had somewhat cool air for the trip home. That was a few weeks ago. I went to move the coach out of the garage two days ago and, WARM AIR.

Soooooo, THIS is why I need to find a good quality manifold/gage/hose set. I'm gonna attack this WHEN, I get my residential fridge install done.
Scott
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:27 PM   #10
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a/c leaks and gauges

So I get you got a leak, I have spent YEARS working on a/c systems, frankly if you got a leak "no one can find" your going to all the wrong places. this is issue with the people that are running the shops of today, they are looking to blow you thru the doors and put you out the other side! most "techs" don't have the want or determination to see the problem to the end. Rather than looking for gauges to keep destroying the ozone with all the freon your running thru it, invest in learning about leak detection, its an art that is lost on people who don't want to be bothered, after all you can't put headers on compressors and make them sound like a race car!!! get my drift.
Really I had to understand that if the freon is so deadly to us, our kids, and most importantly our grand kids why do soooo many people insist on treating it like its only cow flatulance. Im not beating up on people who just want there a/c to blow cold, im discouraged by the amount of folks who see it as ok to keep pumping $$$ into letting a shop take your money, with a leak as big as what your talking about there should be a WET SPOT the size of your tires. make the shops prove to you that what they found is the leak before anything is replaced. Then if it fails again hold there feet to the fire, demand they pay the next diagnostic if what they say was the problem doesn't fix it. Sorry if I got a little abrupt I have worked with several people that know how to charge a system (like NOT EVEN) take your money and offer no remorse about if it fails again, frankly they ought to be run out of town.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:29 PM   #11
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Yellow jackets or Imperial manifold.

Do find the leak before recharging system.

Use nitrogen and soap bubbles to locate leak.
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