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Old 05-29-2017, 12:59 PM   #1
BarnOwl
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Default 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

I'm changing the A/C compressor on a 1998 SL2. The 1997 (close enough with Saturns) FSM says to measure the oil from the old compressor, drain the oil from the new compressor and add the amount measured from the old compressor to the new compressor. It also says to expect at least 100 CCs of oil from the new compressor. Well I got maybe an ounce out of the old compressor and nothing out of the new compressor. I'll admit I didn't get the compressor from Saturn. It's a cheapie Amazon one.

Going back in just adding an ounce of oil doesn't seem right. What's a reasonable amount?

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Old 05-29-2017, 03:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

A partial reprint from a service bulletin;

Changes to Oil Charge for R134a Service A/C compressors and Oil Handling Procedures #98-T-23 - (Jan 13, 2003)

Service Information on Changes to Oil Charge for R-134a Service A/C Compressors and Oil Handling Procedures.
1994 - 1998 Saturn vehicles equipped with R-134a A/C systems

Purpose

This bulletin provides information on changes to the oil charge for R-134a service compressors. New service A/C compressors will contain 65cc of PAG oil instead of 150cc. A/C compressor oil overcharge will result in reduced cooling capacity. Undercharge may result in premature component failure.

It is necessary that the A/C system maintains 150cc or 200cc oil charge, depending on the model year of the vehicle being serviced. In order to maintain the appropriate oil charge, refer to the oil measuring and handling procedures in this bulletin.


Important

1994 - 1996 Saturn vehicles built before and including VIN TZ251965 that have factory air conditioning contain a total system oil charge of 200cc PAG. Vehicles built after and including TZ251966 that have factory air conditioning have a 150cc total system oil charge.


Important

PAG oil charge can be identified by locating the label on the rear of the A/C compressor. The 65cc PAG oil charged service replacement A/C compressor will read "65cc COMP/150cc SYS." The "65cc COMP" designation indicates that the compressor unit has 65cc of PAG oil installed and the "150cc SYS" designation indicates the total A/C system requires 150cc of PAG oil. This service compressor will service both 150cc or 200cc PAG oil systems.


Important

A/C compressors available after April 1998, which contain 65cc of PAG oil can be identified by locating the label on the rear of the A/C compressor. The 65cc PAG oil charged service replacement A/C compressor will read "65cc COMP/150cc SYS."


Condensing all this info, there's either a total oil system of 150cc or 200cc of pag oil. 150cc=5 ounces, 200cc=6.76 ounces. If a major rupture occurred with oil loss, use the appropriate total amount to replenish a system. If not a major rupture, use amounts as recommended for each component part replaced. 100cc drained from the old compressor=3.38 ounces with either under 2ozs or 3.5ozs remaining distributed in your system. Pouring into the rear suction side of the replacement (empty) compressor with 3.5ozs of pag oil is a safe start. You can always add more oil later. To understand oil amounts without over oiling, after a repair is completed and the system turned on, listen to the compressor while monitoring refrigerant installation (idling or above). Compressors knock from loss of oil or lower than system capacity. Carefully monitoring for compressor noise can help. Over oiling reduces the system volume to accommodate refrigerant capacity and simply raises operating pressures higher than expected (when comparing operating pressures to pressure charts in service manuals). Higher operating pressures are greater loads on the compressor as well as the engine. If a repaired system is noisy at the compressor, adding oil can be accomplished thru one of several methods; oil addition thru an attachment made to allow oil added into a container and connected to the low side port as the system runs (suction), adding an ounce of oil and r134a from a can sold for this purpose or adding oil in an open system during repairs.

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Old 05-29-2017, 04:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

Well I put in about 1.4 ounces. The compressor is installed and those bolts literally took me hours to start. I'll see If I can wiggle another ounce in the low side and I can put an ounce in the dryer. There wasn't a visible rupture.

One other question. The FSM specifically says to user R-12 mineral oil on the o-rings and not to use PAG. R-12 mineral oil is getting pretty rare. Is it okay to use ester?

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Last edited by BarnOwl; 05-29-2017 at 04:36 PM..

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Old 05-29-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnOwl View Post
Well I put in about 1.4 ounces. The compressor is installed and those bolts literally took me hours to start. I'll see If I can wiggle another ounce in the low side and I can put an ounce in the dryer. There wasn't a visible rupture.

One other question. The FSM specifically says to user R-12 mineral oil on the o-rings and not to use PAG. R-12 mineral oil is getting pretty rare. Is it okay to use ester?
Lube the orings with mineral oil from the drug store. Dont use PAG.

-robert

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Old 05-29-2017, 06:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

^ What he said. Mineral oil doesn't absorb moisture. Pag oil does. Using pag oil for O-ring lube leads to severe corrosion of fitting threads, promoting seizure. O-rings and threads are lubed with r12 mineral oil or general mineral oil (drugstore). The flat seal on the rear suction line is the only place not lubed and connected dry.

As mentioned, 100cc = 3.38ozs. If this is what was drained from the old compressor, pour 3.4ozs of pag oil into the rear suction side of the replacement compressor. On a bench with the clutch side down and rear suction port facing up, pour in oil, set compressor to horizontal position and slowly turn the compressor shaft several times to distribute oil inside. Oil will sit in the lower portion and remain there once assembled onto the car. Oil misting occurs as refrigerant is compressed and draws some of this oil into the compressor vanes (automatically lube) for discharge into the system where it begins circulating thru the system, returning back to continue lubing moving parts. Hand turning several times ensures oil isn't in the chambers to cause inadvertent hydraulic lock (damage) when the system is turned on. As you know, oil is incompressible.

Pouring in only 1.4ozs is well short of the 100cc/3.38ozs drained from the old compressor. Another way to add oil is during initial evacuation. When gauges are connected and vacuum pump is turned on, a full or partial vacuum is drawn and shut off immediately, shutting off gauge valves, disconnecting the center (yellow) vacuum line and inserting the open end into a pre measured container of pag oil, opening the low side gauge and coupler valve to allow system vacuum to draw in oil. The vacuum created from the initial evacuation will easily draw in oil. Shut off valves, reconnect the center line to vacuum pump, open coupler and gauge valves and continue with a full 20-30 minute evacuation and test for any leak back after evacuation is performed. Manually turning the compressor shaft several times ensures oil isn't sitting in the vane chambers and shows the compressor turning easily.

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Old 05-29-2017, 08:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

Yeah I got the warning in time. I wasn't going to use PAG but, I was thinking about using ester which is used for R-134a retrofits. I use mineral oil as honing oil sometimes so I had some around.

Thanks for the help. I pulled a vacuum for 10 mins then closed the valves and waited 30 mins to see if it was leaking,,,it wasn't. Pulled vacuum another 30 mins then put in 24 ounces of R-134a. I'm getting 48 degrees at the vents. That's as good as it's ever done. Pressures seem a little low (50 and 150) but, I'm not going to complain.

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Old 05-29-2017, 11:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

If I'm not mistaken, ester oil is used to allow incompatible r12 mineral and r134a refrigerant to mix in '94/'95 r12 systems without having to flush r12 mineral oil in preparation for a better r134a conversion using pag oil. Most r12 to r134a conversions simply consisted of adding r134a service port adapters onto r12 screw on fittings, evacuating the system, checking for leaks and if none found, refilling with r134a. Adding ester oil allowed r134a to work with mineral oil without creating lubrication problems. Mineral oil will not circulate with r134a so ester oil is added for r12 systems converted to r134a an inexpensive solution.

If a system was installed for r134a from the factory, pag oil is already used and make up oil should be pag oil.

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Old 05-29-2017, 11:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1998 SL2 A/C Compressor How Much Oil?

Just to be clear, I never intended to use ester as make up oil. I was considering it for lubricating o-rings. I ended up using plain old mineral oil as recommended and i appreciate the recommendation.

And I should say, good seeing you again fdryer.

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