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Old 07-19-2019, 05:18 PM   #1
rb6667
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2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Expansion Valve Replacment

Any of you replaced this AC valve? Any suggestions for avoiding issues? A blockage is suspected.

The system will be evacuated professionally before this is done.

TIA.

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Old 07-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

Several ways for blockage to occur in ac systems; internal parts of the compressor disintegrating, lack of oil allowing steel vanes to scrape aluminum chamber walls creating metal slivers, manufacturing debris left in parts, incorrect repairs allowing moisture to freeze, and using sealer. I cannot imagine thermal expansion valves being blocked unless moisture was allowed to remain in a repaired system not evacuated after repairs were made. Ill advised use of sealer from refill canisters simply allows it to react anywhere moisture occurs to seal any passages, nooks and crannies, hoses, fittings, condenser coil tubes, evaporator coil tubes and block thermal expansion valve operation. Every ac system manufactured uses two main products, refrigerant gas and oil. Dye is inert and mixes with oil. When assembled as new or repaired from damage, a total evacuation is performed to remove all air and moisture in preparation for refrigerant, oil and dye. Anything left in a repaired system invites contamination detrimental to efficient cooling.

Was this system refilled with sealer or repaired and refilled without an evacuation procedure? Why and how can you explain your thoughts of a blocked txv?

In my limited experience, I've never read or heard of any vehicle ac system with its thermal expansion valve blocked or damaged, requiring replacement. I've never replaced a compressor or txv in vehicles I repaired. Txvs are one of the few items that tend to last the life of most vehicles. Compressors and txvs are replaced mostly due to unfamiliarity with second guessing as the main reason for replacing perfectly good parts. It doesn't help when many unscrupulous dealers and repair shops like to line their pockets with high profit (marked up) parts (compressors) by simply declaring "We found your ac system is trashed and needs a compressor and other parts...." with a cursory inspection. I keep my hard earned money by learning refrigeration, diagnosis, troubleshooting, acquiring equipment and practicing repairs every time I encounter ac problems. Did I state 98% of all vehicle ac problems are about leaks that kills cooling with uninformed diyers attempting quick repairs with refill kits containing sealer that does nothing more than empty wallets by refilling a system that continues to leak and ruins a system? Find and fix the source of the leak and more than likely restore it back to factory condition.

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Old 07-19-2019, 07:18 PM   #3
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2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

Should have provided more information. Compressor will not engage. Pressures on the high side are 170 low side 25-30 Compressor will not kick on.

A month ago, the system was evacuated for 45 min. Held vacuum for 30 minutes. Recharging the system through the low pressure side took a very long time. But was able to get approx 24oz into the system. Air was ice cold

Then earlier this week. the compressor would not engage. Took the readings shown above. System evacuated again. Same results as earlier. Held vacuum for 30 minutes. Now the system will barely pull in any charge. Clutch will not engage.

No sealers have ever been used on this AC system.

I know you can bypass the pressure switch by jumping the relay pins 30 and 87. Have not tried that due to little or no charge is currently in the system. Don't want to run it with no charge.

10 Amp AC fuse is good and did try another relay. Both are good.

What are your thoughts on a jumper at the relay considering the above?

Thanks for the reply Fdryer. I was confident I could count on you!

...
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:12 PM   #4
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Post Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

I don't think this problem is related to your thermal expansion.

Presuming familiarity with temperature/pressure charts, examine the t/p chart. I highlighted two temperatures related to gauge pressures. Both are below freezing temps with low side pressures you posted. For whatever reason I can't think of right now, evap pressures shouldn't be beow 30 psi (35F) as this prevents freezing coils frosting and building up ice to block off hvac airflow. A seldom discussed phenomenon occurs (mostly with r12 systems) if less than full refrigerant occurs when evap temps drop lower than expected. This may have occurred with filling up to 24ozs instead of 32ozs. Whether L200 or L300, both systems need 2.09 lbs of r134a. Are you aware of running at 75% refrigerant capacity? This may explain the lower low side pressures. What isn't mentioned is ambient temps when pressures were recorded. Ambient temps affects high side pressures and vent temps.

1-2.09lbs of r134a for either L200 or L300.

2-Possibly incorrect rpm while recording operating pressures. Service manual procedures requires 2k rpm.

3-Refilling with refrigerant is faster at any rpm above idle. When idling, compressor speed is low. Raising idle helps draw in refrigerant. A warm bucket of water to immerse refrigerant cans helps warms refrigerant to maintain pressure as suction from higher idle draws it in.

A partial reprint of setup procedures from the service manual may help give you a better perspective of what goes on during pressure monitoring. If you connect gauges again, note varying operating pressures when raising rpm from idle. Vehicle refrigeration is different from all other refrigeration systems running at one single speed. You may see different operating pressures at 2k rpm. Idle rpm and gauge pressures aren't valid for the L-series.

If you need expected pressures, I can post them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg R134a temperature pressure chart-1.jpg (154.7 KB, 2 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Service Information.pdf (114.7 KB, 2 views)
File Type: pdf Service Information-1.pdf (131.8 KB, 2 views)
File Type: pdf Service Information-3.pdf (91.5 KB, 2 views)

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Old 07-19-2019, 11:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

BTW, how can pressures develop without the compressor engaging? With ac off, high side pressures bleed off until both sides equalize. If you are seeing 175 psi and 30 psi, the compressor is engaged, powered up.

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Old 07-20-2019, 08:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

Sorry for not being real clear. The readings were taken when everything was fine and were taken at idle. Compressor engaged. Air was Ice cold.

Then, as mentioned the A/C just stopped cooling. Compressor not engaged. System was evacuated again. Held vacuum for 30 minutes so pretty confident there are no leaks.

Now, when trying to fill system back up again. the compressor will not engage.

Would it be safe to try and force the compressor to engage? Using a jumper on the relay? Pins 87 and 30?

Any other tips you might have would be appreciated.

Again, I still suspect something is not right here since when it was evacuated the 2nd time, there was a good charge in the system. Could not get a reading since the compressor will not engage.

Thanks much

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Old 07-20-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

I have found a couple of these cars with the thermal switch bad in the compressor clutch and no apparent reason. The cars have had a proper charge and after replacing the clutch and coil the systems work correctly. The clutch can be replaced with the system charged and the compressor in place on the engine. Disconnect the harness at the coil and check for resistance, if the thermal switch is bad it will show no resistance.

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Old 07-20-2019, 10:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

With clarity, I agree with 02 LW300. Possible clutch coil thermal fuse blown resulting in zero energizing of the clutch coil. You can check for power at the connections to the compressor with ac on as it's presumed sufficient pressure is detected to allow compressor operation. Battery power should be on the connector. Then measure coil resistance. DK GRN is battery voltage, BLK is ground. It's not necessary to jumper the ac relay to send power to the compressor because there's at least 40 psi in the system for the pressure sensor to detect enough refrigerant to allow compressor power to operate the coil. About half a can of r134a is needed to pressurize a system before the sensor detects enough pressure to allow compressor operation.

If you find a blown clutch coil, is the gap too large? Specs are 0.012-0.024 in air gap.

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Old 07-21-2019, 06:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

Did a few things today. First disconnected the the 2 wire connector at the compressor. Key on run position, fan on high, compressor switch on (it does light up) ...no power on the green wire at the compressor.

The pins inside the compressor electrical fitting are so close to together that I found it impossible to check the clutch with a multi meter for resistance SO....I went to my favorite JY and got a compressor harness from a L-series.

My plan is to run 12 volts to the ac clutch (Green Wire) and Ground (Black Wire) direct to the battery using the JY harness.

This should cause the clutch to engage correct? This will divorce all existing wiring to the compressor. Any concern in doing this?

If it does engage, this would then point me to think the problem is up stream of the compressor. HVAC control panel... no power no ground?

Any other tests I might do at this point.

Many thanks.

...
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Old 07-21-2019, 11:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

There are three reasons power isn't at the two wire compressor connector; loss of refrigerant detected by the pressure sensor sending a disable signal to the ecm to prevent power to the compressor, the ac fuse is blown or damaged wiring.

Wiring directly from battery/ground to compressor eliminates the entire ac wiring. You should either see/hear the clutch engage or not.

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Old 07-24-2019, 08:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 LW300 View Post
I have found a couple of these cars with the thermal switch bad in the compressor clutch and no apparent reason. The cars have had a proper charge and after replacing the clutch and coil the systems work correctly. The clutch can be replaced with the system charged and the compressor in place on the engine. Disconnect the harness at the coil and check for resistance, if the thermal switch is bad it will show no resistance.
^^^ Bingo 02 LW300! Blown clutch. I ran power and ground directly to the clutch from the car battery. No click. Clutch would not engage.

Trying to find just a clutch for this compressor is next to impossible. Ended up putting a new compressor and clutch on the car. Pulled vacuum for 1 hour. Held vacuum for 30 minutes. Charged it and now ice cold air.

If Momma isn't happy, nobody is happy. She's happy now!

Thank you and Fdryer for your help on this.

...
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Expansion Valve Replacment

When I state a personal theory of 98% of faulty vehicle ac systems are leak related, I rarely state the reasons for the remaining 2% failures. Blown clutch thermal fuse, damaged wiring, seized ac pulley makeup the 2% failures.

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