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Old 05-30-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
colonelhogan44
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1998 SL2
Default strange symptoms...(another A/C question)

I have a 02 SL2 that has had no air conditioning since I bought it. Since another hot central California summer is quickly approaching and I want to sell the car, getting this problem resolved is very desirable.

When I started my troubleshooting, the compressor would not engage. I tested the pressure, the system had coolant in it. Eventually the first problem was found: The idiot previous owner had installed a 30 amp fuse in the place of the AC diode.

After that was resolved, the compressor now kicks on. Another issue has become apparent. In a normal, operating AC system, the top hose should get hot and the bottom cold, If I am not mistaken. In this case, the top hose gets extremely hot while the lower hose gets only very slightly cooler, if at all. No cooling of the air in the cabin occurs...obviously. I am lost at this point, All I can think of is the compressor may be blocked, but having no experience with any problem quite like this, It's just a shot in the dark...has anyone ever seen this before? Any ideas?

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Old 05-30-2008, 11:42 PM   #2
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: strange symptoms...(another A/C question)

A 30amp fuse instead of the diode!? That's a new one!

1-Buy a dial type thermometer to put into the center vent to monitor the outlet temps.

2-Allow an a/c shop to determine what's going on.

3-The (very) serious DIYer will have a personal set of a/c manifold gauges hooked up to both service ports to monitor the low and high side pressures. This also requires understanding the hazards of using a manifold gauge set; improper setting of the wheels can lead to discharging refrigerant or sucking in air/moisture immediately. Purging the gauges and hoses before use.

WARNING! Using the cheap store refill gauge on the low pressure side only won't give a true picture of what's going on internally. Run the engine between 1500-2000 rpm when the gauges are connected and not at idle speed; a/c doesn't work very well at idle, no one drives at slow speeds, and most important of all - pressures are recorded at 2000 rpm, not at idling rpm. The fan is set for medium speed.

Its anyones guess why the high side is HOT. Overcharging with the fuse in place instead if the diode? Overcharging without it? Somebody threw in a can of leak sealer? Air/moisture in the system after opening for replacemet of something without evacuating the system before refilling? A blocked expansion valve? Contamination of refrigerant?

You're correct for the high side to be hot and the low side to be cool but unless the gauges are hooked up correctly and the engine run up to 2000 rpm its just guessing.

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Old 05-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #3
colonelhogan44
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1998 SL2
Default Re: strange symptoms...(another A/C question)

Maybe I will try evacuating the system and recharging...only God knows what is in there right now...as the previous owner replaced some components and I found a cheap walmart filler hose attached to a half full can of R-134A under the front seat...

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