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Old 08-06-2021, 11:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,240

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default L300 ac compressor failure

Problem#1. My compressor clutch decided to go on permanent vacation right at the beginning of summer heat. Problem#2. Last year a leak developed. Initial checks for leaking (uv blacklight) revealed the high pressure hose clamped onto the frame chafed, creating a pinhole leak with dye marking the spot around the clamp. I removed the ac relay and jumpered relay socket pins 30 and 87 to send 12v power to the compressor clutch, measured for 12v on the connectors and.......dead clutch coil. Measured coil resistance - open coil or blown thermal fuse.

Rockauto had one rebuilt compressor for around $115 on closeout so I decided to buy it. A new high pressure discharge hose was bought but turned out to have a different output bend presenting a major problem. The original discharge hose has a round bend to clear the suction hose and radiator before running to the frame for clamping then run to the condenser coil manifold.

Compressor replaced, lines were reconnected. Tried bending the new line but was concerned of damaging it, tried bench bending without a tube bender and failed there. Last idea; remove the old discharge fitting from the damaged line, remove the new discharge fitting from the new line and slide the old fitting into the new line. Various videos and snapshots online explains slicing the outer crimped part then removing pieces until the fitting with barbed section is pulled out. The fittings use the same inside diameter high pressure hose. I didn't shop around for ac clamps for this so I improvised with four small worm clamps and sealant. The original hose has an insulating cover on the flexible hose so I slid it off, forgot to slide it on the new hose before fitting the old fitting on. Sliced the insulator and tie wrapped it onto the new hose. Covering the new fitting makes it difficult for followup dye leak checking. All new seals were used.

The rebuilt compressor came empty. The original compressor was empty. No massive leaks anywhere and it's difficult to presume all oil is distributed in the system but I filled the compressor with 7.5 ozs of pag 100 oil with dye. Vacuumed the system, checked for leak back with vacuum off then refilled with 2.1lbs of r134a.

System pressures is within specs with reference to temperature /pressure charts but center vent temps didn't drop down to 42F from a previous repair several years ago. 55F-50F this time. A week passed revealed the high pressure fitting loosened with dye showing. Retightened, washed off as much oil and dye and refilled with refrigerant. Over a period of several weeks, monitoring center vent temps still shows temps no lower than 55F.

I'm wondering if an excessive amount of oil and/or not replacing the thermal expansion valve is the cause of higher vent temps. No leaks found yet.
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