AC repair options

Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
84
Location
New york
Quick question here. I've had a slow leak in my AC system since I got the truck last year, and I know the previous owner used at least one of those recharge/leak fix cans, which worked for the better part of the summer, but it definitely felt warm this spring.

I just did the timing belt/water pump this weekend, and as I was moving the AC lines to clear the fan bracket, the little 180 degree fitting to the condensor started leaking significantly (definitely wasn't hit or pinched), so I now definitely have an empty system. Since a small amount of force caused this to leak, I suspect this was the source of my slow leak the whole time. I ordered a replacement for the leaky hose and it's a 5min job to replace, but I'm curious about whether doing the evacuation and refill myself is a good idea. I suspect the cost is a wash once I buy the vacuum pump, but I always err on the side of get the job done + have new tools.

I just want to make sure there isn't anything I'm overlooking about the evac/refill job that might keep me from doing it myself.

Thanks guys
 

BadReligion

SILVER Star
Joined
Aug 23, 2011
Messages
734
Location
Reno, NV
 
I'd have the system professionally evacuated as that takes some specialized equipment and doesn't cost much at all. Once evacuated, it wouldn't be a bad idea to change out all of the O-rings at all easily accessible connection points. Any time a system is open, you need to replace the drier in the condenser, so order one of those too. Use Nylog blue on all o rings to ensure they do not leak again.

It will cost you more to buy the pump (especially a two stage) and quality set of gauges vs paying for a charge, but its nice to have those for future use. Don't go cheap (HF) on the gauges and make sure the system can hold vacuum overnight before charging (to ensure no more leaks).
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
1,548
Location
Odessa/Midland TX
Sorry I have to oppose the idea of removing any non leaking O-rings to replace those with new ones. Just fix the damage and vacuum and refill. Those O rings are good for ages, for example my 92 corolla still blows ice cold air with still factory a.c. gas!
Once you remove a Toyota fitted joint you are opening a chance to leak.

You can get the vacuum pump and hoses from any auto parts store for a deposit and you can do it by yourself.

Watch Timmy the tool man's a.c. recharge on a 4runner.

While adding a.c. gas, keep a.c. full blast and doors open to keep the compressor running. You can stop the refilling once the sight glass located on top of the a.c. filter shows little to no bubbles.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
84
Location
New york
Huh, near as I can tell it looks like you can't rent vacuum pumps for AC in NY or NJ, bet it's a local environmental rule.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2016
Messages
1,548
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Odessa/Midland TX
If you are close to Staten Island, I can refer you to a good shop. My cousin rented a vacuum pump in Staten Island. He got it from AutoZone.
 
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Joined
Aug 15, 2016
Messages
1,483
Location
Plant City, FL
I've done plenty of AC system repairs in many cars, and rented a pump last time I worked on my Cruiser. Rented pump failed, and the vacuum sucked compressor oil into my system. Had to take every single line off and clean EVERYTHING. It was a huge pain in the ass. That was my bad luck, a once in a lifetime failure. Just saying, there are many expensive and annoying ways to have this job go south on you. So I recommended getting it done by a pro shop if you've never done it before.
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
173
Location
Western Australia
Yeah pay the money and get it done right. Takes no time for these shops to get gauges on it and test it, pump it with gas etc.

Make the decision after they test everything. Bare in mind AC compressor is the hardest working part in this system, the most likely culprit and are expensive to replace.
 
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
84
Location
New york
Yeah, you guys are probably right. I'm due for some new tires anyway. I'll have the shop do the AC charge when I get those mounted up. I sure hope the AC compressor is still good, I literally just had it off for the TB service...
 
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