Air Conditioning Line Repair - An Install and Review of Dorman 800-673

elk

Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
373
My rear 5/16" condenser hardline sprung a pinhole leak at a bend, effectively venting my r134a and creating a bigger hole in the ozone layer.

The replacement hardline is about 5 feet long and fairly expensive. I thought I'd try a Dorman 5/16" line splice kit and cut out the hardline to isolate the bent section without removing the entire unit, then braze it closed.

Amazon.com: Dorman 800-673 Air Conditioning Line Splice Kit for 5/16" Line: Automotive

The hardline splice adds 1/8" overall length to the line and seals very well, but my braze was ineffective. I used Bernzomatic Al3.

Bernzomatic AL3 Aluminum Brazing and Welding Rods-334491 - The Home Depot

MAPP gas gave me a nice flow with the rod, although I had to use some additional flux. Sadly the line was pitted and the braze did not seal it.

Plan B was to use Dorman's 800-673 5/16" line splice kit.

Amazon.com: Dorman 800-673 Air Conditioning Line Splice Kit for 5/16" Line: Automotive

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The kit arrives with decent quality anodized connectors and Goodyear high pressure line.

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The instructions are straightforward.

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Cut out the damaged section with a pipe cutter, then clean surfaces with 200 grit sand paper.

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Note my prior attempts at a braze.
 

elk

Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
373
...

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Lubricate the fittings with mineral oil, then clamp the bands closed. I used a 90 degree clipper with good success.

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The line installed. My camera stinks in low light conditions.

I ran a basic Harbor Freight manifold and vacuum pump for an hour to dry out the high and low pressure lines. I then refilled with 36oz of DuPont r134a. The specs under the hood call for a maximum of 2.42lbs of coolant. I ordered coolant without sealer or lubricant.

Amazon.com: 3 Cans R-134a DuPont Suva A/C Automotive Refrigerant/Freon R134a (12oz Cans): Automotive

Filled things up with both climate controls set to max cold. All three cans went in within about 10 minutes and the air conditioning blows ice cold again.

I have $66 dollars in parts and coolant invested, $17 in a spare connector that I didn't end up using. I ended up using 20% off coupons at Harbor Freight for the pump and manifold coming out at $118. The repair was a :banana: job lasting a total of maybe 2.5 hours over 2 days including a failed attempt at brazing the line (another $4 in Al3 rod).

Not bad.
 
Last edited:

elk

Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
373
A crimping tool would be preferable, but a pair of cutting dykes did the job.
 
Joined
Sep 18, 2015
Messages
150
Location
Chicago
Awesome. As the guy that replaced both sections of that smaller line last summer to the tune of ~400 bucks for the parts I'm impressed with this solution and I'll definitely go this route when they rot out again.
 
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