A\C Component upgrade - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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A\C Component upgrade

My A\C system in my XJ has not worked since I bought the vehicle. The compressor sounds like a bad power steering pump...constantly. So, the vehicle is old and although I'm sure the PO maintained the vehicle well for many years, seems like the last few years, it just wasn't maintained. Anyhow, I have most of the parts needed for replacement, but I really don't think I want to evacuate the system and refill. My question is this, can the vehicle run with the system evacuated? I saw a thread a while back where somebody took their XJ to a shop and had them test the system for leaks and evacuate the system and then he replaced the parts and had them fill everything properly. So, if I want to do the parts replacements and have a shop take care of the filling and evacuating as well as testing for leaks, how is the best way to approach it? I need to be able to drive it home after they check it. Do they evacuate it before I replace the parts or what? I lost my job during the pandemic, but actually found another job pretty quickly, but it was for less money. I missed out on all that UI so I'm kinda tight on money right now and just trying to save some of the money by replacing the parts on my own. What's the best way to approach this. I have seen several places that offer very inexpensive a\c checks. I've been doing my own Jeep work for 3 jeeps now, so I'm comfortable with just about anything, but really can't afford the equipment for evacuating and checking pressure right now on top of the service. Any thoughts are appreciated.


First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 09:01 AM
Saudade
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Well, I'm a bit confused over what you're asking but here goes.

First, Yes, your Jeep will run with the system evacuated. HOWEVER DO NOT TURN ON YOUR AC. With no refrigerant, you'll get no lubrication and risk burning out your compressor and spreading a lot of debris throughout the rest of the system. You can disconnect the clutch wire to prevent accidental engagement.

Next, the system needs to be evacuated every time you open the system. So if they evacuate to reclaim any remaining refrigerant, perform a leak test, and identify any component that leaks (or perhaps report no leaks) and later you replace any component or seal, it will need to be evacuated again.

Evacuation pulls all air and moisture out of the system prior to charging. This is a critical step to ensure any moisture, which can freeze inside the system, is removed.

So depending on what parts you plan to replace (besides the compressor), I'd do this:

If there's any refrigerant remaining, take is to a shop to have it reclaimed. Skip the leak test.

Replace whatever components are needed. You should also replace the accumulator and liquid line (the one with the orifice).

All other components, hoses, lines, etc, should be flushed out.

Replace all O-Rings, even of they look OK.

Once you think you have everything back on, take it back to the shop to evacuate, test and refill. If they managed to reclaim any refrigerant earlier, you may get some credit on the refill.

My ac compressor took a dump and ended up looking like this.

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Old parts laid out

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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Thanks, I appreciate the response. I know the compressor is definitely not in good shape, but I'm not sure what else may have issues, which is why I would like to have a leak test done. Rather than try and do everything myself and possibly add too much or not enough, I can handle the wrenching and leave the rest to someone else.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 09:31 AM
2oldjeeps
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hate to say it but at 5 bucks a can it will probably cost 10 times that to have a shop evac it...
i bought a vac pump that runs on compressed air !!. it was ? 20 bucks. did it all myself.
we all know freon is dumped routinely. not recommending that of course.
then, a friend needed a comp. bought one at junkyard.put it in and added freon. worked for years.
just saying...
imagine a shop saving 2 cans and giving you a 10 buck saving on a 69 $ bill..!!

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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Was the accumulator difficult to get to?

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oldjeeps View Post
hate to say it but at 5 bucks a can it will probably cost 10 times that to have a shop evac it...
i bought a vac pump that runs on compressed air !!. it was ? 20 bucks. did it all myself.
we all know freon is dumped routinely. not recommending that of course.
then, a friend needed a comp. bought one at junkyard.put it in and added freon. worked for years.
just saying...
imagine a shop saving 2 cans and giving you a 10 buck saving on a 69 $ bill..!!



It's more like 15-20 bucks a can here and I have a compressor, but vacuum pumps even at harbor freight are more than that here. Once again tough, I have a hard enough time being able to afford food to eat at present.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 11:51 AM
2oldjeeps
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?, last yr at wally 5 bucks...

99wj,143,000 miles
00xj,177,000 miles
10hummer3,74,000 miles
98xj,130,000 miles
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-14-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oldjeeps View Post
hate to say it but at 5 bucks a can it will probably cost 10 times that to have a shop evac it...
i bought a vac pump that runs on compressed air !!. it was ? 20 bucks. did it all myself.
we all know freon is dumped routinely. not recommending that of course.
then, a friend needed a comp. bought one at junkyard.put it in and added freon. worked for years.
just saying...
imagine a shop saving 2 cans and giving you a 10 buck saving on a 69 $ bill..!!



from the little I know, you can actually use a compressor to perform vacuum.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-15-2020, 03:06 PM
JWELK
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Hate to tell you, but my evaporator failed sometime before its 10th birthday. I bought it shortly after that. I would consider adding that to the list. While the box is open, I would also replace the heater core, and verify the blend door is in good shape.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-15-2020, 06:48 PM
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Even though the compressor is wailing it may not have broken internally. Therefore there may not be any shrapnel inside the system. A clutch may be causing the noise. Does the compressor make noise all the time? Or only when the clutch is activated? If it's the clutch it can be changed out without opening the system. If it is the bearing in the compressor then, yes, time for a fresh one. But again, maybe no damage to the system. But if the compressor grenaded then everything needs to be cleaned or replaced. But what you need to do first is see what kind of pressure if any is inside. Any pressure at all means the system was not expose to moisture. Beg or borrow some gauges and see what the deal is. You can change the compressor and the accumulator and vacuum the system down yourself. The point of that is that water boils at 29" vacuum and is carried out of the system. If the system holds vacuum for a half hour then there is probably no leak. So a vacuum pump solves two of your issues and you get to keep the tool. And yes, the cheapola venturi type HF vacuum pump does work but takes longer and needs a compressor. https://www.harborfreight.com/air-va...ors-96677.html The HF motorized pump would be a better buy especially if you got some buddies to kick in for it.https://www.harborfreight.com/25-cfm...ump-61245.html Or make money vacuuming their systems. Either way not vacuuming the system is just not acceptable. Then there is the issue of inserting the proper amount of freon. Our XJ's take 1.25 lbs. How do you do that with 1lb cans? With a digital postal or food scale.https://www.ebay.com/itm/Digital-Kit...5eed6083594171 I got a 50lb scale for $18 on Fleabay and I set my 30lb bottle right on it. Now you can get perfect performance with the correct charge. So let us know what the noise really is and we can go from there.

Mark in Queens- Home of Spiderman and the Ramones
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-16-2020, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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Oh, I'm with you. Before I lost my job when the pandemic hit, I purchased a complete kit. I don't normally do that, but I had the money and I know the vehicle is 20 years old, parts wear. Like I said, I have no problem wrenching. I trust myself more than someone else when it comes to getting a job done correctly.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-16-2020, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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The noise only happens when the engine is running, lol. It's constant. Hey fourspeedman, I appreciate the response, I see your posts and I like that you didn't try to scare me away from doing the work myself. I do have a compressor and I have looked into some manifold vacuums and definitely would like to get one, it just may take some time. I don't really need A/C, but I love solving a problem. I'm not a mechanic, I work in I.T., but I definitely love doing my own work and I love Jeeps.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-16-2020, 09:36 AM
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If it is noisy with the engine running but the AC not on then it can be either a bad serpentine belt or the bearing in the compressor is shot. Mine did that also. Before I located the belt tension tool on Fleabey I was just tightening the belt until it quieted down. Unfortunately that was too tight for the bearing and it quit.That only works if the belt is in good condition. The FSM has a spec for the belt tension which you can only set with the tool. So if you have the complete kit then you are good to go. The procedure is a simple remove/replace except for the evaporator. Most of the dash must come off and if you are doing that the heater core might as well be replaced too. There is a spec for the amount of oil the system gets and it is added to the various components as they are installed. Some compressors come with oil, some do not. Either way it gets drained and the correct amount is added. Once the new system is all in place all you need to do is vacuum it down for an hour or so to get all the moisture out. Shut off the pump and see if it holds vacuum for a half hour. If so you can then add the correct amount of freon and enjoy the AC. The tools are the key. Being short on spare cash is Ok, just save up and when you can then get some good tools. A gauge set, a vacuum pump, a digital scale, are pretty much mandatory to do the work competently. For years if the AC was bad I would just yank it all out. Then I wised up and learned how it works and bought the tools. My advice is to put this off until you can afford the right tools and in the meantime get a book and educate yourself about mobile AC systems. Why hand your money over to a shop when you can get the tools and be your own AC guy for less money and more satisfaction.
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Mark in Queens- Home of Spiderman and the Ramones
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-16-2020, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
monkeyhouse
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I was looking around on google for the tool you are talking about for the serpentine belt, can you throw up a link or picture? What I'm seeing looks like I could put together from tools I have.

First Jeep was an 1989 YJ, I've also had a Grand Cherokee. Currently, I have a 99 XJ.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-16-2020, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyhouse View Post
I was looking around on google for the tool you are talking about for the serpentine belt, can you throw up a link or picture? What I'm seeing looks like I could put together from tools I have.
The tension tool is a krikit belt tension gauge.
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