Virgin AC fill - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Virgin AC fill

Just buttoning up all my winter upgrades (ya... I know....) and have an unfilled AC system (perfect fit elite, from CAA). Anybody do this themselves, or is this a take it in to get done kind of job? Never done one, with no gauges or equipment (yet?).


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And most of the times I've smashed my nuts flat with a hammer it hurt real bad so I stopped.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:39 AM
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the first thing you need to to is draw the system down with a vacuum pump for about an hour or so. you do need a set of gauges as well so you can see when the maximum vacuum is reached, should be 30 inches.

once you have held they system at 30 inches of vacuum for the hour, minimum as i have seen some that needed more time, you can then tap the cans and fill the system. you want to see system pressures of about 40psi on the low side, and between 175-200psi on the high side with the compressor running. and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS fill the system through the low side.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:41 AM
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my best advice though would be to take the car to an a/c pro and have them fill the system for you. if you are clumsy, you can actually get frost bite, very BAD frost bite, if you get hit with refrigerant.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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I was leaning in the direction of getting it done professionally. I've gotten splashed with liquid nitrogen before at work... not looking to repeat that again.


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Mods: a lot... just ask if you're interested
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
And most of the times I've smashed my nuts flat with a hammer it hurt real bad so I stopped.
Just liked the quote
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 12:42 PM
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What's in the system now? I would be a little concerned about the drier being contaminated with moisture. Since it is a new system I would want to shut the valve off for the vacuum pump and see if the system can hold a steady vacuum for awhile to check for leaks.

It's not my profession, HVAC, but I do hold a universal CFC license. You can not vent refrigerant into the atmosphere, even from what's in the gauge hose. At my last job I would assist our HVAC mechanic when we would replace the 6 cylinder compressors in our 100 ton units. We would use the recovery machine to evacuate the hoses of the gauges so we could fill them up with clean refrigerant. The other part is you want to remove any air and moisture from the hoses. Air in the system won't damage anything but it reduces efficiency. Basically what I'm saying is anytime you add refrigerant you want to purge the gauge hoses if they've been open to the air. Years ago you would just open the valve and blow the air out, you can't do that or you're not suppose to do that to remove air. Take rbohm's advice!

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:05 PM
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im in the same boat looking to re do my AC

i topped off a few over the last 40 years but never dry filled one

Luckily i have a good friend who owns a shop and will walk me thru it.... will only cost me a pizza and a 6 pack as usual

I still have about 6 cans of R12 left over from the good old days when they were $1 a piece.

need to buy new lines, drier, condenser an maybe have the compressor rebuilt, but worked fine the last time i used it 10 years ago. who knows abut that at this point

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:10 PM
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You can buy a cheap venturi vacuum box . . . . really cheap. It just misses on the vacuum actually needed, but I do it this way and everything has always worked. I've been able to pull about 29 inches with it. A true vacuum machine for AC is very expensive and not worth it for someone doing it only once in a while.
post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbohm View Post
the first thing you need to to is draw the system down with a vacuum pump for about an hour or so. you do need a set of gauges as well so you can see when the maximum vacuum is reached, should be 30 inches.

once you have held they system at 30 inches of vacuum for the hour, minimum as i have seen some that needed more time, you can then tap the cans and fill the system. you want to see system pressures of about 40psi on the low side, and between 175-200psi on the high side with the compressor running. and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS fill the system through the low side.
Good advice right here. A shop will have the proper a/c machine to do this. if you had ever wanted to do it yourself OP I would only add that oil also needs to be added manually into the compressor before anything else can be done, unless it is added with the machine.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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This is really the only time I ever plan on doing it... maybe once more on the next project, but that's it I swear.

Huskinhano... totally new out of the boxes... nothing but whatever air got in the shipping and from my garage.


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Mods: a lot... just ask if you're interested
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
And most of the times I've smashed my nuts flat with a hammer it hurt real bad so I stopped.
Just liked the quote
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 04:21 PM
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You can buy a cheap venturi vacuum box . . . . really cheap. It just misses on the vacuum actually needed, but I do it this way and everything has always worked. I've been able to pull about 29 inches with it. A true vacuum machine for AC is very expensive and not worth it for someone doing it only once in a while.

Pete, you really need to pull a little over 29 inches, about 29.2". While you do want to remove the air, any moisture may not boil off. The moisture will cause acids to build up. Air will just make it inefficient. You can always rent a pump.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franks68coupe View Post
Just buttoning up all my winter upgrades (ya... I know....) and have an unfilled AC system (perfect fit elite, from CAA). Anybody do this themselves, or is this a take it in to get done kind of job? Never done one, with no gauges or equipment (yet?).

I would get it done professionally for the reasons already stated. I would also look at the instructions for the Perfect Fit, because it indicates that the system should be filled initially with the engine off. Just check the instructions and make sure the shop doing the work follows the instructions otherwise Perfect Fit will not warranty it.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franks68coupe View Post
This is really the only time I ever plan on doing it... maybe once more on the next project, but that's it I swear.

Huskinhano... totally new out of the boxes... nothing but whatever air got in the shipping and from my garage.
as long as the hoses and various other bits have the seals in place, then there is only the moisture that was present in the air when these parts were built. however you still need to draw down a good solid vacuum.

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Pete, you really need to pull a little over 29 inches, about 29.2". While you do want to remove the air, any moisture may not boil off. The moisture will cause acids to build up. Air will just make it inefficient. You can always rent a pump.
actually 29" is enough to purge the system, you just have to run it longer than normal.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 06:04 PM
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I try to do all my own work. There's only 2 times my classics have ever been to a "shop." Exhaust system and getting the A/C filled. I think I paid like $85-90 for each vehicle. Both were vintage air systems I installed. The truck's A/C is going on 10 years of service and the mustang on it's 3rd, and in SC we run air about 8-9 months of the year.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 08:34 PM
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Pete, you really need to pull a little over 29 inches, about 29.2". While you do want to remove the air, any moisture may not boil off. The moisture will cause acids to build up. Air will just make it inefficient. You can always rent a pump.
I think I stated that. But as I said, everything has worked fine I have used it on. I'd use it again.
post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 09:14 PM
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I think I stated that. But as I said, everything has worked fine I have used it on. I'd use it again.

True, I guess I'm going back on the RTU's. We would pull the vacuum for 24 hours but then again we had a much bigger capacity. IIRC, we would dump about 60 pounds of refrigerant in too. We would pull some really deep vacuums, into the low double digit microns. I was a real PIA getting a 500# compressor up on the roof, across the roof and into the unit. Usually on 90*days. They never seem to fail in 60* weather, lol.

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