98 dakota 318 - A\C question ???

Hey all !
I replaced my condensor about a month ago and recharged the system w/a freon and oil combo set with the single gauge setup. All was fine and cold enough, then 2 days ago, I fired up the truck
and the unit was not blowing cold air, just cool, so I grabbed the single gauge and tested the low side and it read the same as after I initially refilled system. The clutch kicks in intermittently for about 4 seconds and shuts off for about 4 seconds, quite consistently. Seems like the low on freon symptom. I tried to put a little more freon in, but noticed that it didn't seem to help the on then off syndrome. I did not overfill at this point, the gauge still being in the blue. Is there a solenoid or switch to check or replace for this condition?
It is hot as hell out here. I don't want to get ripped off by some shop, as I was hoping to remedy this and sell this great little truck with 200k miles for a new Yellow Hemi SLT while the incentives are on.
any suggestions?
Thanks
Julio
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Well with out a proper set of gauges not the one gage check method, filling as per manufacturer instructions, checking pressure chart based on ambient temperature, checking the super heat temp, a proper leak test, properly evacuated the system because all the refrigerant was gone or had air entrainment, more than likely not having been trained in automotive HVAC or licensed as per the EPA you have screwed the pooch and you are lucky you have not blown your compressor or yourself Any one of the above is your problem. The compressor cycling it is low on refrigerant, leak in system a vacuum held on the system would of found it. If you did not pump down the system it is full of air you cannot evaporate air.
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Coasty

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"Coasty" <uscg_retSPOOGE.comcast.net> wrote in message

filling
or
what about a high pressure cut out switch? blockage in the filter or expansion valve causing high head pressure (and system possibly overfilled) causing low side to read ok? hard to tell without a proper set of gauges. just a thought.
chris

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I am continually amazed at how many people think they can properly service an A/C system without the right tools or knowledge. Yeah, pumping a little more 134 in from a can to top off a system with a minor leak is one thing, but when you open the system (like replacing a condenser), to try and do it without a vacuum pump, a full set of gauges, and/or the knowledge that these are REQUIREMENTS, and not just nice-to-haves.... well, the results are usually fairly predictable.
To the OP: do yourself a huge favor - take the truck to an A/C shop, have them evacuate and re-charge the system properly. It's never going to work otherwise. Have them put in some tracer dye while they're at it, so you can make sure your connections to the new condenser aren't leaking (you did change the O-rings, and lightly lubed them with the proper oil first, right?)
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The system has a captube not an expansion valve to control the refrigerant and does not use a HP switch. High head pressure is caused by too much heat from and not enough cooling from the condensing coil thats the one by the radiator.
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True about the TXV valve - but not true about the HP switch. It's right on the discharge line coming out of the compressor, and opens up at around 450psi
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Yep correct HP switch there I was going from memory that will teach me. I have a complet set of shop manuals and would I use them. Most of the time it is the under the hood look see method sort of like asking for directions.
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that's about 150 psi too high...............
so far this month I've seen 3 Dodge Caravans with a split seam in the condenser
the problem is that the radiator fans no longer come on automatically with AC, but wait till ECT sensor detects high coolant temp............
and the condenser is no longer as hefty as it once was
"Coasty" <uscg_retSPOOGE.comcast.net> wrote in message

around
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"Coasty" wrote:

It can also be caused by a overcharge of refrigerant or oil too.
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"Coasty" wrote:

down
I agree that it is kinda fool hardy to use a single low side gauge to determine the charge status of a systems. Also, the main reason you evacuate the system is to remove moisture (which air can hold too) because its presence (moisture) can realy "muck up the works" in a A/C system
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I don't know much about auto AC but with residential AC you need to pump the system down after a change out like you've described. You need to remove the air in the system as well as the moisture.
A starting point would be to evacuate the system. Make sure there aren't any leaks and weigh a charge in with dye to detect possible current or future leaks.
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Bingo! no difference in an auto AC or residential AC theory is the same the only difference it is more compact. When you draw a 500 micron vacuum and hold it you do not need dyes to check for leaks. I use a UE2000 ultrasonic leak detector it will find any and all leaks and I mean all. Dyes in systems are old school I use to use them but technology has taken over. It took me less than 30 seconds to find a leak in a 50 foot x 50 foot refrigeration coil. Those cheep leak detectors are garbage the one I have costs over $1800.00 you get what you pay for.
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wrote:

well I guess the system needs a pro - hopefully just an inexpensive fix. 200k and a 98 don't add up to a whole new sytstem rebuild by some butcher shop.
That is why I inquired here, for help to do it youself, if it is posssible.
I'll post results - Thanks all
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Julio wrote:
Julio,
Go to this forum. Lots of great information here and very helpful folks.
http://www.acsource.net/acforum /
Bob
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With the proper knowledge, tools and $$ for the tools you can do anything. You are looking at about $1800.00 for a recovery system, guages, and scale to weigh what comes out and what goes in. Some local colleges provide a cource on auto AC maintenance and repair.
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Check the low pressure cutout switch... pasanger side engine compartment.
Henry

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wrote:

Well, after some thought, really very little - I bought the Yellow SLT Hemi Ram. (it's even got a little stinger on the side)
Then I bought some protection for the bed, then some seat covers, and took the wife to Western North Carolina, for a look at some terrific Mountain Homesites. Lots of beautiful acreage for reasonable prices.
The drive was great, avg. about 15.5 to 16 mpg. at about 80 - 85 mph..with Ford's in the way. I think the 20 inch tires helped a little there. Came home abour 5 days later to hotter than hell SE Fla. I then took the Dakota to an A/C shop and general repair place a couple of miles away, The mechanic was playin' with his 4 wheeler cycle, and I asked him for some help. Well the system was low with no leaks that he could find for about 20 min. worth of labor. He filled the system, it ran cold, so far so good. He said to monitor it, he'll do a dye test if it gets low again. For 20 bucks, I couldn't go wrong. Dakota's for sale for 5k. - it runs like a top, it was just a little too small inside. The dealer wouldn't give crap for a trade-in, so I kept it. Thanks for the help "all"
Moral of the story is to try and trust some mechanics to give you a fair shake, __AND__ you'll really piss offf a lot of Ford F150 drivers with a hemi.........hahahaha.......
Julio
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