Trying to charge 2000 Windstar A/C

I am trying to recharge the A/C in my Windstar, but I do not know which side is the low side. Anyone out there that can help me?
Regards,
Dachef

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dachef wrote:

No offense intended Dachef, but if you don't even know how to ID the low side fitting you have no business trying to service your AC. You could get injured or cause very expensive damage to your system. Why are you trying to charge the system? Low on refrigerant? How do you know? If it is low there is a leak, did you repair the leak? If you repaired the leak, the system was opened, did you pull a vacuum? There is a lot more to fixing an AC system than adding refrigerant!
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let me tack a question on here, my 99 windstar with 100k, its A/C has been getting weaker for the last couple summers or so. I was going to bring it to the dealer for the a/c service and recharge. But does this mean I have a small leak somewhere or do properly working systems just get weaker over time?

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petebert wrote:

If the fading performance is due to a low charge, then yes there is a leak. AC systems don't "use" refrigerant and it doesn't get weak with age. Take a look at all of the connections in the AC lines. If you find one (or more) that has oily dirt on it, you've found a leak. Compressor shaft seal leaks are also very common.
AC repair can be DIY, but you need to do a little bit of homework to understand the how and why. I would suggest checking out: http://www.autoacforum.com / I should have mentioned this in my original reply to Dachef, sorry. AC repair is one area that lack of knowledge can cost you a lot of money.
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great... I was hoping I'd just be paying for the a/c service and some refigerant... hope its not something expensive, I do think my compressor coil might be starting to chirp a bit

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No they dont get weaker... Have never touched my 95 Taurus A/C and it's icy-cold.
Assume you DO know how to determine the low side. ;)
If that low side is cold all the way to the compressor, though.. check the blend door.

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I do all my own auto repairs except for a/c and auto trannies, dont plan on messing with the windstar much in that dept. I am going to do the 134 conversion on a 87 5th ave which has no regirerant at all in it, it all leaked out 4 years ago so I shouldnt have to worry about freezing my face off. Hoping the o rings from the conversion kit might fix the leak. then I'm gonna bring it do a shop and have them check it for leaks and charge it.

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petebert wrote:

On those late 80s FWD Chryslers, the hose set almost always leaked at the crimps. I'll bet that's where yours is leaking. Just a heads up.
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I remember quite a few where I could actually see the oil and refrigerant oozing right thru the hose. They cranked out some real crap back then...
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wrote:

It's normal for them to have small leaks - no seal is perfect. If no air has gotten in, and no compressor oil has leaked out, you can just top off the refrigerant and be done for a few more years.
But you Really Do Need a proper gauge manifold at the bare minimum so you can see both the high-side and low-side pressures in the system - it's too easy to goof up and overfill the system with the "Refill Kits" and damage the system or hurt yourself.
Harbor Freight Tools has cheap R-134 gauge manifold sets - fine for occasional use, not for daily use. And you can pick up a good Chef's Digital instant-reading thermometer almost anywhere for $10 to $20.
And do learn a bit about how the system works before you try filling it, same reason. You can see the proper temperature for the pressure, and then you see if the cold air coming out agrees with the low-side pressure gauge, and the liquid line temperature from the condenser agrees with the high-side pressure, plus a little sub-cooling - if not, there is a bigger problem somewhere.
--<< Bruce >>--
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Actually, the better method is to recover the system and apply a deep vacuum.... allow the system to "rest" while observing any vacuum drop. It is at this time that a judgement call will be made - pray for an experienced tech with good judgement. There are leaks that will be relatively easy to find and there are leaks that will be nearly impossible to find.... as techs, we need to be able to tell the difference without spending way too much money on whims....
If the leak is not readily identifiable - including a thorough search for "tattletales", add dye and recharge the system with the correct amount of R134a. "Topping off" the system is a fools errand and runs the chance of allowing a sealant or other virus into the system (rendrring it unserviceable in the eyes of any competent shop) or resulting in an overcharge that can damage the compressor.
Far too many systems have had added damage from improper repair attempts...... what could have been an expeditious repair is turned into a major financial because the DIYer lacks a basic understanding of the system
Additionally, we are slopping R134a around with the same reckless abandon that brought about the demise of R12..... If we fail to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it...
Now... I'm going to sit back and wait for the first self righteous bastuhd to tell me it is "his" air I am breathing and it is his choice as to whether or not he will foul it...
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