ea6driver

AC Condenser Leak?

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    So this is the view of the rear side of my AC condenser I saw after removing my radiator.  In case you can't see it clearly in the attached photo, a significant area of the rear surface of the condenser (mainly lower/left side) looks darker/stained/wetter than the rest of the condenser.  The system has leaked out almost all of the r12 refrigerant.  What would you guess the problem is, and, more importantly, what is the fix/repair?

    condenser.jpg

    Edited by ea6driver

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    oily residue = leak. best bet would be to buy a new condenser. IIRC you can still buy new, some vendor was supplying them. There are used ones all over, but unless tested for leaks that's a gamble, plus it could be corroded or plugged. You can try a local AC shop, I don't think it would be hard to rebuild by either finding the leak and brazing up.

    OR you could get a generic condenser that is about the same size and fab up some mounts. You would prob need to make up new hoses and fittings to match type and location to fit back to the compressor and drier.

    1st thing I would do is pressurize it with nitrogen and get out a spray bottle with some soapy water, put about 90psi in it and spray everything in site, cond, fittings, compressor, hoses.... look for any other leaks and find out for sure what needs to be fixed. Not easy to check the evap, but it lives in a pretty safe place so likely no leak there. The only issue maybe a stuck exp valve, esp if its been to air for a long time. If that  is the case you maybe able to save it, if it has not lost its charge. But start with the leak test of stuff under the hood with the nitrogen.

     

     

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    In case you don't already know this. Use nitrogen! Do not think about using compressed air! The water in compressed air will ruin the system

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    I appreciate those helpful responses...for the most part, AC is a luxury up here in the Pac NW.  But it would certainly be nice to get this fixed if reasonably possible.  I'll let you know what I discover.

     

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    Its a pretty simple setup, everything under the hood is easy to get to. Try to stay with R12. Mine only needed the new condenser, I was lucky found a NOS OE one. That and a new drier is all it took to get it back to working great, and its been at least 2 yrs with no noticeable loss of Freon. It still has the original compressor, which is pretty amazing, its a big heavy brute of a compressor, but clearly well made.

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