A/C Issues - HELP!

David Killough May 9, 2016

  1. David Killough

    David Killough Active Member I am in angola

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    Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've been on the forum as I moved to Angola and took my cruiser with me.

    It's been running great, but has recently the A/C has given me some problems. I was at the border with Namibia dealing with some customs agents last week and the A/C was ice cold performing perfectly. I turned the cruiser off for about 10 minutes, then started it up again, and was surprised that the A/C wasn't blowing cold air.

    A few minutes later I arrived at my next destination and looked things over to see if maybe a fuse had blown, or perhaps some freon had been leaking out. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. I had a 5 hr drive home that night, and en route, I turned the A/C on while driving just out of curiosity. Fortunately it started blowing ice cold air again. It worked for a while, but though out the following week continued with the same symptoms and now isn't blowing cold air at all. I'm not hearing the A/C clutch kick on like usual, and I've confirmed at all settings, both manual and auto that the clutch isn't engaging.

    I pulled out the glove box to see if maybe I could find a relay by the A/C condenser box, but saw nothing.

    Can anyone help me here? I'm in Namibe, Angola, and while it's not the hottest time of year, suffice it to say that it's not southern England. We still need A/C. Any thoughts appreciated!
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    The most obvious and likely answer would be low gas pressure. Even when there is gas in there it's not always enough to allow the system to fire up. As external temp changes the gas pressure will like change too and allow the system to kick in occasionally. That's where I'd start. You can hot wire the pump by running a positive feed to that little wire that goes into the top of the pump. But only to see if the clutch is clicking in or not.
     
  3. David Killough

    David Killough Active Member I am in angola

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    Ok. I'll see if I can get someone local to hook up their pressure gauges and see if the system just needs a top up. We re-gassed it in Joburg about 2 months ago after it sat for about 18 months while we were in Portugal. All the gas leaked out, but after the re-gas it worked just fine. Now that we're at the coast, the pressure will have definitely changed.

    Thanks for the tip. I'll update as soon as I can get it checked.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave Member

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    It may be just a clutch gap issue. The coil gets weaker as it heats up and cant always pull the clutch in properly.

    Next time it stops working, get out and see if the clutch is engaged or not. If not, hit the clutch with something wooden like a hammer handle, and see if it pulls in and works.

    Dont be silly and get your hand or sleeve causght in the fan or the belts!!
     
  5. ByronJ

    ByronJ Well-Known Member I am in wales

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    You can expect to lose up to 10% of your gas in 12 months (it passes through the pipework). For you to lose the lot in 18 months I would suspect you have a leak. Most likely place will be the condenser (on an 80 it looks like a rad and is mounted in front of the coolant system rad) and or the compressor itself. They can easily check this by putting dye in the system. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  6. Dave 2000

    Dave 2000 Well-Known Member Supporter I am in spain

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    Have to go with a leak here I'm afraid. As per above, you will lose some when standing, the refrigerant helps keep the 'O' rings supple. When low the 'O' rings dry out, a recharge gives them some limited life. Ask an AC shop to put a dye in there and put on some special glasses which will highlight the leak.

    Normal places are the connections at the compressor, the pipe that runs along the rear of the bulkhead and the most common is the pipe above the exhaust, it goes porous.

    Of course do, the compressor test as per Chris's post first, +12v to the terminal on the compressor.

    regards

    Dave
     
  7. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    If the system is not short of gas there's a few other things to look at.

    The major place for leakage is the shaft seal on the compressor. Even without dye you should see a leak (if you can get to see it) by an oil weep or dust stuck around the leak area. It may be less than obvious on the shaft seal though. The other thing I was thinking was to check your Viscous Coupling is working ok on your fan and that the rad and condenser are clear of debris. There is a sight glass front left (drivers point of view) which will possibly show bubbles rushing through if the system is low on gas. The other thing that may play a part is that these systems often have a shut off if engine temp exceeds a certain limit so as to give the engine cooler air and protect it from overheating.

    With the system not working, use a multimeter set to volts, locate any sensors (pressure switches) on the pipework and test across each one until you get battery volts. If you need to unplug the sensor, test on 'ohms' looking for open circuit. The sensor that is open circuit will give an idea why it is not working. On the big pipe that goes into the cabin, short of gas or just too cold (or both). On the skinny pipe that goes to the radiator area, too much gas or not enough cooling through the rad. There may also be one in the block but I'm not sure on these.
     
  8. Garfieldus

    Garfieldus Well-Known Member I am in ireland

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    Prior to the Morocco trip last year I replaced my compressor and clutch. Got it filled up two weeks before leaving and it worked faultlessly. I have the Halfords gas kit which has a pressure gauge and had checked it a couple of times and there was full pressure.

    On the way down to the ferry it was hot so I turned on the ac and nothing. I reckoned I was in trouble 'cos I don't like to drive in hot dusty conditions without ac. Anyway, thirty minutes later all of a sudden we had ice cold air. Before driving off the ferry the next day I put the pressure gauge on and we had full pressure and it was working!!

    It happened three or four times during the trip but I always has full pressure when checked. All of this was September/October 2015. A couple of weeks ago I turned on the ac and once again nothing. Checked the pressure and it is reading zero. All gas gone.

    I never figured out why it wouldn't cut in with full pressure. I know there's a pressure valve/switch somewhere in the system and I wondered if that was at fault or was the pressure too high or low at times and changed with the heat etc.

    Watching this thread with interest.
     
  9. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    The gas can leak out the shaft seal if the system sits idle for long periods. There is a recommendation to use it at least once a week, but most of us including me don't.

    Your problem could possibly be down to the cabin fan not operating as this inhibits the AC, or at least down to a dicky contact somewhere.
     
  10. frank rabbets

    frank rabbets Well-Known Member

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    If you find you have to replace a component eg. condenser some oil will be lost as the oil is distributed throughout the components. New components (other than the pump) come dry so it is VITAL that the quantity of oil lost is replaced. If your garage understands this they will know how much to add. If they don't walk away.
     
  11. David Killough

    David Killough Active Member I am in angola

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    It's so nice to get so many responses! I was striking out on another forum. There was definitely a leak when I had it re-gassed in Joburg. They changed the o-ring causing the leak at the a/c condenser in front of the radiator and it was good to go. I'm having a guy come to re-gas it and test for further leaks.
     
  12. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    That one is leaking on mine but seeing as my compressor is seized I will be replacing all o rings as a matter of course when I get a new one.
     
  13. frank rabbets

    frank rabbets Well-Known Member

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    The trouble is with a leaking o ring whilst the leak may be in that exact joint it may not be the o ring itself but corrosion. The corrosion creeps past and behind the o ring. The o ring is therefore sitting on corrosion which is porous and not polished aluminium which is gas tight.
     
  14. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Well-Known Member Supporter Guru I am in uk

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    Hmm, yes I have seen this before on other things. A good clean and hope the fridge seal stuff seals it.
     
  15. Chris

    Chris Super Moderator Supporter I am in europe

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    Ahh that's a tricky joint is that. Mine leaked there. And that was with the new drier. I stripped it down again, took the headlight out so I could see what I was doing, used a non ferrous brush to clean it all up and smeared a little sealant on the mating faces. Worked well. Ice cold no leaks. Until I found the two top bolts on the pump had come loose. Never been undone as far as I know, but they weren't even finger tight and the gas was hissing out. Nipped up and it stopped but not before the pressure had dropped too low to allow the system to work.
     
  16. frank rabbets

    frank rabbets Well-Known Member

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    Those mating faces form a capillary and water gets in and cannot get out. I put PLENTY of rubber grease on my new component's joints. But yes glue them together if you're using corroded joints.
     
  17. Towpack

    Towpack Well-Known Member Supporter I am in england

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    I coated the O rings and the joint mating surfaces with Servisol silicone grease when I fitted the new condenser a couple of years back as there were signs of corrosion just starting. The joints have lasted fine but the condenser matrix has gone again at one of the corners despite no signs of damage. It was an 'OE' spec condenser from a local AC specialist and it wasn't cheap.Think I'll try one of the budget versions next. they can't be much worse!
     
  18. Dave 2000

    Dave 2000 Well-Known Member Supporter I am in spain

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    Something I have found when replacing condensers, is many AC companies use a local radiator builder/re-conditioner for their products which are tested using 2 BAR as a default test pressure. AC system components are tested to 20 BAR! Without that equipment you are never going to get a good quality component.

    regards

    Dave
     
  19. David Killough

    David Killough Active Member I am in angola

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    A/C repair guy came today and looked over all the lines. He didn't hook up a pressure gauge, but did a few test and confirmed that the system was low on freon. He looked for obvious leaks at all the joints and connections, and found nothing. He told me about a valve that's on the side of toyota a/c compressors and believes it is the culprit. He said that a lot of the Toyota Dubai imports come over and have problems with this valve and end up replacing or bypassing the valve altogether. Below is a photo of it. I've never heard of this, and there are no Toyota certified mechs in this part of the world. Any thoughts?
    IMG_0601.JPG
     
  20. Dave 2000

    Dave 2000 Well-Known Member Supporter I am in spain

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    Change your AC guy!

    regards

    Dave
     
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