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2003 Subaru - While It's Apart...

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  • #31
    Well, the can, I don't know what I don't know. If there's anything in it it must be gas because I can't feel anything while shaking it. I held it for what seemed like forever while I was charging. It was cold. I didn't give up until it was warm. I was just saying that I don't really know how much I put in there. I shot off my mouth about having scales but I got them out and they only go up to 7.5 oz. That was fine for the Pinewood Derby but not good enough for cans of refrigerant. I did proceed, hoping that it really did have 18 oz. in it.

    My son has a brutal schedule and won't be home early enough for me to test anything today. But tomorrow I will send him off in one of my cars and the weather is supposed to be 75 and sunny. I will see if the compressor hoses feel warmer & cooler. I would also like to see the gauges @ 1500 RPM instead of idling. This isn't over yet.

    Other minutiae - The A/C button was causing the second fan to switch on (as well as the compressor). I do believe that most or all of the electronic pieces are functioning.

    This part is off topic but nobody has to read it. After we towed the 03 WRX home, got the engine out and the heads removed, it was clear that it would take a complete rebuild to get this car going. So I found a cheap Outback in good condition and bought it so he could drive to high school. But first he had to learn to drive a 5 speed. We took it to a nearby church parking lot to practice. It started overheating. It worked fine on the test drive. Then we somehow noticed that it would only overheat if the A/C wasn't on. And only in the church parking lot. I thought I had lost my mind. So we started playing with it in the driveway and the fans would only come on with the A/C. But the temp gauge was working, that's how we knew it was overheating. Why wouldn't the ECU command the fans on? I read until my eyes were about to bleed and it turns out there was a 2nd temp sensor for the ECU. I ordered another one. When it came I went out to install it and found that the connector was not snapped on all the way. I snapped it in and the car worked fine. Even in the church parking lot and without the A/C on. Sometimes you just don't know what you don't know. And sometimes turning on the A/C can cool the engine.


    • #32
      tjm: It's fine now page 3 just makes the sequence of all events harder to know from the beginning. A/C (hope I said early) is its own course of study, sciences, wildly expensive tools and tons of time of experience. 1st thing that happens is folks get ticked it costs a dime to have anything done don't know what it took at all to be able to say "you can't get there from here" a sarcastic remark please take that with a sense of humor if you can.

      There's just nothing quite like being right there observing everything. Better have the vehicle or thing (A/C anything) long enough to see it under assorted conditions of weather, operation and temps of course. Nobody is going to drop a vehicle off for 6 months you'd buy another that's already working if A/C is a must.

      Noted: Cusser said he didn't think the can (18oz thing) was empty. Now I question that again fine that it got warm is a clue now thinking more it was the only can not using a sequence of them to achieve the full charge. PLEASE KNOW AN 18OZ system needs to be within 10-20 % to even begin to behave for targeting the exact mark is wildly needed in such a small capacity system. 1.8 ounce is an overweight letter to mail need two stamps - follow me?

      That's where cost of equipment comes in. Just scales are not the world but need better than you have. Temp measuring - a couple of 2 types best, touchless infrared (now a must for me) and meat probe type at least. Too many it's a thing hanging on the tree outside isn't it NOR the forecast it where YOU are not next door.

      It's just an insane 3 dimensional algorithm to ascertain the exact know amount of charge by weight from initial engineering it's near impossible and YOU knew the amount so have to pay attention to achieving that.

      I sense (only a clue from the get go) because I've done web Q&A for years now if that guess is wrong the default suggestion is this isn't for you and end it right away.

      You had the energy to learn only maybe just the beginning of how involved it is not this button you push and everything is wonderful even on machines that you could do that are NOT so great.
      I probably missed something but now with this new note by you YOU HAVE TO START OVER. That's not all that uncommon. NOTHING IS GOING TO MATTER UNTIL THIS HAS A KNOWN 18oz IN THIS SYSTEM WITH A KNOWN, WELL HELD VACUUM, then the testing it's right can happen. That's it, the rest is lots of reading.

      Now off topic: So now you are teaching someone to drive a 5 speed that may not have a clue. Oh my!!!! you must have the "Patience of Jobe!" Plan on a new clutch and maybe transmission in that car!

      Love it actually - all part of the course of learning and life itself. Have the time and it take some bucks too never enough of either no matter what your means are or situation. Enter stage left - learning how to accept failures and what to do about it.

      I've become a hopeless optimist for the most part. By that with my own failures all along A/C or otherwise my thinking is odd would say to myself " I didn't fail, I learned a lot of ways something doesn't work" and take it from there.

      So let's move on with the vacuum and charge again and do this with more known info. So far it's been learning IMO only.

      Last for this note: Please be careful liquid refrigerant quickly released by any accident or mistake can be up to deadly dangerous please KNOW that much. I don't care about the cars don't be maimed for life over this!

      MetroWest, Boston


      • #33
        Originally posted by Tom Greenleaf View Post
        Be glad in some ways this layout uses a separate belt? Why? A failed system that locks up a one belt set up you lose the use of the vehicle till dealt with, wreck that belt or worse it busts and damages other things.
        When the AC compressor seized last September in my 2004 Frontier, we were past Gila Bend Arizona on the way to San Diego, and I would've been up the creek with a tiny paddle if that hadn't had a separate AC compressor belt so we could continue with the AC switched off (it was only 103F).

        Also, our 2005 Yukon has a serpentine belt, but a separate small AC belt, so I like that setup too.


        • #34
          I remember you saying that at the old site! One belt you aren't going to get A/C anyway but can't even move to do squat either. Most now you don't have a shot at just another size belt so away from home base you are screwed. Sure they make the dummy brackets but how fast could you do that depending or in a wild jam at least get a used dead compressor whole just use it as a blank even that (did several for almost nothing) permanently for pocket change a lot of vehicles here so rusted otherwise don't have long anyway at least use it till unsafe to use - all depends on exact vehicle now how long it could stay bypassed?

          Right here, US Mail, UPS trucks don't come with A/C new (they contract their own totally) maybe long run stuff not local ones. Why pay for what you wouldn't use if you bought it new isn't always easy not sure available for some types?

          MetroWest, Boston


          • #35
            I have a friend who is retired from A/C service. He is finished getting dirty but he offered to help me on the phone. He wanted to see my gauges with the car at about 1,500 RPM. The low side dropped way too low. My friend felt that either I didn't really put 18 oz. into the system or there is a blockage.

            So the shop I usually work with is taking the car Friday morning. I was offered a chance to have the system evacuated, recharged with a known quantity, and expert advice on what more may need to be done. And I'm pretty much getting the 'friends and family' price (I do try to send business his way but I'm going to have to do better to deserve this) with no hard feelings about the work I've already done (expansion valve and drier). One way or another I should know soon where I stand with this vehicle.

            I hope I've made it clear that I appreciate the help I've received so far.Click image for larger version

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            • #36
              Hope I've made it clear there's nothing but incentive to help from me I think all others here as well. Free site nothing to gain by being wrong.

              OK - so those are the pressures at shown RPM. That's not blowing cold air or is because it's too cold out anyway. Pressures are temp sensitive that would be normal if it was 50F outside - maybe?

              Restriction? Gut feeling is no. It's undercharged or compressor just can't pump but works that much.

              Get the thermos. OMG under $10 bucks many times. Refrigerant by 12oz cans and a good tap. Add a scale but test that it's spot on. Warm water in pans available with a helper makes quite a show if running in and out of a house or something.

              Purge lines between any cans or initial hook up of just one whichever you chose. I mean a spit so air isn't in the line doesn't or shouldn't count as weight lost.

              If you wish just have this part done but it's going no place till it's sure.

              You really might be done with this for just that!
              MetroWest, Boston


              • #37
                Yes, sir. And I appreciate all the time you've taken.

                But my pro has offered to do this for a giveaway price. If it's undercharged I will be done and I will know how much refrigerant was put back in there. If he says it needs a new compressor he will probably evacuate the system and tell me to bring it back after I've put a new one in (he is busy). I only wish I knew the good brands from the bad...

                I will see if I can find thermostat. If I can get one today I will go for it.


                • #38
                  Great. Even better if your "pro" friend has equipment that measures what came OUT. That would prove it. If it was right on now back to the brainstorming why.
                  The thermos I speak of (have countless ones) can be just the meat thermos do need to be fast. Other handy for me is now only found on line or some home town type hardware stores are wired like you might to hang wire out a window and get IN and OUT temps. Putting one in the center vent hold or rig other end in front of the car's grille is the temp it knows while operating not other temps.

                  Those dictate what the pressures will be. Can try windows closed, open, assorted RPMs, misting condenser with water should make performance max out.

                  When or if super sunny and hot hose down a whole car the fight to cool off a car hot enough to bake a cake in isn't going to respond well to performance checking.

                  Always something to do this up to those huge fans for the whole car you are pushing it if HOT out just sitting there raising idle speeds and that airflow with a hood open is a factor how air flows thru the grille.

                  Bust knuckles enough with assorted vehicles and the day to do them it's automatic to me so sorry I forget and don't see the total picture of how and where your are doing anything. Pics help. It still isn't being there you see something stupid like the grocery store bag stuck in the grill or so dirty with like pine needles results are going to be affected.

                  That's where some mistakes and guessing why it's not perfect isn't so easy.

                  Carry on - the site is slow guess we'll just deal with it.

                  Other: My turn too soon here. Stuff is still all out of area where I can use it dig all that out there's at least two to mess with just waiting for real temps to warm up for real. Here, early like this ground can be so cold it throws everything off was 34F last night and the last snowbank here not gone for a whole week yet. I do NOT do this all year long it would put stuff in my way wouldn't get other stuff done just an FYI where I'm coming from with this situation,
                  MetroWest, Boston


                  • #39
                    He must be able to measure what he's evacuating because he said he would only charge me for refrigerant if he put more back in than he took out. It's gonna be interesting.

                    Ah, the thermo, I get it. I bought one on sale when I was shopping refrigerant. It's parked in the center vent until this is over.


                    • #40
                      Beat on this some more it's so long now who cares? There are small ones handle wild temp ranges, digital, light and go off work year round I leave those in my own! Why may have said they are old and do click on for defrost/defog but my OWN not all get fooled by engine heat it's WAY to cold - below zero maybe dang oil must be like gum, refrigerant almost a liquid anyway is foolishness.

                      It's just a two second thing to pull one plug (under the hood though) and it can't come on. Total reason is DON'T RUN DAMMIT that wrecking the show. It works. Two now (have owned untold 100s) all left my hands with the compressors they came with up to decades! The current two are 30 years old that one still OE R-12 the other 22 years old known to blow up by about 7-10 years shaft seals all leak some.

                      Bring that up separately how to deal with that but know it's got to be you and know your system like a it was made by you to tweak them back to full and know it! It's hard and takes a long time, right weather or don't. Same reasons for many or about all. Shaft is one metal the bushing is I think ceramic. Seals tight for years > I'm after DECADES! Those two materials plain do NOT expand and contract at the same amount so leak but when so cold leave no evidence and when checked later it's warm can't find the leak. Hair loss could result - still have hair thank you.

                      One more: Don't turn or slide moving controls to OFF when you leave many types of vehicles especially if you know you want same settings when you get back in. That just wears them out are a nightmare to fix some of those some obsolete for parts.

                      Back: Must own at least 20 maybe 30 thermos. In a kitchen not fixing car stuff today but my shop is 53F, outside is 50F and inside hot like 79.7F right now! That by choice but that nuts to know what's where.

                      Can't let things freeze and can't let things get too hot or fix it, house, shop or whatever right away. Also power goes out a lot where I am so can deal with where it the worst trouble is freezing is the scare.

                      Sure and agree that's excessive but it all works and saves lots of grief, time and $$ can do other stuff instead worth doing! Just laugh, that's true!
                      MetroWest, Boston


                      • #41
                        I just got back from the shop. His Robinair recovery machine said that I only had 12 oz. in there. He put 17.5 oz. back into it and it's working now. I need a really hot day now but I believe this fix is behind me.Click image for larger version

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                        • #42
                          Looks fine now still always matter what temp it was when you took that. Always that algorithym or there's no meaning to much of it.

                          Now you know it didn't have enough and your prior pressures showed that was the hunch all along I think. Reason? I don't trust those can's fittings seal on the car's #1. Hope it was just that or the hunt is on, WHERE DID IT GO?

                          Stinks but if not staying finding an elusive leak will be the challenge.

                          If that's the case just know by the thermometer go easy on the car's fittings and caps - even those are high on lists for leaking.

                          If you wish now can check some things with simple bubble tests like a tire it's got pressure in it and bubbles. Not so handy for condenser it's too much all at once.

                          Compressor could sling oil new or now anytime or last ages - can't know that one but most show clues.

                          Evaporator now while it's working catch it warm enough and humid if possible watch it drip! It should. Try to catch the drops on clean white paper or a paper towel. Keep that if UV dye is on it that's trouble almost for sure.

                          Long windy thread all is OK it's slow as I said. You win so far it's working. Paying attention is really all you should have to do now if right. Being on time when it isn't saves the wild headaches.

                          Call it done there's little to say showing that if it was anything like warm outside.

                          At some point it's best just leave it alone, belt kept good and a glance now and then just forget it till it isn't working as expected,

                          MetroWest, Boston