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2002 Chevy Tracker with Aftermarket AC

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  • #16
    Roddy: That's a decision you have to make on how much to spend and are you getting what you want for what you paid. I've had many brands best have been and still have RobinAire made or thru Snap-On now with ends and shutoffs via this site so can use on either R-12 or 134a plus R-22 which my home is. Dayton vacuum pump always has behaved can pull full vacuum which is the goal no matter how you achieve that "zero is zero" just know venture pumps can't or don't get there.

    Multiple sets two ID sets just one left working other for parts and a super cheap Quest set gone now just save hoses was total junk needed in an hour - just give me some readings a hose again failed.

    Then you may want to double the whole expense making up connections so you can have super long hoses going end to end. Hose end plugs if your set doesn't park them AND seal you or I'll say I made up plugs to vacuum out hoses/manifold set so it's clear of any other vapor or refrigerant.

    If up to it and willing to invest you should have 2 of everything! One set may not connect or may have an attitude with fittings so you have the other. Include right angle ends as sometimes there's just no room otherwise.

    Stuff can easily be dropped and bust gauge dials, hoses can just not seal by surprise and so on.

    Not done yet - have to have credible thermometers that are fast matters. Two are touchless infrared like those for assorted reasons. On hand "O" ring sets. The full assortment of flare nut wrenches, sprays, dye and more. Love a now old Matco sniffer that likes lithium batteries for tougher leak finding. Spare caps for both R-12 and 134a Acme.

    The next is the full compliment of volt/ohm meters, jumper wire fused or not at the ready and like pure silicone grease by only one found is Dynatex for O rings and anything threaded. Mirrors of all sorts and an assortment of corded and cordless lighting.

    The miscellaneous stuff out costs just the primary set of gauges 10 times or more all depends on what you want to be able to do.

    #1 expense is the place to work always. That means if you really want to or need to work in any weather must be able to heat it off season along with equipment and refrigerant. This is inland New England can easily be below zero F. windy and room plus the time to heat it all would like to start at 100F with time for vehicle and all assorted tools in shop to heat up takes forever for those rare times almost always a body shop done with fixing a small accident that took out condenser and needs it charged and checked that it will work can't be known if not hot enough. Those the vehicle is done except for that just leave it in a state of vacuum please.

    Recovery is left to area shops I don't want the used product I'll always use new virgin product/refrigerant. An assortment of scales on hand too.

    Nobody I know of locally has the room or time that all takes or put all equipment away off season. More often just don't do any of it as said above there's enough to fix in general year round all the stuff for A/C isn't worth the space or expense.

    So search out what you want but at least gauges I'd have two sets keeping what you have just buy the adaptor ends and another just for 134a. All the rest decide on how much you wish to invest for stuff you may not use for ages.

    Quality counts but only to a point - anything can break or let you down just when you need it. If you can't spend some time and have other things to do it's impractical for most where I am for most as said it's highly seasonal where I am just because you can't know if a system works at all if cold out for several months you wouldn't even know it wasn't working never mind properly.

    All depends on you pain tolerance for the costs, available space and your time to do it plus if real difficult the code readers and scanners if not a refrigerant side plain problem at all and paid software to keep that current or send that part out if monthly costs can't be worth it,

    MetroWest, Boston


    • #17
      Hoses, go for quality, a bust hose can blind or freeze you. Manifold, if what you have works, then lhat's good enough. Convertor quick connects for automotive 134a again, I go quality. Since I also dabble in non-automotive I have a separate set of hoses with 1/4 turn ball valve ends for that.
      Robin-air, Snap-on, MAC, Master-cool all are good stuff.
      Never felt the need for 4 port manifolds, just swap the center from vacuum to charge tank. You can spend silly amounts of money to do what a modest amount will do just as well.
      Gauge heads are replaceable, so if you have a bad gauge on a good manifold, it is not a reason to change manifolds.