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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I havea 2007 ram 2500 5.9 cummins that I bought about 6 months ago. I absolutely love it, but I've been ironing out some kinks. One big one is the AC. It works, mostly, but has a harsh clunking/grinding noise when first engaged after sitting a while (days). Also, it will intermittently not cool at all. I had foudn the oem clutch fan was not working (I monitored desired rpm vs actual rpm). I replaced it. Then replaced it again. Then replaced it again. Then finally got one that worked, but was already over it, so returned it for a refudn and did the powerstroke thermostatic fan conversion and added the pusher efan that a few others have done. I love it, super happy with that setup. But, I think my compressor has already been damaged. The compressor, orifice tube, and accumulator/drier all looked brand new (literally) when I bought the truck. I think the AC wasn't working (Because of the clutch fan not working) and the previous owner damaged the compressor so the shop replaced those parts, not properly identifying the root cause was the fan. So here we are, I think the compressor is damaged again. It seems to be getting worse, it originally was mostly cooling but now it is usually not cooling. Monitoring high side pressure shows the pusher fan is working well and keeping the high side pressure in check. I also had a shop check the charge, they evacuated the system and recharged and no change.

I want to solve this once and for all, even if I have to spend a couple doll hairs. I want to replace the compressor, orifice tube, drier/accumulator, and condenser. I figure I can just blow the evaporator out with compressed air. I also understand there is a new designed condenser that is crossflow versus serpentine flow, that works better.

My question is this, I see all these super cheap complete AC kits (like a few hundred dollars), but are they quality parts? Where is a good place to source all these components? I'm not super knowledgable on AC other than at a high level of how the process works. I wouldn't know a good brand that will last vs a no name junk brand.

Any help is appreciated! I will have a shop evac the system, I'll replace all parts, then have them add needed oils and recharge.
 

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rockauto.com is good for AC parts. I've had no issues with what I got from them. Compressor for about 5 years now.
 
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Thanks for the input. I'm really tempted to try this $300 kit off amazon but worried to waste the money lol
 

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Rockauto is even cheaper! lol $260 for the whole kit (everything except evap coil), and it has the new style crossflow condenser, and I have like $90 in credit to rockauto. It's UAC, I'm not sure of their quality but it appears like a nice kit and says all brand new components, not refurbished.
 

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I’ve used 3 UAC compressors from RockAuto. One on my F350 gasser, 2 on a Jeep Grand Cherokee. On the Jeep one of them seized but I’ll take some of the blame as I put a little too much oil in and didn’t recognize it while I was charging by weight so the pressure was too high. It still worked for a couple years, over charged the whole time so I’m thinking UAC compressors are pretty tough, lol!

I’d use them again.
 

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The last compressor I purchased was pre-oiled with a sticker saying to add no oil to the system.
It is going on year 6.
 
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Thanks for the info. Makes me feel better. I'm gonna buy the RockAuto kit. So a few questions, since I'm not very familiar with AC (and I'll discuss with the shop also)...

Should I just blow the evaporator out with compressed air? Or use some type of flush? If I should use a flush, what one should I use? I read mixed reviews on many of them online.

Do I need to flush the new parts? Just wondering if there are contaminants in them from production that need flushed out.

My plan is to have the shop evacuate the system, I'll swap all the parts and flush whatever's needed, and add the oil per instructions (I assume the kit instructions spell this out?). After this I'll have the shop pull vacuum and hold it for however long they recommend, then charge it.

Am I missing anything? Thanks again!!!
 

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Most parts I’ve bought came with plugs in the ports and under a partial vacuum. I usually just look for any dirt or junk in the parts, if they look clean (they always have so far) I just bolt them together, pull a vacuum, check for leaks and charge it up. Also, leave the plugs in as long as practical, they keep the insides clean. Flush any old parts best possible, it sucks for one old chunk of dead compressor guts to kill the new compressor or plug the orfice valve/tube.

Replace all the o-rings too. Leaks stink!
 
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I spent about $400 on a vacuum pump, a set of gauges and a 30# bottle of 134a. I’ve done 6 or 7 systems now, if you think you might do more than 1 or 2 it’ll save a bunch of money..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the info. Yeah I could buy the AC equipment (already have guages, actually), but for as rare as I'll use it I think I'm gonna pass for now. I've been buying a lot of specialty auto tools lately and don't really need to spend hundreds on tools I might use every few years. Maybe down the road...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate the tips. I ordered everything from Rockauto yesterday. I got a compressor, orifice tube, drier, and crossflow aluminum condensor. I'll be flushing whatever parts I reuse (like the evaporator). I bought a flush kit and some flush stuff that appears to be very good (many others had bad reviews saying it left residue). Oddly the single cab has a different kit (different drier it appears) than the extended/quad cabs. Strange. Also, I got all UAC brand parts. It was surprisingly affordable, I also got a new belt tensioner, idler pulley, and serpentine belt (I recently did the water pump and fan pulley bearing), and total was under $500 shipped.

With all this, plus my pusher efan that I previously installed triggered by the compressor, I sure hope this fixes my issue once and for all!
 
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Surprisingly affordable is right! I got a best quote of $1100 to do a compressor and condenser on my old F350, I ended up spending about $400 and replaced literally everything, hoses included..

Good luck with the work!
 

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+1 for rockauto. Bought tons of parts from them over the years.
 

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All parts are in. I'm gonna go talk to the shop tomorrow. I still don't get why single cab and ext cabs have a different drier???
 

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Subbing. I need to do this. I also have a line that has a hole in it that needs to be replaced as well. Evidently no freon so I'll just rent a vacuum pump and add freon.
 

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I've about finished this job. The kit/parts from RockAuto seem to be very good quality. It really wasn't all that difficult, but getting the AC quick connect fittings apart was a royal PITA.

Removal of old system: I have quick disconnect tools and tried multiple times with my various tools and didn't have much luck. I was trying to be somewhat gentle as to not break things, especially on the evaporator lines as I wasn't replacing it. Eventually, shear force was what got them apart. I thought the tool was not engaging properly, but finally figured out the tool was working fine, and pushing that round spring out of the way, but the lines were so tight they weren't coming apart easily. I'm no body builder, but I'm not weak either, I'm 6'4" about 225 lbs and pretty much had to use all of my might, twisting and turning to work the fittings apart. I was very surprised at the amount of force needed. I noticed some surface rust buildup on some of the fittings (on the outer side of the o rings) that could explain some of that. I also noticed the quick disconnect at the orifice tube was never fully seated to where the round spring engaged. I doubt it was leaking though, it was pretty much all the way in so all 3 o rings were sealed. When I threw the orifice tube on the ground a bunch of aluminum looking shavings came out of it. So seems like my compressor catastrophically failed.

Cleaning/flushing: I cleaned every single fitting with some fine scotch padm, then brake clean. I pulled the lines to be reused off the truck and brought to my work bench and flushed them using a cheap amazon kit and Supercool AC Flash Flush (non oil based, as specified per the AC kit). I ordered the flush liquid from RockAuto also. I got 2 bottles, I think they're 32oz each. It goes FAST lol. I ended up reusing a lot of it multiple times. I used a strainer to filter it between uses. If I didn't reuse it I would probably have needed at least 5-10 gallons. So I flushed the two lines that get reused, and the evaporator. I flushed from inlet to outlet (per instructions from AC kit). The first flush the fluid came out nasty grey, so I discarded it. Second flush was clear. Third flush was clear. I then blew just air through everything (extra through the condenser) for several minutes.

Compressor prep (oil): The compressor has a tag on it that says it has 5.4 oz of oil in it, more may be needed for your application. The AC kit instructions say to dump all the oil out of the compressor then refill with new oil. I was only able to get about 4 oz out of it. I'm not sure if more got trapped in it (most likely) or they underfilled it (not likely). The PAG 46 oil bottle that comes with the kit is 8 oz. The total system says it requires 7 oz. So I put about half the bottle in the compressor (4 oz), which in theory gave a total of about 5 oz in the compressor, then I put most of the rest of the bottle in the drier and I was able to get just a little bit in the condenser (had already installed it before putting oil in, doh!). I ended up with about 1 oz left in the bottle, but also had a few very minor drips/spills, and used it to oil the new o rings, etc. So all in all I probably ended up with about 7.5 oz total in the system. It's kinda hard to get so exact with small measurements like this, especially if you have and drips/etc. I then set the compressor up on it's end (pulley down) to let the oil soak down to the seal, I left it like this for about an hour or so. The compressor instructions state to turn it by hand ~10 times to lubricate the seal prior to first start up. I did this on the bench and immediately noticed oil started to want to exit the compressor (duh.... lol). So I stopped as not to screw up my oil amount. I ended up doing this step once installed and everything was sealed up and done, it was pretty easy to turn by hand. The oil didn't drain out the ports when turned on its side to install, as the ports are on the upper side of the compressor. Also, when I originally drained the oil I did open up the plugs on the side and top of the compressor, but don't think that's necessary as I didn't really get any more out by doing that, I would just leave it sealed up and use the inlet/outlet ports if I was doing it again.

Installation of parts: I installed all the rest of the parts (drier first, then condenser, then reused hoses, then orifice tube, then compressor). Then I hooked all the lines up and tightened everything down. I used the PAG oil and all new o rings (the kit comes with like 500 o rings and seals, lol, takes a few minutes to match them up to the old ones for proper sizing). All the quick connects went together very easy since they were cleaned and oiled, except the orifice tube one under the battery tray. I pushed on that one with all my force about 10 times, twisting it, rotating, etc. and was about to give up and take it off the truck to do, when finally it clicked in. It was extremely tight fit, and I see now why the previous guy who did it failed to get it all the way engaged. I also had to slightly bend/tweak just about every hard line to get them lined up exactly right.

So it's basically all done, of course there's a little more to it than that, but if you're tackling this you should be able to remove your intake, battery, battery tray, fender liner, etc. Only think I have left is to remount my pusher electric fan. I had to make new brackets because the new style condenser has different brackets and I lost my mounting points. I got 3 out of 4 brackets made today. Will finish up Wednesday, then take it to get charged Friday hopefully, if they have time.

One other thing, the new style condenser I got (which was also UAC brand from RockAuto), was actually bent farily noticeably. I gently bent it by hand and it came out straight, hopefully there's no leaks. I don't think there is though as I uncapped it after bending and it had a TON of pressure in it. Be carefuly uncapping, the rubber plug shot across my shop when it let go, I was not expecting that! Also, being aluminum, I was able to slight bend the brackets of the condenser to push it rearward towards the intercooler slightly, to give even more clearance for my efan. I gained about 1/8". Doesn't sound like much, but when I only had about a paper's thickness of clearance, an 1/8" is welcomed! And I still have about 1/4" or so clearance between condenser and intercooler.

Hope this is helpfull to someone, this is my first real experience with auto AC. I'm very handy with cars in general, but this was a good learning experience. Now, hopefully it works!!!! All in (including new gates serpentine belt, tensioner, and idler) and shop labor for evacuating/charging, I should be somewhere in the ballpark of $600.
 
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Here's some pictures. You can see how I bent the brackets for the condenser to push it closer to the intercooler, further back on the vehicle. Still have 1/4" gap or so, but gave more fan to grill clearance (about an extra 1/8"). I had to remake fan brackets, but they came out good. I need to powdercoat them but taking it to the shop today to get charged first. Hope all goes well. Also, 1 pic is some of the metal pieces that came out of the orifice tube line.
 

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Oh and I had to buy slightly longer bolts for the condensor brackets, since the brackets I made for the fan added thickness. They wouldn't thread in. This total took me about 1.5 days. Not bad for first time. Doing it again I think I could do it in like 4 or 6 hours. Making fan brackets took me a lot of time as I use hand tools to make them (bandsaw, files, drill, etc). Goes slow, a lot of measureing, guess and check, etc.
 

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Got it charged today and it's blowing ice cold! They gave me a very fair price too, they always do, so I gave them some extra money. Cruising it's blowing about 45 deg F, idling about 50-55. It was probably in the 90s today, so that's great results! Hopefully it lasts!!! One last pic before I do powdercoating this weekend, drilled some "airflow" holes lol
 

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That’s awesome, glad it all worked out for you!

Now you’re just a vacuum pump, gauges and a scale away from doing it all yourself next time!
 
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