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View Full Version : Freon Type required?


Stavesacre21
05-09-2004, 12:40 AM
Sup fellas. Since my Cobra's a vert, I really never even thought to test the A/C. Well, here I am, 2 weeks later and having found out that it was blowning air as warm as vent. I checked it all out, and the A/C clutch is kickin in every 3 seconds or so, so I know the compressor is workin. It just seems at though it's out of freon. Yea, I know that it more then likely means there is a leak, but the previous owner had no problem with warm AC, and never spotted a leak.

Anyhow, cut to the chase, I was wonderin if anyone out there knew what kinda freon this car uses. I don't believe it's R-12, because the port (of what I think is A/C) isn't the same, plus i think it's illegal to use now. One of my bud mechanics thought that it might take some freon called 134 or 123, but we're not sure....Anyone ever changed/refilled their freon? Know what type it takes? Tough to do? Where can you pick cans of this stuff up at?

Lemme know guys! :D

xanavisilvia
05-09-2004, 02:43 AM
I think our cars take R-134a.
I saw a refill kit at GI Joes. I don't know how well it works, I never used it before. I glanced over the instructions and don't look too hard to do.
Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.

jimmysidecarr
05-09-2004, 04:36 AM
R134 ...... an over filled system can produce that symptom too....
I would get it checked out by an auto a/c guy.... or dealer at least for the diag..... then you could always do it your self if you prefer...
Jimmy :thumbsup:

Stavesacre21
05-09-2004, 07:27 AM
I would get it checked out by an auto a/c guy.... or dealer at least for the diag..... :thumbsup:
Yea, i think i'm gonna do just that to find out what the deal is...i'll keep yall informed. Thanx for the info on 134 though!

ausie
05-09-2004, 09:39 AM
You could get the codes scanned. There are specific OBDII DTC codes that pop up from the AC circuit.

P1461 - air conditioner pressure sensor High voltage fault
P1462 - air conditioner pressure sensor low voltage fault
P1463 - air conditioner low pressure detected
P1464 - Low A/C cycling period - which could be caused by low pressure

For further reference : http://www.shane.roberts.net/obd2_17.htm
is a complete list of the ODBII codes for a 1999 Cobra. I am not sure if this would help or not.

Also, what you described sounds like the problem I had with my 96 explorer. Everything function except I got nothing but hot air. You have two options, as suggested by the Autozone people, if there is AC has a charge, you can roughly check that either by conecting a pressure guage to the low pressure side or simply by activating the valve (schrader type or similar), if gas comes out, then the system may be charged. It can be either a bad electrical connection or defective A/C clutch. In my case it was an electrical connection on the A/C compressor. The Clutch engagement was sporattic at most but operated correctly after I fixed the wire in the plug which had a loose fitting which poped out of the connector when the plug was inserted into the connector. I would at least test to see if there is pressure in the system prior to adding more refrigerant which may lead to over pressurized conditions. However, your short cycle of the compressor may indicate that you have low pressure since the clutch is disengaged withing a short period. At least there may be some help with the OBDII codes in figuring out what may be the cause for the hot air. ODBII codes were established I think in 1994 so the 1999 codes may apply which are still current even in the 04 cobra. Ford even included the supercharger faults in the codes eventhough the 99 and 01 do not have superchargers.

bolt-on
05-10-2004, 09:27 PM
My 1997 Cobra is stored winters. One season prior to storage the A/C worked fine. The next season no cold air on A/C although the compressor would kick on and off. A friend who is a Lincoln/Mercury service tech suggested tapping the A/C Cycling Switch and the A/C Pressure Cut-Off Switch with handle of a screwdriver to see if the compressor would keep running. A good tap on the A/C Pressure Cut-Off Switch and the A/C is blowing cold air again. Replaced the switch for less than $20 and no problems since. I hope your problem is as easy to fix.

Stavesacre21
05-11-2004, 12:54 AM
My 1997 Cobra is stored winters. One season prior to storage the A/C worked fine. The next season no cold air on A/C although the compressor would kick on and off. A friend who is a Lincoln/Mercury service tech suggested tapping the A/C Cycling Switch and the A/C Pressure Cut-Off Switch with handle of a screwdriver to see if the compressor would keep running. A good tap on the A/C Pressure Cut-Off Switch and the A/C is blowing cold air again. Replaced the switch for less than $20 and no problems since. I hope your problem is as easy to fix.Where is this A/C cycling and cut off switch you speak of? Tough to find? Hard to replace?

So did the switch eventually go bad (due to inactive use or time), and that caused the warm air and need for a replacement? Please elaborate, cause you may be on to something! :bounce:

bolt-on
05-11-2004, 09:53 PM
Both switches are located on the passenger side of the engine compartment. The A/C Cycling Switch is located on top of the Suction Accumulator/Dryer (a black tank located just ahead of the firewall). The A/C Pressure Cut-Off Switch is located in the tube between the A/C Compressor and the A/C Condenser Core (near the radiator). Both switches are mounted on Schrader valve fittings, so when you unscrew them there is no problem with leaking refrigerant. I'm not sure why he suspected one of the two switches, but long term storage every year cannot help.

ausie
05-12-2004, 07:44 AM
if you store your car for a long time, it is always best to go visit your old friend once in a while and make it happy. Check all fluids, coolant, oil, then start it up for a while. That should keep all of the parts in working order otherwise internal parts tend to rust after a while when all of the lubricant sits in the oil pan. It is hard to preserve a car if it is not driven once in a while. Even in the winter months I try to get my car out when the streets are clear, and at least start it up once a week if not more. That includes activating the AC and just about anything that is functional on the car.

Stavesacre21
05-13-2004, 11:21 PM
Anyone ever heard of this "ICE 32" stuff? Guess it seems to be hitting it off pretty huge in our part of the states. Seems that it's a replacement for R-134A, and blows out at 25 degrees intead of the regular 34-35. They all seemed pretty set that it was awesome stuff, but I was a smidge skeptical. Anyone able to concur with this statement? Worth the extra $60?

On a much happier note which I report with much satisfaction, they tested my Cobra and said it was just low on charge, but held a steady vacuum. Then they wanted $200 to recharge it.....:rotf: safe to say I laughed my way out the door...I'll be takin it to a friend to have him put 134 in it for dirt cheap (around $30). These service centers just totally crack me up....

ausie
05-15-2004, 10:38 AM
For fun, and since I work for a thermostat manufacturer (termperature controls) and aircraft guages, etc... I borrowed a calibrated temperature guage from work and stuck it into one of the vents in my car while running the AC. To my ammazement, the temperature dropped to 22F and that is with the factory refrigerent in it. I also checked the temperature in my 96 exploder and got very much the same results (25F). The thermometer was accurate to 0.1F. It was also interesting to see how hot the car gets when sitting in the sun 130F which is one reason I never leave my dog in my car.

Stavesacre21
05-15-2004, 12:35 PM
the temperature dropped to 22F and that is with the factory refrigerent in it.
I'm gettin so sick of salesmen BS......Wish they would just tell it straight-up without all the stupid selling tactics.

That's pretty much the main reason why I don't like letting anyone except family and friends work on the car. Since Ford is usually honest about everything, their ok to....but obviously much more costly

ausie
05-17-2004, 07:39 AM
Its all a marketing ploy by any means. Look at just about any bolt on performance part and read the claims on increased horse power. They are not all accurate or they may state what type of motor they were installed in. In fact, they may legally state some of the facts and omit others if their part meets federal emmissions requirements. I rely on forums and reviews like this site before I make any purchase. Since I work in the thermostat industry (electrical design engineer) I have to face the fact that many relay manufactures state "meets UL requirement 1/4Hp at 30k cycles, etc). Many times you find that the part does not meet the specified requirements. But, claims can be stated on literature if the part is silmilar to another that does by its construction. Take the cold Air Induction systems, many claim that you will gain 10-20rwhp, and I also read much that the claims are bogus. As for AC outlet temperatures, 20-30F is typical in vehicles or small window type AC units due to the relative distance from the coil to the discharge duct. It boils down to the consumer to filter out what is inaccurate or bogus. In many cases, products with claims may actually state factory specifications but claim their product is superior. In most cases, from an engineering stand point, many times the sales department re-writes in their own way engineering specifications and some times they fabricate bogus material. Often I have gotten stuck talking to customers on technical response calls and the sales people did not know how to answer the customers question. I will be open and honest when describing the product in question, I have no problem telling the customer "it will not work with your application". I am not a sales person anyway and if a sale was created by providing information, I do not get any commisions out of it. There are many times I find myself laughing as some adds I read in magazines. Ford is not usually honest about anything. In most cases I will work on my own car or find a reputable mechanic who knows the ins-and-outs of the cobra. I like ford products, but I dislike their service.

Stavesacre21
05-18-2004, 12:10 AM
Good call buddy....couldn't agree more!

Anyhow, update on the freon.....yea, I went to have it filled by the bud, and I think he may have overfilled it or something, because NOW, the a/c clutch isn't even kickin in anymore. I think he may have set off a switch or something that has stopped the whole thing all together. After he noticed it wasn't turnin on, he emptied the whole pound of 134 he put in, and even went a little below where he started...yea, still no sign of the clutch workin. I think this rinky-dink-ster may have overfilled me quite a bit....frick. On a minor note, he had the tank of refrigerant turned upside down, which means it would be liquid. My dad seems to think that would be bad for the system...does that sound right?

Please, if anyone knows, could this be because of an overpressure sensor being tripped? Is there even anything like that on the Cobra? If so, how do you reset it?

I take it to an actual shop tomorrow to have them look at it, and probably fill it IF it's working again. PLEASE, let me know if any of you have any idea what may be causing this!

Stavesacre21
05-18-2004, 11:31 PM
Replaced the switch for less than $20 and no problems since. I hope your problem is as easy to fix.
After all was said and done, this was indeed what was wrong! However, i ended up just takin it into a local shop, and they changed out the low pressure switch for me. Looks like they also added about 1/2 lb. of freon as well. It all works like a charm! For only $80 total, I was impressed. I actaully was starting to think they compressor might have been shot, so this all came as a very plesent surprise! Thanx for the input fellas! Another problem to the books. :thumbsup:

ausie
05-19-2004, 07:20 AM
you can thank your computer for saving the compressor. As a point, you should not turn the filler can up-side-down or you will be adding the liquid to the system which will ultimately change state to gas since the system has a lower pressure than the can did. In actuality, most garages that service AC systems do not use those dinky cans but containers in the same shape and size of a propane tank for a gas stove. Adding refrigerant is a slow process and should be done with a scale to determine how much is added. The problem with gas under high pressure, it tends to freeze up the line when the pressure is released too fast. When the lines freeze up the system will not work. The main function of the AC is to presurize the gas in the condensor then release it rapidly which causes the gass to drop in temperature when it is released in the low pressure side at the coil (evaporator). :cool: cool, nice to hear you got it back in service for the summer!

CobraJay
09-13-2005, 01:16 PM
OK looks like I am having these symptons now. I tried one of those do-it-yourselfer cans from Advance Auto parts, but I think it just made it worse.

It takes forever for the a/c clutch to kick in when first turned on. On average, it takes about 12-14 seconds for it to engage. After the first engagement, it stops again after about 3 seconds. For the next cycle, wait another 12 seconds or so....and keeps cycling about 3 more times until it just stays on. But takes forever to feel any cool air. This is only at idle. When moving, by the time I start feeling any cool air, I'm already where I needed to go :doubt: