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Hi there all.

I have an 03 Taurus (3.0 Vulcan) I am repairing the AC on. Originally, the issue was that the bearing on the pulley for the compressor was bad. It still had cold AC, and the compressor was still good internally. I decided that I would replace the whole compressor. I have done a lot of car work, but never any AC work. After some research I learned that the drier and orifice tube must also be replaced when the system is opened, and oil must be added.

I replaced the compressor, drier, and orifice tube. I filled all appropriately with oil.

Note: Replacing the compressor was a piece of cake, but the drier was a pain. This was because 1: I had to remove the radiator overflow tank, which got coolant all over and 2: the hose that connects to the drier must go all the way back to the firewall, and it is in a HORRIBLE spot. When I say horrible, I mean seriously horrible. Why the hell did ford not make another connection farther down the line, directly at the drier?

Anyways, after replacing, I pull a vacuum for 45 minutes and leave it to sit for an hour under vacuum, and the needle moves just ever so slightly indicating a leak. I thought maybe I was just looking at it wrong, so I left it for another hour. Sure enough, its moved a few ticks. Also, when I took off the manifold connectors, the high side port (which had not been replaced) sealed up with no hissing, while the low side port (had been replaced as part of the drier) did not seal, and started hissing (air was going back into the system) until the system was full of air. Here are my questions:

1: Since the system is empty now, is there any way I can I find the AC leak without filling it with refrigerant and dye? I dont want to have to pay to have it evacuated again.

2: Do I have a bad valve on the low side port, or is it normal for the valve to open under a vacuum? Can I just replace this valve, or do I have to go through the whole ordeal to replace the drier again?

3: As of right now, the system is full of air, and I am leaving it like that for a few days because I am working on something else. Is this going to make my drier go bad?

4: Is it possible I had a leak in the manifold? How do I test to see if I have a leak there?

5: Is there anything else I could be doing wrong that could have caused a slow leak like this?

I would like to ask that no one comment saying I should take it to a shop. Other than that all help is appreciated, thanks!
 

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I certainly am not expert with respect to AC. I would inspect carefully all connections, all components for greasy and green deposits. It sounds as if the low side Schrader valve is leaking or not sealing. So what I would do is to replace the low side Schrader Valve, the pull a vacuum and check for leaks. If it holds a vacuum without any movement of the needles I would probably be tempted to recharge and see how it goes. Any green and greasy deposits if refrigerant leak and Pag Oil. If a connection sometimes as simple as an "O" ring. I had an '89 Ranger that eventually had nearly every "O" ring replaced and more recently the low side Schrader valve was leaking. By the way, though you do not need it because system is empty there is a cool tool that allows the replacement of a Schrader valve without the loss or evacuation of refrigerant. Good luck.

Scott
 

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Ok, if we're all done offering good intentioned advice, I will state some facts here: Service ports are not intended to seal under a vacuum. You have a vacuum pump and gauges; good! The leak check under vacuum should be done with the service connecters installed. "I filled all appropriately with oil.": how much oil? How much oil was in the old compressor? How much oil is in the new compressor? How much oil was in the drier? If you can't answer all of these questions with certainty, the system is likely to fail. I certainly am an expert and tire of people who get in way over their heads and come to the forums saying "no one comment saying I should take it to a shop". If you want me to fix it for free, I will! I am located in Milford, Michigan.
 

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I respectfully defer to your expertise and knowledge concerning AC. You sound like an expert with experience and expertise. I will defer to your advice and judgement technically. The original poster specifically requested that no one should advise take it to a shop. You offered to fix it for free which is admirable. Depending upon the original posters location this is probably an offer you will not have to honor. You are aware of the current state of the country with respect to Corona Virus and Covid19??? On a 2003 Taurus which is worth virtually nothing I myself might be reluctant to spend big dollars on AC repairs. Though you may be technically excellent feel you may be a bit out of touch with compassion, understanding of the current Covid 19. A fourth of the population is currently unemployed or furloughed due to Covid 19. I appreciate your frustration with your customers. I have existed with AC problems for 39 years without the help of a shop. Appreciate you expertise. Thank you.
 
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