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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I have a 2005 Taurus DOHC 24v that I just replaced the AC compressor, accumulator, and orifice tube on. My problem is it will not hold a vacuum.

While performing these repairs I disconnected 4 different connection points: the manifold line going to the back of the compressor, at the orifice tube in the high pressure line, the right side connection at the accumulator, and the line off the accumulator which plugs into the firewall. I have taken all of these apart and reconnected them to inspect o-rings, to make sure they are tight, and applied nylog at all connection points except at the compressor itself. I cannot find the leak and it will not hold any vacuum for more than a couple of seconds which tells me the leak must be substantial.

My plan is this... Using a paperclip jumper the low pressure switch and add some UV dye along with one can of refrigerant and let it cycle through the system. Hopefully letting even one can along with UV dye will be sufficient to be able to find a leak with a UV light.

Do you think this is the best course of action to find the leak? Is there something I'm missing with this plan? Thanks again.
 

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I watched one video where the guy pressurized the system with low pressure air and used soap bubbles to find his leak. Like he said, you will vacuum it down later. I am not trained in AC repair but the concept sounds good .
 

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Using soap solutions may work and sounds like a good idea. Your leak is a large leak. Really shouldn't reuse o rings. You may want to disassemble the joints to inspect for damaged o rings. That connection at the firewall was a hard connection for me to make properly. Also are you sure the gauge manifold is good and are you shutting the manifold valves and are the manifold hoses sealing good. Lastly is the new compressor leaking. I know someone one here had a brand new Motorcraft compressor he bought from Amazon leak right from the start.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've already checked every o-ring and they are all new as well. Introducing soapy water seems counterintuitive but I can try. How would I go about doing this? I do have an air compressor but am unsure how exactly to perform this test. Any suggestions?
 

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The only reason to use compressed air it it is illegal to purposely discharge refrigerant into the atmosphere, but easiest would be the route you originally stated. I would use the gauge manifold yellow hose connection at the manifold and adapt a hose from your compressor to it with fitting or just a hose and clamps. Soapy water goes on outside of all connections but maybe if it is real quite you can hear the leak.
 

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Nylog is not necessary with HNBR or hydrogenated nitrile rubber o-rings. A little mineral oil is sufficient. PAG oil should not be used as it is hygroscopic and the aluminum will corrode causing leakage.
 

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I don't think i would purposely put pressurized air in a AC system. If you had access to a CO2 bottle that would
be much better. Ill about bet that somehow you did not put it back together right. Been there done that. You
could try a mechanics stethoscope to listen to the AC joints and components for leaking noises. Or use smoke
put around the AC components to look for displacement of the smoke. If you took the condenser fittings off,
are you 100% sure the lines are all the way back in and the fastener locks are back on?

If that doesn't work, i would tear it all back apart again, recheck your work and the orings and fasteners, and
put it all back together and try to suck it down again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I wanted to wrap up this thread with a resolution. Life has been busy so I haven't been able to work on the wagon for almost two weeks.

My plan was to feed a can of refrigerant along with some UV dye into the system to try to find my leak. I hooked up my AC gauges to the high & low ports with everything still closed. I then opened the low pressure side at the port and heard a slight hissing coming from the charge hose even though both sides of the manifold was closed.

On a hunch that my manifold gauges may be leaking I rented a new set from AutoZone this morning and hooked up the vacuum pump. It pulled -25, I let it run for 30 mins, and it held the vacuum for 45 mins after I shut the pump off. I then charged the system and it's blowing ice cold now.

Long story short, my manifold gauges were leaking and not the AC system parts I replaced. I hate that my gauges are now trash, but I much prefer that versus a system leak.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
 
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