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Old 08-13-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
RP31
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Default Air Conditioning gurus: I found my leak, now how do I fix it?

My air conditioning hasn't worked all summer and I just now got around to investigating it. I checked the pressure and added more refrigerant with the U/V dye (but not a lot since I knew it was leaking). Waited a bit, shut off the lights and turned on the U/V light, but didn't find any leaks. Then I listened and could hear a slight hissing sound from under the TMIC.

Removed the TMIC and found that the driver's side TMIC bracket had broken, so the TMIC was rubbing against one of the A/C lines. Dammit! Luckily the TMIC rubbed through the line and not the other way around (although I'm not sure yet which would be more expensive to fix.)

Here's a picture of the affected area (first) and line (second - silver line that runs vertically). It's the smaller diameter line. Can anyone point me towards a part number or appropriate name for this specific line? Also, what else do I need to replace in order to fix this properly? The system has been open for a while now.



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Old 08-13-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
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I dont know if you could cut the line and put some high pressure hose around it and clamp it down.... you might have to replace the line
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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I'm guessing the whole line has to be replaced... And I think other parts need to be replaced too now that the system has been open for so long. Just don't know what those parts are.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:06 PM   #4
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take out your ac compressor, weight reduction ftw
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Old 08-14-2009, 12:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettyblue View Post
take out your ac compressor, weight reduction ftw
Some people like to have AC, and I bet you still have ac too
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #6
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You will probably have to replace the dryer as well. Make sure the system is evacuated before trying to fill it!
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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Right... Figured I'd be rending a vacuum pump from whatever local auto parts store has them available.

Part numbers for line and dryer anyone?
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:25 PM   #8
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Dryer alone is 73412fe000 and if you order the condenser (73210fe010) it usually comes with one.

FYI, wholesale price for aftermarket is ~65 for the dryer and ~90 for a condenser so don't pay much more than that
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bettyblue View Post
take out your ac compressor, weight reduction ftw
you dont live in florida

or you wouldnt say that
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:33 PM   #10
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I had the ac line in my 02 rub through as above....v7 tmic is a bit bigger than stock

had it welded(NO IDEA how it was done) and reinstalled, recharged it and never had any issue with it
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty View Post
I had the ac line in my 02 rub through as above....v7 tmic is a bit bigger than stock

had it welded(NO IDEA how it was done) and reinstalled, recharged it and never had any issue with it
Welding aluminim is done using TIG or MIG welding. Not too hard with the correct welding equipment.
Solder or brazing is not really recommended.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:19 AM   #12
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99 out of 100 welders will tell you to die in a fire and get a new one. Not too hard is very relative with the welding crowd.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:28 AM   #13
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73431FE040 is the small diamater line in the picture.

http://www.subaruparts.com/cart/?pn=73431FE040+

You dont need the dryer. Just make sure you have it evacuated for about 20 minutes to boil all the moisture out.

I worked on cars (for a living) for nearly a decade and have never replaced a dryer just because of a leak. Waste of money.

My AC system was wide open for almost a week or more when I did my swap. I didnt pull a vacuum on it I just went to the auto parts store bought a can of R134a for 30 bux, charged it up and it works perfect. Sure it probably would be even better if I evacuated it but why spend all that money.

Your case I would replace the line and auto part store charge it up. To do it right you will have to have it evacuated for about 20 minutes and charged after you replace the line.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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I teach welding at TechShop here in Durham so after classes, I tend to do a little with my own projects. My dad's truck had a P/S line come out of the bracket and it worn a slit in the A/C line so I took a piece of aluminum tubing whose ID was equal to the OD of the AC tubing and I TIG welded it into place. We threw a vacuum pump on there and it held vacuum for 12 hours, so it must have been tight. Recharged it and it's working like a dream. Granted it was only leaking for a week or so.

The dryer needs to be replaced because too much moisture has probably crept it?
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munkis View Post
You dont need the dryer. Just make sure you have it evacuated for about 20 minutes to boil all the moisture out.
That's what I thought, the vacuum pump would take care of it if you left it on there long enough....after ac work I let it stay on there for at least 5 hours (usually overnight) to make sure everything is all tight before charging things up.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:53 AM   #16
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It is true there is a desicant bag in the dryer to help suck out moisture from the system, if the system is left open the desicant will absorb moisture from the air and because "full" Evacuating doesnt pull the moisture out of the desicant. This why you are "suppose" to replace it.

For a small leak like the OP has the dryer does not need to be replaced. If you leave the system completetly open for 2 days or more (like a line left off) then you would want to replace the dryer.

I decided not to because I didnt feel like spending the money on it and I haven't had any problem since.

If I had a customer who left there system open that long I would highly recomend replacing the dryer.

But again the OP does not need to replace the dryer for that small leak but should have the system evacuated for at least 20 minutes before re-charging to be safe.

the line is like 60 bucks you can replace it yourself and then have any repuatuable shop evac and recharge for probably around 100 bux.
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Old 08-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #17
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Thanks, munkis! I've ordered the part.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:01 AM   #18
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Question for Gurus:

How do I physically replace either small or big lines that lead to the same connection point (not sure what it's called, but it's located around downpipe)?

Think I have similar problem - had gone through 2x refrigent in two weeks.

Is it necessary to remove dash to get to the area where that line connects to? I heard it costs $2000 on some AC related repairs and I just don't get it why it's so expensive.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:15 AM   #19
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Where the lines meet the firewall is where they separate. Just take that bolt out (after the system is evacuated and empty!), and the lines will pop off. There are just a couple o-rings behind each line where it meets the expansion valve extension block.

I always replace the o-rings when Im in there too. No sense in putting a new line in, then having a worn o-ring leak.

~T.J.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:34 PM   #20
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T.J.

Bolt is located in the engine bay, not under the dash right?
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #21
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Why would you want to go cheap? The drier is an inexpensive part and replacing it is standard procedure for a system that is open.
Do it once and do it right.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #22
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Why would you want to go cheap? The drier is an inexpensive part and replacing it is standard procedure for a system that is open.
Do it once and do it right.
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