View Full Version : Better stick with woodworking!

John Murphy
04-14-2003, 1:12 PM
Starter went out in my truck Saturday. I spent 2 hrs figuring out that it was the starter. First step in removing the starter is to unhook the battery. As I loosened the bolt with my trusty ratchet, the ratchet touched the freon tubing to my AC. Shorted out burning a small hole in the tubing :mad: (%&%&$^&*&^). All my R-12 leaked out. ($40 a can says my mechanic). That'll have to wait a few days.

As for the starter, I went to an el cheapo auto parts store, bought a starter for $30, which shocked me. I then went home and installed it. It did not work. I think it needed shimming, but of course they did not supply a shim. I took it back, went to napa, got one and put it on and it worked fine. Now back to the AC.

I can

1. replace with R-12
2. replace with R-22 or so I've heard
3. retrofit for R-134A

1. $200
2. $75
3. $200


Tom Sweeney
04-14-2003, 1:55 PM
Hey Murph,
I'll one up you - I posted this on the power tool forum.
I set my truck on fire while tuning it up this weekend. :o

One note for you:
I got out of the mechanics biz long before the freon changeover but:

be careful about running the truck with no freon in it. A lot of the lubricating oil probably also leaked out with the freon & you could burn up your compressor - lot more than $200. There is a clutch so the compressor won't spin unless A/C is turned on - but don't take any chances.

John Murphy
04-14-2003, 2:59 PM
Thanks for the tip on burning up the compressor. I'm glad to hear that Murphys Law applies to other people, too! Not really, sorry about your truck. I'm gonna go look up your post now.


Kevin Gerstenecker
04-14-2003, 5:38 PM
John, after checking with my Son, who is in his last year of Ford Factory Training to become a Certified Ford Technician, he says the retrofit to 134A is the way to go. You need to replace the line that you burned thru, have the system evacuated, (Vacuum pumped down) then have it charged with 134A and leak tested. You should be good to go. The retro kit is just new O Rings seals, and I think he said the dryer, but it should be a DIY deal. Because 134A is MUCH less expensive that R12, it will save you in the long run.

John Murphy
04-15-2003, 2:11 PM
Sounds like thats the way to go. I'm glad to get some info from someone with some expertise, or at least access to some!! I have a friend who says he can aluminum braze that pipe and it will hold. He's a mechanic also. That would help since the pipe is "dealer only" and is about $60.00.

Keith Zavodney
04-15-2003, 3:30 PM
... and remember ... loosen the NEGATIVE terminal FIRST !!! and put it on LAST !!! If you're removing the negative terminal and your ratchet hits anything (other than the positive terminal) nothing happens. After the negative terminal is off and routed away from the battery then nothing will happen if a wrench falls and hits the positive terminal and anything else (except for the negative terminal).

Keith Z.

John Murphy
04-16-2003, 12:24 PM

I knew that, just got in a hurry. It's working out pretty good, though. A bud is over at the house aluminum brazing the pipe right now. Another bud has some extra R-12 and is gonna charge it up for me. Boy I lucked out on that deal!