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T100 A/C DIY? #899280
08/07/08 03:27 PM
08/07/08 03:27 PM
jmoser  Offline OP
Mudrunner
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 270
MI
My 1996 T100 has never had the A/C touched; it seems OK but I cannot imagine it could not use a 'top off' of R134 after 12 years. Taking the family on a long hot trip next week so I need to keep it chilly.

Is there any downside to a DIY job with the inexpensive kit from the local NAPA/Autozone? Is it idiot proof or can I screw it up? Anything to watch out for or just follow the instructions?


Jeff
96 T100 SR5 4WD Ext Cab, Warn Hubs, HD torsion bars, Bilsteins, Camper Shell, TJM bar, factory 31 x 10.5's, Powertrax No-slip rear, Recaro driver's bucket
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Re: T100 A/C DIY? [Re: jmoser] #899281
08/07/08 04:12 PM
08/07/08 04:12 PM
ErikB  Offline
Toyota Moderator
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,160
Auburn, NorCal
Yes, I'm pretty sure you can screw it up. Too much freon can make it work poorly too.

A/C work is expensive enough that I would say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" If its working halfway decent, I'd leave it alone.

If you are really suspecting something may be wrong, call up an AC place and see how much they'd charge to check the working pressures of your system to see if it really may have lost some of its charge...


'97 4Runner, '06 F350, '86 4Runner, '05 WR450
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Re: T100 A/C DIY? [Re: ErikB] #899282
08/07/08 04:31 PM
08/07/08 04:31 PM
jmoser  Offline OP
Mudrunner
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 270
MI
Quote
Yes, I'm pretty sure you can screw it up. Too much freon can make it work poorly too.


That is what concerned me, I hoped the kit's cans were regulated to not exceed the limits? I'll look into it some more, have not messed with A/Cs since the R12 days in the 70s and 80s.


Jeff
96 T100 SR5 4WD Ext Cab, Warn Hubs, HD torsion bars, Bilsteins, Camper Shell, TJM bar, factory 31 x 10.5's, Powertrax No-slip rear, Recaro driver's bucket
Re: T100 A/C DIY? [Re: jmoser] #899283
08/07/08 05:22 PM
08/07/08 05:22 PM
E
eleet  Offline
Mudrunner
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 447
Orange, VA
Quote
That is what concerned me, I hoped the kit's cans were regulated to not exceed the limits? I'll look into it some more, have not messed with A/Cs since the R12 days in the 70s and 80s.


It is the same thing, the fittings and pressures are different, and you need to get a new set of hoses for your old manifold gauge.

The cheap trigger charging hoses that come with the little kit will get your ac full of air and who knows if the gauge is accurate?

Put a meat thermometer in the dash vent so you can quantify how well it's working. There is a sight glass in the front of the truck on one of the a/c lines. You can eyeball the pressure here.

Re: T100 A/C DIY? [Re: jmoser] #899284
08/08/08 03:29 AM
08/08/08 03:29 AM
foxtrapper  Offline
Body Damage is Cool
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,262
Westminster, MD
You can overcharge, but then you fix that by just bleeding the excess off.

$20-30 kits come with a gauge on the unit. Even come with a trigger to control the flow. They're pretty durn usefull actually.

A thermometer in the vent, a clothes pin to hold the throttle at something like 2000-3000 rpm. Watch the thermometer and a little R134 to see what it does. Maximize the cold, nothing more.

Those systems do a darn good job of holding the R134 in them. Personally, I don't think there is a reason to suspect it's leaked down and lost cooling. Maybe it has, especially if it doesn't feel cold. But they don't inherently need a topping off every few years.


'97 T-100 SR5
'86 Toyota's, the variety pack (all gone)

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