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#1502719 - 06/22/08 04:47 PM Hole in my AC condenser - solder it?
mattt1986 Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/18/04
Posts: 948
OK so I found my AC leak - a pinpoint hole in my AC condenser (the 'radiator' looking thing). Like most problems on my car, it was my fault (let's just say I used a screw that was a bit too long). I would prefer not to replace the whole thing but I read somewhere that you could use a special silver solder to fix the hole. Does anybody have any suggestions on if this is a good idea? (Keep in mind here that I am looking to keep costs low and won't really be crushed if the fix doesn't work, so I would prefer to stay away from repair $hops).

Thanks,
Matt
_________________________
1997 Crown Vic PI. Purchased 2004 w/ 70,000 miles. Sold 2009 w/ 150,000 miles. New Ride: 2007 Chevy Impala SS. Stock, fast and front wheel drive.

You can visit my company website at [url=www.printnorthstar.com]www.printnorthstar.com[/url]
We are a marketing company in the Chicago area providing printing, business cards, notepads, letterhead, promotional items, screenprinted tshirts, embroidered polos, golf balls and more.

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#1502830 - 06/22/08 06:58 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: mattt1986]
Fordiesel69 Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 4400
Loc: Erie, PA
There is an epoxy they sell at home & commerical heating & A/C distributors. Most of them require you to have an account except RE Michael company if you have one close. Anyways, it is designed for aluminium tube condensors on trane brand equipment. It may work for a car as well. Give it a shot, if it doesn't work, by all means you know the answer.

There is no economical way to "solder" an aluminum condensor.
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rant2 ******Need your heater core replaced? Click Here******rant2
-'99 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.55 Trac-Loc(DK), Cloth Interior, Black Honeycomb Grill, Black PI Trunk Bezel, Silverstars, 183K
-'00 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.55 (R2), Cloth Interior, Black PI Trunk Bezel, 03+ Full Wheel Covers, Silverstars, 115K
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior, Smokestone Metallic, 96K / 249 Hrs
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior, Black, 133K / 1643 Hrs
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior w/ Carpet, Norsea Blue, 157K / 597 Hrs
-'07 F-150 4x4 - Extended Cab, 3.55's, White w/ Grey interior, 167K
-'14 Fusion S - 160K

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#1502883 - 06/22/08 07:39 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: Fordiesel69]
Frankie4speed Offline
Frankie the Fighter
Climber

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 554
Loc: AZ
cut away the fins around the hole.cut a small square of thin rubber.find a hose clamp that will fit over the tube and the rubber.mix epoxy,spread on hole,cover with rubber patch and hose clamp.i't won't be pretty but it will hold .
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#1502896 - 06/22/08 08:04 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: Frankie4speed]
CrashD1n3r Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 275
Loc: Qc, Canada
Yes, you can repair it from the outside. While this is generally not recommanded, it will hold the pressure without any problem. As FD69 stated, you need the refrigeration epoxy from a supplier. Remove the fins around the hole like Frankie said then use sand paper to get it rough. **REALLY IMPORTANT** Use deposit-less solvant to clean the tube to remove ANY oil. If you leave a tiny bit of oil, the epoxy will fail. Also, you will also need to remove the high side valve core while it is curing or else pressure will build up in the condenser when the ambiant temperature change and it will either suck it in or push it out depending on the temperature.

I don't know what equipment you have but you will need to evacuate the whole system with a vacuum pump for many hours to remove any moisture present in the system because of the removed valve core. Yes, you could simply fill the system back up, but you could also buy a new compressor ;\) Good luck with that and remember to let it cure at least 24h before working on it.
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'03 white CVPI with 66 Miles
J-Modded
'01 white CVPI with 130 Miles
J-Modded
'98 is gone!

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#1503058 - 06/22/08 11:27 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: CrashD1n3r]
Fordiesel69 Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 4400
Loc: Erie, PA
 Originally Posted By: CrashD1n3r
Yes, you can repair it from the outside. While this is generally not recommanded, it will hold the pressure without any problem. As FD69 stated, you need the refrigeration epoxy from a supplier. Remove the fins around the hole like Frankie said then use sand paper to get it rough. **REALLY IMPORTANT** Use deposit-less solvant to clean the tube to remove ANY oil. If you leave a tiny bit of oil, the epoxy will fail. Also, you will also need to remove the high side valve core while it is curing or else pressure will build up in the condenser when the ambiant temperature change and it will either suck it in or push it out depending on the temperature.

I don't know what equipment you have but you will need to evacuate the whole system with a vacuum pump for many hours to remove any moisture present in the system because of the removed valve core. Yes, you could simply fill the system back up, but you could also buy a new compressor ;\) Good luck with that and remember to let it cure at least 24h before working on it.


Yes, the vacuum part cannot be left out. After it cures it will take 2-6 hours to dry the moisture out. If you have POE oil or PAG, you should dump it and use fresh as it will be saturated.
_________________________
rant2 ******Need your heater core replaced? Click Here******rant2
-'99 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.55 Trac-Loc(DK), Cloth Interior, Black Honeycomb Grill, Black PI Trunk Bezel, Silverstars, 183K
-'00 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.55 (R2), Cloth Interior, Black PI Trunk Bezel, 03+ Full Wheel Covers, Silverstars, 115K
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior, Smokestone Metallic, 96K / 249 Hrs
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior, Black, 133K / 1643 Hrs
-'08 Crown Vic Police Interceptor (SAP), 3.27, Cloth Interior w/ Carpet, Norsea Blue, 157K / 597 Hrs
-'07 F-150 4x4 - Extended Cab, 3.55's, White w/ Grey interior, 167K
-'14 Fusion S - 160K

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#1503474 - 06/23/08 01:53 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: Fordiesel69]
mattt1986 Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/18/04
Posts: 948
OK thanks for the advice all. I don't have a vacuum pump so I suppose I will just go without AC, it hasn't been a very hot summer anyways. Thanks!
_________________________
1997 Crown Vic PI. Purchased 2004 w/ 70,000 miles. Sold 2009 w/ 150,000 miles. New Ride: 2007 Chevy Impala SS. Stock, fast and front wheel drive.

You can visit my company website at [url=www.printnorthstar.com]www.printnorthstar.com[/url]
We are a marketing company in the Chicago area providing printing, business cards, notepads, letterhead, promotional items, screenprinted tshirts, embroidered polos, golf balls and more.

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#1503580 - 06/23/08 04:49 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: mattt1986]
Frankie4speed Offline
Frankie the Fighter
Climber

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 554
Loc: AZ
matt,try doing it the way i said.don't dump the charge.you can probably get better access by removing the grill.put the patch on like i said.even under pressure.the epoxy,rubberpatch and hose clamp will seal the leak. if you haven't lost the full charge.you won't need a vacume pump.just add more gas . if you did loose the charge,the pump will be needed.
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#1505520 - 06/26/08 12:13 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: Frankie4speed]
mattt1986 Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/18/04
Posts: 948
Oh, Frankie, there is no charge. They system is completely empty, this is definitely not just a slow leak. I'm going to seal it up today then take it to a local shop that I know won't gouge me for a pump out and refill. But I am going to las vegas this weekend (woo hoo!) so that will happen next week.

I will let you all know what happens!!
_________________________
1997 Crown Vic PI. Purchased 2004 w/ 70,000 miles. Sold 2009 w/ 150,000 miles. New Ride: 2007 Chevy Impala SS. Stock, fast and front wheel drive.

You can visit my company website at [url=www.printnorthstar.com]www.printnorthstar.com[/url]
We are a marketing company in the Chicago area providing printing, business cards, notepads, letterhead, promotional items, screenprinted tshirts, embroidered polos, golf balls and more.

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#1514847 - 07/10/08 06:22 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: mattt1986]
mattt1986 Offline
Climber

Registered: 05/18/04
Posts: 948
And the verdict is...IT WORKED!!! I used JB weld...sanded down the area around the hole (which was about 1/16 diameter), cleaned it with acetone, and patched the hole. I let it dry about 5 days (mainly because I went out of town), and had it serviced and refilled. Ice cold. I was unable to get a reinforcing clamp around the patch because the epoxy dripped down a bit, but it seems to be holding very well. We'll see what happens in the future...but for now, not bad!


Edited by mattt1986 (07/10/08 06:23 PM)
Edit Reason: Clarifying
_________________________
1997 Crown Vic PI. Purchased 2004 w/ 70,000 miles. Sold 2009 w/ 150,000 miles. New Ride: 2007 Chevy Impala SS. Stock, fast and front wheel drive.

You can visit my company website at [url=www.printnorthstar.com]www.printnorthstar.com[/url]
We are a marketing company in the Chicago area providing printing, business cards, notepads, letterhead, promotional items, screenprinted tshirts, embroidered polos, golf balls and more.

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#1515805 - 07/11/08 07:05 PM Re: Hole in my AC condenser - solder it? [Re: mattt1986]
Marqed_Man Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 3576
Loc: il
congrats man!!! \:D
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2004 LIncoln Town Car - Dark Charcoal Metalic. Motor has 82K miles. The rest of her has 290K miles. Past owner didnt take care of her. Im bringing her back to exceptional condition

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