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Old 08-26-2007, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Recharging A/C on a 2003 Wrangler?

I finally bought the Wrangler I've been wanting. It's in good shape, but has a few things that need to be fixed. Among them is the A/C, which doesn't blow any colder than the regular "air" option with the dial set to cold. The radiator is clean, excluding however many bugs I picked up between Jersey and Vermont, so I'm thinking the unit may need a recharge (and, if so, will also probably need to have a leak fixed as the refrigerant didn't disappear on its own).

I bought a recharging kit with a test gauge in it but the instructions are rather limited. Is there anyone who has charged an A/C unit on a 2003 Wrangler who could give me some details on how to proceed?

..yes, I know it's a Jeep. Yes, I know I can take the top off. I want my air conditioning to work anyway.

Any replies not in conflict with the above three mentionings will be appreciated.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the A/C compressor running?...
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am NOT an AC person. This is how I did my system on my 98 Sprot. First thing to do is to determine if compressor is running. Usually compressor will "short Cycle" when low on refrigerant (click on, and off on very regular basis). The recharge kit will only work on the proper AC line connection. Run engine, turn AC to high and cold, after you connect the R-134 can to AC line, increase RPM of engine slightly. Gauge on recharge kit will probably be going wild until you get enough refrigerant to level it out. Then it simply becomes a matter of filling system to bring pressure upto pressure on gauge that relates to current outside temps. Now it's time to find that leak, you will want to check all connections and the "O ring" connections in the AC lines. Your Jeep is real new to have O Ring issues I would think, but that doesn't mean you don't have these issues, so check them out.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am NOT an AC person. This is how I did my system on my 98 Sprot. First thing to do is to determine if compressor is running. Usually compressor will "short Cycle" when low on refrigerant (click on, and off on very regular basis). The recharge kit will only work on the proper AC line connection. Run engine, turn AC to high and cold, after you connect the R-134 can to AC line, increase RPM of engine slightly. Gauge on recharge kit will probably be going wild until you get enough refrigerant to level it out. Then it simply becomes a matter of filling system to bring pressure upto pressure on gauge that relates to current outside temps. Now it's time to find that leak, you will want to check all connections and the "O ring" connections in the AC lines. Your Jeep is real new to have O Ring issues I would think, but that doesn't mean you don't have these issues, so check them out.

sounds good, i'm not an AC expert either

just to help clarify for LITTLEJEEP, check to see if the compressor is working. with engine running and AC on, pop the hood and look at the compressor. is the clutch spinning? that's the center portion of the compressor. it should be spinning with AC on. it will click on and off as the required temp is achieved in the cockpit. as mentioned, the clutch will click on and off quite rapidly if the freon is low.

if the clutch is working then you can proceed with the next step. i have a guage that hooks up to the LOW pressure side of the system. the fitting will only fit the LOW pressure side as a safety precaution anyways. check the pressure with your guage and read the instructiona as to what range it should be in. mine has colors: blue/green/yellow/red.

anyway, if you decide to add freon, do so and see if it sucks the can empty. one of the lines in the system should start to get cold and so should the AC blowing in the cab. and BTW, the AC has to be ON and on MAX cool while adding freon.

you can buy freon with an oil additive to help lubricate the o-rings etc. not a bad idea. you can also buy some dye that will detect leaks but i never used that shit. i just add a little freon when my camaro starts bto blow not-so-cold-air and works for me

good luck, and just think how much money you be saving doing the work yourself
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If the clutch is not turning-you need to jump the hot wire on the clutch. Run a jumper to the non-ground wire to temporarily engage the clucth (usually red, green or blue)-this will allow the suction required to add R134a to the low pressure side. The low pressure side is usually the larger diameter line, and your recharge kit will only fit on the smaller quick connect fitting found on the low pressure side.

Once you have 1-2 cans in an empty system-the compressor should cylce without the jumper. If it does not-check the system pressure. You have a low and high pressure switch, so if the pressure is too low or too high-the comrpessor clutch will not engage.

It is also recommended to add a new drier anytime the AC system has been totally dry or open to ambient air (new AC system added or disconnected for a long epriod of time).
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Old 08-30-2007, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is also recommended to add a new drier anytime the AC system has been totally dry or open to ambient air (new AC system added or disconnected for a long epriod of time).
Following this thread because I just swapped in AC to my TJ but haven't charged it yet. Which is the dryer? I have the pump, lines, condensor, evaporator (in HVAC housing) and accumulator. If it's the evaporator and it needs to come out again I'm going to be really annoyed.

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Old 08-30-2007, 07:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The accumulator should have a filter and desicant in it. You need to have a vacuum put on your system to remove all of the moisture and check for leaks before you charge it.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That sounds like it's more in line with what I was thinking. And it's only about $30 as quoted from a local shop.

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