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Thread: stuck a/c lines

  1. #1
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    Default stuck a/c lines

    I consider myself a fairly competent shade tree mechanic. I even studied auto mechanics at a tech school, but didn't quite graduate. Now I decided to tackle changing out the a/c in my truck. All the refrigerant was gone, so I didn't have to get a recovery unit, but I did go out and spend nearly 500 buck on parts and equipment (gauges, vaccuum pump, compressor, and accumulator, etc...) I've prepped by watching a couple of hours on youtube to remind me of the process, and then I can't break the darn a/c lines loose to remove the orifice tube! My question is whether the threads are left handed, and any possible suggestions for breaking the line loose without messing up the line. Oh, also the guy at the auto part told me there are 2 orifice tubes on the system, is this true? Thanks. Steve

  2. #2

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    no they are not left handed might try to soak em with some wd 40 i had hell breaking mine loose.steel to alum seiges up when you get them to break work them back and forth the alum seems to strip the threads

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply, I bathed then in penetrating lube. When the sun comes up I'll go try it again...since you've obviously done this before I might ask, "Do the male and the female both rotate? Are either one of them in a fixed position?" I'd hate to go ahead and put some muscle into breaking loose something that's not supposed to turn. Thank you in advance for the advice.

  4. #4

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    You didn't indicate the year and model of your truck, so I'll try to be generally accurate. Most of the time, the big nut (female) will turn on the line. The small nut (male) could be molded on the line, but you can tell by looking. Use good quality line wrenches and pull as straight as you can. As KW said, it's probably just rusted where the steel and aluminum go together. I've worked on a lot of Chevy trucks (used to be a dealer tech for 20+ years) and have never seen one with 2 orifice tubes. That would be counter-productive.
    Good Luck and God Bless
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  5. #5

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    They shouldn't both rotate. There may be a wrench fitting on both ends of the line where they come together. This is so you can hold the line while putting pressure on the nut without bending or kinking it. They shouldn't be so tight or seized that you can't break them loose.

    If you have rear air, you might have an expansion valve for the rear, but I have never seen two orifice tubes. When replacing your orifice tube, do a search for an orifice valve instead. I used a valve on my Express conversion van and it keeps the A/C temp lower at traffic lights. My van has non-factory rear air. Makes it really nice in the hot summer months with a van filled with kids!
    Last edited by moogvo; 06-07-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default 98 chevy 1500

    Quote Originally Posted by Revredneck View Post
    You didn't indicate the year and model of your truck, so I'll try to be generally accurate. Most of the time, the big nut (female) will turn on the line. The small nut (male) could be molded on the line, but you can tell by looking. Use good quality line wrenches and pull as straight as you can. As KW said, it's probably just rusted where the steel and aluminum go together. I've worked on a lot of Chevy trucks (used to be a dealer tech for 20+ years) and have never seen one with 2 orifice tubes. That would be counter-productive.
    Good Luck and God Bless
    Thanks for the reply, I posted on the technical forum that I had finally gotten it working...I had forgotten to put the high pressure switch onto the back of the compressor, so thats why I had to jump the compressor to add refrigerant...turns out that the schreider valve on the low side was leaking, so that explains why I thought I had a seal when it held vacuum for 2 hours, the gauge lines held the leak. Regarding the orifice tube issue, the guy at the autozone had me confused. There are 2 CHOICES for orifice tubes, 1 is around 2 dollars, and then there is an "adjustable" orifice tube (I don't know how it works) that cost 22 dollars. The stuck lines nearly was an issue, as I twisted the line the OT was in and nearly wasn't able to get it back into shape to replace the OT. The larger female nut indeed was the one that rotated. I need to invest in a good set of line wrenches if I ever want to do that again. I did wind up going to a pro to reclaim what I had put in, replace the valve on the low side, install a new high pressure switch, and put 2 lbs back in. All in all, I may have only saved a hundred bucks or so by doing it myself, but I do have a couple of new tools, and a learning experience. Now I may tackle my Buick! (But that's another forum) Thanks for the help! Steve

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