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Hello everyone,
I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7L 2WD.
Last week, in the afternoon, about 95 degrees F with 90% humidity, I turned on the ac and a white mist almost resembling smoke came out of the ac vents. Since there was no odor, and the air was cold blowing it out, I just let the ac keep running. The following day, the air blowing from the vents was noticeably warmer, and I thought I was in trouble for sure. The day after that, the air was no longer being conditioned and it just felt like outside air being blown through the vents.
I put the gauges on thinking I could add some refrigerant, and get back in business. When I hooked the gauges up I immediately noticed that the liquid line where the fixed orifice tube is located was icing up immediately. I also found that my high side pressure was over 400. I decided that the orifice tube must surely be blocked, and went down to autozone and purchased a new liquid line. Once I got the liquid line removed and replaced, I vacuumed the system for a half hour, and then attempted to recharge the system.
This is where things got a little hairy. I turned the blower on low and pushed the button for the ac. The compressor didn't run immediately, because of no refrigerant. I had the can connected to the feeder line from the manifold gauges, and opened the low side to allow the refrigerant to flow. After about 15 seconds the compressor kicked on, and then the can was close to empty. I was going to shut the valve to add another can when BOOOOM!!! :surprise:surprise:surpriseThe liquid line busted loose from the connection on the fender wall where the orifice tube is located, and all the refrigerant I had just loaded came out like a busted water balloon. I looked down and immediately noticed that the line was frozen just like before. I am not sure of the high side pressure. I wish I would have looked.
I am certain both fittings on either side of the liquid line were locked. I checked them multiple times after installing just because I had such a rough time getting them loose. (Hint: push on the opposite side, before sliding in the removal tool)
I am unsure what to do now. Logic tells me to look for a blockage upstream past the orifice tube which would be the evaporator. Replacing that requires removing the dash though. While it would be worthwhile because I have a problem in the mixer box with only full airflow coming to the driver side, and 50% or less to the passenger, that job looks like a real bear. I am not opposed to doing it, but I sure don't want to, and then still have the same problem afterwards. Some other forums I have read say that the condenser being clogged or damaged could lead to extremely high pressures on the high side, but I'm not sure if this is my problem.
My heater core also makes a lot of noise whenenver it receives water I think via the thermostat opening, I will probably replace that at the same time if I have to replace the evaporator.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I put everything away and left it the way it was last night, and drove the other car today, but it also has crappy air conditioning and its hot as hell here in August. :gr_patrio
 

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Im ordering the evaporator, heater core, blend door repair kit, and a new accumulator.
Haynes manual has instructions on taking the dash out, with a diaclaimer about it being a very difficult job for the home mechanic...we'll see.
 
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