Recommendation needed. Road trip break down. AC repair Florida panhandle.

Raul

Adventurer
All year waiting to take two weeks of and hit the road. First day the high pressure line of the AC blows up as we are entering Louisiana. Saturday afternoon of course. The only thing open is Firestone. Check a couple of them along the road and decided to drive to New Orleans and have them fix it. Now not only have to wait until Monday but the repair is climbing close to $3000.
I decided to travel early morning to Panama City our next destination and since our plan was to spend two days there, find a local shop to fix it.

Can anybody recommend an AC shop in or around Panama City?

As a temporary patch. I tried getting a 3000w inverter to run a portable AC while running the van, but didn’t work. As I was crusssing around to find all that, the temperature inside the van reached 110 F while driving.

Thanks
 

Raul

Adventurer
Yep, I was willing to pay some premium if I was going to get it fix over the weekend, but the situation was reaching a level of the Twilight Zone.

I am at the waiting area of “Precision Tune Auto Care”. Decent Google reviews and they have picked up the van quickly. Let’s se what they propose.
 

Raul

Adventurer
Van is being repaired. It should be ready tomorrow. I was quoted for $900 to replace the busted hose, new dryer, expansion valve, refill. Since labor is a big chunk, I decided to gel also the low pressure hose and new compressor for about $1500. This is what I was getting form Firestone at $2800 and climbing.
We will see what we get tomorrow.
 

eblau

Adventurer
good call on the compressor, might as well cover as many components at once while it's opened up rather than running into more problems down the road with repeated evacuation/recharge cost
 

Deshet

Adventurer
If you run into problems like this in the future "Parker hose" is all around the country some have Saturday hours. They can custom make any hose. They don't install but the hose is very reasonable. (<$100)
Did you have an impact that caused your damage?
 

Raul

Adventurer
The problem was not the hose itself. I could get one in 24 hrs from Amazon. It’s the installation and specially the vacuum and refill of the system.
It happens on the highway. It may rub against something or just old (222k miles )
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
In a pinch I have purged most of the air from a system with a quick burst of 134a. Then roughly filled it by weight. That will get you ~80% performance. Auto stores will have loaner gauge sets and vacuum pumps for a better job sometimes. With Rapid refrigerant loss (oil everywhere) you may need to add a few oz of oil to the line before proceeding.
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
In a pinch I have purged most of the air from a system with a quick burst of 134a...With Rapid refrigerant loss (oil everywhere) you may need to add a few oz of oil to the line before proceeding.
Once used the belt-driven vacuum pump on a PSD to evacuate its own AC system after a failed (read: the cap was left off and it got damaged/full of crap) Schrader valve released the 134a. Used the valve core from a bicycle tube. Hoses to the pump were a total cluster but sealing a vacuum is easier than positive pressure. Since the depth of vacuum was dubious, I just held it for way longer than normal. Flooded the charge hose and wore an oven mitt to connect it. I'm sure it was "wrong" but it got us out of baja on max a/c. The heat wasn't nearly as big of an issue as traveling with the windows down in the dust was while the a/c was broken.
 

Raul

Adventurer
And we are back without AC. As we were getting close to the TX border, the AC went out. We just stopped at a truck stop and bought a gauge/can to refill the system if there was a leak. Turned out the low side is way above maximum pressure.

Eight hours without AC to finish our two weeks trip.

I am guessing the expansion valve got clogged but then, RT he low pressure side should not be pressurized....
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Hard to say, but if all the lines are hot (heated by engine heat) the system pressure could easily be 100psi.. At 100F, the vapor pressure of 134A is 125PSI. I would guess your compressor cut out (clutch, wiring, over pressure, bad trinary switch). It could also be a plugged up screen (if ford uses one before the TXV).
 
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