Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Dash air conditioner conditioner leaking oil
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 > Dash air conditioner conditioner leaking oil

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GrampaR123

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Posted: 05/10/18 05:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My dash air conditioning compressor is leaking a small amount of oil from the area of the pulley. It's still working but obviously this isn't good. My question is: Can it "seize" at some point? We are due to leave next month for a 3400 mile trip and I'm not sure whether I have to get it fixed before we leave or not. Average estimates for repairs are about $1700.
We bought the rig new, it now has about 71,000 miles. Most of those miles have been trouble free except for a blown spark plug last year.
Thanks in advance for any opinions/advice.
31 foot 2002 Bounder, Ford chassis, Triton V10 engine.

Ranger Smith

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Posted: 05/10/18 06:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it is leaking near the pulley the seal is probably going bad. Running it like that on a 3400 mile trip is something I would not take a chance on. If the bearing fails you are stranded on the side of the road.


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Cobra21

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Posted: 05/10/18 06:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it is leaking refrigerant oil it should also be leaking freon. When it gets lower on freon it will most likely shut down the compressor. Then it shouldn't cool or damage the compressor.
Brian

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 05/10/18 06:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GrampaR123,

What Brian said is true. The refrigerant is leaking too and eventually the low-pressure switch will prevent the compressor clutch from engaging and the compressor won't run. Or, you could just disconnect the wire going to the clutch to let it free-wheel all of the time.

However, if you're unfortunate enough to have your compressor clutch seize as we were about 5 years back (5 miles from the campground, 250 miles from home), then the compressor will always be turning and without oil & refrigerant in the system, the compressor will destroy itself and you will be stranded on the side of the road once that happens.

You should probably get it fixed before the trip as your dash A/C can cut out at any time, and I'd assume you'd want it working for your trip. You can somewhat compensate by running your generator & roof A/C, but it will still get warm up front in the heat of the day.

On our rig (GM 8.1 engine), someone on a different RV forum had posted a procedure & part numbers that allowed me to change out the serpentine belt to a slightly shorter one, change the idler pulley, and reroute the belt around the compressor. I was able to do this in the campground to get home and then work on changing out the compressor when I had the time at home. I don't know if such a work around is available with the Ford V10.

But, a new compressor is in your future regardless if you want the dash A/C to work, so you might as well have it done. A compressor change is not that difficult if you have the tools & refrigerant to do the job. The compressor is probably 2-3 hundred bucks and the vacuum pump, gauge set & refrigerant is probably another $300 or so.

Good Luck!

~Rick


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jyrostng

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Posted: 05/10/18 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

They used to just change the seal.


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fourmat

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Posted: 05/10/18 08:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can either disconnect the compressor if you don't need the A/C or get it fixed Don't run that far with it the way it is


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IBcarguy

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Posted: 05/10/18 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cobra21 wrote:

If it is leaking refrigerant oil it should also be leaking freon. When it gets lower on freon it will most likely shut down the compressor. Then it shouldn't cool or damage the compressor.
Brian


X2 - this is correct

hypoxia

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Posted: 05/10/18 08:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ranger Smith wrote:

If the bearing fails you are stranded on the side of the road.

The clutch bearing is not associated with the oil or refrigerant in the system. It is a seperate component mounted in the clutch assembly.

Loss of refrigerant or oil will have NO effect on the operation of the bearing.

A leaking front seal will cause loss of refrigerant resulting in the low pressure switch disengaging the clutch. No damage will occur.


Jim

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jyrostng

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Posted: 05/10/18 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You say it leaks a SMALL amount, how small? If you can see wetness from oil it's too much, If you just see a dry line of residue from the pulley on the engine cover, it could last for years.

jyrostng

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Posted: 05/10/18 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IBcarguy wrote:

Cobra21 wrote:

If it is leaking refrigerant oil it should also be leaking freon. When it gets lower on freon it will most likely shut down the compressor. Then it shouldn't cool or damage the compressor.
Brian


X2 - this is correct


The bearing has nothing to do with the clutch, it's mounted inside the pulley separate from the clutch, whenever the pulley turns, the bearing turns also. When the bearing is going bad, it makes noise, even with the compressor clutch not engaged. a separate issue from a oil leak

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