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8 billions posts later and there still isn't really an accurate description of where the low side port is. That being said i'm gonna go find this bad boy, fill er up and take a picture !
 

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jlooper said:
I was able to recharge my a/c with the help of my father. For everyone looking to recharge your a/c without spending your hard earned money I am sure the following tip will help.

Before continuing you will need the following:

R-134a Service Kit that includes R-134a canister, color-coded pressure guage, and valve assembly. (Can be purchased at Wal-Mart or any auto-store).

Where is the service port?
To better explain where the low-side service port is you will need to be sitting in front of the forward wheel on the passenger side. As you are facing the wheel, look to the right of the wheel where the protective side wall is firmly placed. There a screws holding the side wall in. In the trucking industry the forward flaps are called "splash guards" and the rear flaps are called "mudflaps". In order to recharge your a/c you need to remove the "splash guards" or at least pry it open to get behind it. You see some screws that require a special screw driver in order to remove them. That special screw driver is called a torx bit. Once you remove the torx screw you will be to pry open the splash guard and see that the freon reservoir and service port is located just behind the wall.

Follow the directions that came with your kit and presto you got cool air again!

Okay, you nailed it, i was just too dumb to look that high because I didn't jack up the car, but I managed to do it by just cutting the wheel and pulling the inner fender back. Heres a good shot if it helps anyone. The plastic plug if you lose it, is 8mmx1
btw, this is on a 01 zx3 manual tranny.

heres a shot beneath the passenger side inner fender.


and heres a shot of the gauged results of my car when it was blowing hot air.



and a big note that the kit doesn't really tell you I feel is very important. A matter of a tiny turn of that gauge will severely increase the pressure in between compressor cycles so keep your eye right on that bad boy. the only other thing its it's a little bit of a pain to tip the can upside down if you're using a big can and you still have the inner fender attached.

edit: opps, sorry for the huge ass pics, but hope it helps. [8D]
 

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"its it's a little bit of a pain to tip the can upside down "

I seem to recall from the last time I did this that you are not suppose to tip the can upside down, as this can cause liquid refrigerant to enter the system and potentially do the equivalent of hydrolock on the compressor.

Perhaps this kit is different in some way from the traditional recharge kits?
 

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let me read that bad boy again, cuz i'm pretty sure it said to make sure and tip it to help it thru...I would think with the compressor cycling it would be okay....not sure tho.
 

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you are exactly correct you can't put the hose on the high side port it's larger for a reason. very nice of the industry to make it dummy proof. cause with the old r-12 systems both ports were the same and people did get hurt by the can exploding when they put it on the high side.
 

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While I am sure just about anything can be done, and someone will probably explain how you can charge the A/C using an upside down spindoodle with a fresnel fitting without running the engine, the accepted practice is that the engine should be running when you recharge the system.
 

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If your ac is very low you will hear the compressor continuously coming on and trying cycle, while as you fill it you will notice it is not coming on as much, that or it is staying on...I can't remember. It's not like your anywhere where you may lose a hand or anything, unless your @$$hole friend is in the car messing with you, or you removed any guards.
 

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ill have to try recharging it with the motor running. i found it may be possible to attach the hose by removing the headlight and reaching it.
 

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On automotive A/C systems, the compressor will not run if the refrigerant pressure is too low. As a result, if the level is too low, the compressor will not run and it will be difficult to charge the system. I am not sure how the Focus system specifcally works, but on my Ford Explorer, I had to jumper the low-pressure cut out switch so that I could run the compressor while it was being recharged.

Check your instructions, as typically this is discussed in them.
 

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I removed the passenger headlight to get to the service port. When I replaced my headlights I didn't replace the bolt that was on the lower side so removing them isn't really a big deal. My compressor still clicks on a lot but the A/C now seems quite colder since I filled the refrigerant. Maybe that's just the way the compressor works. I'm glad I did this myself and didn't take it in to have it done. I think I would have been disappointed with the results if I had to shell out a lot of cash for it.
 

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you shouldnt be just dumping the entire can in. r-134a is much more tempermental than r-12 so its important to have the correct amount of refrigerant in the system. too much refrigerant in the system is just as bad as not enough. its impossible to know how much is in there without a complete dump and recharge but you can look up the numbers for what the low and high sides should be reading. maybe someone with a focus service manual can look it up. gauges for the low and high ports can be picked up at any automotive store. i got mine a harbor freight for 11 dollars.
 

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Sounds like you just need a recharge, as you are trying to do. I'm sure somebody has a Chilton's and can look it up for you. I keep meaning to buy one but can't seem to remeber when I'm in the right place. I bought the service maual on Cd on ebay, but now can't find it... Figures... first time I would have had a "real reason" to use it...
Good Luck [thumb]

www.helm.com has the factory service manuals if you are interested but they are not cheaper, bumper to bumper about $160, in 1994 for a Ford Taurus it was about 64 donaro.

Gerald
 

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This has been a very interesting thread.
NO! Do not try to fill the high side, ever. There is no benefit and unless you have the correct gages, you can't do it anyway.
Yes! Run the engine and turn the A/C on high when charging. The compressor will not be running (clutch engaged and spinning) if the coolant is too low, but you may have a bad pressure switch also which would cause you to overcharge the system waiting for the pressure to throw the switch and engage the clutch.
Unless you know what you are doing, let the pros handle your A/C service.

I am looking for data on the pressures for the 05 zx4. Does anyone know where they might be listed for free? The Chilton's does not show them. And I only have them for up to 1999 vehicles in my A/C manual.
 

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It would be wise to actually find & repair the leak, or you'll be doing the refill procedure over and over.
 

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Well now, after reading this thread I now know why you people have so much a/c trouble.

The lowside port is on TOP of the accumulator which is under the passenger fender, you do NOT have to take off any parts to get to it. You MUST however have long enough charging hose to allow you to work on it without laying down.

NEVER charge through the highside. Only an idiot does that. I know someone who lost 3 fingers doing so. The can has 70-80 psi in it and the highside can easily be 300 psi, what do you think the can will do? Short answer=explode.

If you would put a highside gauge on instead of thinking you are doing it 'correctly', you'd see what happens when you turn the can upside down to get liquid, the gauge goes spastic with uncontrolled pressure spikes, good way to tear up your compressor.

You cannot properly charge a system using just the one lowside gauge, thinking so just makes you look silly. They make kits like that to keep from getting sued into bankruptcy, seeing the responses here it becomes crystal clear they made the right decision. Same reason for the highside having different bigger size fittings. To protect you from yourself.

The motor needs to be running while charging so active low pressure suction helps you to evacuate the can.

If you have suddenly lost your cooling, please get a check for leaks in the system before you recharge it. You may very likely save a bundle doing so, most times you have sprung a leak. I used to watch all day long people pour that stuff in to the tune of $60-$70 at a time before they came to grips with the fact it was all leaking right back out.

Don't overfill thinking you are making it better, any coolant beyond what system needs just makes the cooling drop right back off. Of course you WILL be overfilling since the one gauge method does not clearly indicate when to stop charging like 2 gauges will.

Look here. The lowside will show the same 25-50 sweep with the highside at say 150 that it will with the highside at 250. See why you can't use the lowside to properly fill? The HIGHSIDE determines whether system is full.

When the system is totally empty you must charge it up to at least around 25 psi before the clutch comes on and starts cycling.

Here's hoping you vacuumed the thing down, any air left in carries water that freezes across the restriction to make it stop and go cool. Works for a minute then stops, starts again when the ice melts only to freeze again. You can make a cheap pump out of a small room a/c unit that still has a good compressor in it. What I've used for years, while not ideal like a $400 pump, it works good enough and cost me nothing. It can be used for free leak checks too.

The lowside reads from 25-50 give or take a few. It needs to sweep up and down through that range. At 25 compressor comes on, 50 off. Doesn't have to be exact just close. The highside needs to read what the freon temp chart says for the day's temp. I do mine a lot past 90 degrees and usually end up with anywhere from 275-300+. I find that past 90 degrees, if you closely watch compressor, it will stop cycling off/on and start to stay on all the time at idle, I go slightly past that point, usually the highside will be about right. It MUST cycle on/off though when the engine speed is raised up to like 2000-2500 or so.
 

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American, the '99 model pressure figures should be real close to later stuff. Operating pressures really stay fairly constant. The gas pressure chart is for ALL vehicles as long as you are using correct refrigerant and factoring in temp/humidity. I wouldn't hesitate to use them. You're really looking for a combo of things happening at once, clutch cycling correctly, inside car temp, close to correct highside, and lowside properly sweeping up/down. 5 or 10 pounds off one way or another on highside is not an error if all things are happening right. Simply adding more oil can easily tilt numbers since the oil amount needs to be very close but no way to know where you are once some leaks out.
 
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