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DIY AC line replacement

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by mr2tim, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. mr2tim

    mr2tim Member

    Dec 21, 2011
    AC low pressure line replacement

    Thanks to member Bob Lincoln, we now know that when your valve for adding more “Freon” begins to leak refrigerant that we owners of PT Cruiser have only the choice to replace the entire line from the condenser (in front of radiator) to the connector atop the pass side inner fender. Thankfully the cost of the pipe from aftermarket suppliers is approx $40.

    Here’s my notes from just completing the replacement:

    >To access the lower connection to the condenser you have to remove the plastic splash shield just inside the pass front tire. (#10MM, 9MM sockets)

    >The condenser line connector, top and bottom is 13MM. Only a wrench fits in the tight area of the condenser. (This is the first connection I installed.)

    >To fit the upper line connector you’ll need to supply a green “O” ring that fits the receiving tube next to the treaded bolt. This is NOT supplied with your new part. Only the lower “O” ring came with my part.

    >To make this upper connection easier I undid the tubes connector just behind the connector itself. This allows you to move the aluminum pipes to fit the new upper line connection. (A must for me.)

    >Replace the lower splash shield.

    *You’ll need to vacuum the system after the repair before adding new R134.


    1. I would suggest that while the splash shield is off that you peek at the thickness of the inner disc brake pad. This pad wears way, way more than all the rest of the brake pads and will save you $ from having to replace the rotor due to damages.
      ( :) don’t ask how I know this :))

    2. You may also wish to inspect the lower motor mount as well. The front rubber circle section (where the bolt goes thru) often breaks/separates. (These are dirt cheap nowadays.)

      I have some pictures of this replacement and if you contact me thru PM we can let you see the items described above.

      Best Regards,

      Mister 2 Tim
      SupercharZed ToyZ RacZing
      A Toyota Race Team since 1987
  2. mr2tim

    mr2tim Member

    Dec 21, 2011
    Wanted to add a note about the upper "O" ring engineering. My research indicated that the green rubber O rings were intended for use in the 134 refrig'd cars. The blacks are found with older R-12, low pressure, equipped cars.

    This PT uses some kind of wacko orange "sealed" washer at that upper hose connection. I used 2 green "O" rings as a sandwich with that washer in the middle when I reassembled. This washers thickness is necessary to add space to allow the attaching nut to effect enuff torque pressure on those O rings to make a high pressure seal.

    (O yeah, I found a cracked rubber on my lower motor mount. Always worth checking!!)
    Dave Z likes this.
  3. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
    Staff Member Supporter

    Jan 23, 2001
    FWIW, no PT Cruiser uses R12... cutoff was 1996, wasn't it? Sometime in that range.

    But your research is right. The dealer mechanic took apart my Valiant a/c because it was losing refrigerant, needing a refill every other year, after a conversion to R134a. Turns out the original mechanic had replaced half the black washers with the green ones. The dealership guy got the rest and it's been working every since.
  4. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
    Level 2 Supporter

    Jul 10, 2002
    Actually, my suggestion was just to replace the O-ring(s) and the Schrader valve core, which would be about $5, and not the line. Not sure if that alone would have stopped your leak.

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