The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Victory is Mine!

It was a good day on the South 40. I figured out the problem with the a/c compressor on my Allis Chalmers. I installed the new compressor only to run into a slight problem. It wouldn't circulate freon. I was getting equal pressure readings on both the suction and discharge side. The compressor was turning, but nothing was getting cold. It read 90psi both sides.

I double checked everything and it was hooked up right. Just wasn't compressing. I took it off and carried it back to APE in Haltom City off 121 where I had it rebuilt. They tested it and said everything worked. It looked to them like I didn't add enough oil. I put in 8oz like the counter guy told me and one of the older guys spoke up and said those old style A6 Frigidaire compressors took at least 12oz. So back to the shop, fill with 12oz of PAG46 bolt it back up as fast as I can before the rain started and pulled a vacuum.

I left it overnight to see if there was any leaks and it was still -35psi this morning. A very good sign. I put the vacuum pump back on for a couple of hours to pull any moisture out of the lines. Moisture removal is the main reason for pulling a vacuum on a refrigeration system before charging. 

After a couple hours on the pump, I started adding R-134a. Well, I tried to add R-134a but it still wouldn't take any on the suction side. I was stumped. I called APE back and talked to the tech again. He said I did everything right and it should work. Should being the keyword here. I double checked everything one more time ( more like a quadruple check) and I pushed in on the suction side quick connect. The gauge jumped! What have we here? I pressed in again and saw bubbles in the sightglass. It was taking freon.

 It was the Schrader valve on the suction side of the compressor. For some odd reason it would let me pull vacuum, but wasn't letting anything in. After adding a can and a half, I started the engine. Lo and behold, it was circulating. I added another 3 cans (4 1/2 total and) and it was blowing icicles!

I was so pleased with myself I decided to get up on the roof and try to find the leak that's been the bane of my existence. I installed a metal roof on top of the shingles a couple years ago. It was fine for a while but I started seeing signs of leakage on the ceiling. I resealed all the vents with asphalt, but was still getting leaks.

After slathering another fresh coat on top of everything, I quadruple checked my work. Then I noticed a couple pieces of foam insulation were missing at the top where the cap covers the sheets (thank you, squirrels). I think the wind was blowing rain thru the holes, above the top end of the sheet metal and running back down the corrugation to the original leak. So I really hadn't stopped the leak, just given it a much longer path. A healthy dose of asphalt in the gap and hopefully, problem solved.

2 for 2? Not quite. There was a pretty big let down today.

While pulling the vacuum on the tractor,  I looked through Craigslist for a hay cutter and found a really nice one only a few years old that was listed just 16 minutes ago and priced at $1000. Early bird gets the worm, that's Garage Sale cheap! If everything was in good shape it was worth around $8,000. Their preferred method of contact was text so I sent one asking where it was and if everything worked. After several minutes they texted me back and said yes, everything worked and it was in Bowie. I texted back and asked if I could see it. I waited a few minutes but no reply.

I decided to go ahead and call instead of waiting on the text. A girl answered and I told her I was the one who had texted her about the cutter. "I've got it sold." It had been listed less than half an hour. That's what I get for texting. Should have went ahead and called while I was still the early bird. I have been trying to convince myself there was something seriously wrong with it because it was so cheap.

Oh well, at least I'll be enjoying a frosty cool tractor cab. Victory is indeed mine.

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