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Old 06-02-2017, 12:07 AM
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Default HF "US General" A/C Gauge/Manifold Sight Glass Repair

Harbor Freight "US General" A/C Gauge/Manifold Sight Glass Repair

I've had this set for about 7 years now. It has worked OK through the years for adding a can of 134 to the various vehicles around here when they need one. Usually a can every 1-2 years. About the only issue used to be that the high side adapter knob doesn't "hold in" the refrigerant when turned out and removed. I'm not about to get a new set for that minor nuisance leak.

Went to use it the other day and needed to install a new can into the piercing tap. This is the kind that pokes a hole in the side of the can--actually works pretty good and doesn't leak. Anyhow, as soon as I pierced the can refrigerant started coming out of the sight glass! Out the door with the gauges to participate in global warming as the gas escaped into the atmosphere... DAMN! There goes $5 into thin air! Watch the video below.

Once the can was empty I brought the gauge set back inside and went to see if I could see if the sight glass was repairable. The retaining "nut" unscrewed by hand so it WAS loose. O-ring inside looked good as did the glass. The glass is about 1/4" thick which I was not expecting.

Took a couple 1/16" drill bits and put them in the nut holes, found a socket that fit just inside the bits (14mm?) and tied it all together with a hose clamp. I was able to get a good 90^ past thumb tight.

Used the gauges right after that to put a can in a car. Went from 50F to 35F as determined by the little stick-in-dash-vent thermometer.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:02 PM
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Wow, a video with sound effects.
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:12 PM
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Sometimes it's the little things like audio that makes a video worthy of youtube. lol
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Old 06-08-2017, 01:38 AM
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I have one set of the blue plastic clip on taps like yours that will surround the can and tap on the sides.

This type has a good rep for when using a partial can and storing it for later use while still hooked up to the gauges.

Comes in handy when I break the heads off things like exh manifold bolts or bleeders on brakes. Drill a hole suitable for an easyout and heat the area with a torch to where it will melt your fingerprints on one finger or another. Once hot I shoot a stream inside that hole using the little red tubes/feeders off cans of WD 40 and shock freeze the fitting or the bolts.

Best way to bust loose corroded rusted threads after years of installation in adverse conditions.

I have to change out 3 exh bolts on my Ram and probably all of those on both exh manifolds of my S-10. definitely a time saver.

Has lots of uses if your not too damn green of course.
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccutter View Post
...participate in global warming as the gas escaped into the atmosphere...
It's an isomer of the same stuff in "canned air." The only reason it's "illegal" to release is because it's a "refrigerant" this time and not a "propellant." Don't give it a second thought.
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