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  • August 04, 2021, 02:42:51 PM

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Author Topic: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?  (Read 127 times)

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Offline jrpentolino

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I'm trying to replacing the high and low side hoses to convert my Eagle to R134. I've got the entire dash out, as well as the steering column (that just got rebuilt), so the only other thing in my way is the pedal assembly. I'm trying to work around that with crow foot wrenches, but nothing I'm doing will break the nut loose on either top or bottom to relieve the hoses from the evaporator.

I know you have to support it with one wrench, while you turn with another. And to that end I've tried every combo of crow foot, open end, and adjustable to try and support it. I've only succeeded in slightly bending the copper plumbing coming out of the evaporator.

I've been stuck on this for two weeks now. I thought pulling the column (which needed to come out eventually anyway) would give me the room to make this easy. But it's like they are super glued in place. There must be a trick or something I'm missing here. Any help would be appreciated. 
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Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2021, 12:43:08 PM »
I've never done an evap job on an Eagle; but on some other cars over the years I've had some luck breaking apart stuck AC stuff by using a small impact gun (air or electric) with a crow foot.  Sometimes all it takes is just a little bit of rattling before it comes loose.  Of course its easy to damage stuff if you have a heavy trigger finger!
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Offline Illeagle1984

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2021, 09:20:52 PM »
I can't see what you're working on, but what are you trying to save?  The evaporator core?  I'd be getting a new one if I was going that far anyway.  Just cut the lines and get the nuts off on the bench if you have to.  Bolt cutters, cutoff wheel, sawzall, or hacksaw can go through that line in no time.

If you need to save something, can you put some heat to it?  I think a MAP gas torch would do, don't have to get it glowing just a little heat to expand the nut can help a lot.  Also if you can get it hot enough to melt some wax into both ends of the nut that may help if heat alone doesn't do it.  A piece of exhaust heat shield from any car can help deflect heat away from meltables/flammables.  Another mechanic trick would be to have a friend very securely hold the crow foot with a long 1/2" ratchet through an adapter with the shortest extension possible.  Then put the open-end wrench on the nut and hit in the loosen direction with a hammer.  Can be used in conjunction with the heat.  Works best if you have good fitting wrenches and strong friends. :)

I hesitate to ask, but I still do it every now and then myself.  Are you going the right way?  If the nut is on the line coming from the engine, it'll be 'backwards.'  Just sayin...

Also, if you're doing a R134a retrofit, I would greatly enjoy a parts list after you've got everything working.  It would save some work when I do mine.
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Offline jrpentolino

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2021, 10:55:19 PM »
Thanks for the tips guys! I want to save the evap core because I can't find a new one. Otherwise, I would buy a new one for sure. If you know where I can source one, that would be great.

The heat did the trick. Didn't take much. Just about two seconds and I tried it and it broke free.

As for a parts list...here you go:

Condensor was flushed and pressure checked by a local rad shop.
New Drier/Accumulator from rockauto.
New expansion valve purchased at O'Reilley.
All three hoses were made new at Hoseman here in Ontario, CA.
Generic R134 Replacement O-Ring Kit
New Sanden 504 Compressor from eBay
I would love to replace the evaporator since I'm in so deep, but I can't find one anywhere.


'82 Eagle SX/4, 4.2L 5 speed - Father / Daughter Build

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2021, 11:13:32 AM »
You may want to take your evaporator to that local rad shop and have them pressure test it.  Glad to hear you got the hoses undone!
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Offline jrpentolino

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2021, 10:04:52 PM »
I sure will. I'll just need to sort out how to get it out of it's plastic box  :rotfl:
'82 Eagle SX/4, 4.2L 5 speed - Father / Daughter Build

Offline jrpentolino

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2021, 11:13:22 PM »
You may want to take your evaporator to that local rad shop and have them pressure test it.  Glad to hear you got the hoses undone!

I pulled the evap housing today. It was pretty straightforward. The evaporator looks to be in good condition, but I'm going to take it to the rad shop tomorrow for cleaning and pressure testing just to be sure.

I'm glad I did in any event because it was filthy inside, complete with dirt, dead wasps and spent .22 casings! So I'm gonna clean that out and put it all back together. Thanks again for the advise vangremlin.
'82 Eagle SX/4, 4.2L 5 speed - Father / Daughter Build

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Can't get the nuts off of the A/C hose to evaporator - any advise?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2021, 04:01:02 PM »
You're welcome!  That is quite the collection you came across in the evaporator housing lol.  Just glad none of the wasps or .22 cartridges were live!!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

 

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