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Discussion Starter #1
OK, got a 2008 6.1 SRT8 - Factory AC Compressor locked up and fried the clutch. The local dealer replaced it and charged it under warranty and the new compressor (new Compressor number 1) popped with the same issue a week later. So again a new AC Compressor (new Compressor number 2) was ordered and replaced and system charged at a different dealer since I was out of town. I put a set of gauge on and it was reading 55psi low side and 325psi high side (outside temp 92 degrees) and the clutch cycled - system cooled to 47 degrees. It worked for about a week and a half. So tonight new Compressor number 2 died with the same symptoms. Going to the first dealer yet again in the AM. Anyone out there have a clue as to what the issue is? I still think there is debris in the lines from the factory compressor - but dealer number two says they flushed the lines... :fight:

any ideas?:werd:
 

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It sounds like the compressor seized. That is one of the worst failures an A/C system can experience. When that happens the internal components can break or spall, sending small fragments of metal throughout the system. If all of those small metal fragments are not cleaned out, they WILL make their way back to the new compressor and kill it.

Modern A/C systems use microchannel condensers and either microchannel or plate/fin evaporators. The internals of those components have small cross sections which can "hold" metal fragments, even after flushing. The only way to truly repair that type of system (after a compressor failure) is a complete replacement of the entire A/C system. Eventually those small metal fragments will find their way back to the compressor. In-line filters can be effective if the failure is caught soon enough (especially with orifice tube systems, which have their own built in filters), but they can become clogged, rendering the system ineffective.

I have been an automotive refrigerant systems engineer (now a system engineering design manager) for over 20 years. In my opinion, your entire system is contaminated and needs to be replaced. They may be able to flush the lines, but not the condenser, evaporator, receiver/accumulator, txv/orifice tube. It needs to be replaced lock-stock-barrel.

A seized compressor is a DISASTER for an A/C system. Replacing a seized compressor in a dirty system only adds contamination when the contamination causes the new compressor to blow up.

We try to design systems to protect - prevent the compressor from blowing up. We don't want to replace the entire system. Its a very expensive fix. It sounds like it's too late for your system. Your dealer should replace the entire system under warranty. The debris from the first failed compressor rendered the other components un-servicable. You CANNOT reliably flush microchannel heat exchangers clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mike67 - my SRT8 is at a Dealer in Austin as we speak getting repaired under warranty. Service manager called and said they were going to replace the condenser, evaporator, receiver/accumulator, compressor etc in the system. You pretty much confirmed what I suspected should have happened the first time. The warranty is up in October and I need to see if they can get this right - if they can then I'm buying an extended warranty (7yr \ 100K miles), If this is still a problem - then I'm opting to get rid of the car much to my dismay. No ac in Texas is miserable.

If they replace the condenser, evaporator, receiver/accumulator, txv/orifice tube and compressor and flush the lines - can I assume at that point the system will be stable?

Are there inline filtration options I can look into as extra precaution? Thanks for the post!
 

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nickv, sorry for not responding sooner.

It sounds like they are replacing your entire refrigerant system, other then the lines. That should cure your problem as long as the lines are flushed properly. They should replace the pressure switch valve, and the high side and low side charge valves when they flush the lines. Debris can get caught in them as well. Note: I'm talking about the "bicycle" style valves, not the switches themselves. Each "port" has a bicycle valve in it, with possibly a switch on top of it. The valves have rubber seals. If I'm not clear, I apologize. My ability to explain is inversely proportional to my beer consumption.

That said, as long as they replace the parts and flush the lines well, you will have a system that is close to new. Of course, I'm assuming they replace the seals (I can't imagine them not replacing the seals).

I don't know if Chrysler has an in-line filter or not, but I would inquire about one after three compressor failures (the original, first replacement, second replacement, going on the FOURTH compressor).

I think you will be OK.

PM me if this does not work, seriously. I actually design these systems for a living. I'm interested in how this works out.

Peace (I hope).
 

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Also, if they replace the lines along with everything else, then they will have removed the possibility of contamination from the old system failures. That is what they SHOULD do, because that eliminates the possibility of debris from the previous failures entering the system. Remember, you had THREE failures, the original compressor, plus the first and second replacements. They should replace everything (including the lines).
 

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Another point you should STRESS is that replacing the evaporator involves removing your dash. That's not funny, as it should never be removed. Make sure you report any squeeks and rattles to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Mike67 - I got my car back on wed. The Dealer replaced everything including lines and even one electric fan motor. The parts list was a mile long. I feel sorry for the guy who had to do it - it looks like it was not a fun job. At this point there are no issues and it cools the way it should thus far. I think the root cause was debris in the line. The first two compressors were just swapped and I think they just vacuumed the system down and recharged it leaving garbage in the lines. You were correct in the need to replace all the parts - Dodge was involved in this and that explains why I think they were eager to replace everything. Time will tell - So far it's covered under a new warranty 7 years \ 100K that includes everything other than tires, brake rotors and pads... Thanks again for all your feedback and insight! Glad you are on the forums!
 

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It sounds like the compressor seized. That is one of the worst failures an A/C system can experience. When that happens the internal components can break or spall, sending small fragments of metal throughout the system. If all of those small metal fragments are not cleaned out, they WILL make their way back to the new compressor and kill it.

Modern A/C systems use microchannel condensers and either microchannel or plate/fin evaporators. The internals of those components have small cross sections which can "hold" metal fragments, even after flushing. The only way to truly repair that type of system (after a compressor failure) is a complete replacement of the entire A/C system. Eventually those small metal fragments will find their way back to the compressor. In-line filters can be effective if the failure is caught soon enough (especially with orifice tube systems, which have their own built in filters), but they can become clogged, rendering the system ineffective.

I have been an automotive refrigerant systems engineer (now a system engineering design manager) for over 20 years. In my opinion, your entire system is contaminated and needs to be replaced. They may be able to flush the lines, but not the condenser, evaporator, receiver/accumulator, txv/orifice tube. It needs to be replaced lock-stock-barrel.

A seized compressor is a DISASTER for an A/C system. Replacing a seized compressor in a dirty system only adds contamination when the contamination causes the new compressor to blow up.

We try to design systems to protect - prevent the compressor from blowing up. We don't want to replace the entire system. Its a very expensive fix. It sounds like it's too late for your system. Your dealer should replace the entire system under warranty. The debris from the first failed compressor rendered the other components un-servicable. You CANNOT reliably flush microchannel heat exchangers clean.
Should try harder, this happened to me and cost me $2700 to replace the whole damn system
 

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2021 Challenger Scat Pack Shaker Widebody, 02 Pontiac Firehawk Car #33, 02 Pontiac Firehawk Car #155
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I thought "exploded view" diagrams simplified the repair process. Am I missing something here? lol.
 
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