Hi there. I have a 1999 Mercury Villager and a few days ago I decided to turn on my A/C, and to my surprise, there was no cold air blowing out. I opened my hood, connected a gauge to the A/C low pressure port, and it indicated that there was no Freon in the system. I drove to my local Walmart, bought a few cans of R-134a. As soon as I started refilling the system, I could hear a hissing sound in the back of my vehicle. At first I thought that my tire popped, but after further inspection, it turns out that there is a tiny hole in the low pressure aluminum pipe for the rear A/C. The “tiny” hole is able to empty all the Freon in the A/C system in about 25 min.
I lifted my car and started looking at ways to fix this leak. At first I thought about using some JB Weld, but after some research, it appeared that it wouldn’t work. Next, I thought about using an ATP splice kit, but there is a slight problem. The hole is right next to the frame of the car. The reason this is a problem is because the pipe is very stiff and doesn’t want to move. And I can’t cut the pipe without moving it. Also, the ATP coupling wouldn’t fit for very same reason (pipe doesn’t want to move). Finally, I can’t remove the entire pipe and replace it. The screws holding the pipe in place are rusted and weak. If I try to unscrew them, they will break. In fact, I managed to break one of the screws trying to do just that.
At that point, an idea popped into my head. What if I replace a portion of the aluminum pipe with a rubber pipe. The reason I said portion is because I would have to cut about 1/2 - 3/4 feet of aluminum tubing out and replace it with rubber tubing. As I said in the previous paragraph, the pipe dosen’t want to move so I can’t fit a coupling. But if I move about 3 inches forwards and 3 inches backwards from the hole, the pipe bends away from the frame of the car, so I would be able to cut the pipe and replace it with rubber tubing.
So my question to you guys is will my idea work? Can I replace a portion of the aluminum tubing with rubber tubing? What kind of rubber tubing should I use?
Thanks you in advance!
Edit - I decided that I’m going to replace the entire low pressure aluminum pipe going from the rear evaporator to the compressor. I am having trouble finding the aluminum pipe for my car online. If anyone knows where I can find it, please leave a comment with the link below.
***** Below are the photos to help you better understand the situation *****