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Old 07-11-2022, 09:26 AM #1
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Aftermarket Bumper put a hole in my AC line

Got to the end of a week of fun wheeling in the Silverton/Ouray/Telluride area (did black bear rd!), and realized my AC liquid line was spewing everywhere. While it was still running cool, I immediately killed the AC, as the line was compromised. After a hot summer drive across the NM desert, I need to fix my AC system.

First a PSA to those with aftermarket bumpers. Make sure there is no contact between the AC lines and edges. It will destroy them. Learn from my pain.

Some questions:
1) do I replace the liquid line or do I patch it? A new line is 170$ online, as this appear to be one of the lines that doesn't have a generic version.
2) Are there other things I need to replace while I'm at it? I know I need to replace the desiccant. My AC system was working fine, but one way or another its drained now. Wondering if I should take the opportunity to replace anything else.
3) Any opinions on having a mechanic vacuum and fill the system vs buying the equipment from harbor freight? I believe I'd need the valve kit and a vacuum unit, which is about 150$.
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Old 07-11-2022, 11:10 AM #2
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Thanks for the PSA and sorry this happened on a trip. I added some foam between my SW bumper and the hard line but this prompted me to check in on it.

As for patching vs. replacing, I'd personally swap it for an OEM part. I've never patched an AC hardline but for the inconvenience (and cost of repair/refill) of having the system go down on a trip, $170 seems tolerable. Maybe others have experience with patching. And yes on replacing the desiccant bag.

Regardless of who does the recovery/refill, I'd add in some dye to help make chasing subsequent issues easier since the system has been opened.
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Old 07-11-2022, 01:37 PM #3
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I've always been amazed at some of the exposed lines I have around the coastal offroad bumper.. There is definitely some risk there. I'm assuming yours probably happened not from a single impact/pinch but rather contact it was making all the time and the body flex rubbing through the line? Or no?

With regards to patch or replace.. I bought my rig wrecked in the front end, and the AC line was pinched/broken. Instead of replacing the complete line I gave an amazon patch kit a try since it was significantly cheaper and 2 years almost to this day it is still holding and blowing cold AC.

Unless you plan on doing some of of your other rigs I would elect to have someone with equipment do it for your vs buying cheaper equipment to DYI. Luckily for me I had a buddy who rebuilt quite a few salvage title cars so he had his own small setup and was able to charge my system for me.
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Old 07-11-2022, 02:02 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemravan View Post
I've always been amazed at some of the exposed lines I have around the coastal offroad bumper.. There is definitely some risk there. I'm assuming yours probably happened not from a single impact/pinch but rather contact it was making all the time and the body flex rubbing through the line? Or no?

With regards to patch or replace.. I bought my rig wrecked in the front end, and the AC line was pinched/broken. Instead of replacing the complete line I gave an amazon patch kit a try since it was significantly cheaper and 2 years almost to this day it is still holding and blowing cold AC.

Unless you plan on doing some of of your other rigs I would elect to have someone with equipment do it for your vs buying cheaper equipment to DYI. Luckily for me I had a buddy who rebuilt quite a few salvage title cars so he had his own small setup and was able to charge my system for me.
Which patch kit did you use? One of the ones with the length of rubber hose? Or just the double nut setup?

Issue was created by the rubber line contacted the edge of the bumper where it passed through. Vibration basically rubbed it through.
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Old 07-11-2022, 04:25 PM #5
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Originally Posted by gimlithepirate View Post
Which patch kit did you use? One of the ones with the length of rubber hose? Or just the double nut setup?

Issue was created by the rubber line contacted the edge of the bumper where it passed through. Vibration basically rubbed it through.
It's the one with the rubber hose that clamps in place. I'll see if I can dig up what I got.
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Old 07-11-2022, 04:32 PM #6
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Canít find where I got it but this is what mine looks like


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Old 07-11-2022, 05:00 PM #7
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Up on the mountain we are always blowing through hydraulic hoses and we just go to a house of hose and have them make us exactly what we need. Iím not sure if they do AC lines but itís worth asking if your in a pinch or dealer doesnít have one in stock.
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Old 07-11-2022, 05:22 PM #8
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Originally Posted by aemravan View Post
Canít find where I got it but this is what mine looks like


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This is exactly what I just bought. Going to give this a try, as it may give me some options for rerouting the hose a bit to minimize future damage.

Also going to put some hose around the other lines where they might rub to prevent this from happening again -_-

Autozone will rent me the manifold gauges and the vacuum, and my system is already emptied, so I'll use that to make sure it holds vacuum and then refill again.
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Old 07-11-2022, 05:44 PM #9
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If you're going to refill the system make sure you get a kit that has the oil with it, I'm sure you lost some of the oil that was in there.

I forget how much oil should be in the system, but I think it's about 1 1/2 ounce or so but I could be way off...do the research so you get it close to the correct amount, too little is not good and too much it also not good, but there's a little wiggle room in what is too much.
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Old 07-11-2022, 06:09 PM #10
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I have the same True North Fab bumper as you. I bent the hard line back and covered it with rubber hose just in case.
Iíll definitely check this frequently.
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Old 07-12-2022, 01:41 PM #11
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If you're going to refill the system make sure you get a kit that has the oil with it, I'm sure you lost some of the oil that was in there.

I forget how much oil should be in the system, but I think it's about 1 1/2 ounce or so but I could be way off...do the research so you get it close to the correct amount, too little is not good and too much it also not good, but there's a little wiggle room in what is too much.
Yeah, I lost some oil, but not a ton. I'm guessing I just lost whatever was in the line for the most part. What I'm seeing online is most of the oil addition occurs when you change out one of the actual components instead of hoses.

My plan right now is to add a bit with the UV dye in it.
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Old 07-12-2022, 01:42 PM #12
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I have the same True North Fab bumper as you. I bent the hard line back and covered it with rubber hose just in case.
Iíll definitely check this frequently.
Mine broke where it goes down into the condenser in the lower part of the bumper. Not where I expected it to break honestly. Going to cover the rest with rubber hose to make sure nothing else happens.
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