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Cusser 06-21-2017 05:36 PM

1998 Frontier thread
Monday, found a pinhole leak in the high pressure line of my '98 Frontier AC. Braved the 117F afternoon temperature, took a look see. AC clutch was engaged then; saw oily residue on the high pressure rubber line from compressor to condenser, actually found a tiny pinhole leaking refrigerant and oil when the AC was operating...
Lower part of the hose is on the right in this picture, flowed down by gravity.

This is dealer part 92490-3S501 which sounded discontinued when I called Courtesy Nissan Parts in Texas. However, for half that price ($58) there are aftermarket units available from your local O'Reilly.


Originally Posted by Cussboy (Post 189027)

So looks like "AC fun" Wednesday morning !!! Since the system still contains refrigerant so no air got in, I will NOT be replacing the drier. I will add 1 - 2 oz. refrigeration oil that has some UV dye in it, then evacuate, check vacuum, and add R134a (NO SEALERS OR CONDITIONERS !!!).

OK, got this all done and cleaned up by 9am; remember that it's not 117F until later !! Access was very good, one bolt holds the assembly at each end (sealed by an O-ring), easy access with 12mm socket and extensions as needed. I did add some UV dye too. The line came with 2 extra O-rings, too. I pulled good vacuum, it held that vacuum, then I added the R134a. So if no leaks, then should be good to go.

While it was pumping down, I got an oil change done on the B2200.

Flamingolegs 06-22-2017 12:03 PM

Thanks for the info.

Cusser 06-22-2017 03:44 PM

AC worked fine on 100 mile mid-day 116F trip yesterday after the repair. Checked for oily residue (leak) at both new connections afterwards, looked fine, no oil.

Cusser 06-29-2017 03:09 PM

350 miles after this repair, refrigerant gushed out of the O-ring at the compressor fitting, through the O-ring. I removed the hose assembly, added new O-rings of correct size (supplied as extras), and found the reason for the failure:
The issue is that I can't get the end fittings of the hose to fit into the recesses of the compressor and condenser 100% flush, there's like a 1/16-inch gap when I use a mirror and look, on the side opposite the bolt. So I think this will leak refrigerant again. The O-ring itself it NOT visible through this gap. I don't feel like trying to hammer on the fittings ends, plus access there is not so good.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

Cusser 07-01-2017 03:53 PM

Taking the theory that high-side pressures are too high, and causing the leakage issue (including the initial pinhole, which I had assumed was clearly due to age/219K), I re-checked the high side pressure at idle, and it steadily went up, hitting 300 psi soon, at 85F ambient. Then I noticed that the fan was spinning slowly, so used the rolled-up newspaper test, and blade stopped easily.

So I went to O'Reilly for a free replacement fan clutch (mine was 4 years old) and installed that. This fan clutch works much better, like it should.

So I'll need to see in driving what really happens, maybe the fan clutch explains why the AC kicked off a couple of times driving back to Phoenix on that record-heat day. And also caused a weak spot in the hose to make a pinhole.

alabama_lowlife 07-01-2017 04:15 PM

Pretty good job figuring that out

Cusser 07-02-2017 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by alabama_lowlife (Post 484708)
Pretty good job figuring that out

Thanks, but I think I took "the long route" on this one. When the AC kicked off a couple times driving back on the record-heat day (I actually had to roll down the windows as hot air would come out the vents), then went back on after a time, at first I suspected an electrical issue, as I had "wrongly" assumed that driving at speed (not city driving) would force enough air through the condenser to cool it, and the engine temperature did not rise either.

So a couple hours later after the engine had cooled somewhat (or as cool as it could get in 118F shade), I immediately saw the oil residue and the pinhole leak on the high pressure hose, and figured "Aha, I have found the problem !!!" But such leak would not cause the AC to shut off periodically, and if enough refrigerant had leaked out by then the air would've been just cool, not cold.

So I didn't give any thought at that time as to whether another cause - like the fan clutch - could've been the real culprit causing the leak, as opposed to just "usage and 219K miles". I assumed that the only issue was the obvious leak, and that turned out not to be the case.

So I also learned a lot in this process - whether the O-ring on the new hose/line holds or not, system worked fine yesterday in 95F heat - and that's the point of Internet Forums like this. And we all need to keep on learning.

So - if this repair is "permanent" - which only time/usage will tell - the whole shebang cost me about $100 to repair (hose assembly, refrigerant, free fan clutch replacement), and my initial mistake/R134a leakage ended up just costing me 2 cans of Walmart R134a at $5 each.

I'll update this thread as necessary, will try to keep all my 1998 issues confined here.

Cusser 07-05-2017 12:44 AM



Originally Posted by Cusser (Post 189113)
Leaked refrigerant through the O-ring seal at the compressor !!! It seems like this high pressure hose is only from one manufacturer, in China, sold at both Autozone and O'Reilly and others as different brand names like Murray or Four Seasons or Everco, all with same sticker with Texas address and stating made in China. This part has been discontinued through Nissan.


Originally Posted by Cusser (Post 189130)
The issue is that I can't get the end fittings of the hose to fit into the recesses of the compressor and condenser 100% flush, there's like a 1/16-inch gap when I use a mirror and look, on the side opposite the bolt. So I think this will leak refrigerant again. The O-ring itself it NOT visible through this gap. I don't feel like trying to hammer on the fittings ends, plus access there is not so good.

Today, had to return to Phoenix to investigate an electric water heater leak discovered by my youngest daughter (it's at the top, may be a connection, but may need a new WH). Once there, I located my original AC line and matched it up to the 2nd AC line (one Murray from O'Reilly, one 4 Seasons/Everco from Autozone, same exact hose, same sticker with Texas address on the hose, even though made in China). The cylindrical fitting on the aftermarket fittings extends 14mm, yet the cylindrical fitting on the original Nissan unit extends just 9.5mm. My math skills tell me that's 4.5mm difference, a TON !!! I had already ground off about 2.5mm of the 1st aftermarket hose/fittings, but it looks like I was at least a full 2mm shy, no wonder these ends did not fit flush in the condenser or compressor !!! The O-ring looks to be in the same position on both, but I cannot believe that everyone is grinding these shorter. See photo:

I don't know if the computer listing is wrong (hose is correct length and metal parts the same shape as the original Nissan) just the cylindrical metal protrudes too far, or if someone botched it during set-up in China. Anyways, I cannot be the first person to have this issue, I'll be calling 4 Seasons/Murray tomorrow.

The 4 Seasons web site does list #56134 as the correct discharge hose assembly for the 1998 Frontier...

I don't know whether to let it just run fine (like on the 225 mile trip today) until it "might" spew out someday through the O-ring, or be proactive and remove the hose assembly and grind both ends down even further to match the original assembly so it will fit flush and re-evacuate and re-fill.....

alabama_lowlife 07-05-2017 01:59 AM

I'd run it until it gives a problem

Cusser 07-05-2017 04:53 PM

That's where I'm leaning...AC blew nice and cold in 112F yesterday, well over 200 miles driving. I realize that if it blows through that O-ring someday I risk the unknown of how much oil gets lost, but I've already had one such "blow out", and I added back about 3.5 oz. of PAG 100.

All three reviews on Amazon for this part were positive, no comments about the ends not fitting. I called Murray/4 Seasons this morning and talked to their technical rep, he said that I was the FIRST person to bring this to their attention (I wonder if there was some early-year change by Nissan?). I asked if grinding down the ends shorter would be a decent idea, and he said Murray/4 Seasons could not "recommend" grinding down, but probably what he would do if there was no correct fitting hose available, or get the original hose repaired by a specialty shop. When I asked if Murray/4 Seasons also is the supplier to NAPA and CarQuest, he was unable to state specifically due to business reasons, but said that likely Murray supplies everybody.

So I "win", I'm the very first to have this issue apparently !!! So goes my life !!!

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