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Old 07-07-2010, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default 2004 Factory AC output

I am in the process of selling a 2004 158" long and tall T1N 2500 Cargo window van. I took the Van to Bellingham Automotive for a pre-buy Vehicle Inspection report on behalf of an interested party. Other than a loose exhaust shield the Technician checked A/C blows warm instead of blows cold. Well I didn't think this was correct so I went for a short drive to confirm the A/C was working. Indeed it was so I returned immediately and asked the service writer to feel the A/C and tell me it doesn't blow cold. He agreed it blew cold so he removed the comment in the notes on the invoice. I have subsequently realized that the Vehicle Inspection Report Check Sheet was not changed. I called about it the service writer is prepared to cross it off and initial it. Apparently there was some discussion about it being a cold day and they actually measure it.... incoherent blah blah but no specs. I am certain it's putting out the designed coldness.

So my questions are:
What are the A/C temp specs for a 2004 T1N?
Does the van need to be driven or at least run faster than idle to reach max cold?
On max cold is the setting a actual temperature?

I am sure you can see what I'm getting at,... any input is appreciated. I am even concerned the tech didn't find the A/C on button since he never found the cruise control!
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb3232 View Post
...
So my questions are:
What are the A/C temp specs for a 2004 T1N?
Does the van need to be driven or at least run faster than idle to reach max cold?
On max cold is the setting a actual temperature?

...
I can't answer specifically, but this is from my experience with my 2004 140 standard roof.

The air comes out cold from the vents when up to speed. The vents can be aimed at the driver and the co-pilot to make it fairly comfortable. Other than that on really hot days the effect can be lost in the immenseness of the cargo area. Probably worse in your longer high roof.

My A/C essentially shuts off when at idle. If I goose the throttle up to a bit above 1000 rpm it kicks in, but doesn't seem full force. So in my experience the engine needs to be up and running for the A/C to cool effectively. I believe my system is operating properly?

After it has been running a bit I'd look for 45 - 50 F (or so... 45F may be optimistic. I defer to the real A/C techs on this.) temperature coming out of the vents. Vent temps in that range should indicate the system is operating properly. Again, that cooling is easily lost in the overall interior space of the van.

Hope this does some good. vic
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

Vic, my 2003 works very well at idle. It uses 134A and runs at 35psi on the suction side. This gives a temp at the evap coil of 40 degress and a 44 degree duct temp measured at the vent just to the right of the instrument cluster. Temp taken in a hot sprinter on a 95 degree day, after idling for 10 minutes.

These temps were measured with a contact temp gauge by a refrigeration engineer, my brother. He reports that the AC in the sprinter is the best he has seen at idle.

You are right about the over all weak cooling considering the huge volume of the long tall sprinter.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

< Vent temps in that range should indicate the system is operating properly. Again, that cooling is easily lost in the overall interior space of the van. >

To combat the above, I installed a solar powered attic vent in my sprinter so that there is never a heat gain during the sunshine hours and I clear shower curtain and rod to minimize the area to be cooled. Works very well.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

With the especially hot days with very high humidity here on the east cost lately I have found it necessary to immediately turn on the recirculation switch to get the van cool. There is a HUGE difference in running the A/C in recirculation mode vs. fresh air mode. Keep in mind the recirculation will shut off after a period of time and will have to be turned back on.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

OK. These posts got me thinking. On the way back from packing up my boat for a regatta this W/E I ran some experiments on my A/C output. It should be no surprise that I used a cheap, but effective temperature sensing method. I shut off the center vents above the radio, aimed the driver dash vents at me, and used my outstretched fingers at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock on the steering wheel as temperature sensors. Actually it is not as hokey as it sounds. It takes good quality instruments to sense the slight changes in temperature our body is capable of perceiving. The outside ambient temperature by my dash readout was 91 - 93 F with some humidity, but not oppressive.

What I found is that my A/C output doesn't "shutdown" at idle, but there is a perceptible reduction of cooling output when the engine speed is down. As I accelerated up to speed the duct output temperature got perceptively lower and there was a noticeable improvement in cooling effect.

I didn't bother with using gauges to check system pressures because I don't want to mess with a system that is working just fine. I think my A/C system is operating properly, but my perception is that the output does decrease perceptively at idle which is not surprising. That coupled with the interior size of my van prompted my earlier post where I commented that the A/C system seemed to shutdown at idle. YMMV. vic
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DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
"My opinion and worth everything you'll never pay for it." assumed.
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"There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't." HaWiiLuVeR
16 ounces of unnecessary prevention can be worth a pound of manure.

Last edited by Aqua Puttana; 07-09-2010 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

Thanks everyone, I was able to prove the ac was dropping the temp 31.6 degrees so the service mgr agreed to change the report.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

I recently replaced the condensor return line after it developed a rub hole. It was improperly installed after the condensor was replaced about 3 years ago for warranty work.
After evacuating and servicing, it's working great. I keep a digital thermometer in the vent to the right of the steering wheel. At idle, the temperature is between 38 to 50 degrees F - as called for by the service manual, too. Recirc mode selected, windows down. All pressures and voltages are in spec reading with DAD. On the road, the temp at the vent will cycle from the 40's to upper 50's. Recirc mode definately makes a difference in cooling down. I'll also use the rear AC to cool it down until everyone in the back starts complaining. The scangage shows a 2 MPG drop and about 10 LOD with each AC system on - the price for staying cool.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: 2004 Factory AC output

Van has been sold, thanks again.
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