After finally getting the high pressure valve replaced, replacing the orifice tube and buying a vacuum pump, I finally set out to tackle recharging the system. This pump could only pull 22lbs of vacuum (unless the guage was wrong), I ran it for 2 hours and it held steady when I turned the pump off. I then began recharging. I noticed that the high pressure was not registering anything. Looks like I didn't have that connector open enough (people warned not to have it push down all the way or it might break the valve again!). But as I understand it, the with the compressor off, the vacuum on the low side will work on the whole system - correct?
Anyways, after about 12 oz of 134a, the system was working properly and as I kept filling the compressor did not pull down the low side enough to shut it off. So I emptied a little 134a and it was again cycling nicely (roughly 10 seconds on, 3 seconds off) and the temperature at the vent was 42F.
So the system is working but on only 12oz on 134a. How is this possible or what am I doing/measuring incorrectly?