Tired of Fixing this Ford AC
I have fixed the AC in my 1995 Ford Crown Victoria 4 times in the last 3 years. I replaced the compressor with a rebuild last year to have it stop functioning in 1 week. Did again with the condenser and got thru the year. System worked thru most of the winter, defrost, but as soon as it started getting hot it was no more.
So I'm pulling out all the stops. I bought a 4 cfm vacuum pump, Robinair. That should do better than the antique my housemate has. I bought a 3 lb tank of R134a. A digital scale. And a bottle to attach to an airhose and wash the pieces I'm reusing.
I have a new condenser, a new compressor and a new accumulator/dryer. I have cleaned the evaporator, all the hoses and installed new parts. Changed all O-rings. Added oil. Vacuumed for one hour and now will add gas. Will vacuum again before adding gas. Don't have a vacuum gauge but I think I've spent the budget so far this year.
Can I use this new type of orifice tube that is said to help unit not over tax engine that is on idle a lot? I have one made by 4 Seasons. It seems that it has a tiny spring in it or some how adjusts under low RPM when pulling power of compressor is not high. Some one called it an orifice tube that thinks it's an expansion valve. Will use orange tube, stock, if this is just another "snake oil" item.
Anything I've missed? Thanks for any help.
You should be more than fine vacuuming for an hour.
Actually it's a little strange that I have only once owned an old cop car. That was my 1972 Ford LTD II with a 351 Cleveland. Drove it in the mid 80's. See I've been a cab driver for 26 years. I've thought of getting a real job but why work when I can do this?
I will have to re-vacuum if I take that fancy orifice tube out but then I might not have to do that. I've been waiting for a warmer day to finish this. I think it works better, doesn't it, to put gas in when the temp is at least 75F? And from reading some of the Forums here I've gotten the idea that a vacuum is not a proper test of the system holding pressure. I guess the system is designed to hold pressure in not out and so I will vacuum again because I did that last week just to practice using my fancy pump.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Be sure to change your oil in the vacuum pump. Too bad you did not have nitrogen on hand. You could pressure test the system, and be able to break the vacuum with it. You could do a triple evacuation, that would insure you get a dry system to introduce you new refrigerant into..
Got that. Change oil, again. I'm prone to disremember. I guess the nitrogen is great and maybe not too expensive but I have a lot of stuff now. I'm thinking next year I would like a nice vacuum gauge. But do you say that a set up for nitrogen would be better than a V gauge? I'd also like a heating blanket, I think. Can't I just do a little heat application with an old heat gun? If I don't get it too hot?
So I might be able to take jobs some day fixing cab AC systems? Will look into that.
I will have to start another thread about recycling. The current system was empty so not an issue at the moment.
Next time get a Chevrolet !!!!
Not an option. I've got Ford in my blood.
Cheaper to buy a new car.
That's a standard reply from the bean counters. They may be right but I have 425,000 on my 16 year old Ford. I put 40-50K on her every year. Engine is about 246K. Trans is about 60K. I'm having a bit of front end problems lately but I think I'm going to keep her. Besides I don't want to learn something new right now. I'm still learning this one.
Then there's the money involved. I can fix this and it's done. What's a new car loan these days? About 5 years, maybe? And the only people who will finance a Taxi Cab are big people in the Taxi Cab industry. Not your friendly neighborhood credit union.
My car gets inspected every 6 months. The paint has to be "professional". The interior vinyl or leather. The floor no carpet. Electric windows have to work. All this is a lot of work and I'd truly enjoy something new for about 3 years till the cycle starts all over again.
I will start up this AC sometime next week. I just want to do it so that it lasts more than 6 months. That's not asking a lot is it? Oh and I'd like it to blow as cold as it was in Korea when I was there in the Army. That also seems something I deserve.
I'm not sure if the everco orifice tube you mentioned is a good idea. They didn't have it in my auto AC days. Maybe it works. I'm not sure.
I would wait on drawing a vacuum if you are going to get that new orifice tube. And, hopefully you oiled up all those O rings and installed new keeper springs on the notorious Ford AC couplings. You already checked on the type of refigerant oil this setup uses, yes?
NOTE: Add an oz of fresh oil for the new hoses and two ozs if you replaced a condenser coil or evap coil. Follow the everco instructions for adding oil to the new, dry compressor. It's 6 to 8 oz or so, and then make sure you turn the compressor maybe a dozen rotations. That means grabbing the clutch to turn it, not the pulley. Don't turn it with the engine.
Then, start the vac when it's all in and together.
Change the oil (vacuum pump oil and the sysem oil are NOT the same) and let the pump run for an extra hour, since you don't have a micron gauge.
Then, with the hoses all still, weigh in the charge, engine off, in the high side. If you can't get it all in that way, you can slowly bleed it into the low side at the accumulator.
Make sure there is a charge and all required oil in it before you connect the coil magnet wires.
MACS has seminars on this, as do the auto parts chains. Good luck.
Last edited by timebuilder; 05-08-2011 at 07:23 PM.
[Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
2 Tim 3:16-17
RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist
AOP Forum Rules:
Hate to tell you this but dollars to to doughnuts you have a bad Evaporator. I had an auto A/C shop for years and this is sort of what made me get out of it. I was a one man deal. Used to be you had a tiny leak and a recharge would last a couple of years. Then it got to every car that came in was empty with no obvious signs of a leak. Or one would come in with oil dripping out of the condenser and you would replace it, vacuum test and pressure test ok and in 2 months it was empty again . Evaps every time.Especially on Chrysler products. I hardly ever had a bad evap until the late 90's. Customers were not happy and I ended up eating some labor time on an evap replacement. Usually an all day job too with some estimated at 15 hrs in the labor guide. I ended up farming some of the replacements out and concentrated on the diagnosing when system is full problems. Used to be an A/C repair was under $500. Now it's $1500 and up! People started replacing the whole car!
There's TREACHERY AFOOT!!!
OOps almost posted a DIY.
Never argue with a crazy man.