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  #1  
Old 09-02-2012, 12:53 AM
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CourierYVR CourierYVR is offline
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Question Air Conditioning Restoration

Hi, I recently purchased a used 1993 Aerostar with a serpentine belt bypassing the AC. I'm assuming the previous owner chose the lowest cost solution to solve an AC problem. I would like to restore the AC with a minimal expense, replacing only the necessary parts. There seems to be a variety opinions about which parts are required to restore the AC.

My wish list of replacement parts is the following:

1) AC Compressor
2) AC Receiver Drier
3) AC Orifice Tube

I was wondering if it is necessary to replace any of the following parts:

1) AC Hose Assembly
2) AC Pancake Filter
3) AC Condensor

Other than that, the only thing I know about the AC Compressor is that it looks like it has been disconnected for a extended period of time because the pulley is rusted on the surface grooves.
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2012, 02:08 AM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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Can you turn the compressor pulley and/or clutch plate by hand? If the clutch still turns, you may have a chance. If it's frozen, you're not going to fix it on the cheap, especially if it's a dual system.

I believe the Aerostars of that era used the FX-15 "Black Death" compressor. Remove the orifice tube and check it for debris. If it's a dual system, also remove and check the orifice tube for the rear unit . It's down under the driver seat area, as I recall. Post back with what you find.

Is your system originally R12 or R134a? 1993 was right at the change and refrigerant application charts are kind of flaky for 1993. Many vehicles switched refrigerants mid-year. Aerostar R12 dual systems don't convert well to R134a, so keep that in mind as you proceed.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2012, 02:20 AM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is online now
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Usually they AC fails because all the refrigerant has leaked out, and the low pressure switch prevents the compressor from activating. The only reason I would bypass the compressor is if it or its clutch is jammed. Try to turn that pulley to see if it spins freely. If not, at least that has to be replaced. If it does spin freely, you can try activating the clutch with some jumper wires and then try to turn the compressor itself. That would tell you if it's jammed or not, but it won't tell you if it's still working.

But if you're going to restore the system, you probably don't want to take chances with any components that you don't know about. So I would replace replace your wish list items. As for the others, I'm not sure what a pancake filter is. I would take apart the lines and flush them, and look at the orifice tube to see if there are any crud that come out, especially trapped in the orifice screen. If so, chances are there are there are crud in the condenser, which can't be flushed, and probably should be replaced. This is more likely if the compressor had jammed up or otherwise disintegrated.

I dumped mineral spirits in my AC lines and blew them out with compressed air to clean them out. Any new compressor you get today may be preloaded with lube for R134A, so if that's what's in your system now, you're all set.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:49 PM
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do not install or charge a new compressor (FS-10) until you have flushed all the lines, and replaced the Condenser, Acummulator/Dryer. you can't "revive" Ford a/c systems, if it's dead, it's dead. Start from scratch and get a specialist to help you. Wait until Fall when a/c service prices go down.

If at all possible, try to adapt the compressor from the 4.0 liter Aerostar, the 3.0 compressor (FS-10) is garbage, don't bother buying a "new" one, it will fail in no time and then you're back to square one. OR, try to adapt a Japanese compressor like a Samden.

the compressor in the 3.0 liter Aerostar is bolted to the lower side of the block on the passenger side; The 4.0 liter compressor is mounted on the driver side on top. The only problem is adapting any other compressor to the 3.0 liter. You'll have to fabricate an adapter and get a different manifold hose, but regardless, don't waste your money on another FS-10 compressor, you'll be happy for 4 months and on the 5th month, kaput! I've been there, done that.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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  #5  
Old 09-03-2012, 05:55 AM
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online research Ford A/C black death.
if it's suffered such a fate, Ford's warranty policy at the time was to replace everything. No reliable way to remove all the system killing contamination particles from the system. Ford engineers experimented with warranty replacement of just the filters and compressor with no success.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2012, 04:59 PM
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the best compressor I've ever come across is the GM Harrison A6, a 6-cylinder monster used in GM cars and in Jaguar XJ-6 from 1968 thru 1992.
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2012, 05:30 PM
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CouierYVR,
You will need new green nitrile o-rings/springs quick connects. Add a new condensor and you should be good to go. Expect to spend a fair amount of time getting all the quick connects apart. Some are real bears to get to.

I had the dreaded 'Black Death' and replaced the four main components, plus the rear unit orifice tube. I kept the same size orifice tubes as the R-12 unit had. The r-134a conversion is not as good on in town stop and go traffic but on the highway it is just fine. (When the rear passengers ask to have the A/C turned down, you know things are working alright.)

I would recommend you look at Arizona Mobile Air (www.ackits.com) for the excellent on-line help and quality products they sell.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:34 PM
waterbear waterbear is offline
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I do know nothing about A/C, a book with seven Seals to me..

A good read about A/C Systems, how they work and some do's & don'ts:

Welcome To Polar Bear, Inc.
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  #9  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterbear View Post
I do know nothing about A/C, a book with seven Seals to me..A good read about A/C Systems, how they work and some do's & don'ts: Welcome To Polar Bear, Inc.
I heard Mercedes Benz is developing (or already developed) an electric a/c compressor, no belt, no clutch, electric. I think it is already in some models.

in the UK they are selling an electric power steering system for classic cars,
no belt, no pump, electric.
__________________
1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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  #10  
Old 09-03-2012, 07:44 PM
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aero,
what did you use to flush the a/c lines out after the F10 black death? does yours have the rear a/c with the black cannister filter and the miles of a/c hose plus the a/c line flow control valve?

Ford listed a special caustic cleaner that I can no longer find. we run into lots of a/c failures on the guys Ranger mud creek crawlers. they fry them by the dozens in the summer heat low rpm and slow speeds, little radiator/condenser air flow
most of the rigs are daily drivers also
after they fire hose them off

Click the image to open in full size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aerocolorado View Post
CouierYVR,
You will need new green nitrile o-rings/springs quick connects. Add a new condensor and you should be good to go. Expect to spend a fair amount of time getting all the quick connects apart. Some are real bears to get to.

I had the dreaded 'Black Death' and replaced the four main components, plus the rear unit orifice tube. I kept the same size orifice tubes as the R-12 unit had. The r-134a conversion is not as good on in town stop and go traffic but on the highway it is just fine. (When the rear passengers ask to have the A/C turned down, you know things are working alright.)

I would recommend you look at Arizona Mobile Air (AMA Automotive Air Conditioning Parts & Equipment - Compressors Condensers Accumulators Expansion Va) for the excellent on-line help and quality products they sell.
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  #11  
Old 09-04-2012, 12:51 AM
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First of all, thanks to everyone one of you for your opinions and advice.

DISCLAIMER: In my 34+ years of owning and driving various vehicles, I have never personally owned one with AC up until now.

I forgot to mention, the 1993 Aerostar XL Sport 3.0L does NOT have rear AC.

I crawled under the front of the vehicle and was able to turn the AC Compressor pulley by hand, but it seemed a bit ruff/grindy.

About the orifice tube:

From what I have read, it looks like it is located within the bottom inlet pipe of AC Evaporator core. It looks like that AC hose requires a special plastic "tool" to remove the hose coupling. Anyway, I found the tool at a local store with 6 different sizes, but the price of $15 seemed crazy for something that looked like a Dollar store item. I walked away without buying the "tool".

There is a decal on the currently installed AC Receiver Drier that says R12 or R134a compatible. I'm not sure what that means?

Specifically for Jose A: Thanks. I have done some research in response to your personal experiences and advice. I think you meant to spell Sanden (and not Samden). Anyway, after an extensive amount of research, your advice is well merited. FOUR SEASONS sells the Sanden re-manufactured model SD709. Also there is a product for about $50 to adapt the swivel arm AC Sanden compressor to any Ford vehicle.

I will keep you updated as soon as I acquire the 10 cents worth of plastic AC hose coupling "tool" at a reasonable price.
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/97aerostarcargo/sets/
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  #12  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:10 AM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose A. View Post
the best compressor I've ever come across is the GM Harrison A6, a 6-cylinder monster used in GM cars and in Jaguar XJ-6 from 1968 thru 1992.
The Frigidaire/Harrison A6 has been used in more mobile applications than you can imagine. It's a big, large displacement, nearly indestructible, 40+lb tank of a compressor. However, it has a weak link, The 3 piece ceramic shaft seal was, and still is, always prone to leakage.
The A6 was used on all GM cars and light trucks from 1964 to 1978 or so.
Ford used the A6 compressor on their "High Line" models all through the 70s. Lincoln, Thunderbird, and many full size LTD/Marquis models had the (GM?) Frigidaire A6/POA refrigerant system that was standard on all GM vehicles at the time.
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  #13  
Old 09-04-2012, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CourierYVR View Post
First of all, thanks to everyone one of you for your opinions and advice. I forgot to mention, the 1993 Aerostar XL Sport 3.0L does NOT have rear AC. There is a decal on the currently installed AC Receiver Drier that says R12 or R134a compatible. I'm not sure what that means? Specifically for Jose A: Thanks. I have done some research in response to your personal experiences and advice. I think you meant to spell Sanden (and not Samden). Anyway, after an extensive amount of research, your advice is well merited. FOUR SEASONS sells the Sanden re-manufactured model SD709. Also there is a product for about $50 to adapt the swivel arm AC Sanden compressor to any Ford vehicle.
I will keep you updated as soon as I acquire the 10 cents worth of plastic AC hose coupling "tool" at a reasonable price.
if you don't have rear a/c, you are lucky! your system is a lot easier to fix.

Harbor Freight Tools has the coupling separator tool for less. you can order it online and their shipping cost is reasonable, but if you have one of their stores near you, all the better.

go for the Sanden (yes, mispelled), do not buy the FS-10 Ford Compressor, they fry in no time.

if you have R12 & R134a compatible refrigerant, that means you have an Alternative Refrigerant like "Freeze12" or something else in the system. BTW: Freeze12 is a lot better than R134a, you can buy it on eBay but you will need to buy the proper fittings/adapters for it. That's why you have to talk to a specialist.

if you have never worked with a/c refrigerants, my best advice is to leave it to a specialist, refrigerants can make you blind. The job should be easier because you don't have rear a/c so count your blessings.

but most of all, take pictures of the parts you get and create a Gallery Album
so you can link the pics to the posts.

**make sure the adapter bracket works with the 3.0 block mounting. You will have to remove the grille, the condenser, AND the radiator, to install the new compressor and new manifold hose comfortably, though some people can do it from below, it is a pita. But you're replacing the condenser and compressor anyway so the old condenser & compressor have to come out anyway... you also have to replace the Accumulator/Dryer any time you open the system to atmosphere, (Autozone).

I would also recommend you replace the Pressure Switch mounted to the Accumulator/Dryer, (Autozone). so you see the bill keeps mounting but that is the nature of air conditioning, expensive and complicated.

there's lots of things to consider as you can read from all the posts here,
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1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsrx101 View Post
The Frigidaire/Harrison A6 has been used in more mobile applications than you can imagine. It's a big, large displacement, nearly indestructible, 40+lb tank of a compressor. However, it has a weak link, The 3 piece ceramic shaft seal was, and still is, always prone to leakage.
The A6 was used on all GM cars and light trucks from 1964 to 1978 or so.
Ford used the A6 compressor on their "High Line" models all through the 70s. Lincoln, Thunderbird, and many full size LTD/Marquis models had the (GM?) Frigidaire A6/POA refrigerant system that was standard on all GM vehicles at the time.
Yes I agree, did you know there is now a re-developed Harrison A6 compressor which is lighter in weight, and even more efficient than the original design?, it is being sold for retrofitting. (the Jaguar XJ-6 and XJ-12 used this compressor exclusively from 1968 thru 1992).

Mr. Jaguar / Retro Air, who develops a/c systems for old Jags & Porsche, sells it.

Jaguar XKE, Mark II, 3.4, 3.8 S, 72-89 Porsche Air Conditioning
__________________
1997 Ford Aerostar 4.0L RWD (purchased May 2012)
1992 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (sold March 2012)
1986 Ford Aerostar 3.0L RWD (traded in '99 for the '92)

1984 Jaguar XJ-6 4.2L RWD (owned since 1990)
1965 Jaguar S type 3.8L RWD (owned since 2004)
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:34 AM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose A. View Post
Yes I agree, did you know there is now a re-developed Harrison A6 compressor which is lighter in weight, and even more efficient than the original design?, it is being sold for retrofitting. (the Jaguar XJ-6 and XJ-12 used this compressor exclusively from 1968 thru 1992).

Mr. Jaguar / Retro Air, who develops a/c systems for old Jags & Porsche, sells it.

Jaguar XKE, Mark II, 3.4, 3.8 S, 72-89 Porsche Air Conditioning

Yes, there are actually 2 replacements for the A6. The Pro6Ten and the S6. Neither one is a"re-developed Harrison" though.
The Pro6Ten is a 508 Sanden with A6 mounting and hose connections.
The one you linked to is an S6, which is a Nippondenso 10PAxxx with A6 mounting and hose connections. It's actually an FS-10 in disguise!

The FS-10 is a very good compressor. The "bad" compressor that you mention is actually the FX-15. There is also a Sanden SD-709 based replacement for the FX-15 available.
https://www.ackits.com/pc/20-10192/F...essor+-+Clutch
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:34 AM
 
 
 
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