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  #1  
Old 07-18-2009, 07:56 AM
Texasboo Texasboo is offline
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1997 Ford F150 4x4 4.6 liter 281 engine

I am new here, I have NEVER DONE AC WORK EVER...so bare with me please....and am going to help a friend out by doing the labor so she can afford to repair her AC in her truck. It's been triple digits for heat here in Texas.
Ok, she took it to a repair shop to have it looked at, they told her she needed AC compressor,accumulator/dryer, condenser, manifold charge/discharge block, orifice tube.They also said flush the system as well. I looked at the truck today myself, the clutch on the compressor will not engage when the AC is turned on low or max.
Does this sound logical for this year model to have so much needed work for AC?
If so, how can I be sure of the diagnosis without spending tons of money elsewhere that this is the real and only issues?
Secondly, if I just go ahead and replace the condenser, accumulator/dryer, orifice tube, manifold charge/discharge block, but NOT the evaporator, can I flush the evaporator after I remove the original accumulator before I put the new one on?
If that is what I need to do, how do I do it without removing the evaporator?
Do I get a solvent and pour it directly into the line? If so, which line..top or bottom? and using a home air compressor, will that be strong enough to blow it all out? What about the issue of it pooling in the bottom of the evaporator? how can I be sure it's all out?
Next, the new accumulator/dryer may have some oil already in it, should I pour that out and refill it and with how much total including the oil that is in the new compressor? Otherwords, if the compressor comes pre-filled with 7 oz of oil, and the new accumulator says it's pre-filled with say 4oz of oil, is that the correct amount total for the system already coming pre-filled?Or do I need less or more?
Also is it a good idea since replacing with lots of new ac components to put in a filter on the liquid line as mentioned in some posts I have read? If so , what line is the liquid line and which way does the flow toward??( so I know how to install the new inline filter).
Sorry so many questions, I am just a novice in the AC area.
Also, once I get everything hooked up and vacummed down, and no leaks, how much R134a should I use? Approx how many cans to use?
And what are the guages supposed to read on the low and high side of a manifold gauge set ??? (going to rent a set to use to re-fill system myself)
What is normal for low and normal for high readings?
I appreciate any assistance with this, I'll be getting this done in next couple weeks I think.
Thanks,
Bren
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:16 PM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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they told her she needed AC compressor,accumulator/dryer, condenser, manifold charge/discharge block, orifice tube.They also said flush the system as well.

It sounds like the compressor grenaded. If so, most of those parts are correct.

The accumulator and orifice tube are standard for a major AC repair. They're considered wear items. Don't uncap the accumulator until just before it's installed. Install it last and evacuate the system as soon as possible after.

If the compressor had a major failure, it will fill the condenser with debris. Those condensers can't be reliably flushed due to the internal design.

Did they specify what was wrong with the compressor manifold? That one has me a bit .puzzled. If it has a muffler (metal can) on it then it can't be flushed and that's why they said to replace it.

The accumulator will be dry, no oil. The amount of oil in a new compressor can vary widely. I always drain them completely and add the recommended amount of fresh oil back to the system.

You can flush the evaporator in place. Flush it in both directions and blow it dry in both directions. Your small compressor can do the job but will drain quickly. You may have to stop and let it catch up a few times. Use a rapidly evaporating AC solvent for this. Dura-141 is a good one. The flush sold at many chain stores is a real bear to get removed, even with a good supply of air.

Where do you plan to get the compressor? I would advise you to stay away from Murray/Four Seasons brand from Auto Zone and some other chains. Cheap reman compressors have a high rate of failure after a while. Spend the extra money for a quality reman compressor.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:17 AM
Texasboo Texasboo is offline
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Hi lsrx101,
I was going to use O'Reilly Auto parts in Austin,Texas, know of them ? Unless you have a particular suggestion about another location to purchase a better quality one here in Austin, Texas? I agree, I never buy anything from Autozone, too much failure for me in the past for parts. Would it make a difference other than price to purchase a New one instead of a reman for a Compressor? What about the condenser quality also? IF you can suggest a better place to purchase this instead of going online and possibly getting the wrong one, let me know of a place if you know of one. What about Carquest Autoparts parts quality? As for the manifold block, I have no idea why they said replace this too. Probably cause it has a metal can inside it like you said, and can't be flushed out.
Where can I purchase the Dura-141 locally? Have any clue? I would like to use this if I can find it.
Of course, my question also is, what about the other lines on the Ac system, that I am not replacing, should I flush those out too? How do you do that? do I unhook them and pour the flush into them and then blow them out? I plan on flushing this system pretty damn good, so as not to have any junk left in it. I don't want to do anything half *** and have it bite me back cause I didn't do it well.
ALso, does the Dura-141 come with some sort of hoses attached to the container so I can actually get it into the evaporator since it's going to be done while still in place in the truck? Hard to get to already cause of the design of the truck and the engine sitting farther back in the firewall., not like the older fords that have a black box surrounding it, with more room to get to it.
Thanks for your help so far.. hope my questions don't annoy anyone. This is my first AC system to Ever tackle, and I have learned so much already on this forum.
About the Gauge Low and High side pressures... when I use manifold gauges to refill the system after I evacuate and suck it down good, What are the numbers I need to watch for? I am not sure what high side pressure is bad or what low side pressures are good. I know there is a range of what they should be, can someone tell me what they are for each low and high sides? I am doing the refill myself, and renting the gauges to do it with.
Should I still install an aftermarket filter on the Liquid line? If so, which line is the liquid line? Just hang in there with me please.
How much oil should I put in the new accumulator Before I install it? How much oil in the Compressor? This way I know how much total should be in the system in putting it in the accumulator and compressor.
Thank you for the help.
Bren
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Old 07-19-2009, 01:46 AM
lsrx101 lsrx101 is offline
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Hey Bren, there's no disgrace in being a newbie at anything. No apologies necessary, Asking questions is how we get answers and learn. The only wrong question is the one you don't ask.

I think O'Reilly (Murray's Discount Auto Parts in this area) sells Factory Air brand Reman compressors. I can't attest to the quality long term, but I've used them before and not had any issues after 2-3 years. I'd say it would be a good choice. They are certainly better than the Murray/Four Siezens units from AZ.

NAPA does not carry Dura-141 any more. Here's a thread about it on the AC Forum: http://www.autoacforum.com/messagevi...threadid=19751.
I still have ~20 gallons of Dura-141 and haven't purchased any flush solvent for quite some time. I wasn't aware of this. Scroll down to the 4th post.
The Dura-II from NAPA sounds like a really good alternative.

You'll need to rig hoses and clamps to get the solvent into the evaporator and back out. Sections of heater hose works well. Use a rubber tipped blow gun and clamp the hose to it to blast the air.

Don't worry about the gauge readings and such just yet. Once you get the parts cleaned/replaced, then post back.
You'll need the manifold gauge set and a vacuum pump to proceed.

If you want to learn more about AC systems in general, check out www.autoacforum.com. Browse the Tips and FAQ section then peruse the regular forum. Feel free to join and ask your questions there. Many of the regular posters are AC profesionals who like to help new DIYers like yourself. I'm a member myself.
I'm not trying to turn you away from FTE or this post, but you can learn a lot over there because AC is what that forum is about. It might take some of the mystery out of it for you.
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:37 PM
Texasboo Texasboo is offline
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Hey thanks. I will check out those links you supplied, and thanks for all your help. I think I can handle doing all that stuff with the help of the all your input and the input from the other links you supplied. I will post and let you know how well it went. And then ask for the gauge information then.
Bren
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Old 07-19-2009, 04:37 PM
 
 
 
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