View Full Version : 88 Ranger A/C Question
09-26-2008, 06:28 PM
My 1988 Ranger (with 2.9L engine) does not blow cold air. I have checked the refrigerant lines and they have quite a lot of pressure in them, so I assume there are no leaks in the lines. The problem is, when I turn on the A/C, the compressor compresses for like 2 or 3 seconds and then stops compressing all together. The fan blows strong and all the controls from the inside appear to function correctly. There are no blown fuses and all wiring appears to be fine. I was told by one mechanic (after only telling him about the problem) that it has got to be a bad expansion valve. Does this seem correct? Could it be a plugged line or some other problem? It appears that the A/C system is all original and it has not been retro-fitted (or ever even opened/vented) as far as I can tell. Please help as I'm dying from the heat out here in the Utah desert. Thanks.
I suppose it might be an expansion valve if it had one.
A plugged orifice tube is a distinct possibility.
But this simply doesn't make any difference. Your options are (1) go to a shop, or (2) fry your butt off.
Though I wouldn't trust an A/C tech who doesn't know the difference between an expansion valve and an orifice tube.
09-27-2008, 12:00 PM
Thanks for the reply. Admittedly, I don't know much about A/C systems, so now I'm a little confused. Are you saying that I don't have an expansion valve? Honestly, I wouldn't know where to look under the hood to find out if it has one or not; but, when I was told that could be the problem, I looked up the part on several different parts websites, and I found that many places stock an A/C expansion valve for 88 Rangers. Also, what's the concern with frying my butt off? I know I would have to have the system professionally evacuated to reclaim and properly dispose of the existing freon, but besides that, what's the problem/risk?
10-04-2008, 07:14 PM
10-04-2008, 09:11 PM
Your truck doesn't have an expansion valve, it has an orifice tube. It will be in the line going into the bottom of the evaporator.
However, your problem may be a simple as being low on freon. Does the compressor cycle every few seconds, or does it cycle once, and stop? If it cycles once and stops, I would replace the low pressure switch on the side of the drier. It's a couple bucks. If it cycles every few seconds, possibly low freon.
"Quite a lot of pressure" isn't telling us anything. If you check the pressure with the engine off, the low side and the high side should be the same, and around 90 - 100 psi.:)shady
10-06-2008, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the info about the orifice tube info. I find it strange that auto parts websites would list a part as pertaining to a particular vehicle when in fact the vehicle doesn't have said part. Anyway, in response to the compressor cycle question, it cycles only once and stops (and not every time I turn on the A/C, either). In investigating the low pressure switch mentioned, is that the actual name of the switch? If not, what would it be called? Thanks in advance.
10-06-2008, 09:35 PM
Low pressure switch.
Low pressure cut out switch.
Low pressure cycling switch. Any of these should get you the correct item. Take the old one with you. Unscrew it from the drier. It will not leak freon with it off.
I forgot to mention, that the compressor cycling once could still be low freon.:)shady
10-10-2008, 06:23 PM
"Low pressure cycling switch" is the term I see used most often on orfice-tube systems.
Unscrew the switch quickly though, it will leak a bit until you get it all the way off.
After 20 years, I would say low freon is the culprit (freon slowly permeates through the rubber hoses with time, it probably just needs to be topped off). Do make absolutely sure whoever you go to uses R-12 in that. If they try using the newer (cheaper) R-134a (and it's not retrofitted), it will be death to your A/C (I've heard of this happening too many times for comfort).
10-12-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the help and comments. I appreciate the knowledge found here on the ranger station.
Here in Salt Lake, we went from mid-summer to mid-winter litterally over night. Last week, highs were in the 80s and now we have snow in the valleys with high temps in the mid 30s. If a warm(er) day comes around, I'll get to the A/C, but as it is now, I'll probably have to wait until next spring to test if the A/C is working or if it's just outside air that's blowing cold.
That said, if anyone else has any additional comments or suggestions, I welcome them. Thanks.
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