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AC Suddenly Stopped - Pressure/Fuses/Relays/Switches Fine

snoranger

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They hooked it up to their machine and told me it wouldn't take any fluid so the compressor needed to be replaced. Is it worth taking my chances with a salvaged compressor? The other option would be a Motorcraft compressor w/ out clutch for about $75 more but I'd have to swap over my clutch components or buy new ones (another ~$80). Not sure how hard that is.
I have a few issues here:
Any place that does AC work will have a real machine that pumps Freon in. Not rely on the compressor to suck it in. Then they’ll attempt to run the system to see the high and low side pressures. (We record high and low pressures at idle and 2000 rpm on every AC work order.) It sounds like a half-assed diagnosis.
I wouldn’t be a bad idea to replace the compressor due to age. They do get tired and less efficient after years of use... anything with moving parts eventually wears out.
Don’t put in a junkyard compressor... if you’re going to replace it, buy a Motorcraft or Denso.
 


Uncle Gump

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They said it wouldn't take any fluid?

That makes no sense... none. I would question their diagnosis all together.
 

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Could also just have been a poor choice of words by the shop, or translation by Spidey300

How many people that come in to an AC shop for service and know how an AC system works?

Not many or they would do it themselves

So shops often explain things to novice AC users as best they can
Most AC users could care less about how it works, and really do not want to know, they just want cold air when they turn on the AC
At forums like this we don't understand that thinking we WANT to know how it works

My wife doesn't care how cars work, just wants it to work
I gave up years ago trying to explain how "cool" somethings works and what a great idea it is, she doesn't care

But in fairness she likes "90 day fiance" or "married at first sight" shows, and tries to explain why its so "cool", my eyes glaze over, don't care and don't really want to know, lol
 

snoranger

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But in fairness she likes "90 day fiance" or "married at first sight" shows, and tries to explain why its so "cool", my eyes glaze over, don't care and don't really want to know, lol
Have you tried explaining to her that she’s wrong... wives like to hear that.
 

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RonD finding the good in everything...
 

Shran

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I figured it was probably mechanic-splaining that got lost across the Internet.
 

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I figured it was probably mechanic-splaining that got lost across the Internet.
I think so. I was relayed the message by the guy at the front desk. When I asked specifically what he meant, he said that's just what he was told and they had their "best guy" diagnose it and said the compressor was bad and needed to be replaced. I'm starting to wonder if they're getting frustrated that I'm not paying them for any parts or labor...
 

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If they are a busy shop then labor doesn't matter, the "guys" are busy already

Parts are gravy but also a warranty issue, so they can make more in labor if a new part YOU bought breaks and has to be replaced, and get double labor

The mark up on parts is basically just to cover any warranty issues, which is also why they only use certain brands of parts, because they don't want a warranty headache or the reputation of installing "bad" parts

The guy at the front counter knows how the credit card machine works, and the computer for billing and appointments
As it should be
The "guys" in the back know how to fix stuff, but NOT how to fix the credit card machine or computer, lol
As it should be
 

Shran

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Some shops are now charging labor twice even if their part goes bad - I had my old work van in for a broken heater control valve two times and we got charged for labor each time even though it was a defective part. That would have been my last visit there ever but it wasn't my call... very irritating, watch out for shops that do that. IMO if you pay someone to fix something and it immediately fails they should cover each subsequent repair.
 

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I agree
If shop supplies any parts then repair or exchange of said part is on their "dime"

I would be pissed about the inconvenience of bringing the vehicle back in, but understand that new parts can break and that's out of the installers control
If they tried to charge me for the inconvenience............well feathers would fly
 

Spidey300

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Ok, time for a status update on this. I opened up the AC system and my orifice tube was covered in black crap, so that confirms my compressor died the "black death" and most of my system is going to be contaminated. Let that be a lesson not to buy a remanufactured compressor off ebay.

I went to the local salvage yard and found another 98 2.5L ranger with a pristine looking AC system. It still had a bit of pressure in the lines and the insides were all clean and had oil still too. I pulled all of it except the accumulator (compressor, condenser, both lines, evaporator). $45. I vacuum tested all the lines, condenser, and evaporator while I was there with my hand vac pump and tested compressor resistance too. All seemed good. compressor clutch bearing didn't have any play and the clutch engaged strongly when I bench tested it back home.

I bought a can of AC flush and poured it in the replacement lines and condenser, then blew out with compressed air. I ended up deciding to keep my evaporator since it held vacuum and I flushed it too, 3-4 times, to get the black crap out. Bought a new accumulator that came with new seals for the whole system, oil, and orifice tube. My local shop is swamped right now so I'll have to take it to them next week to have the system evacuated, leak tested, and refilled.

I ordered a blend door replacement kit, which came with a new blend door with a metal d-slot top hinge piece, instructions, and metal tape. I also bought a new actuator while I was at it. I cut into the bottom of my plenum and swapped out the door (this was a PITA, freeing the old door from its hinge slots and getting the new door in, there is very little room to navigate and with a pair of vice grips on the old door I was finally able to get it free). The top d-slot of my old blend door was broken in half, so that confirms why I was always getting hot air in the cab. New door and actuator function great and I replaced the plenum piece I cut out and sealed it up with the metal tape.

I also found the source of my vacuum line leak. the gray vacuum line running from behind the glove box to the heater bypass valve on the hoses near the evaporator had a hole it it. The black line running to the bottom of the vacuum reservoir was spliced with a piece of tubing too, which didn't seem to hold vacuum. I swiped all the vacuum hoses and fittings from the donor ranger too so I replaced them and vacuum tested every line with my hand vac pump. all the lines under the hood now hold vacuum, as well as the reservoir ball so hopefully my ac vent controls will function properly now too.

Just waiting to get back into the shop now at this point to evacuate/charge it back up. Fingers crossed.
 

Spidey300

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Got the Ranger into the shop today and they were able to evacuate the AC and charge it back up, no issues. AC runs cold and all the vents/controls seem to work properly! Took it for a test drive and the AC no longer cuts out, redirects to defrost, or blows hot air when accelerating onto the highway! Pretty excited about it.
 

Spidey300

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Alright, so it's been a couple weeks now and the A/C is still running cold, however, I've noticed the last week or so that the compressor is short cycling a lot. It'll kick off and on every 4-5 seconds. I don't remember it doing this initially but maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention. When the shop evacuated the system and recharged it they said it held the vacuum and all the pressures were fine. I don't have gauges to check the pressures, just the cheapos on the recharge kits.

I did swap out the low pressure switch cause I had an extra one and it still does the same thing. Is this an issue as long as the air is cold? I worry this may wear things out prematurely, also the idle RPMs jump up and down with each cycle, which is pretty annoying. Everything was just swapped out in the AC system except the evaporator, which was flushed. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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If I remember correctly, short cycling means the system is low.
 

Spidey300

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If I remember correctly, short cycling means the system is low.
I'm guessing you're right since the AC has now started to not blow very cold. I'll hook up one of my recharge bottles and see if it'll take some refrigerant and improve. If that's true, it means I have a leak somewhere. :mad: Not sure how or where since the shop said it held vacuum and recharged fine. Maybe I didn't get something connected tight enough? I know they put some UV dye in so maybe I'll get one of those lights to check...
 

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