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Servicing AC system after engine swap?


JoshT

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Putting a 2000 Explorer drivetrain into a 1999 Ranger. I would like to pull the entire AC system out of the Explorer and install into the Ranger without opening the system. More I read, the more I question if that will be possible.

I am probably going to end up having the systems evacuated by a local AC shop before diving into the removals. We have everything except the vacuum pump to recharge the system and that can be rented locally. We rebuilt the system in the Probe I used to have ourselves, but it was a leaker and we went back together with all new components.

The Explorer's AC system appears to work well so I intend to reuse everything. I will install new O-rings on all removed connections and install a new sever climate oriface valve. We used one of those on the Probe and it was the best auto AC I've ever felt. Since the system was working I don't really see the need to replace anything else.

Before reinstalling and recharging do I need to flush the system and start over with new oil, or just reconnect everything and recharge?
 


RobbieD

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I'm not so sure on the new-fangled stuff. :)

I think the biggest problem would clearing the hoses to the condenser around / through the radiator support. The evaporator might come out still plumbed by disassembling the HVAC box from around it.

Just be careful handling a charged system, but you already know that.
 

JoshT

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I'm going to have to take another look, but I don't think they actually go through the radiator support.

Hose splits off the back of the AC compressor. One side goes forward to the condenser, I think the other wrapps around behind the intake and across to the evaporator. Then you have a hose running from the other side of the condenser back to the evap dryer. I think it just makes a big loop around the engine. I'd love to pull it off and not have to spend any extra on AC system parts right now. Even if I still needed to do it before summer, that would be a few months of financial recouperation.

I think it can be done, my concern is getting it half out and discovering that it can't be. Then I'm up shit creek and stuck finding (and paying for) someone that can evacuate the sustem mobile.
 

superj

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If no oil leaks out, you can just vacuum and recharge. I have done it a number of times. I have never replaced a drier in my life and they all worked fine.

And i have used propane as a refrigerant on some with no issues, too. Blew colder than 134 in the older systems and no slow leaks through the older hoses since its got larger molecules. I just used thise little green propane containers for camping.

You can google it though.
 

JoshT

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The '99 and '00 both should already be R134 and I think I'll stick with it.

Still hoping I might be able to remove the system intact. I understand people saying that it is a tight fit getting stuff around the engine. Seems the main issue is probably getting the condenser out due to its attachment to the radiator. The radiator is coming out anyway, so that doesn't seem like it will be a big issue for me. Heck the whole engine is coming out, so it isn't too much trouble to remove anything.
 

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