Air conditioning repair can be one of the most costly tasks on your Ford vehicle. Replacing the AC compressor ranks up there as one of the most expensive replacement procedures, but if you need to replace AC lines only, the cost and labor involved gets reduced significantly. The Ford AC lines have different fittings and locations. Some fittings require special disconnect tools, provided by a manufacturer or aftermarket parts shops. The repair person must exercise certain precautions when loosening and disconnecting AC lines. The repair layman can perform the job using some special tools and care.
Things You'll Need
- Owner's repair manual
- AC gauge set
- Freon recovery tank (with tank hose)
- Socket set
- Ratchet wrench
- End wrenches
- Line disconnect tool
Place the vehicle in park or neutral, according to your transmission type. Set the emergency brake and raise the hood. Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket. Hook a set of AC gauges on the underside of the hood. Refer to your owner's manual to locate the "low" and "high" side valves on your vehicle's AC system.
Pull the dust cap off the low side valve and connect the quick release AC gauge blue hose to the fitting. Remove the dust cap on your high side fitting. Push the AC gauge red hose onto the quick release pressure fitting on the high side valve on your AC line.
Connect the yellow service hose from the AC gauge to the inlet side of a vacuum pump. Connect an additional yellow service line from the outlet side of the vacuum pump to the top valve on a recovery tank. Turn the pump on and open the low side (blue) valve knob on the AC gauge.
Open the valve on the recovery tank. Let the pump run for 30 minutes to evacuate the system or when the gauge reads 30-inches hg. Shut the recovery tank valve off. Turn the pump off and disconnect all the AC line fittings from the low and high side on your vehicle. Replace any dust caps you removed from your AC valves. Remove the AC gauges, vacuum pump and recovery tank.
Look on the back of the AC compressor on your vehicle, where the manifold connects to the compressor body. Two lines lead out of it. To disconnect both lines at the same time, use a socket to remove the middle nut on the manifold. Pull the manifold from the compressor body. Use a large open end wrench to remove each individual line from the manifold, if you wish to replace only one of the lines.
Refer to your owner's manual for the location of the evaporator. It looks like a tall can or cylinder and will have two AC lines going to it. If your line fittings use a bolt or nut to connect to the evaporator, use a socket or end wrench to remove them. If they do not have a bolt or nut fastener that can be removed with a standard tool, use a Ford quick disconnect tool. Place the tool over the line fitting, push in and twist until the spring lock releases. Disconnect the other line fitting in the same manner, if so equipped.
Use the Ford disconnect tool for the receiver-drier lines, in the same fashion you used it on the evaporator fittings. Refer to your owner's manual for the location of the receiver-drier. You might have the old style flare nut fittings on the receiver-drier, and in this case use an end wrench to loosen and remove them.
Move to the front of the vehicle and look at the radiator-type device (the condenser), which sits on the outside of the grille next to the radiator. Two AC lines enter the condenser. Use an end wrench to loosen and remove the large flare nut fittings. If the condenser lines have two nuts, hold an wrench on the inner nut still, while you loosen the outside nut with another end wrench.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not loosen AC lines before evacuating and recovering the freon in the system.
- Photo Credit breakage image by Rina from Fotolia.com
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