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Installation of New AC Compressor & Components

Discussion in '2nd Gen - 2003 - 2006' started by BITUSA, Jul 31, 2020 at 11:42 AM.

  1. BITUSA

    BITUSA Member

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    Hello forum. My 2003 EB 5.4 4x4 (I'm orig owner) needs a new compressor, I'm hopeful the forum can give me some guidance. In addition to the compressor, I'm going to switch out condenser, drier-receiver & expansion valve. I plan to buy Motorcraft.

    I'm not experienced but have changed brake pads, resealed an oil pan, installed a window actuator, etc. What I am is retired and have the time, and a strong desire to learn. I've watched Youtube videos but there are few and just not thorough enough. I planned to take an auto ac course at the local college this summer, but that was cancelled due to the virus.

    Can any of you point me to a good resource, step x step guide? I'd appreciate it. Thank you.
     
  2. Hamfisted

    Hamfisted Full Access Members

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    How's your access look from underneath with the front axle there? Do you have a vacuum pump to pull down a vacuum on the system before refilling? Do you have a assortment of flex-head ratchets? The AC compressor replacement is not for the faint of heart, and it's even worse on a 4x4. Most videos you'll find are made after the work is already done, and they're not very helpful. If you already have all the parts, a AC shop will probably charge you $800-$1000 in labor to do the job. With a 4x4 I consider it money well spent.



    If you don't have it already, here's a link to download the factory service manual:

    https://spaces.hightail.com/space/hoVVsN5P2A

    It'll have some useful info for the job.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 9:30 PM
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  3. BITUSA

    BITUSA Member

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    Access is tight, really tight, and I'm not sure how it's going to come out but I'd like to give it a shot. As for tools, I'm good, I even bought a vacuum pump and manifold gauges but left them unopened in case I decide not to do this. Another issue that's somewhat bugging me is evacuation of the existing refrigerant. I got a price of $100 today just for evacuation, and I told the shop I didn't want any refrigerant back, that I was just trying to do the right thing not releasing it to the sky. It's still $100. You're right about the videos, there aren't many and the ones that do exist don't show the compressor being removed from around the frame and axle. I really love this vehicle, I like Ford's - my first one was a '78 Ford Fairmont.
     
  4. riphip

    riphip Full Access Members

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    If the shop has a recovery/installation machine, would be best for them to do it.
    Machine will: reclaim old refrig, add necessary oil, pull vacuum to correct dryness, check for leaks, & recharge refrig to factory specs.
     
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  5. David E

    David E Member

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    Hi BITUSA,
    If you have all the equipment you can do it! I did my last A/C project replacing all the parts you mentioned on a ford escape. That said it is a lot easier I believe since it had plenty of space to work on.
    On the Expedition (I have a 2005) It might be a little more difficult than the Escape but definitely doable.
    Few guidelines I followed on my escape and would also follow when I will do my Expedition (compressor is gone) are:
    Make sure you get enough gaskets (I buy an extra pack) since you might not have enough.
    Make sure you have the right tools (if its them open wrenches or hard to access areas tools)
    I plan to take the the whole front out since I also need to do the radiator support, which in turn should give me fair access. You can take the radiator and A/C condenser core out to possible get better access to pull it out.
    You will have to take the PCM out to access the Thermo Expansion Valve (TXP) -- be very careful with the connectors there, so not to damage any pins, and make sure the battery is disconnected.
    I would also invest in a leak detector (doesn't have to be fancy, something cheat does the trick)
    When I vacuum the system I let it stay for around 2-3hours (1 vacum itself) and observe if there is a pressure change that may indicate a possible leak. -- this might happen from the connections that are reestablished.
    New compressors today come with oil (it would specify) as long as the oil does not spill you are good. If not you can always add the oil to the compressor or to the low line (this will require a special tool).
    On the new compressor I would also confirm the Air Gap (0.014-0.030in on the 2005) for the clutch.
    As for the recovery of the R134 I would try some more shops. Some do it for free. I called 10 shops till I found one and he mentioned he can reuse it for other customers or myself after the job was done. It would have cost me $120 if I take the refill option and free otherwise.

    Good luck. All advise others have given is pretty solid. Prices are also pretty much what I faced. My quotes + the parts were around $1600. I preferred spending the money on some good tools and suffer for a day. I paid in all under $700 and spend a whole day at it. The satisfaction was indeed the best part.

    ** I am not a mechanic in trade just an avid DIY Guy. If anyone reads something they can correct please do!
     
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  6. 91fox

    91fox Active Member

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    Hi,

    Screenshot_2020-08-01-08-13-18-043_com.android.chrome.jpg

    Screenshot_2020-08-01-08-13-36-401_com.android.chrome.jpg
     
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  7. 91fox

    91fox Active Member

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    Condenser

    Screenshot_2020-08-01-08-18-21-883_com.android.chrome.jpg
     
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  8. BITUSA

    BITUSA Member

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    91Fox - thank you, this is going to be helpful, I appreciate you sending this.
    David E - thanks for the vote of confidence, having the courage to try these tasks is often the missing piece for a lot of us. I really admire those people who aren't afraid to jump right in. My wife wants me to just take it to a shop, get it done and go back to whining about the virus. But I want to try something I haven't done before - and with the sound advice coming from this forum's members, I believe I can.
    Riphip - thanks for the advice. I'm going to call a few more places, you'd think that with such an emphasis on emissions these days states (AZ in my case) would incentivize shops by subsidizing/augmenting the price of R134 recovery, that way DIY'ers aren't just pressing down on the Schrader valves and evacuating it themselves. Nope, too focused on other things. And I'm sure there are build-your-own solutions to accomplish this but I doubt that would be useful to me since I plan on doing this once, maybe twice, before I'm too old to crawl under a vehicle.

    I'm planning to buy Motorcraft parts, but GPD sells the whole kit (comp, condenser, accumulator, o-rings, exp valves) for less than the MC compressor. I figure that given my lack of experience it's probably in my best interest to just go with OEM, but I'm definitely open to your recommendations. Thank you, all, for the great advice.
     
  9. Jb14

    Jb14 Full Access Members

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    Hi BITUSA, I would agree with Hamsfield on this one. Find a researched out shop and use Motocraft as you indicated you were going to. I speak from experience on this one
     
  10. 91fox

    91fox Active Member

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    No problem, if you decide to take it somewhere to get repaired, here are the times to replace the compressor and the condenser. Don't let them take advantage.

    Screenshot_2020-08-01-13-35-40-743_com.android.chrome.jpg

    Screenshot_2020-08-01-13-36-23-843_com.android.chrome.jpg

    Edit: in my opinion, a/c is one of those things that can be obtained aftermarket. After all, ford truly isn't making the compressor, an aftermarket company is. While working at a shop that had many techs from dealerships a/c components were some of the only components they were alright with getting aftermarket. Mostly everything else had to come from a dealer for them not to complain about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 6:06 PM

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