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Old 06-17-2011, 16:46   #1 (permalink)
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Fuses involved in 97 Explorer ETAC AC System

I'll start with a direct question and then describe the whole problem: Can someone tell me ALL of the fuses that I should check to diagnose the compressor clutch never actuating in a 97 Eddie Bauer Edition Exlorer? I already checked (and switched to just to make sure): both of the 7.5 Amp fuses in location #10 & #36 (blend door actuator) in the fuse box on the side of the dash, and both the 10 amp minifuse in location #1 and the associated AC/Relay in location #2 in the main power distribution box under the hood. I am on the road and don't have a lot of tools (e.g., a voltmeter) to do a lot of diagnostics to isolate the problem.

Now the WHOLE story on the AC system. Back in 2007 it would only blow cold air. Someone told me how to put the system in diagnostic mode and we were expecting a fault 024 indicating the blender door actuator was bad. But just running the diagnostic "reactivated" the blender door and it worked fine from that point forward. I could control the interior temperature to preference.

Several years ago the compressor seized (I guess) as the entire clutch was gone. I replaced that with a junk yard compressor in the summer of 2008 and the AC would freeze you out of the car. But I left the car with my mother in the summer of 2010 and she reported that it started blowing hot air. When I got the car back I glanced at the compressor and it was actuating, stopping, and reactuating back and forth - it cycled every few seconds. I didn't need the AC by that time so I just put the whole thing off and didn't even try to use it.

I drove the Explorer cross country in the winter of 2011 and the heater would COOK you no matter what temperature was selected. I ended up making that trip with the sunroof open and the heater set at as a cool as temperature that it would operate just to be tolerable in the cabin without driving naked. Thus I decided that either a temperature sensor was bad or that nuisance blend door had failed (again).

So now the weather is nice and I have time to work on the thing. I put it into self-diagnostic mode, get the anticipated 024 fault code for the blend door actuator, and I can hear that clicking trying to move and feel it trying to move the blend door when I put my hand on top of it (behind the glovebox on the duct). For now I have disconnected that altogether, as it kept trying to cycle even after I reset the AC after the diagnistic. I also pulled fuse #36 which controls the blend door, but that depowered the entire ETAC system so I put the fuse back in place. The MAX A/C vacuum driven recirculation door (i.e., outside air intake versus inside air recirculating) operates just fine as I have verified both visually and listening to the increased air flow.

It would seem there are multiple problems in addition to the blend door actuator, but I could be wrong. My initial thought about a bad temperature sensor could still be valid (but I doubt it) - the loss of temperature control with the heater is most likely a direct result of the blend door failure. The freon (replacement) charge could be low, causing a low pressure signal to keep the compressor from actuating now. A buddy said there is a way to jumper-short this sensor (which also sometimes goes bad on Fords and costs bucko $$$'s to replace) and that would at least tell me that is the culprit (or the pressure is really low in the system). The compressor could have seized (but not sure why the compressor wouldn't still at least attempt to actuate).

All of this could have blown a fuse somewhere in the system, which I figured was both the easiest and quickest thing to check. But given that the fuse descpriptors include obtuse "multiple General (should be Generic in my opinion) Purpose Module (GEM)" circuits which could be involved in this system I seem to have already exhausted the obvious ones that could cause this problem and need insight if some other fuse might be involved.
Again, I am traveling - the car has been in storage for months and is a second vehicle anyway so 2/65 AC may be my ultimate decision. But I would like to diagnose the reason and ascertain any costs before making the jump to declaring defeat. Seems this system could have been designed a lot simpler given the number of failures I have experienced and noted on the web. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Dellaguya
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