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Old 07-10-2007, 12:39   #1 (permalink)
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1997 Ford Escort A/C Question

Hi all,

I'm new here, I have a 1997 Ford Escort, 5sp, 2.0SPI.

A little background on my a/c issue.
About a year ago I had the motor and trans yanked out and noticed some green oil on the a/c compressor. I wiped it dry after bolting it back to the motor. All was fine. I noticed over the winter that it sounded like the a/c compressor was cycling on and off when the defrost was on while on the gas. I figured something was wrong, but it still seemed to work.

Yesterday the clutch burned up on the A/c. I took apart the clutch and its toast. While I was taking the clutch off the a/c compressor last night I noticed it was covered in that odd green oil again. So I have some questions that maybe someone might know a little more about then I do.

If the Freon was low, should the a/c compressor turn on at all?

I have a 1987 Escort wagon and it does not click on at all because of the lack of Freon. I think the clutch burned up because it was cycling soon much. I'm guessing the compressor is bad because of the oil leaking around the center.

Could the compressor be bad and Freon pressure be ok, allowing it to try to kick on ?



Thanks for any info anyone can give me. The car has about 113k on it. I pretty much replaced all the parts on the motor a year ago.

New oil pump, water pump. all gaskets, timing belt, Brand new transmission, a (Got it off ebay from a rolled 2001 Focus with 305miles on it) Clutch, TOB, Pilot bearing, axles. I just hate to keep putting money into this car if its gonna keep doing this to me!
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Old 07-15-2007, 03:55   #2 (permalink)
fordmech
 
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Re: 1997 Ford Escort A/C Question

Hi
Your compressor probably burned up due to lack of oil AND refrigerant. R134a A/C systems use a special oil for lubrication that in some markets is green in color. If your compressor clutch was covered in oil it's a pretty safe bet to say it was leaking from the front seal. Now, because of the pressures involved, if there's an oil leak there's also a refrigerant leak. If said leak is very slow and the refrigerant level never reaches the point where it triggers the low-pressure switch, the compressor will still work, but it will cycle more frequently and it'll never get cold enough inside the cabin. You noticed the cycling but probably not the temperature because it was winter.
When you decide to replace the compressor, before putting refrigerant in, have the system vacuum tested. If it holds vacuum for 30-45 minutes you shouldn't have any leaks. Also, remember to replace the lost oil, or better yet, flush the system and fit the correct amount of oil, as you don't really know how much you've lost. Hope this helps

marc
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Old 07-15-2007, 14:16   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford Escort A/C Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by backlash1
Hi
Your compressor probably burned up due to lack of oil AND refrigerant. R134a A/C systems use a special oil for lubrication that in some markets is green in color. If your compressor clutch was covered in oil it's a pretty safe bet to say it was leaking from the front seal. Now, because of the pressures involved, if there's an oil leak there's also a refrigerant leak. If said leak is very slow and the refrigerant level never reaches the point where it triggers the low-pressure switch, the compressor will still work, but it will cycle more frequently and it'll never get cold enough inside the cabin. You noticed the cycling but probably not the temperature because it was winter.
When you decide to replace the compressor, before putting refrigerant in, have the system vacuum tested. If it holds vacuum for 30-45 minutes you shouldn't have any leaks. Also, remember to replace the lost oil, or better yet, flush the system and fit the correct amount of oil, as you don't really know how much you've lost. Hope this helps

marc
I bought 2 cans of PAG 46 , New compressor w/clutch, Orfice tube, Dryer today and 2 12oz cans of 134. I got a can of flush also, but need to find out a good way of flushing it as I have not been able to find one of the flush kits yet. I thnk Napa has them, so I will try and stop by there tomorrow. After recapturing the little 134 left, I took apart the system this morning and didn't find any black death. I did find a little metal on the orfice tube filter thing.
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Old 07-16-2007, 00:48   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1997 Ford Escort A/C Question

In my experience, it's fairly common to find little metal filings on the filter screen of the orifice tube. I've asked about this before and Ford says up to 30% blockage of the screen surface area is normal due to wear in and impurities when assembling the system. If the blockage is excessive and caused only by metal particles we also replace the condenser, as it is the component closest to the compressor hi-press discharge line.
marc
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