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  #1  
Old 06-16-2019, 03:13 PM
paulwesterberg paulwesterberg is offline
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Default Do I need to flush AC system?

Hi,

I bought my 2003 2.3L Ranger without functioning AC two years ago (missing compressor clutch). I am not sure why the compressor clutch went missing or what was actually wrong with the system. I'm assuming the compressor is broken but have not confirmed this.

Regardless I now decided to fix this and I am planning to replace the following parts:
Compressor
Accumulator
Condenser
Serpentine belt
Orifice tube
O-rings
Also one of the AC lines that was leaking: https://parts.ford.com/shop/en/us/tu...-1#partMatched

I'm guessing I could have first went ahead and just bought a new or used compressor clutch and refilled the system to check if the compressor was still working but I have chosen not to do so because I think it might be a waste of time.

MAIN QUESTION:
Do I need to flush or clean out the evaporator and the AC lines/tubes that I am not replacing? I will have access to a vacuum pump and gauges but I did not want to spend the extra ($50?) on a flush kit unless I am recommended to do so. Another option could be to go ahead and just replace the evaporator too if that changes anything - then the only old parts I would be left with would be the old lines/tubes.

This will be my first attempt at working on the AC system so my apologies if my question doesn't make sense. Thanks!

Last edited by paulwesterberg; 06-16-2019 at 03:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2019, 10:33 AM
paulwesterberg paulwesterberg is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

Does somebody know?
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2019, 11:40 AM
Dirtman Dirtman is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

If the system had a leak and then sat dry. Yes it needs to be flushed.
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  #4  
Old 06-18-2019, 05:49 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is offline
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Posts: 992
Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

Hmm.
You don't know what is wrong. It could be a faulty clutch. Yet.
You are replacing almost everything forward of the firewall.
Except.
The lines, which, in total, likely cost less than $100.
AND
You want to know if you should flush?
Well, I don't know. Did your desiccant bag break and spread stuff through the system?
Did your compressor decide it wanted to self-destruct, and spread slimed aluminum piston through the system?
Did your compressor run low on oil? Did the compressor shed bearing material?
Was your system open to atmosphere? If so, you'll definitely have to replace the accumulator or receiver/dryer.
For the few extra dollars, and the fact you can't flush a line with a TXV(except if you can take it apart), I'd replace all the lines, and the condenser. I think you have a TXV rather than an orifice tube as most manufacturers went to TXVs to improve efficiency and cut back on the amount of refrigerant needed.
I have not looked at the prices for lines, except the other day for someone's Escape, and the cost there was ballpark $100+/- depending on whose bits you purchased. Even OEM wasn't always the highest, FWIW.
I definitely would flush the evaporator, and for that you don't need a kit, you need some brake clean and a compressor & air nozzle, and some shop rags. Preferably white shop rags so you can see if/what you are flushing. Could be totally clean.
I would also get some Nylog for the snap fittings. It prevents motion that causes wear over time, leading to seepage of the refrigerant. And PAG or Ester oil. I think Ester is better for home use, though I think PAG is used on the line during assembly. I understand Ester won't absorb water as much as PAG, FWIW.
You should find access to a shop manual to know how much and where to put the oil. Figure if you get all new parts save the evaporator, you have zero oil in the system. If you get a compressor, make sure to know what/how much oil is in it from the factory, before installation. Weigh in the new refrigerant, and it will work like a brand new system right from the factory.
tom
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  #5  
Old 06-19-2019, 06:40 PM
paulwesterberg paulwesterberg is offline
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Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

Thank you Tom for the helpful reply! I do have Nylog and double end cap PAG 46 oil. I went ahead and ordered a new evaporator too. The only thing I'm left with are some of the old hoses/lines. How do I go about cleaning those if I have them taken out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw0 View Post
Hmm.
You don't know what is wrong. It could be a faulty clutch. Yet.
You are replacing almost everything forward of the firewall.
Except.
The lines, which, in total, likely cost less than $100.
AND
You want to know if you should flush?
Well, I don't know. Did your desiccant bag break and spread stuff through the system?
Did your compressor decide it wanted to self-destruct, and spread slimed aluminum piston through the system?
Did your compressor run low on oil? Did the compressor shed bearing material?
Was your system open to atmosphere? If so, you'll definitely have to replace the accumulator or receiver/dryer.
For the few extra dollars, and the fact you can't flush a line with a TXV(except if you can take it apart), I'd replace all the lines, and the condenser. I think you have a TXV rather than an orifice tube as most manufacturers went to TXVs to improve efficiency and cut back on the amount of refrigerant needed.
I have not looked at the prices for lines, except the other day for someone's Escape, and the cost there was ballpark $100+/- depending on whose bits you purchased. Even OEM wasn't always the highest, FWIW.
I definitely would flush the evaporator, and for that you don't need a kit, you need some brake clean and a compressor & air nozzle, and some shop rags. Preferably white shop rags so you can see if/what you are flushing. Could be totally clean.
I would also get some Nylog for the snap fittings. It prevents motion that causes wear over time, leading to seepage of the refrigerant. And PAG or Ester oil. I think Ester is better for home use, though I think PAG is used on the line during assembly. I understand Ester won't absorb water as much as PAG, FWIW.
You should find access to a shop manual to know how much and where to put the oil. Figure if you get all new parts save the evaporator, you have zero oil in the system. If you get a compressor, make sure to know what/how much oil is in it from the factory, before installation. Weigh in the new refrigerant, and it will work like a brand new system right from the factory.
tom
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2019, 07:46 AM
tomw0 tomw0 is offline
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Posts: 992
Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

If they are not 'straight through' where there are no valves, accumulators, pockets, or multiple pathways, use any flush that will not leave a deposit. I expect a good brake cleaner would do the job on all that can be 'hosed out', more or less.
tom
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2019, 01:45 PM
crixus crixus is offline
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Posts: 56
Default Re: Do I need to flush AC system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomw0 View Post
If they are not 'straight through' where there are no valves, accumulators, pockets, or multiple pathways, use any flush that will not leave a deposit. I expect a good brake cleaner would do the job on all that can be 'hosed out', more or less.
tom
I learned somthing new in this discussion. Thanks!
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