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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished repairing the engine from a dropped valve seat and now I'm thinking about fixing the air conditioning system in my 94 1.9 Escort LX. When we purchased the car in 2005 the air conditioner was fully functioning, however, the car was then in an front end collision that ruined the A/C Condenser (also in 2005). I recently looked up the price of a new condenser and accumulator and it looks I can get the job done for about $100. Is it safe to assume that replacing those two parts would make it work again? Do I have to worry that the compressor would have issues after not being used for 10 years with no refrigerant in it? What do you guys think? Also has anybody ever removed the condenser before? How'd you get it out? Was it difficult.?

Thanks for all the help.
 

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the condenser is fairly easy job. along with the accumulator. as far as the compressor still being good, its a shot in the dark. the problem you will run into is obviously the system has been open (leak) so you can assume that there is moisture in the system just from the heating and cooling cycles of the engine. you can test the clutch, but you cant test the function of the pumping ability without charging it and such. if your only going to be 100$ into parts, you may want to consider replacing the pump at that time.. other wise you'll have to break the system back open to replace it. and if there is moisture in the compressor, it will contaminate the rest of the system

your going to need to have the system pulled to a vacuum, and i would recommend having it pulled down overnight to eliminate as much of the moisture in the lines as possible.

also, dont forget to balance the oil in the compressor when you install it. the compressor will come filled with factory oil. you will need to drain the oil out of it and add new oil...

typically you want to add 1oz per component replaced, condenser and accumulator.. and 2 oz for the compressor. so i would add around 4oz of new oil to the compressor when you replace it.
 

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Leaks at hoses are fairly common. I would replace them as well; and was the evaporator open to the air? That may require more than one flush event.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thats kinda what I had figured, looks like the compressor will be replaced as well. It also seems as though the orifice tube should get replaced too since it can clog and its cheap. Does anyone have any recommendations on what brand of compressor to get (or ones to avoid)? I've read that the Denso units are okay.

I'm still a little confused as to how to get the condenser out though. Does the radiator have to be removed or is there a way to avoid that?

As far as the evaporator being open to air, the condenser had a leak and the refrigerant all leaked out over 10 years ago. So while it hasn't had the hoses off it with air getting right into it, it has probably been exposed via the condenser hole/leak. Would that warrant replacing that too?
 

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the biggest things i would worry about is the compressor, dryer, and condenser. the OT not so much, but if u plan to replace the rest of the system, you might as well. pulling a good solid vacuum on the sytem overnight will boil off the moisture in the evaporator.. as long as its at least 70* in the car at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Could you give specifics on how you removed the condenser? Did you remove the radiator? Grille? Cross support?

Also, would it be worth the effort to replace all the o-rings, or just the one's at the connections I disassemble?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good to know.

Could you give specifics on how you removed the condenser? Did you remove the radiator? Grille? Cross support?

Also, would it be worth the effort to replace all the o-rings, or just the one's at the connections I disassemble?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I ordered the parts last night. Got a new compressor, condenser, accumulator, o ring set, and orange orifice tube.

When I got the condenser out, some of the oil spilled out and it looked all brown and dirty. Should I try to remove the oil from the evaporator by blowing compressed air through it or would that be a bad idea?

Also, regarding how much oil to keep in the compressor. If everything but the evaporator is being replaced (and if I get the oil out, depending on the answer to my last question) would it be wise to just keep all the oil in the compressor, rather than removing some only to add some to the condenser or accumulator?
 

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no.. completely drain the compressor. add 1 oz of new oil for each component replaced... compressor, recieverdrier, and condenser.. add 3 oz for those. then for safe measure add about another half ounce for a total of 3.5oz..

as far as the evaporator.... there is no way to 'flush it' you can use the solvents but it really doesnt help. the best thing to do would be to replace it.. can you take a pic of any of the brown dirty stuff? how brown was it? was there any black? or chunks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, thanks for the clarification the compressor oil.

The liquid spilled out and I'm not sure if they're any left in it to take a picture of. I will see though when I get home. Going from memory I would say it was about the color of Coke. I didn't notice any chunks coming out. When i pulled out the orifice tube it had some (very few though) black stuff in the screen. Nothing horrendous looking though.
 

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minor chunks are normal.. but any black goo is definitely a bad sign. the problem with the factory compressor fill is, usually they fill it with compressed nitrogen to keep leaks out. the nitrogen dilutes in the oil and will cause cooling problems. also the oil typically will contain any remaining contaminates from the build. the fill isnt a set amount either, it is typically just 'filled' and overfilling the system with oil will make your cooling insufficient. due to the components being completely saturated.
 

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I think you get the evaporator and condenser clean by blowing a flushing liquid into them then pulling a vacuum on them for an hour or two; using a vacuum pump made for the purpose. This would be done with them separately - not all connected up. I dont think you flush compressors at all.
 

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here is a pic of why you need to drain your new compressor and add the correct amount of oil. this is one im doing right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Finally got all my parts in the mail and have working on getting everything done.

Sorry to bring up compressor oil again but I have seen mixed answers on the internet.

I was able to blow out some brown oil from the evaporator. I got the old compressor and it didn't seem to have any oil in it. Nothing came out of the 2 holes where the lines connect even after spinning it quite a bit. Is there a separate oil drain port?

I've seen varying ways of adding the correct amount of oil back into the System.
1. Measure the old oil from the compressor and add that much back in plus the amounts to compensate for accumulator and condenser. Add all the oil to the compressor.
OR
2. Measure old oil from compressor, and put that much new oil into it. Add the amounts of oil for condenser and accumulator directly into the condenser and accumulator themselves.

So is there a preference, should I put all the oil into the compressor, or some in the compressor as well as into the new parts themselves.
 

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if im just replacing a compressor i will put it all in the compressor. if other components are being replaced i will put about an oz in the condenser, and about an oz in the accumulator if its possible.. ie if the fittings allow it to be poured in without leaking out during install. but as long as there is some in the compressor it will cycle through in the first few sec. better to put the oil in the circuit before the compressor than after.. example filling it all in the condenser will take a while for the oil to reach the compressor.

so for your answer, you have to make that choice yourself.. as a flat rate tech that cant afford a come-back for a failed system. put 50% in the compressor and 25% in each other component. putting more in the compressor guarantees that the oil wont be 'sucked out' when your pulling a vacuum.
 
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