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jsanders on Tue October 23, 2007 10:15 PM User is offline

Year: 2002
Make: FORD
Engine Size: 2.0L
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Ambient Temp: 80
Pressure Low: 45
Pressure High: 215
Country of Origin: United States

I am embarrassed by this tale, but I NEED help and am at a loss for what to do next.

FAILURE History:

1. Hose attached to the compressor failed. The compressor was covered with oil and dye, so I assumed that the compressor was bad. It was not, but I replaced it and later the hose when I found that leak. A remanufactured unit was installed.

2. Remanufactured FS10 lasted 13 months. Clutch coil failed open. I assume that this was used clutch, and this may be why it lasted “so long” – please continue reading and you will see where I am going with this.

3. NEW FS10 purchased and installed. It started squeaking and lasted for 3 months. The front seal failed and covered the serpentine belt and all the pulleys with oil.

4. Returned the FS10 and received another one. It lasted 3 weeks. The clutch mechanically failed. It looked like the front seal was very slightly leaking.

5. Returned the FS10 and received YET another one. This one lasted 2 DAYS! There was NO squealing noise until just before the clutch mechanically failed as before. The clutch was extremely hot and a burning smell was evident.

In each case, I replaced the dryer (with Ford units as the FactoryAir dryer would not fit correctly), and I replaced the orifice tube and a handful of O-rings. Finally, I used AC system cleaner and an air siphon system to blow out the lines, the condenser and the evaporator. As instructed, I turned the FS10 over for several minutes to lubricate the front seal with 4oz of PAG46 oil; the other 4 oz of PAG oil was added to the dryer. The system called for 7 oz, but I usually lost some from the compressor as I was installing it and I also used some as O-ring lube. I cannot say exactly how much oil was in the system each time. After the unit was installed, I rotated the compressor about 15 revs.

I torqued the FS10 to the bracket with a torque wrench to 20ft-lb. and visually inspected the alignment of the compressor clutch pulley with the others; no side belt wear was noticed, and the belt appears to track fine with minimal lateral movement. I did replace the belt tensioner after the belt was squealing and installed a new Gates belt after the original was oily from the damaged front seal.

I must be doing something wrong. I pulled a Vac and get about 28-29mmHg. I fill the system with a little more than 2 cans; about 26oz. of 134a. P-low = 25-45psi, and the P-high = 175-215psi (as best as I recall) with the car not moving in 80+ degree weather.

THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT I CAN THINK THAT I MISSED: I did not cycle the AC button 12 times/min for 50+ cycles initially on the last installation that only lasted 2 days. On the other installations, I may have cycled the systems 6-10 times max, but nothing like 50 times, and I completely forgot to cycle the clutch at all after the last failure. I wonder if this is why the first compressor lasted 13 months? If that was a rebuilt unit, maybe the clutch was already broken-in? I am just guessing – I am really at a loss here.

Could it be that the clutch was slipping due to not cycling the AC button, and this generated a bunch of heat that lead to these clutch failures? In every case, the compressor turns easily by hand with minimal effort before and after the failures.

I am at a loss, and hate to waste my time and ruin yet another FS10. I very much appreciate any advice that you could offer. Thank you,

John Sanders

Chick on Tue October 23, 2007 10:21 PM User is offlineView users profile

What kind (brand) of compressors are you using? What was the condition of the O tube each time you changed it? Is the condenser fan working properly?

Also, what did the oil look like after each failure??

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

Edited: Tue October 23, 2007 at 10:30 PM by Chick

TRB on Tue October 23, 2007 10:39 PM User is offlineView users profile

Unless you have some pretty expensive equipment! You are not going to get the debris out of this condenser. May not even with the expensive equipment. Our shop this condenser would have been replaced at the first failure!

Core Size: 24 9/16 x 14 1/4 x 3/4 Inlet: 1/2 Female P Nut Coupling Outlet: 1/2 Female P Nut Coupling Construction: Parallel flow design


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

iceman2555 on Tue October 23, 2007 11:21 PM User is offlineView users profile

The most advantageous method to accomplish this repair is to get to a 'basic' starting point. Forget all the repairs and what was or was not done....start at a base line.
Obtain the NEW parts necessary to accomplish this accumulator....orifice tube and most important a new condenser. As TRB states....the PFHE units are almost impossible...if not impossible to properly clean.

Obtain a good flush...not sure what type, AC System Cleaner, was being used...but some of these chemicals do little to clean a system....and some are down right what type was being used....suggestions will follow. Flush the evap thoroughly....then using a low pressure air flow....allow air to blow thru the evap in a reverse flow for app 20-30 minutes...this will aid in the removal of residual flush chemicals.

Reinstall all new parts....lubricant the orings with mineral lube or use some of TRB's fantastic Nyloq oring lube. Adding lube to the system was acceptable....2-3 oz in compressor...the remainder into the inlet side of the accumulator. Evac and recharge to OE specs. 26 oz is what my book calls for.

Best method to determine full charge, if not using the proper and correct equipment is to charge until the inlet and outlet of the evap is about the same least within 3-5 degrees of each other....the inlet being the cooler of the two. If unsure that you are able to completely obtain a fully charged system.....perhaps it would be best to have it charged professionally. It is essential for compressor longevity that this system be fully charged.....adding refrigerant a can at the at best a hit/miss condition. Failure to insure proper refrigerant refill will contribute to compressor failures.

Once this condition is obtained...allow the system to operate....and monitor fan operations to insure proper engine/condenser cooling.

Was the hose assembly replaced or was a repair made for the leaking area?

The process of engaging/disengaging the compressor clutch is refered to as 'burnishing' the clutch....this is an often forgotten technique to increase the holding torque of a new/rebuilt clutch assm. It is highly doubtful that this is the sole cause of your clutch is my thoughts that excessive high side (discharge) pressure are the root cause of this.....and this goes back to the condenser.

Good luck with your repairs...keep us posted....

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

jsanders on Tue October 23, 2007 11:23 PM User is offline

I am using new Visteon FS10 compressors from Advanced Auto. Also, the O-tube had a fair amount of aluminum shaving embedded in the filter, but I have such limited experience so I don't really know what to expect here. I will replace the condenser this time, but are you guys thinking that the contaminants could have taken out the compressor which in turn took out the clutch? I guess that I would have expected the compressor to be hard to turn. Just minutes after the last failure when the clutch was too hot to touch, I rotated the compressor by hand, and it was not at all difficult to turn. In fact it was very easily turned and quite smooth. That's why I was thinking that it might be due to a slipping clutch -> heat generation -> failure.

Thank you for your help,


TRB on Tue October 23, 2007 11:28 PM User is offlineView users profile

When a compressor heats up beyond normal temperatures. It will damage a clutch do the the heat a loads being forced upon it. Bottom line is these system have to be clean. If you don't get it clean you will be putting on number 6, 7, 8 and so on! You also do not want to put a new condenser on this and have debris still in the system. Every time you have a failure you need to start all over again.


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jsanders on Tue October 23, 2007 11:36 PM User is offline

Thanks very much to all. To answer a few questions: 1. a new FORD hose was installed after the old one failed, 2. Interdynamics AC cleaner has been used. I did not realize how critical it was to have the system completely clean inside. I suppose that this was my problem all along...

Thank you,


TRB on Tue October 23, 2007 11:40 PM User is offlineView users profile

Black Death


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

HECAT on Wed October 24, 2007 8:55 AM User is offline

There was a joke in another post about 4.6 compressors being needed to clean a system. Obviously you are on the high side of this average. (Sorry to make light of your situation)

Metal debris in the o-tube screen came from the most recent or previous failure period. A compressor with destroyed internals can sometimes turn freely. If it does or does not, that is a strong sign or an indicator of possible internal damage but not always a rule.

The Quest Interdynamics flush is an ester based product. Our tests have shown that no matter how much you air blow and vacuum, a substantial amount (by heat exchanger weight tests) will remain in the heat exchanger when using any of the ester based flushes. After you add the correct amount of oil to the oil base remaining, you end up with an overcharge of oil that is diluted and probably not the right viscosity. Residuals left in the system create a high percentage of lubrication related compressor failures.

Solvents with a good evaporative nature and do no harm to the system will yield much better results, with many, after a good air blow, leave nothing but trace residues (almost or equal to heat exchanger test starting weight), that have proven negligible to proper lubrication.

Effective refrigerant flushes that can remain liquid for flushing and evaporate under vacuum recovery, leave no trace and are by far the best method.

We recommend to perform this simple test; use a blow gun and air "pop" the heat exchanger by holding your thumb over the opposite port and allow a little pressure to build up, being careful not to overpressurize; and release. Have a clean rag available in your hand and allow the out flow to hit this rag. If you see debris, oils, or any trace of a cleaner; you are not finished and more cleaning and or purging needs to be done.

Given the most highly probable scenario here is that the internals of multiple compressors seeing debris and high pressures, and creating the clutch burn issue, are now residing in and restricting the condenser; I agree it should be replaced. Flush the lines and evaporator with an evaporative solvent and test to be sure the final result is clean and DRY. Follow the rest of the proper procedures to fill with fresh oil, vacuum, and charge.


HECAT: You support the Forum when you consider for your a/c parts.


iceman2555 on Wed October 24, 2007 10:42 AM User is offlineView users profile

A word about sure of your that the replacement condenser is a true PFHE unit...OE design. Some of the aftermarket suppliers, in an order to satisfy a cost issue have developed and are selling a brass and copper 6mm piccolo condenser...the cost is less....the fit is almost perfect....however, these units do not transfer heat as well as the OE designed unit. Be wish in this buying decision.
The choice of your new compressor is good....there are other mfg'ers that produce these units also...but you have a good unit. The failures that have occurred, unfortunately are not the fault of the unit...but of mistakes made in the installation procedure. Be thankful that Advance is 'eating' these units for you....all in all they are saving you vast amounts of 'dead presidents'. Do not be surprised, if this is the last unit they will give you...many suppliers are beginning to be quite diligent concerning 'alleged defective' units....some are capping replacements at 2 units.
The debris mentioned is the result of possible lubrication issues...either insufficient flow for the compressor or from contaminants from the lack of cleaning of the flush chemical...combined with an excessive amount of lubricant within the system. Ester based flushes are one of those disastrous ones.....does not clean properly.....and impossible to remove completely. Follow HECATS suggestions.....he knows his stuff....or at least he tells us he does.....!!!!
The most important aspect of the repair....get the system clean and prepared for the new compressor and insure that the system is FULLY charged, reliance on pressures may not be indicative of a fully charged system.
Good luck....

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

elvis1977 on Wed October 24, 2007 1:43 PM User is offline

Totally agree with the suggestions above. When a compressor fails like your's has, before replacing the unit you should flush the whole system with a good flushing fluid, once the system is dry replace the drier / Accumulator as this will hold some of the debris from the broken down compressor, also you should really replace the condenser as it is practically impossible to get them completely flushed clean. replace the compressor with an o.e fs10 (Visteon) ensure that it has the correct oil charge within it before you fit it. Once the new components are fitted Vacuum the system, add oil and dye and recharge to the amount required by A/C system. Hopefully if all of these things are done, you should have a trouble free system.

elvis1977 on Wed October 24, 2007 1:47 PM User is offline

Just a thought, don't know if it available from ac kits, but there is a product out called compressor guard, its basically a little filter which goes on the inlet side of the compressor and stops any debris entering the compressor and damaging the internal workings of it. admittedly it would not of helped with the problem at hand, but all the same it would help protect the compressor.

jsanders on Sun October 28, 2007 4:27 PM User is offline

I replaced the Compressor, condenser, manifold hose asy, dryer, and O-tube. I flushed out the evap for about 30 noisy minutes along with the remaining two hoses that were not replaced. In short, the system was almost completely new and CLEAN. I pulled a vacuum for about 1 hour and achieved -29mmHg. I then charged the system and thought that something was wrong because the pressures were so low. The system took the 26oz of 134a and runs so well and quiet that I cannot believe it! Interestingly, the power steering pump seems to work a little better; I now believe that the belt was slipping for some time and thus the decrease in PS performance.

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE HELP! I would have ruined yet another compressor had it not been for this forum.

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