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93 explorer compressor not engaging, and rltd ?'s

scrivyscriv on Tue July 08, 2008 11:50 PM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1993
Make: Ford
Model: Explorer
Engine Size: 4.0
Refrigerant Type: 134a
Ambient Temp: 80
Country of Origin: United States

I'm in the middle of converting to 134a, and seriously want to do it right instead of cheaping it out. Any responses are def. appreciated!

Used the walmart conversion on a system that has not worked in about two years, figuring I didn't have that much to lose. Ended up changing the evap core(faulty weld), drier, and o-tube (tube did have some black crud on it, btw, replaced with a red tube).

When I charged it with the walmart hose & idiot gauge, I got the low side pressure up to the "caution" range and the compressor wouldn't engage. However, the clutch had power going to it, because when I tapped the front of the clutch with my hammer, the clutch kicked in and started running. It would not engage without being tapped.
I assumed a faulty clutch, so I replaced the compressor with a used compressor. Added liquid PAG, and started adding 134a again. The low side pressure went up as I added, but the compressor wouldn't engage (again!). Tapping it made it kick in, but even though it was running, the low side pressure did not change at all nor did the compressor cycle in the five minutes I ran it or blow cool.

I let the engine cool down, then tried again. This time the clutch was not energizing at all.

I don't have gauges yet... I know, I know, I have to get them .... I think I'm looking at a burned compressor relay or bad low pressure switch. Am I on the right track? What should I do next?
Also, do I need a 134a-specific drier and low pressure switch? And where can I get a hi-pres cutoff?

Edited: Wed July 09, 2008 at 12:02 AM by scrivyscriv

Chick on Wed July 09, 2008 5:32 AM User is offlineView users profile

Where to start....Ok, first not a faulty clutch you had a clutch gap adjustment issue, remove one shim and it would have worked, I see no mention of a vacuum being pulled, you'll only keep blowing compressors if you don't pull a vacuum and use "proper" high and low side gages.. Your explorer uses the FX15 "Black death" compressor, which usually means a firewall forward replacement of parts. But if only a slight black covering on the O tube, and no junk, you might be able to flush. You can use a new FS10 compressor, which will be fine with R134a, but throw the death kit away before you open the hood again.. You can get all the stuff you need right here, 93 explorer ac parts and also a DIY'er starter kit if you don't have a vacuum pump and gauges at use only PAG 46 or BVA auto 100 ester oil and refrigerant, no sealers, O ring lube or other magic..If you don't want to fix it right, leave the windows down and keep your money in your pocket..Hope this helps..

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

scrivyscriv on Wed July 09, 2008 1:08 PM User is offlineView users profile

Good deal. The old compressor was a four seasons, so i'm assuming a black death experience in the past before i bought the vehicle. Checking the clutch gap, it's on the bigger side of .060... How do i adjust it?
And when i changed the evap core a few weeks ago, i put the OT in with the more pointed cone end facing into the evap. Did I do right?
Ha, i hate sounding like such a doof... I work on airplanes for a living so you'd think i'd 'get it' with a/c work

mk378 on Wed July 09, 2008 5:16 PM User is offline

Is your "new" compressor a FX15 or FS10? Don't run a FX15 at all, they're lemons that all will eventually go black death on you. To reduce the clutch gap, unscrew the center axle nut and take the clutch plate off. Remove some shim washers from the shaft and reassemble.

The other advice about cleaning up the system and evacuating before recharging is vital.

scrivyscriv on Thu July 10, 2008 12:03 AM User is offlineView users profile

I pulled the clutch plate off and removed the one washer I found, giving me a .020 clearance and a well-operating clutch. Thanks for the help!
That word of warning on fx15's might apply to me, since this comp came off a 91 and don't know if it's oe or not. Has a ford stamped on it and the clutch, soooo... How can I tell the model?

Edited: Thu July 10, 2008 at 12:04 AM by scrivyscriv

Chick on Thu July 10, 2008 6:53 AM User is offlineView users profile

If it came off a 91, and has ford stamped on it, it's most likely an FX15, and you're asking for problems down the road. If you want to do it right, check out brand new FS10 compressors at You can't beat the price for a "new" compressor..Just my opinion...Hope this helps..

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

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