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Ford Focus Evaporator Replacements

300zxer on Thu August 19, 2010 10:21 PM User is offline

Year: 2002
Make: Ford
Model: Focus
Engine Size: 2.0
Country of Origin: United States

My neighbor and I are getting ready to replace the evaporator in a 2002 Ford Focus. The leak is sizable and after recharging enough to get the compressor to run, we got a leak indication at the cabin vents and enough cooling to know the compressor is good. We have ordered the evaporator, orifice tube, drier and o-rings from ACKits. The oil for the evaporator we will get locally. We have done the evaporators in a VW, Mercedes & Nissan before, but this is our first Ford with an orifice tube or the fancy disconnects. If anyone has advice before we start, please let us know.

TRB on Thu August 19, 2010 10:59 PM User is offlineView users profile

When we do a new a/c which requires a core to be placed in the heater assembly. We remove just about the entire inside of the vehicle. Careful of the SRS system.


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

300zxer on Mon August 23, 2010 10:51 PM User is offline

Well, it took the first day to get the insides out down to the evaporator and heater core box. Then we took a look at where the hoses come through the firewall before we quit. Tomorrow is going to be a full day!!!! Does anyone know where the orifice tube is? We plan to replace it if we can find it!!!

300zxer on Tue August 24, 2010 7:09 PM User is offline

The heater core lines were above the steering rack and had to be worked from under the car. That took some time. The quick disconnects went fine under the wheel well where the drier and orifice tube are located. You could push on both tubes and make sure the quick disconnect tool was in place before pulling. The two evaporator connections on the firewall were a different story. They were up under the wiper tray and hard to get to. After several tries on the first side, we cut the old evaporator tube on the passenger side and then removed the piece left after we got the hose where we could hold both sides. The other let go more easily and we didn't have to cut the other evaporator tube. The new evaporator is in its box with 81 ml of PAG oil. We hope to get it all of the rest back together tonight so we can pull a vacuum to see how it does. Its always good to be done with tearing it down and start putting it back together.

newton5 on Wed August 25, 2010 1:04 AM User is offlineView users profile

I've always found that when replacing the evaporator, on most vehicles, having the factory service information available is priceless.
OEM paper manuals are often available on Ebay at a reasonable price. I buy them for all of my vehicles.

Obviously, that won't help you with the Focus at this point but,
AllData is almost a reprint of the factory info, IIRC. A $27 subscription can save hours of struggling and grief. Well worth even double the price!

Good Luck

300zxer on Wed August 25, 2010 7:37 AM User is offline

I agree and do the same thing. I always get the OEM manual. In this case it is my best friends daughter-in-laws car and they only had the Chilton's (I think it is?) and third party manuals usually cover too many years and leave out some details. This one doesn't even mention the orifice tube. I finally went to a friend at the Mercury dealership and got a copy of the parts break down to see where it was. We are headed back together now. I will probably never see another 2000 Ford Focus in my lifetime, but I did learn more about how to use the quick disconnect tool. If at first you don't succeed, cut the tube off (that you are going to replace) and get it out where you can work with it. I first learned this from an older mechanic at a GM dealership. I could not get the fuel filter off of my 02 Suburban. I ask him how he did it. He said, "Oh, you have to have a special tool for those fancy time saving quick disconnects." I told him I had the Snap On tool. He said, "It didn't work did it?" I told him no. He said, "I always cut them off on the filter side and use a screw driver!" LOL, I have never forgotten that valuable time saving lesson.

Edited: Wed August 25, 2010 at 7:38 AM by 300zxer

300zxer on Wed August 25, 2010 10:40 PM User is offline

Hit a snag tonight going back together. The OEM accumulator has a 1/2 inch Pnut flange on the outlet. The one from AMA had a 5/8, so the pipe and o-ring obviously didn't fit. When I checked locally, the accumulator had a note stating the hose back to the compressor had to be changed, $140!!! I need to go out tomorrow to see if I can find an OEM accumulator that fits.

Tim, I called in and was told the supplier only provided a 5/8 or 3/4 Pnut flange for the Ford Focus and specifically the 5/8 for the 2000. They ask that I send this one back for a refund.

The evaporator and orifice tube (once I found it in the system) fit up nicely.

300zxer on Thu August 26, 2010 4:28 PM User is offline

Turns out, Ford discontinued the OEM accumulator with the 1/2 inch Pnut connection and re-engineered the hoses. The AMA 5/8 inch Pnut discharge connection on the accumulator was correct. You have to buy the hose to match from the accumulator (with the larger connection) back to the compressor manifold and then to the condenser. We found it locally for $80. All is well. A good vacuum was held for 3 hours, so we are about ready to charge and checkout the cooling. I don't know if this make any sense, but we can't find a high pressure port any where an the high pressure side. We have had all of the pipes and hoses from the compressor to the evaporator off and we don't see it anywhere.

300zxer on Thu August 26, 2010 4:30 PM User is offline

Found the high pressure port. It was on the opposite end of the condenser.

300zxer on Thu August 26, 2010 9:45 PM User is offline

Well it is done and out the door. We got a good 40 degree drop in temperature and pressures looked good. Here are some pictures from along the way.

TRB on Thu August 26, 2010 9:50 PM User is offlineView users profile

Yep, that looks about right. Eric did on in our shop and the only left was the back seat.


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

newton5 on Sat August 28, 2010 8:38 AM User is offlineView users profile

Wrong Reply button.

Edited: Sat August 28, 2010 at 8:47 AM by newton5

newton5 on Sat August 28, 2010 8:47 AM User is offlineView users profile

I've pulled quite a few instrument panels but most have been "unitized" where much of the bracing, wiring harness, etc. comes out with the panel. They're a lot of work but all in all, not too bad.
That Focus looks like a real pain in the a.. err.. neck. Lots of individual, smaller parts. Are evaporator failures getting to be common on these cars?

Thank for the pictures!

Edited: Sat August 28, 2010 at 8:48 AM by newton5

GM Tech on Sat August 28, 2010 10:02 AM User is offline

Thanks for the input-- now I'll know to send any Focus evap failures to our local nearby Ford dealer.....or any other glutten for punishment...

The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

300zxer on Sat August 28, 2010 11:47 AM User is offline

Newton5, this was my first Ford, so I don't know how often they are failing. Since a lot of people use the Ford Focus as second cars and cars for teenagers, not many a/c's are probably fixed. In my case it is a friend and neighbor that wants his young granddaughter to have a cool car to ride in while out with her mom or dad. You can tell by the debris on the evaporator that it was just a matter of time before there was going to be corrosion and a leak.

GM Tech, I have a good friend that is a master tech with the local Mercedes and Lincoln Mercury dealership. He drives a Ford. He said when he has a problem, he brings his vehicle in for the Ford guys to work on. LOL!!! I have Mercedes and GM vehicles, but I have to say there were things I liked about the ford. Most panels had dowel holes to line them up before putting in the fasteners. That really helps, especially when it comes apart in so many pieces!

Thanks for the Sympathy!!!

GCS on Wed September 01, 2010 8:58 PM User is offline

I would have tried a gallon of stop leak, and if that didn't work, crushed it. You got patience.

TRB on Wed September 01, 2010 11:56 PM User is offlineView users profile

Originally posted by: GCS
I would have tried a gallon of stop leak, and if that didn't work, crushed it. You got patience.

So you would have crushed it then!

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