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'93 Ford E350 AC won't cool - pic included

rgnprof on Sun May 08, 2011 4:54 PM User is offline

Year: 1993
Make: Ford E350
Model: Motorhome
Engine Size: 7.5L
Refrigerant Type: R12
Ambient Temp: 95
Pressure Low: 0
Pressure High: 0
Country of Origin: United States

I have a '93 Ford E350, 7.5L with front AC - that is not working. The compressor cycles on and off rapidly and the air does not get cold. I couldn't get any pressure readings...I am attaching a pic of what looks like a leak in the hose that runs from the compressor to the condenser - with what is a filter - I think?

What is the silver thing with the screw connection on top? Is it a built in line filter? It won't take a R12 connection as it is too small. I thought it was the low pressure tap, but again, my gauges don't screw on it...I pressed the little valve inside the connector and it started leaking and it wouldn't shut off. There was no gas in it as the air escaping was just that - ambient temp air. Now there is nothing - all air has escaped and the system has depressurized, so I'm now concerned about moisture, getting in the system...

You can sort of tell in the pics that it has been leaking - oil all over the line between the filter(?) and the condenser. This line is no longer available from Ford, so I am assuming I am going to have to remove and take to a hose shop. But, I'm not sure how to get this thing disconnected from the condenser???

Also, should I go ahead and replace the accumulator and orifice tube - or does this thing have an expansion valve??

I am planning on going back with R12, since I have some. Thanks.

Ford E350 AC


Edited: Sun May 08, 2011 at 10:24 PM by rgnprof

mk378 on Mon May 09, 2011 9:11 AM User is offline

You need a 3/16 adapter to hook up to the high side port on later R-12 vehicles. Refrigerant escaping under low pressure seems like air. There should be plastic or metal caps on the ports to keep dust out and stop refrigerant which might slowly leak through the valve.

Like most Fords the lines are connected with "springlock" fittings, to disconnect it:
Be sure there's zero pressure in the line.
Pull of the metal clip (which is not always present).
Put the proper sized springlock remover tool over the small side.
Push remover tool into the bulge to release the spring.
Hold the remover against the spring while you pull the lines apart.

Edited: Mon May 09, 2011 at 9:13 AM by mk378

NickD on Mon May 09, 2011 10:14 AM User is offline

Quick connect ports are strictly for R-134a, you need a set of R-12 adapter or gauges to work on this thing. That "filter" is your accumulator where that large tube feeds in the input of your compressor. That is replaceable, have to check with Tim if he has that hose between the accumulator and compressor. Doesn't appear to be much of anything left of yours to repair.

Springlocks weren't the best idea sticking in a smaller tube inside of a larger one with two O'rings making up for the difference and also providing the seal between these two tube. Smaller tube has a lip on the end of it that is held in place with a circular coil spring. That clamp is an aftermarket item used to keep the dang thing from flying apart. Been awhile since I worked on Springlocks, had three such vehicles, but that is two more a guy needs for any lifetime. O'rings become extremely brittle and extremely difficult to take apart. Then those joints have to be surgically clean to get a leakproof seal. Smaller tube is not to bad, but cleaning out the inside of that larger tube can test your patience. Memory is getting bad, but recall such eight such joints. They should all be cleaned with new O-rings. RT200R - Nylog (Red) Gasket Thread Sealant for CFC or HCFC Systems works great for these joints rather just than using refrigerant oil as Ford recommends.

That air you released wasn't air, but extremely valuable and way overpriced R-12, too bad you don't have a 94 when the EPA mandated the change to R-134a. Have to be certified to buy it. When your 93 was new, R-12 was less than a buck a can. Since you were rapidly cycling, you weren't that low, but that is history. Your Scharder valves are worn, but still think those run about 75 cents a piece yet to make it like new again.

Went crazy about five years ago and got a class A 27' Pace Arrow, spent a lot of time and money fixing that thing up and wife thought she wanted it. Was hoping on getting $4,000 for it on a new car trade in, but was shocked its value is now less than the six new tires I put on it. Can't even find a decent used car for my stepdaughter for under $5,000 that needs a ton of work. What I saw was way overdue for the wrecking yard. And nice motorhomes are a lot cheaper than that. Wife, while I love her and all that is not a camper and the price of gas, $4.31 a gallon now doesn't help either.

Just giving you a hint to look around, maybe a lot cheaper to get a decent R-134a home than repairing yours. What the heck, with mine, let it sit, a nice guest room with TV, stereo, air conditioning, heat, private bath, large refrigerator, oven, hot water, microwave, generator and acts like a nice fence from my neighbor.

I also had the E-350 class B, purchased it with only 8,000 miles on it during the energy crisis for $3,000 in 1976, sold it in 1987 with an extra 80,000 miles on it for $6,500.00. No telling what tomorrow will bring.

Dougflas on Mon May 09, 2011 12:31 PM User is offline

1993 E350's had R12 in them; at least the one I had. Spring locks were a bear sometimes to separate. You may want to spray PB Blaster or something similiar on them, let it soak, then clean with brake cleaner before you try to separate them. The you want to use floss to clean the surfaces before you put the new PROPER o rings on them. You may have to clean the mating ends of the connectors also.

rgnprof on Mon May 09, 2011 10:16 PM User is offline

Thanks for the replies! Here's where I am tonight. I got the hoses disconnected at the leak between the 'muffler' and the condenser - 1 o-ring was totally torn up and the other wasn't in much better shape! I knew I had a leak there. I also replaced the o-rings on the low side hose - the hose looked a little wet, so I just wanted to be sure. Reassembled using nylog on the o-rings and I also put a new schrader valve in that high side port (on top of the muffler). Pressured the system to 120 psi and starting spraying the connections - no leaks! I am going to leave the system pressurized overnight and see what it looks like in the morning, but so far pressure is holding steady! If OK, then I will pull a vacuum and recharge.

I am planning on adding one 4 oz can - 2 oz oil and 2 oz R12, The system then calls for 3.5 lbs or 56 oz. R12 - Is 2 oz of new oil enough? Anyone know original capacity of oil in this system?

Any advice?


Edited: Mon May 09, 2011 at 10:51 PM by rgnprof

Dougflas on Mon May 09, 2011 11:24 PM User is offline

7 oz mineral oil if front AC only; 10 oz if front and rear AC, mineral oil is 500 viscoity refrigerant front AC only 56 to 60oz with rear 68 to 72oz

NickD on Tue May 10, 2011 6:19 AM User is offline

What happened to Joe? Guess his wife and baby are keeping him off the net, he liked talking about spring locks. Worse ones are on the high side where it really gets hot.

Later they tried to solve the leakage problem by using three instead of two O'rings.

tycham on Tue August 23, 2011 5:28 PM User is offline

I have the exact same problem on my 93 E350. Is the item in the photo the drier or accumalator? Mine is a very small leak. I will check if it is the schrader valve. If I am not going to replace it can I just add a can or two?

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