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Old 08-22-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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A/C Evaporator Connections

So I took on the job today of trying to fix my A/C leak. It has been a slow leak, often charging the system lasts about 3 months. However, I was tired of filling the system every three months not to mention possible environmental damage. The last time I filled, I put in UV dye to find the leak.

Never did see the UV dye anywhere...I think the leak is too small. So I decided to just replace all the o-rings and seals in the system and the accumulator as well.

Job was not too bad with the exception of three items.

1. Could not get my A/C line disconnect tool on the A/C Evaporator connections on the firewall. There simply is not enough space. Anyone ever done this and have any tips? Do not think these were leaking anyway.

2. Did not open and replace the orifice tube. I know I'm supposed too before I get yelled at. But with not being able to get the connections off the evaporator, I could not pull that section of tube/hose out to wrench the orifice tube apart. I'm pretty sure its impossible to wrench the tube apart while in the car due to space and required leverage. Any tips here?

3. I picked up a new accumulator at NAPA with the full intent of replacing the old one per the DIY and standard procedure. However, upon trying to reinstall, I discovered that the one from NAPA had a different tube interface for the line coming from the compressor, no way to make it seal. I was forced to just reuse the old one with new o rings, NAPA was closed. I think it was OK though cause the old was never exposed to atmosphere until I broke the system today and it was only for an hour or two. I put a vacuum on the system for a half hour to be sure all moisture was out.

Anyway, recharged the system including oil and she works like a charm. Now to see if she holds the pressure longer than three months (cross fingers).

Any tips on the evap tubes for future reference would be most welcome!

Oh, BTW...one additional tip. Double check to make sure all the tubes that are connected via the spring seal that requires the A/C connect tool to open are solidly reconnected..pull on them hard to be sure. If they are not fully seated, you will find out quickly after you get about a can of freon in...don't ask me how I know that

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
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Does the lack of responses mean that no one has replaced the o rings on the a/c system, especially at the evaporator? Come on, I know someone else here had to have followed the advice fromt he A/C DIY.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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I believe you have to remove the evaporator to change the o-rings I have the whole dashboard dismantled and am still trying to figure out how to get this bad boy out......
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:37 AM   #4
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I never could get the connections at the firewall either.

As far as the connection at the accumulator goes, I ran into that too. I had bought my accumulator online as it was cheaper. When it didn't fit I ran up to the local Advanced auto. Their listing for the accumulator said it required a hose replacement as well. Don't know why the design was changed, but the new hose and accumulator fit right together.
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Old 07-26-2011, 05:50 AM   #5
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I'm sorry I haven't had to work on my AC yet. That's why I wrote the article as General AC to dispel some AC myths/misunderstandings.

I hope someone can help you because I'm afraid that without replacing the orifice tube you're going to be disappointed in the performance of the system. This especially since you had a leak, and if you leak refrigerant you also leak oil. If you leak oil, you undoubtedly damage the compressor which means more metal shavings for the orifice tube to catch. The more shavings, the less refrigerant passes through to the evaporator, and the higher the pressures are on the high side.

The accumulator is most likely a bigger issue for you. The reason why the connection was different is that the return suction hose changed sometime in 01 YM, and the accumulator changed as well. I don't personally have a whole lot of information, but I do know that there is a change that requires the accumulator to be replaced with the suction line.

I wouldn't purchase the accumulator from NAPA again. Not because NAPA sells bad parts, but because there are plenty of parts available online for less cost- and you're going to need a hose and the accumulator at some point to do the job correctly. That increases the cost some. I found both parts online at RockAuto, and a short description of what build dates were affected by the change.

Now if you really want to save some money, then go start searching junkyards for Focis with door stickers that show dates later than yours and have different accumulators and suction hoses. There's nothing wrong with snatching a hose from a junkyard vehicle, but beware of that vehicle having a charge. It's much more difficult- and quite dangerous- to remove a hose while the system has pressure.

That's about all I can tell you. As far as the orifice tube goes, hopefully a Ford tech or an FF with experience can help you. If a flare nut wrench won't work, maybe 2 standard wrenches will work. I'd definitely soak the connection with penetrating lube even though you're dealing with 2 aluminum parts- aluminum oxide is a very tough opponent sometimes. Be sure when you are wrenching on it to pay attention to making sure the lines are lined up and not put in a bind by you working on it. That rudimentary stuff is about all I can offer.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:39 PM   #6
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Gonna bump this one - anyone know how to remove those connections? I have a bad seal between my evaporator/hvac box and the firewall, and I need to remove the box (and the evaporator) from the car to replace that seal. The dash is already out.
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