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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As fate would have it my evaporator decided to let go when the outside temperature hits 90 degrees .. and I was planning on a trip to Florida.

When I scraped the 2008 I only kept the AC compressor and condensor. I had no idea what a nightmare replacing the evaporator would be ... or I would have taken the whole evaporator assembly off and had a spare. I have researched for a few days and understand the dash must come out. I did take it to a mechanic so he could pressure test, and run some dye in the system, to ensure just the evaporator was bad. He had a resaonable qoute for 850$ in labor and 200$ in parts. I would rather poke the bear and do this myself. I told the mechanic that when complete I would take it back.... for a good clean/vaccumm/ and re charge of the system.

The qoute he gave me is only for the evaporator. I told him that while I was in there I would probably replace the drier/accumulator. He told me that he nevers replaces anything else but the evaporator. If the compressor was bad he then replaces other things since you have a chance for contamination.

With that being said .... it is Rock auto time and I would like some feedback from the experts. Here are all the AC components listed for a 2011 Ford Focus. So far a have the evaporator core and drier/accumulator in my cart. Since I'm saving 850$ in labor .... I don't mind replacing a few other parts just for piece of mind. What else do you recommend I replace? I plan on keeping her for at least another 10 years .. So i'm on the fence about replacing the compressor/condensor with new parts... even though both are fine.



310135
 

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Yes,
Taking the dash out/apart is a big job but there are lots of youtubes that cover the 08-11.

How many miles are on the vehicle and is it in otherwise good condition?

If it was me and I was going to try to keep the vehicle for some time I would replace the compressor and condenser in addition to the other components you listed (condenser is key). Im not that familiar on the longevity of the expansion valve - Im more familiar with the earlier systems that use an orifice tube - but it doesnt look like a very expensive part. Be certain to replace ALL the o-rings in the system and use good quality Ford/Motorcraft PAG oil.

Good luck
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After a week of research I have decided to replace everything (execpt the hard lines). I just couldn't do this halfass with the amount of labor required for replacement and installation. I will post up the invoice with part numbers... but i had the condensor/compressor/evaporator/expansion valve/ all delivered yesterday for right around $450. It is all China parts from the vendor 4seasons. I will do an overview write up for any pain points .. and include a few links to videos i watched that where helpful.

The 4season instructions are useless .... or non existant... but that is to expected. I didn't go for customer service on this purchase but all for price.

I do have one question before I start .. that is kind of confusing with the chinese halfass instructions.

They shipped me a 8oz bottle of PAG oil. In the instructions is says to fill the compressor with half the bottle and use the rest throughout the system.

From all my research this is way too much oil for our little ass system!

My question is as follows

The system is completely empty. This is one of the reasons I did a complete rebuild.

1) how much PAG to put in the compressor after installation? I will spin it at least three rotations to get it nice and lubed.
2) how much PAG to put in the condensor after installation ( I figure about 1 ounce)?
3) should I put any PAG in the accumulator that is mounted on the side of the condensor?
3) Does the expansion valve or evaporator need any PAG after installation?

After completion I will take her to a real mechanic and have them vaccumm and refill the system for me.
 

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The OEM specification is 4.1 Oz. I don't know if you have a service manual but if you don't, I will gladly PM you a online service manual.

Personally I would add 2 oz to the compressor and inject the other 2 oz during the charging process.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That confirms the on-line research.

I will add 2 oz to the compressor at installation and another 1oz to the condensor. I will let the tech know how much I added and inform him the system should need another 1.1oz during charging.

I will probably trash the chinese PAG and go get some OEM PAG .... along with a thermostat .. since I'm already in that far anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Fun filled weekend in 90% humidity




All to get to this broken part.




Will start the reassembly this afternoon. Then to the compressor and condensor.

The only issue on disassembly was after removal of the shifter assembly a broken spring fell out. looked like a lock spring for the push button gear selector. Couldn't see where it came from. Hopefully it won't be a deal breaker for shifter operation.
 

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Did you pull the dash with the frame still attached?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes you still have that bolt that is accessable from the drivers door jam. That one bolt in the front by the windshield was a bear..... not sure that one will be going back in!!

Pulled the dash with frame attached as one big piece... even the steering linkage. Probably going to be a little more difficult getting it back in that way.
 

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I told him that while I was in there I would probably replace the drier/accumulator. He told me that he nevers replaces anything else but the evaporator. If the compressor was bad he then replaces other things since you have a chance for contamination.
Holy crap, hats off to you, dude for taking on that job. I've only redone an A/C system once, and it was on a relatively easy truck. From my research, everything I read said to replace the drier/accumulator whenever you crack open the A/C system.
 

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Yes you still have that bolt that is accessable from the drivers door jam. That one bolt in the front by the windshield was a bear..... not sure that one will be going back in!!
The MK1 (00-04) dash has three plastic pins at the base of the windshield that must be removed and are a bit of a PITA - but no bolts like that center one on the MK2.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update

I have the new evaporator installed and everything hooked up. I went to install the dash back into the car .. and thought I should check out the cabin air filter .. since all the crap somehow got into the housing and caused the evaporator to go bad. Took the cowl off the front passenger side and all that was there was a metal grate ... a bunch of leaves.. and other dirt and debris .. NO FILTER AT ALL!!

After reading up a bit .. did Ford really produce Mark 2 Focus without any cabin air filters installed from the factory???? kind of pisses me off .... but it did take 10 years for enough crap to get into the AC housing to cause a falure.

I will take some pictures to show what I'm talking about. Has anyone else had a Mark 2 without a filter installed? They sell aftermarket filters all over the place.
 

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No cabin air filter. I had a 2010 for 10 years.

I don't believe dirt and leaves made the evaporator go bad just a poor quality part. Cabin air filters have not been around forever.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is my root casue analysis. I started with the 5 why's

My AC has failed

1) Why .... The system will not hold coolant
2) Why .... The evaporator has failed
3) Why .... There was a build up of Debris at the bottom of the evaporator that caused it to corrode the fins
4) Why .... No cabin air filter allowed dust/pollen/ and small debris to enter the system and build up on the evaporator
5) Why ... No cabin air filter was installed at the factory

WHY BECASUE FORD DID NOT GIVE A SHIT
 

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Is there any place to put a cabin air filter that would keep it dry? All the vehicles that I have that have a cabin air filter have them either at the bottom of the air box, or at the entrance of the air box. But of course they are inside and are kept completely dry.

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You can put simple window a/c filter material in the blank spot to create your own filter if you want and what I did on my earlier cars, they had no filter either. Ford started using them at first then got busted by Trade Commission for making false statements of improved health using the cars because of filter reducing allergens and then they capriciously dropped the filters to keep the money for CEO.

That alone won't stop corrosion on evaporator as the water condenses on the outside of it when conditions are right and the unit is really getting cold. Enough and gravity drains it lower to collect and eat the aluminum. The later design evaporators are known for failing way early too.
 
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