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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2000 Focus ZTS with 133,000 miles. It's developed an AC leak that I'm having the darndest time getting corrected. After the 134a leaked out the first time I filled it with 134a and dye and found what looked to be a big leak at the connection to the condenser on the hose from the compressor. I bought an o-ring kit and initially just replaced the o-ring at that connection. I vacuumed the system and it held the vacuum for 15-20 minutes. Refilled with 134 and everything was COOL. Well... 3 days later everything had leaked out with another huge dye stain at the same connection.

After reading many posts about AC repair I took things apart again to have a close look at the connection. Since many suggested that the accumulator should be replaced when opening the system I did that. Replacing the accumulator necessitated replacing the hose from the accumulator to the compressor which is also the hose with the o-ring leak.

At the condenser there appeared to be something caked around the fitting where the o-ring seats so I cleaned it up and re-assembled, evacuated, filled with 134 and dye. Leaked out again! Same fitting!

I did notice that the new hose had a slightly different fitting than the old hose. On the new hose the aluminum block has a aluminum tube that protrudes beyond the block. On the new hose assembly the tube has a channel for the o-ring where the old assembly does not.

Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to what going on? Can the condensor fitting be compromised??
 

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This is a strange one.

Are you coating the o-ring with some oil before installing it? If both the fitting and o-ring are dry when you tighten the fittings, it can tear the o-ring. I don't think this is the issue because the system shouldn't hold a vacuum if the o-ring is tearing.

Sometimes if the o-ring is not seated properly, when you pull a vacuum it will hold but when the system has opposite pressure, the improperly seated o-ring will leak.

The condenser fitting could have very small crack in it.

Is it possible to get a picture of the condenser fitting and the fitting that connects to it posted? And is it possible to take a picture of the old fitting that was replaced with the accum swap out?
 

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I have a 2000 Focus ZTS with 133,000 miles. It's developed an AC leak that I'm having the darndest time getting corrected. After the 134a leaked out the first time I filled it with 134a and dye and found what looked to be a big leak at the connection to the condenser on the hose from the compressor. I bought an o-ring kit and initially just replaced the o-ring at that connection. I vacuumed the system and it held the vacuum for 15-20 minutes. Refilled with 134 and everything was COOL. Well... 3 days later everything had leaked out with another huge dye stain at the same connection.

After reading many posts about AC repair I took things apart again to have a close look at the connection. Since many suggested that the accumulator should be replaced when opening the system I did that. Replacing the accumulator necessitated replacing the hose from the accumulator to the compressor which is also the hose with the o-ring leak.

At the condenser there appeared to be something caked around the fitting where the o-ring seats so I cleaned it up and re-assembled, evacuated, filled with 134 and dye. Leaked out again! Same fitting!

I did notice that the new hose had a slightly different fitting than the old hose. On the new hose the aluminum block has a aluminum tube that protrudes beyond the block. On the new hose assembly the tube has a channel for the o-ring where the old assembly does not.

Does anyone want to hazard a guess as to what going on? Can the condensor fitting be compromised??
Three things you can do, I believe:

i) use O ring glaze; ii) use oversized O rings, I believe made of Viton. I think Ford has these; and iii) use the technique Ford recommends to clean out the bores of the female fitting, or the grooves of male fitting. iv) Oh, and I think as well a stabilizing element can go on the outside of the joint. I think the component is by Mr. NUTT or Mr. NUT ????


I don't recall where to get the glaze, but if you google it, you can find it. Google air conditioning spring-lock or spring-lok. Likewise, the process of how to clean-out / hone the bore...

Let me know what you find.

I had a Mercury Mystique, with five such spring-lock joints in the AC system. Every single one developed the tell-tale refrigerant oil dirt / dust / sludge staining, indicative of a leak.

Good Luck!

Eurofordfan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a picture of the factory hose fitting that I replaced. As soon as I figure out how to post a picture I will. At the bottom of the thread it says "You may not post attachments". I don't know if it's because I'm a new member??? Does anyone know if a new member is limited in this way initially?

It was with the factory hose that, after replacing the o-ring, I was able to evacuate the system and have it hold the vacuum for a while. I have never been able to hold the vacuum with the new hose that has the modified o-ring area at the connection to the condenser.

I am thinking about looking for a larger/different o-ring. The o-ring that came on the new hose is exactly the same size as the original. It doesn't make sense that the same o-ring will seal with the additional space that the channel makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is the photo of the factory fitting. When this affair first started, I replaced the o-ring (not shown) on this fitting, evacuated the system (it held a vacuum) and after recharging the system it leaked out in a few days. I'll post a picture of the new fitting soon after I take it apart for the what seems like 100th time.

Later after replacing the accumulator and the new hose assembly I've been unable to hold a vacuum after evacuating. The new hose assembly has the square bottom groove around the tube just prior to transitioning to the the round raised aluminum area.

The caking seen at the bottom the the round aluminum area is what I attempted to clean the last time I did the evacuate and recharge cha cha.


 

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Not seeing the pic, and I looked at the post and have no idea why it isn't visible.

You have a 2k Focus, there is something with those that you have to replace before replacing the accumulator- so that might be your problem. If you still have the old part- try using it. I know you're not supposed to, but IIRC, you need to replace the line from the condenser to the accumulator to use later design accumulators.

I checked this out at Rock Auto while looking for an accumulator price for someone else. Go shop there and see if you can figure out what I meant. I'll go look too.
 

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OK, on vehicles built before 1/03, accumulators must be replaced using a new refrigerant line Motorcraft part YF3242. Your parts guy should've told you, then the fitting should mate. From what you describe, your problem is that you're trying to put round pegs in square holes- right?

Did you get this part at a dealer? I'd go chew out whatever parts guy sold you that and didn't warn you that you'd need a new suction line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did get a new hose assembly. The new hose assembly really consists of two hoses. Compressor to the accumulator and compressor to the condenser with a big aluminum block where the two lines meet at the compressor. The new hose assembly is different at the connection to the condenser where they connect. I don't remember if the connection at the accumulator was the same as the connection to the condenser. There is no leakage at the accumulator so I don't want to take that apart. Tomorrow I may put a smaller o-ring under the existing o-ring and evacuate things ans see if a vacuum can be held.

I'm about to go to NAPA and get some sort of permatex gasket in a tube and goop the fitting up. Probably a bad idea but I'm at wits end on this fitting,

I don't know whats going on with the picture but if I right click and say open in a a new tab it opens from photobucket. As a new guy do I have some sort of probationary period where I cant attach pics?
 

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Anyone who is having problems with Spring Lock joints, might consider trying O Ring Glaze, oversize viton O rings, honing-out the female joints with the Ford recommended varsol/crocus cloth/electric drill method -- and then finally, possibly, using a springlock stabilizing device: http://www.acsource.com/springlockcouplingrepairkit-12.aspx

Not sure it this solution is proper for your specific component seal issue -- but I believe it works, generally, with those "beloved" springlock joints. Give me a single-capscrew flange, any day!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The connection in question is not the one of the spring lock connections. I did have to take one apart and it was a nightmare that involved removing the old fused connection in chips. After all of that the springlock connection is tight as a drum.

Take a look at the picture in the earlier post. You'll have to right click and say open in a a new tab. Here is the link if you want to copy and paste.

http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h370/thepunchback/?action=view&current=DSCF0776640x480.jpg

I have seen the nylog stuff and I'm leaning toward buying some to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Working on this again today. I have pictures of what's going on.

Factory Fitting
http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h370/thepunchback/?action=view&current=DSCF0776640x480.jpg

Fitting on Replacement Hose Set
http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h370/thepunchback/?action=view&current=DSCF0784640x480.jpg

Fix Attempt #1
http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h370/thepunchback/?action=view&current=DSCF0800640x480.jpg

I'm currently evacuating the system then I'll be checking to see if it holds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Should it hold the vacuum for a 1/2 hour or so I'm going to charge it up. At $20 or so per charge I want to minimise any more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well..... It didn't hold the vacuum.[bigcry] While under the car I noticed some dye on the seam in the middle of the new compressor. That shouldn't be there should it? Could it be leaking, it sure looks that way. Do they leak there? As far as I can see that is the only other dye stains other than the condenser fitting. I don't know of a way to see where leaks might be other than charging it up and see where dye come out.

I'm not sure if I got the dye on it when I installed the compressor but I guess it could have.

Compressor with dye stain behind bolt.
http://s1106.photobucket.com/albums/h370/thepunchback/?action=view&current=DSCF0805640x480.jpg
 
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