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Accumulator (or receiver dryer has different names) always gets replaced once a a/c system is opened (has decedents in side that swell once air gets to them) Ford updated the design because of the location, it tended to corrode and break around the connector for the line (high side I believe) The gasket update was because of small leaks, always oil these gaskets/O-rings with the proper a/c oil
 

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I'm doing the same thing on a 2000 SE wagon. Bought the hose assembly first but it didn't fit at the accumulator (aka dryer/dehydrator) connection. Went back and got the accumulator because I read about a change in design and the ford dealer also told me I'd have to get a new one when I was shopping them for the parts. Got both the hose and the accumulator at O'Reilly, the brand is Murray and I spent around 120. Worth it for me since they have a dist center near me and that cuts out a lot of searching. There is cheaper online though.
So I'm about to do the job, I notice the connector from the accum. to the line going up into the fender is some sort of square-ish snap mechanism. Doesn't exactly look like a snap ring? I have the snap ring pliers, so we'll see. Anyone have any experience with this one?
I'll keep posted how this goes...

Tennessee amateur
 

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Update: the "square" looking thing just slides off, but then there is a "quick connect" ring around the connection. This takes a tool to get off and the mechanic I was watching used what looked like the plastic "sleeve" mentioned earlier in the thread. Got it off, got the new one back on with the new hose and now it's sittin back in the shop charging. Expecting cool air soon ... :)
 

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I just wanted to update this thread, I just replaced the hose in my 2001 Zetec wagon as the old hose was rubbing/damaged against the lower radiator bracket. I used the following parts from Amazon:

UAC HA 10414C A/C Manifold Hose Assembly $27
UAC RD 10040C A/C Accumulator $26

I did not know that Ford had made a change but when I pulled the old hose and old accumulator off it was definitely quite obvious they had changed the size of the fitting going into the accumulator.

Everything is back together and it's blowing cold. I put it on vacuum for a couple hours after adding oil and before adding refrigerant.

One last thing when removing the accumulator - the quick disconnect fitting on the line coming out of the accumulator was a total bitch to get separated. I used the white plastic tool to retract the spring and I could see up in there that the spring was retracted but the old accumulator was still not coming off - I had to get a helper he held the hose side and I held the accumulator and through wrenching it back and forth and pulling like the dickens we finally got them separated. There were 3 o-rings on the evaporator hose end.

The problem was the aluminum of the accumulator had corroded somewhat and the inside of the quick connect was pitted and rough. The evap hose end was a bit corroded also but it looks like so far the o rings did not get damaged when pulling it apart and it appears to be holding.

There was a significant difference in weight between the old accumulator and the new one, the old one was probably full of oil. But I think the system had been overcharged with oil anyway it looked like someone had put oil with dye in it. I only added in about 3 ounces of oil.
 

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Overoiling is often done as many do not understand that too much oil takes up needed refrigerant space. It doesn't take much to tilt the unit to not cooling well. I am of the thinking you can have slightly less oil than called for if needed, just don't push it.

The corrosion was evidence of water in the system at some point, not vacuumed down well, or leaked in. Dark colored oil is too. The accumulators are considered dead after 24 hours open to the atmosphere, I have never changed one ever here in Texas but I quickly cap the openings up when disconnected before I do anything else.
 

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I just wanted to update this thread, I just replaced the hose in my 2001 Zetec wagon as the old hose was rubbing/damaged against the lower radiator bracket. I used the following parts from Amazon:

UAC HA 10414C A/C Manifold Hose Assembly $27
UAC RD 10040C A/C Accumulator $26

I did not know that Ford had made a change but when I pulled the old hose and old accumulator off it was definitely quite obvious they had changed the size of the fitting going into the accumulator.

Everything is back together and it's blowing cold. I put it on vacuum for a couple hours after adding oil and before adding refrigerant.

One last thing when removing the accumulator - the quick disconnect fitting on the line coming out of the accumulator was a total bitch to get separated. I used the white plastic tool to retract the spring and I could see up in there that the spring was retracted but the old accumulator was still not coming off - I had to get a helper he held the hose side and I held the accumulator and through wrenching it back and forth and pulling like the dickens we finally got them separated. There were 3 o-rings on the evaporator hose end.

The problem was the aluminum of the accumulator had corroded somewhat and the inside of the quick connect was pitted and rough. The evap hose end was a bit corroded also but it looks like so far the o rings did not get damaged when pulling it apart and it appears to be holding.

There was a significant difference in weight between the old accumulator and the new one, the old one was probably full of oil. But I think the system had been overcharged with oil anyway it looked like someone had put oil with dye in it. I only added in about 3 ounces of oil.
yes ford changed the a/c suction discharge hose or the accumulator I cant remember which but I had to get a new suction discharge hose because my a/c compressor kit came with a newer accumulator and the lines wouldnt connect. Thats how I found out of the change.
 
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