How to Replace the A/C Compressor and Accumulator on 1996 thru 2001 Ford Tauruses & Mercury Sables, with a 3.0L Duratec Engine
Guaranteed to Work . . . By Experience
(This is a hard 8 hour job, even if you know what you're doing and use a lift)
1. Recover the R-134a refrigerant, by attaching a Robinair CoolTech Semi-Automatic Recovery, Recycling, and Recharging Station to the low pressure valve
, where the accumulator hose goes into the evaporator.
2. Disconnect the negative battery cable, remove air dam, and drain radiator.
3. Remove serpentine belt.
4. Remove old compressor from below the car:
a. Remove exhaust system, from just below the exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter. This is where 18" to 24" extensions come in handy.
b. Remove radiator cooling fan.
c. Remove lower thermostat housing and hoses.
d. Remove electrical connector to clutch.
e. Remove old compressor, by removing manifold and four mounting bolts. This provides ample room to remove and install the new compressor.
5. Optional Step: Empty the 6 oz. of Polyalkylene Glycol (PAG) refrigerant oil that came in the compressor. Instead, I added 6 oz. of BG Universal Frigi-Quiet Refrigerant Oil (Part No. 7018) to the Suction Port (S). It's a di-capped PAG oil that was strongly recommended by several people I know, who have serviced auto air conditioners in Texas for years. It can be used with R-12, R-134a, and CO2
systems and comes with a dye. I expect BG Universal Frigi-Quiet Refrigerant Oil to substantially extend the life and improve the performance of the compressor, just as other full-synthetic lubricants have already extended the life and improved the performance of my engine, power steering, and transmission.
6. Remove both O-rings from the back of the new compressor and clutch (Motorcraft Part No. YCC212). Install new O-rings, after coating them with PAG oil, to the Suction (S) and Discharge (D) ports.
7. Install new compressor and clutch--tighten four mounting bolts 18 lb.-ft. Keep the plug on the compressor ports, in order not to loose any refrigerant oil during installation. Remove plug, attach manifold, and tighten manifold bolt 15 lb.-ft. Use the original manifold bolt, not the shipping bolt securing the plug. Attach electrical connector to clutch, after applying dielectric grease.
8. Install lower thermostat housing and hoses.
9. Remove the old accumulator, by removing the A/C
tube lock coupling clips and, by using the proper line separator tool, separate the spring lock couplers. One coupler (5/8-inch) connects the accumulator to the compressor and the other coupler (3/4-inch) connects the accumulator to the evaporator. Disconnect the electrical connector on the air conditioning cycling switch on top of the accumulator. Remove accumulator mounting bolts.
10. Install new accumulator (Motorcraft Part No. YF2569). Replace the three O-rings going to each connection, coat O-rings with PAG oil, connect accumulator lines to the compressor and evaporator, replace the A/C
tube lock coupling clips, connect the cycling switch electrical connector (apply dielectric grease), and tighten mounting bolts.
Rotate the three lugs on the end of the clutch several revolutions, using a pry bar, before turning the air conditioner on. This will circulate the oil in the compressor. Otherwise, the compressor may fail.
12. Attach radiator cooling fan, serpentine belt, exhaust system, negative battery cable, air dam, and refill radiator with coolant.
13. Evacuate, leak test, and charge the A/C
system with 34 oz. of R-134a.
14. Test drive the car. Place a thermostat in the center cooling vent and ensure the system cools down enough. I stopped making it colder on my Taurus, when it recorded 32 degrees F.
15. Record work performed in Maintenance Log.
If there is any indication of "black death," the system should be flushed. If there is evidence of debris, the orifice tube (Motorcraft Part No. YG343) should be replaced--it will be located in the high pressure inlet tube to the evaporator, or in the liquid line, somewhere between the outlet of the condenser and the inlet of the evaporator. The point can be found, in a properly functioning system, by locating the area between the outlet of the condenser and the inlet of the evaporator that suddenly changes from hot to cold. There should be small dimples in the line that keep the orifice tube from moving.