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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.

11. Important: 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.
 

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Changing Ac compressor

Just to let everyone know...The method above is way more work than needed....the compressor can be removed without touching the exhaust or the housing for the thermostat. ....simply remove the metal hose going to the power steering pump and remove the nut holding it to the exhaust manifold and move it out of the way. the Ac compressor will come out through the top....done in three hours...
 

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Removing the AC compressor took me 40 minutes on a 01 flex fuel. In this scenario you drop the compressor on to the frame slide it to the drivers side under exhaust manifold and pull it up on drivers side by the battery.
Pull neg on battery, and remove the belt. Pull the passenger side fan. Pull the power steering line, at pump, at the exhaust manifold and one nut on top of transmission. I also pulled a hose off air intake flex pipe that leads to valve cover. Pull these two hoses out and up over the engine. On the A/C compressor remove the 10mm bolt that holds the manifold on. I know you can just loosen it but remove it, get it out of the way. Disconnect clutch wire, the air sensor and wires can stay on. Pull the 4 13mm long bolts. Here you have two supports for wiring watch these. The two bolts closest to pulley you screw out but can't remove because they are too long. But pull them out a ways and then jockey compressor down to the right and twist the front surface sort of up. Then you can get these two bolts up and out. Stop here and take a picture because when you reassemble you need to put those supports for the wiring back on with the two bolts.
Very carefully slide compressor past air sensor wiring through fan opening, and don't hit the radiator. Bring it over under the battery turn it the long way pulley down and lift it out.

A few tips on buying a compressor from the junk yard. Look for low mileage, or reman sticker, look at pulley area be sure there isn't any dust red clutch material. Spin pulley and make sure there is no noise, its smooth etc. Do the same with clutch. Pull manifold and turn clutch and place fingers over opening see if it seems to have compression. If you can, get the wires to the clutch. You can touch these to a car battery and see if clutch jumps. some places have batteries at the counter for such purpose.
 

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Removing the AC compressor took me 40 minutes on a 01 flex fuel. In this scenario you drop the compressor on to the frame slide it to the drivers side under exhaust manifold and pull it up on drivers side by the battery.
Pull neg on battery, and remove the belt. Pull the passenger side fan. Pull the power steering line, at pump, at the exhaust manifold and one nut on top of transmission. I also pulled a hose off air intake flex pipe that leads to valve cover. Pull these two hoses out and up over the engine. On the A/C compressor remove the 10mm bolt that holds the manifold on. I know you can just loosen it but remove it, get it out of the way. Disconnect clutch wire, the air sensor and wires can stay on. Pull the 4 13mm long bolts. Here you have two supports for wiring watch these. The two bolts closest to pulley you screw out but can't remove because they are too long. But pull them out a ways and then jockey compressor down to the right and twist the front surface sort of up. Then you can get these two bolts up and out. Stop here and take a picture because when you reassemble you need to put those supports for the wiring back on with the two bolts.
Very carefully slide compressor past air sensor wiring through fan opening, and don't hit the radiator. Bring it over under the battery turn it the long way pulley down and lift it out.

A few tips on buying a compressor from the junk yard. Look for low mileage, or reman sticker, look at pulley area be sure there isn't any dust red clutch material. Spin pulley and make sure there is no noise, its smooth etc. Do the same with clutch. Pull manifold and turn clutch and place fingers over opening see if it seems to have compression. If you can, get the wires to the clutch. You can touch these to a car battery and see if clutch jumps. some places have batteries at the counter for such purpose.
This has nothing to do with a Duratec/DOHC compressor replacement, please move this to another thread/topic that is related.
 

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Need Help!

Just replaced the compressor and acumulator on my 2002 duratec.
Took awhile but no major issues until I attempted to reconnect the suction line to the evaporator. Not sure why but I cannot get the garter spring to engage with the female end coming from the evaporotor. Male end goes in fine but I just cant seem to push it far enough to get it to engage. Any advice on this?
 

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