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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got this great new car (old)...after fixing the transmission problem, I take the car to get the AC checked out for leaks. Come to find out the unit had not been converted to modern standards, and the entire system needs to be replaced because of some Ford compressor issue called "black death". The quote came to a whopping $1200. Is there any cheaper fix to these issues? The guy I spoke to suggested that the insides of everything needed to be cleaned out because of the "black death."

I just bought the car and am considering that after all the pain I've been through with this thing that I perhaps should ask the seller to buy it back.

HELP!! :(
 

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Sounds like they want to sell you a lot of extra stuff. I have not heard of "Black Death" however I know for about $50 you con convert a r-12 system to a r134a system with out replacing much. I do recommend replacing the drier and the orifice tube.
 

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I have not heard of "black death" as well, but I'd think that they are priced a bit high. Ac repair has been and probably will also be another costly repair like most other car things, but it probably won't cost that much.
 

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Originally posted by Raider@Jun 21 2004, 05:38 PM
Sounds like they want to sell you a lot of extra stuff.  I have not heard of "Black Death"  however I know for about $50 you con convert a r-12 system to a r134a system with out replacing much.  I do recommend replacing the drier and the orifice tube.
Autosale sells a kit for about $40. Just drine the old stuff and put it in.

entire system needs to be replaced because of some Ford compressor issue called "black death".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was advised against the place I went for the quote...after the fact. Also after my wife got in a fix this afternoon with a dead battery. The end result was a bill for $120!! I have never heard of a battery costing that much! She had them test the alternator and electrical system ($16) and then a few dollars in taxes...the battery cost $91. Trust me, it's going back tomorrow.

I'm going to get a second opinion on the AC in the morning. I hate it when people (companys) take advantage of the unknowing consumer.

Thanks all for the help. I'll let you know how it goes.

jM

ps. nice BS sign!
 

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Of course there's such a thing as cheap ac repair! I put an R12 to R134a adaptor on the low side of my sable, tossed in a can of oil, and a few cans of refrigerant and it worked fine. For a total of like $35, the system went from dead, to working fine for over 10K miles and still running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried a couple small cans of "Lube & Chill" or whatever they're called. and then a can of refridgerant...it lasted for about an hour...maybe less...

After the AC check this morning, it doesn't even blow cool (it did before). Can I assume they removed the old stuff? Where can I find a good diagram of this system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have to confess...I'm from the North West living in the South. I'M IN PAIN!!! (and I'm AC ignorant). :notworthy:
 

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While $1200 is a bit... retarded :freak2: , there is a condition with the FS-10/ FX-15 compressors known as "black death". When the compressor fails, it sometimes creates a black sludge throughout the system. In this case, you have to replace the orifice tube, and receiver/ drier, the compressor, and have the remaining system flushed. However, if your compressor hasn't failed, have your system evacuated, and then have a vacuum pulled on the system for at least an hour.

If it holds the vacuum, then you have no leaks. Replace your service ports with the R-134a retrofit, and recharge with R-134a, less 15% of a full R-12 charge. For 1991 - 1993 cars, a full R-12 charge was 2lb 4oz. After a R-134a conversion, the new charge is 1lb 14.6oz. Replacing the pressure switch might be a good idea here also. :angry: After all of that, let 'er rip and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What does holding a vaccum on it for an hour do? When they say "retro fit," what exactly are they retro fitting? Is it simply the ports? The person I purchased the car from claims to have put a new compressor on it a year ago. How would I tell if it isn't OEM (part #)? Is the "Black Death" specific to the OEM part?

Thanks again for the help.

jM
 

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Holding vaccum (and it's a deep vaccum) on the system will cause all the moisture to boil out of the lines; and once it is a vapor, it can be removed by the vaccum pump.

You REALLY don't want any other gases in the system, other than the refrigerant and lube charges. Makes a compressor work extra hard, causes extra high pressure in the condensor too. Eats power and kills efficiency. (Not that the system won't cool, it will just eat lots of power to do it!)

Also, holding vaccum on the system will more or less prove that there are no leaks in the system. If the pump has to keep running, there's a leak somewhere.

As for the retro-fit itself, it depends on the kit. Some kits are just adapters, mostly. I bought the conversion kit from Ford, for my '87 wagon. Came with a new condensor, pressure switch, wiring harness, massive instruction sheets (large blueprint size), and all the adapters and other goodies. For about $500.

Your compressor may very well have been replaced a year ago. Because the old one died of the Black Death. Too bad that the lines weren't cleaned out, from the sounds of it. That's probably what the shop tech saw.

Never heard the term 'Black Death' myself in regards to this, but my A/C expert neighbor, who helped me with my car, mentioned Ford's problems with compressors.
 

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Ahhh... "Black Death".... Just did one not too long ago. As a minimum, the system needs to be flushed, and the drier and o-tube need to be changed.

We stopped using R-134a a while ago for conversions, too many problems and complaints. We used R-406a (autofrost) and now we use FR-12 (Frigic, 12 NOT FREEZE 12) (Price and warranty issues)

But $1200.00, run the other way.
 

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How the heck do you drain old stuff? Legally? I would like to convert system to new stuff(R134), and the shop said my hose had leak. Should I get conversion kit and try any way?

Any input is helpful.
 

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Originally posted by AAsable@Jun 22 2004, 09:28 AM
How the heck do you drain old stuff? Legally?
The only way to legally do it is also the safest way. Have a shop recover it with their equipment.

You should be able to find a shop willing to do this for (near) free, if they get to keep the R-12 that comes out. Assuming that there's any left. They may even give you a shop credit for it. If you're REAL lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, I believe I found a good shop...yay.

They did the vaccum test and pressure held fine...yay.

Then they charged it...started the car and no cold blow...Boo.

They did a few other things and deduced that the compressor was shot...yay, I know what the problem is and that the system holds pressure. Boo, I'm gonna get jabbed with an expensive part.

So where do I go from here, folks? Anyone live in a really cold place and want to help a poor guy survive this horrible weather? I guess I could start looking for a recked car with one. Would a Gen.3 compressor work on a Gen.2? Just a thought :)
 
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