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  #26  
Old 04-24-2005
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Yea, I always would have the AC on if I needed defrost and I'd run it once in a while for the lubrication. I did that all the time when I had vehicles with that functionality. I just like having complete control of all the systems.
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  #27  
Old 04-25-2005
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This was the second mod I made to my truck. The Ford HVAC controls have pissed me off since day 1! I too like the additional control over when the AC pump runs and when it doesn't. I agree, the control **** is HIGHLY misleading. My last truck did not have AC at all and I automatically figured that the AC would not run unless in the 'AC' or 'AC Max' positions. I was a little put off when I found it ran in nearly all positions. I run my truck in the defrost position 98% of the time. On all but the hotest days around here you can get a pretty good breeze going in the cab by opening the rear window and setting it to floor and top vents, unfortunately the stock setup enables the AC in that condition!

I hate AC, especially the super low humidity type you get in vehicles. The humidity changes between the interior of an AC'd truck and the outside environment screws w/ my breathing. I've had asthma since I was about 10, so my breathing is easily screwed w/ this way. I'd rather aclimate to the humidity and sweat than run AC in my vehicle. If the truck were available w/o AC and it didn't ruin the resale value, I'd have special ordered it w/o AC altogether!

Someone posted that the AC has minimal impact on MPG. I have experienced otherwise. I can immediately tell when the pump turns on from the drop engine's slight drop in RPM. I also feel the loss in power taking off from a stop. I got the truck in July and didn't perform this mod until October. There were a few days in August where I just HAD to run the vents (and thereby the AC). I was unable to crack 17 MPG highway on those occasions. Since then I've nipped at 19. Not a huge improvement, and possibly due to other items (engine break in, driving behavior, humidity, etc). But I believe it helps..

George is the one who tipped me off to this mod back in the GE days. He has since emailed me the detailed photos and I promised todo a Ranger-Forums write up.. but I haven't! I should get to that sooner or later..

Someone asked about the switches Neil has. Last year at Centralia I saw he had some rounded rocker switches w/ blue lights. (They look vaugely like the rockers used for the power windows in our trucks, but larger.) He mentioned he found them at an auto-parts store if I'm not mistaken. I have since found them at a local auto parts store myself. I have them mounted to the top of the interior of the cubby pocket under the HVAC controls. You can't see them right away. I reach into the cubby and activate them by touch. Someday I'll do it right a-la our friend Bob here.. someday.. probably right after I do the writeup!

Lastly, Bob, what do your recommend for a timeframe for 'periodic' lubrication. Once a week? Once a month? I hardly ever run my pump. Librication and such is something I hadn't thought of..
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  #28  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBubba
Lastly, Bob, what do your recommend for a timeframe for 'periodic' lubrication. Once a week? Once a month? I hardly ever run my pump. Librication and such is something I hadn't thought of..
I don't think that it needs to be done daily or for long. In the cooler months, when I have the compressor turned off for long periods, I run it for a minute or so when I think of it, maybe every week or two. Sometimes I kick it on to help with glass defogging. I have no idea what the "correct " way would be, though. That has to be the reason that Ford has the compressor running regularly as delivered - so it takes care of itself without intervention by the customer.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 04-25-2005 at 09:12 AM.
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  #29  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTank
Wow, that's one of the first mods I did for my truck, and I've had the info up for probably 3 years. I guess no one ever checks my webpage :(

http://silvertank.batcave.net/ACmod.htm
If I had know it was there I would have looked there. So do think its been worth it, any problems with it.
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  #30  
Old 04-25-2005
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My focus has a way different set up then my truck. I did not like the focus set up at first but then after seeing how the truck is and the ac pump running all the time I like the focus set up a lot better it gives you more control.
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  #31  
Old 04-25-2005
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A/C is a gift from God. lol. I rarely use it unless it's 1. 80+ and im in sitting (no airflow) traffic. 2. 100+ I dont care if there is 100mph winds it gets turned on. 3. To cool me down after work. 4. To show my dad that he need to get a/c in the house, and on the F-150 he plans to buy (unless i can talk him into a F-250 Power Stroke).

But Floor with max cool is nice, keep my feet feeling fresh. Not so great if you have people in your truck with smelly feet tho. Anyone ever drive with socks on lol. It's like riding a bike iwht bare feet, it just feels wierd.
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  #32  
Old 04-25-2005
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I drive barefoot all the time in the summer. More times than I can count I've gotten back to the truck after a hike or something and had my boots coated in mud, lobbed the muddy globs of shoe into the bed, and driven home that way. It's probably illegal, but so is speeding..
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  #33  
Old 04-25-2005
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even vehicles with a seperate A/C switch turn it on when you put the HVAC to full defrost
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  #34  
Old 04-25-2005
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Really? I've not experienced that. Maybe when you jack up the fan, but not if you have the fan off or on the lowest setting and have the vents in defrost position, right? As I said, I've always run my vehicles in defrost position by default. Keeps some air flowing but isn't directly on my hands of feet.. Most of my experience is w/ import cars, specifically VWs like the Jetta, Golf, and Passat.
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  #35  
Old 04-25-2005
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Every vehicle I've ever seen without a dedicated AC swithc (and even some with) will run the AC in the defrost position. The difference it makes in clearing the fog off the windshield is well worth it.
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  #36  
Old 04-25-2005
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if the vehicle has a seperate A/C switch when you turn the fan on the A/C kicks on in defrost mode
that is if the A/C switch is electronic and not a manually tripped switch
as you might notice the only way to turn off the fan in a Ranger is to turn the HVAC selector switch to off, otherwise the fan is always turning
you would not want the A/C running with no air blowing over the fins as they would ice up from condensation
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Every vehicle I've ever seen without a dedicated AC swithc (and even some with) will run the AC in the defrost position. The difference it makes in clearing the fog off the windshield is well worth it.
I disagree.. My modded truck clears the windsheild of fog just fine, as did my last truck which was not equipped w/ AC at all..

But I was talking about vehicles that are equipped w/ AC/no-AC switches, like the VWs I've driven..
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LILBLUE04FX4L2
even vehicles with a seperate A/C switch turn it on when you put the HVAC to full defrost
I think my focus when you hit full defrost the AC switch defaults to on but you can turn it off.
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  #39  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger1
If I had know it was there I would have looked there. So do think its been worth it, any problems with it.
Give that I have a 4 cylinder, it's definatley worth it. I can feel a big change in acceleration with the A/C off. Not sure if it helps with mileage, but I do seem to have the compressor off a lot more. I just hated that I couldn't run the vents without the A/C or have to let in outside air. A bad design all around.

No problems with the system. I live in Florida, so I don't have to remind myself to run the A/C every now and then. It really helps when I run the defrost, as too much cold air tends to fog the outside of the glass.

Neil is right, the mod has been on my site about 2 years. I fat fingered the first post
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  #40  
Old 04-25-2005
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I think (and Bob might support or refute this) but our A/C compressors (as in most vehicles) shut down when the engine is at maximum load
think it runs off the vacuum pressure or something, but they turn off if the engine is pushing it's hardest (up big hill, passing on interstate, mashing the pedal at a light)

so even if you are running the A/C the engine management system will shut it down temporarily when needed for more power
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  #41  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LILBLUE04FX4L2
I think (and Bob might support or refute this) but our A/C compressors (as in most vehicles) shut down when the engine is at maximum load
think it runs off the vacuum pressure or something, but they turn off if the engine is pushing it's hardest (up big hill, passing on interstate, mashing the pedal at a light)

so even if you are running the A/C the engine management system will shut it down temporarily when needed for more power
Ford has two different philosophies on this.

Full size trucks like F-series and E-series do not shut off the AC at large throttle openings. This is because they have the highest tow ratings. It would be a bad thing to pull a 10 mile 7% grade on a 100F day at max GCWR at 35 MPH and have your AC off the whole way up!

On passenger cars and compact trucks, Ford turns off the AC for power at large throttle openings (near WOT). This enhances acceleration and hill climbing ability at the expense of comfort, with the assumption that the large throttle opening will be of a short duration. This is done by the PCM since it has full control of the compressor clutch and also knows when the vehicle is in power mode.
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  #42  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
Ford has two different philosophies on this.

Full size trucks like F-series and E-series do not shut off the AC at large throttle openings. This is because they have the highest tow ratings. It would be a bad thing to pull a 10 mile 7% grade on a 100F day at max GCWR at 35 MPH and have your AC off the whole way up!

On passenger cars and compact trucks, Ford turns off the AC for power at large throttle openings (near WOT). This enhances acceleration and hill climbing ability at the expense of comfort, with the assumption that the large throttle opening will be of a short duration. This is done by the PCM since it has full control of the compressor clutch and also knows when the vehicle is in power mode.
I'll believe you on this one Bob, but I've never felt it. My truck used to think the compressor should be on all the time. That's one of the reasons I kept digging till I figured out this mod. I've occasionally felt what appears to be the compressor kick off, but it wasn't a full throttle. Most likey, it was a real hot day, and the system was icing up and went into a defrost.
I also like this mod because I'm less likely to spin my motor up to redline with the A/C running. If I'm at a high rpm, the poor compressor must be spinning like a jet. No telling how hard that is on the bearings.

The mod of dsm.org also had his own performance chip shop, and one of his custom mods was to make the ECU shut down the compressor above a certain rpm. It wasn't WOT, probably something like 4-5,000. Gave the car a good boost if you forgot to turn the darn thing off. I wish Ford was that smart.
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  #43  
Old 04-25-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTank
I'll believe you on this one Bob, but I've never felt it. My truck used to think the compressor should be on all the time. That's one of the reasons I kept digging till I figured out this mod. I've occasionally felt what appears to be the compressor kick off, but it wasn't a full throttle. Most likey, it was a real hot day, and the system was icing up and went into a defrost.
I also like this mod because I'm less likely to spin my motor up to redline with the A/C running. If I'm at a high rpm, the poor compressor must be spinning like a jet. No telling how hard that is on the bearings.

The mod of dsm.org also had his own performance chip shop, and one of his custom mods was to make the ECU shut down the compressor above a certain rpm. It wasn't WOT, probably something like 4-5,000. Gave the car a good boost if you forgot to turn the darn thing off. I wish Ford was that smart.
You are 100% correct that your acceleration will improve with the mod. Clearly, most people drive around town at part throttle and also during normal acceleration. Under those conditions, the AC does not turn off for acceleration. My answer was directed at Neil's question.

I think Ford is plenty smart but a vehicle is a compromise. Everything on your truck has been thought and rethought. Things get improved and things get removed. The decisions are not always perfect but they are not random - there is a reason behind every decision.

If Ford turned off the compressor earlier in the power band, people who live in the mountains would complain about lack of AC performance. What you and I and Neil and many others have done is tailor the everyman's vehicle to our preferences and driving conditions.

Last edited by V8 Level II; 04-25-2005 at 05:40 PM.
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  #44  
Old 04-25-2005
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When I worked for the DEP, we had this POS ford escort. It was such a run-down piece of junk. If you were at a red light and had the AC on, the car would stall when you take off. You'd have to shut the AC off anytime you needed to accelerate quickly.
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  #45  
Old 04-26-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwenzing
I think Ford is plenty smart but a vehicle is a compromise. Everything on your truck has been thought and rethought. Things get improved and things get removed. The decisions are not always perfect but they are not random - there is a reason behind every decision.
Well said Bob; I sometimes forget that most vehicles are a set of compromises. At times I get frustrated about which choices were made when my ranger was designed. Those are the things that shouldn't anger me, but prompt me to make the vehicle better.

That said, I still scratch my head at the things the Blue Oval comes up with.

1. The one inch gap on the front of the new 2005 hoods still confuses me. Did they really think stuffing it with weather stripping would make it go away? It's OK on the dark colored trucks, but looks sloppy on the white ones.

2. The STX with it's Mazda bed on a Ford front end. Did the engineers really stand in front of this thing and say "yup, looks good"?
Ford uses rounded small lipped wheel openings, while the Mazda has large squared ones. It's not even close.

3. Why does the undercoating stick to everything BUT the underside of my truck? Did Ford intentionally pick the world's worst undercoating? I finally went over the whole underside with MarHyde because I was sick of coming out from under the truck covered with that black gunk.

Just things that make me wonder what's going on over at Ford HQ.
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  #46  
Old 04-26-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverTank
Well said Bob; I sometimes forget that most vehicles are a set of compromises. At times I get frustrated about which choices were made when my ranger was designed. Those are the things that shouldn't anger me, but prompt me to make the vehicle better.

That said, I still scratch my head at the things the Blue Oval comes up with.

1. The one inch gap on the front of the new 2005 hoods still confuses me. Did they really think stuffing it with weather stripping would make it go away? It's OK on the dark colored trucks, but looks sloppy on the white ones.

2. The STX with it's Mazda bed on a Ford front end. Did the engineers really stand in front of this thing and say "yup, looks good"?
Ford uses rounded small lipped wheel openings, while the Mazda has large squared ones. It's not even close.

3. Why does the undercoating stick to everything BUT the underside of my truck? Did Ford intentionally pick the world's worst undercoating? I finally went over the whole underside with MarHyde because I was sick of coming out from under the truck covered with that black gunk.

Just things that make me wonder what's going on over at Ford HQ.
You're right! I agree completely!
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  #47  
Old 04-26-2005
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Yesterday I decided to run the AC pump as per Bob's lubrication concerns. It's been so long since I've used the AC that I forgot which switch did what (I also need to label them!). I had to open the hood and switch each of a pair of switches and then check the pump. I noticed that (once I found the right switch) the pump was turning on and off occasionally anyway. I was at idle and found this both in the AC (not Max) and the defrost positions. Now it was a rather cool day, certianly not one where I'd expect the AC to be working hard to keep things cool. I also later noticed that I didn't have the thermostat turned down quite all the way, it was a few degrees off of full cold.. So aparently the PCM isn't quite as dumb as I thought it was!
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  #48  
Old 04-26-2005
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Originally Posted by NHBubba
Yesterday I decided to run the AC pump as per Bob's lubrication concerns. It's been so long since I've used the AC that I forgot which switch did what (I also need to label them!). I had to open the hood and switch each of a pair of switches and then check the pump. I noticed that (once I found the right switch) the pump was turning on and off occasionally anyway. I was at idle and found this both in the AC (not Max) and the defrost positions. Now it was a rather cool day, certianly not one where I'd expect the AC to be working hard to keep things cool. I also later noticed that I didn't have the thermostat turned down quite all the way, it was a few degrees off of full cold.. So aparently the PCM isn't quite as dumb as I thought it was!
The compressor is capable of chilling the evaporator coil under the dash to well below the freezing point of water. This is not good because the condensation on the coil will freeze and eventually plug it solid, virtually eliminating any heat transfer. To prevent this, the AC compressor is not allowed to cool the coil down to 32F. There are a few different ways to do this and it varies by manufacturer. On Fords, a factory-preset low pressure switch in the system infers "safe" evaporator temperature and interrupts the AC compressor clutch power circuit via its relay. The switch is called the AC Compressor Cycling Switch.
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  #49  
Old 04-26-2005
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I buy that. I watched it for a few seconds and noticed it would cycle on and off every few seconds. It was probably right about at the 32F mark..

Well, hopefully I 'lubricated' it enough. I'm now going to forget this thing was even equipped w/ AC for another month or so..
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