I need a new A/C condensor...removal tips? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 06-08-2011
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I need a new A/C condensor...removal tips?

Noticed that there was A/C oil seeping out of the bottom of my A/C condenser. Had a neighbor who works at a good shop around here take it in and check it out. They vacuumed and refilled the whole system and leak tested it. Everything is fine but the condenser. It has a gravel bash in it somewhere that is just barely letting the oil seep and obviously the r134 slowly leak out. Nothing major but it does need replaced. Anyway, I'm going to have him evacuate the system again for me soon once I get a new Motorcraft condenser ordered and replace it myself. My questions are...

Does the radiator & fan need to come out or can the condenser be removed without it that hassle? Looks like it may be able to be dropped out of the bottom of the truck but I haven't really looked too hard yet.

I know I need to block the lines going to the condenser well to not allow any moisture or dirt from entering the system while it is being replaced. If I am careful with this and am getting the system professionally vacuumed down and recharged afterwards, is it still necessary to replace the accumulator/dryer? My guy thinks it should be fine but wondering what you all thought. I noticed that a new Motorcraft one is only about $50 and it looks fairly simple to swap out too.

Any thoughts and experiences would be helpful.
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Old 06-08-2011
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i would swap out the accumulator personally, its basically the oil filter to the system and replacing it will allow for longer happier life of the other ac components. im not sure exactly on removing the radiator, on my truck when i did the body lift and had moved the radiator i had access to be able to remove the condensor but yours may be a bit different. it does need to be pulled into a vaccum after u get it sealed back up so that should take care of the moisture.
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Old 06-08-2011
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Thanks for the response! I should just get that accumulator at the same time, its not too hard to put in.

Now does anybody else know the easiest way to get the condenser out and the new one in?
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Old 06-08-2011
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I literally just did this about 2 weeks ago.
You don't NEED to replace the accumulator, mine was open for maybe 2 weeks and it still runs just fine.
as far as getting the condenser out, be prepared for a few hour job, i haven't heard of anyone taking it out of the bottom, but it would be interesting to try it. I pulled mine out thru the top, had to take the rad and fan loose, but not all the way out. as long as you put the new condenser in within a few minutes of taking the old one out, you shouldn't have to worry about moisture and what not getting in the line. but you will have to have a vacuum drawn and what not to refill the system.
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Old 06-09-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StxDangerRanger View Post
I literally just did this about 2 weeks ago.
You don't NEED to replace the accumulator, mine was open for maybe 2 weeks and it still runs just fine.
as far as getting the condenser out, be prepared for a few hour job, i haven't heard of anyone taking it out of the bottom, but it would be interesting to try it. I pulled mine out thru the top, had to take the rad and fan loose, but not all the way out. as long as you put the new condenser in within a few minutes of taking the old one out, you shouldn't have to worry about moisture and what not getting in the line. but you will have to have a vacuum drawn and what not to refill the system.
Thats good to hear, thanks for the help. I was hoping to avoid having to take the rad all the way out. I'll probably do the job next weekend. And yea, my mechanic neighbor is going to take it in and evacuate the system before I do it, vac it back out and recharge it afterwards for me using their shops professional equipment so everything should be good.
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Old 06-11-2011
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Ordered the parts today. I did go ahead and order the accumulator and O-ring set also. I'll let you all know how it goes.

I may or may not need to accumulator, I'll leave that up to my A/C guy. If not, I'll return or sell it and get the $50 back. I am gonna be sure to plug off the lines from the condenser once they are loose while I'm changing it.

Last edited by klc317; 06-11-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 06-14-2011
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I've got everything loose and ready to go except for the pressure fittings...I dont want to open the system any longer than I have to and it looks like I can get it out without removing the engine fan & radiator shroud. Would anybody like any pics of this process? The parts should be here tomorrow evening and I can get it in and vacuumed down and charged on Thursday morning. Only 2 radiator bolts, 3 plastic clips (for the rubber air deflector on top) and the 2 bolts & brackets on the top of the condenser...a suprisingly small pile of parts. Who would have thought it would be this easy...so far. I hit the high pressure valve for a second and there is not much left from the recharge it got last week. Pretty obvious judging by the puddle of PAG oil in the plastic cover under the condenser and on my garage floor that there would be very little left. I wont recover the tiny bit left until I go to take it apart.
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Old 06-16-2011
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Got the parts today, just installed them. The condenser can be removed and replaced without pulling the radiator and fan. Very easy.

Truck goes tomorrow for vac down and recharge
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Old 06-21-2011
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Hi -

did you by chance take photos of this process?

I have to do the same thing to mine.

I've been trying for an explanation on how to do this to a Ranger, but can't find it.

thanks,

Cody


Quote:
Originally Posted by klc317 View Post
I've got everything loose and ready to go except for the pressure fittings...I dont want to open the system any longer than I have to and it looks like I can get it out without removing the engine fan & radiator shroud. Would anybody like any pics of this process? The parts should be here tomorrow evening and I can get it in and vacuumed down and charged on Thursday morning. Only 2 radiator bolts, 3 plastic clips (for the rubber air deflector on top) and the 2 bolts & brackets on the top of the condenser...a suprisingly small pile of parts. Who would have thought it would be this easy...so far. I hit the high pressure valve for a second and there is not much left from the recharge it got last week. Pretty obvious judging by the puddle of PAG oil in the plastic cover under the condenser and on my garage floor that there would be very little left. I wont recover the tiny bit left until I go to take it apart.
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Old 06-23-2011
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I didn't take pics. But I can give you a walk through, not bad at all. This is on an '03 4.0 so I have no idea how the other years/engines are

Obviously, if the system has any charge in it, your are supposed to get it reclaimed and taken out the right way. Mine was charged and leaked out over a week, there was barely 1/4 lb left so It was barely a fart off the high pressure line.

Take the top two radiator mounting bolts out, easy to see.

Take out the air deflector panel (plastic/rubber piece on the top of the radiator) that also covers the coolant line going from the coolant tank to under the radiator cap. 3 strange plastic clips. I replaced mine with simple plastic push clips.

Lean the radiator back a bit from the top and remove the top brackets from the condenser. There are 2 bolts and the brackets can come out. I think they are 8-9mm...cant remember

Assuming the A/C system is free of pressure, remove the 13mm nut from each side where the fitting goes into it. One on the driver side (near the top) and one on the passenger side (near the middle). And pull out the lines...
* once these are loose, work fast to reduce any chance of moisture getting into the system

Replace the O-rings on the lines while its loose and then the condenser is loose...lean back the radiator (nice to have a helper here) and pull the condenser out of the top.

Reverse the process and it's back in. BE CAREFUL not to scrape the new condenser fins or radiator with the line fittings while putting it in. Thats why the extra set of hands and eyes is handy. If your system has been out for awhile I'd suggest replacing the accumulator also, it's not expensive or hard to do either but I didn't do it on mine since mine went dry quick.

Take it to an A/C shop, have them vac the system, and recharge with r134 and fresh oil and you're done.
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2011
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Thanks!

I followed your detailed message and changed my condenser with no problem!

I appreciate it - helped a lot!

Cody
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2017
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I know this is old but I have to remove my condensor, but not replace it. I have an 03 that I'm parting out, I'll do that this weekend. Thanks for the step by step!
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