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  #1  
Old 08-12-2007, 03:19 PM
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Vehicle: 1997 F150 4.6
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A/C compressor intallation

I was wondering what it would take to change my AC compressor. I have a 97 F150 2wd with the 4.6. my buddy was tellin me that i would have to take my radiator out to gain clearance to slide the compressor out. i just wanted to consult with you guys before i started working on it. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2007, 11:17 PM
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The compressor comes out easiest to me through the wheel well on a truck or Expygator. In a car, it'll fall right out from the bottom.

Obviously you'll need a basic assortment of hand tools. You'll need someone to recover the refrigerant if there's any left in the system. I'd go ahead and replace the orifice tube and accumulator with the new compressor (depending on where you got your compressor, they may require that anyways to maintain the warranty - if any - of the compressor).
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2007, 01:44 AM
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I did go ahead and bought a new accumulator because my buddy told me that if you have the system open for more that a certain amount of time, then all of the stuff in the accumulator will get saturated with moisture. but i dont see what the point of replacing the orifice tube??

P.S. - for all the people with 97 F150 4.6.....The early model 97 takes a different accumulator than the late model 97
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2007, 09:45 PM
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Orifice Tube

You definitely want to replace the orifice tube. This is a crucial component in the operation of the HVAC system. First, it acts as a filter for the system and secondly it sprays the refrigerant to allow for better heat exchange. Make sure to replace it with the same color though because they have different colors for different applications.
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  #5  
Old 08-19-2007, 02:39 AM
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i went up to my local auto parts store and looked up how much PAG oil my truck took for its compressor. it said it took 7oz of oil in the compressor. 1st question is...how do i put this oil into the system. I got the number 46 oil. and i didnt get the one that is charged, i got the one that you can just pour in there. So how do i put it in? do i pour in in the suction side or the pressurized side? second question is... is there any other components besides all of the new o-rings that need to be oiled? I am putting the new accumulator in as well and i am going to order a new orifice tube after i am done typing this question. Also the compressor I am getting already comes with the pulley and clutch assembley on it. would you think that the air gap is already set?

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2007, 03:27 AM
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couple more questions..... When i was looking for an orifice tube they kept asking me about the vin#. they would ask me if it had a 6 or a W. Which number are they asking about. are they asking for the first number or the second number or so on?....Also, what do the colors mean, like the red or blue ones?.....Do any of you guys know of any good places online where i could pick up an orifice tube at for a good price, or do you think it would be better to order it through my local auto parts store?

Thanks
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2007, 02:49 PM
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Orifice Tube

Just go to the dealer. It shouldn't be more than 10 bucks from them anyway and they should know which one to give you. If they need the vin then it is probably the 8th character (just a guess) that they need, it is the one that tells the engine size of the truck.
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2007, 07:41 PM
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My 2 Cents

I have a '97, 4.6 myself, and I went and did the compressor replacement.

As far as your VIN # is concerned, I second that it is the 8th digit, and I believe it has something to do with the way '97's were produced (being split in half during the year).

However, I don't believe it would affect the compressor removal, as they tend to be the same.

You had said you'd need to remove the radiator, which you should not have to do.

You do have to remove the fan shroud and get remove the fan (it makes it A LOT easier). Removing the shroud and fan itself makes it a whole lot easier to get to the tensioner...which you'll need to get at with a 1/2" wrench to loosen the serpentine belt off.

The only complication I had was holding the fan to remove the large nut which it holds itself on. But I fabricated a tool out of some flat stock which bolted to the fan clutch's 5 (or 6, i cant remember) bolts, which made it more simple to remove.

You could however, get an extra set up strong hands to hold the fan with some leather gloves. That might work just as well.


I would highly reccoment replacing the orifice tube and drier/accumulator as these guys have suggested. Ive seen the drier for under 70, and the tube for under 10.

Here in NY they charge around $125 to evacuate and refill the system.
Unless you pretty much know exactly what you're doing with 134a, its a **** to work with...especially if you dont have all the correct tools.
I'd just let a shop do it.

And please, anyone, correct me if I am wrong on any of this.

Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2007, 01:59 AM
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well, i replaced the compressor, but the bolt that holds the lines onto the old compressor was so rusted that i just had to break the head off of it and then i just bought a new bolt from the local hardware store. I talked to someone at the dealership and they said that unless the orifice tube got destroyed you dont have to replace it. I did replace the accumulator but that was a mother to get off because i had to remove that whole wiring mess that was in front of it, then i had to go to the auto parts store and buy the clip tool to remove the line from the firewall. Then the next day i took it to my buddys shop that he works at and he put the machine on it and sucked all of the moisture out of it and then put 2lbs of refridgerant into the system and i only had to pay 30 bucks for the refridgerant because it was 15 bucks a pound. i got that cheap price because he called me in there when his boss wasnt there. so all in all i think i made out pretty good pricewise with the whole repair. oh and by the way its like winter in my truck now with the AC on.


Remanufactured Comp - $99
Accumulator - $53
PAG oil - Free
Bolt from hardware store - 75 cents
Clip tool from Autozone - $10
Evacuation of system - Free
R-134a - $30

Total - $192.75 I think thats pretty good
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2007, 01:43 AM
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The guy at the dealership that told you that shouldn't have. The orifice tube is a filter for the A/C system and it sprays the liquified refrigerant so it gets rid of the heat better. For 10 bucks, I would have replaced it.

Just my opinion.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2007, 04:31 PM
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on a '97 with a 5.4l, to remove the a/c compressor do i need to discharge the freon??? or can i go ahead and just remove it without having to do anything else concerning the a/c system???
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2007, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambdajoker
on a '97 with a 5.4l, to remove the a/c compressor do i need to discharge the freon??? or can i go ahead and just remove it without having to do anything else concerning the a/c system???

Don't take this personally, but if you have to ask THAT question, you haven't done any homework and have no idea what you're getting into....

Do yourself a favor and at least pick up a service manual.

Steve
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2007, 06:42 PM
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haha, smartass. is there any way i can discharge it myself then, cause in the chilton manual it says to take it to a dealership to discharge it, problem is that i cant drive the truck because the a/c compressor's pulley is about to give out anytime soon, and the closest dealership to me is about 15-20 miles away. thats why i asked if i have to discharge it in order to remove the compressor.
dont take this personally, but if you have to be a smartass about things then maybe you shouldnt post idiotic responses and not contribute to the thread. maybe, then maybe, you would be a great help. resurrecting a 3 month old thread sure does show that i was trying to do my homework, does it not. i couldnt find any threads mentioning discharging the freon, so i figured id ask.

Last edited by lambdajoker; 11-27-2007 at 06:48 PM.
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  #14  
Old 11-27-2007, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambdajoker
haha, smartass. is there any way i can discharge it myself then, cause in the chilton manual it says to take it to a dealership to discharge it, problem is that i cant drive the truck because the a/c compressor's pulley is about to give out anytime soon, and the closest dealership to me is about 15-20 miles away. thats why i asked if i have to discharge it in order to remove the compressor.
dont take this personally, but if you have to be a smartass about things then maybe you shouldnt post idiotic responses and not contribute to the thread. maybe, then maybe, you would be a great help. resurrecting a 3 month old thread sure does show that i was trying to do my homework, does it not. i couldnt find any threads mentioning discharging the freon, so i figured id ask.
The refrigerant has to be recovered before removal of any A/C components. The only way to do it is recover with a recovery machine at a shop, or crack a line and let it blow. You're better off to take it to a shop for service so they can recover it and then recharge after the compressor is repaired. Otherwise, you'll still be taking it to the shop to get it recharged anyway.

It is illegal to release refrigerants into the atmosphere... However, not really enforced.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:14 AM
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If you had read post # 2, you wouldn't have asked your ill-considered question in the first place.

Good luck, it appears you will really need it.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:14 AM


 
 
 
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