Hello! and help needed with rear AC - Ford Forum - Enthusiast Forums for Ford Owners


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Old 05-22-2016, 01:53 PM
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Default Hello! and help needed with rear AC

Hi,

For two weeks now I've owned my first Ford, a 2003 E-350 7.3L. So far I love it, it's awesome, and my project this summer is outfitting it as a campervan.

I am currently still in the business of stripping the van, eliminating rust and prepping for the build and I would like to remove the rear heating and air conditioning unit. Overall I've found little information online on the subject, and want to make sure I don't ruin AC or the engine cooling of the van. Four lines run from the front to the rear AC, two for refrigerant and two for antifreeze. The latter run north-south at the doghouse.

My question is, has anyone ever removed this unit and these lines? I'm concerned about cutting the AC lines, leaking refrigerant, and the effort of recharging it afterwards. I don't imagine capping these lines to be the challenge.

And for the antifreeze, I imagine I could drain the system from anywhere (radiator, e.g.) and put a U in the lines before refilling. Could I do this at the front of the car, near the doghouse and remove all that extra line to and from the back of the van? I know that'll decrease the total antifreeze in the system.

Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated! Even if that means seeking a professional haha. Thank you and looking forward to being part of the forums.

Cheers,

Aaron
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:36 AM
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are u permanently deleting the rear hvac altogether?
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:23 PM
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Hi primem! Thank you... yes, that is the plan. I simply cannot imagine a scenario where, as a campervan, it makes sense to keep the rear AC.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:51 PM
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its something you will have to inspect and see where the best place is to cap off the system.
I do know for the a/c system, there are tools that shops have that can be used to delete the rear. Usually, its used when the rear lines leak and it is to expensive to replair. the rear lines are cut off, a sealer applied and a cap crimped onto the tubes. this effectively separates the rear system from the front. the system is then charged to the capacity of a front only system.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:06 PM
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Okay. I've examined the lines and there are multiple points that this could be performed at. Ideally, it should be as close to the front of the system as possible, under the hood, but immediately beneath that, under the van, are a number of positions with easy access to metal stretches for cut and cap.

I was at a shop today that would do such work for me. They're ballparking $140 for the standard AC service (evacuate, check for leaks, seal and charge) and ~ $200 - $400 additional to sever and seal the AC lines.

Are there any recommendations out there for how to cut, then seal an AC line? Wondering if I, or they, evacuate it but I do the work to cut, cap and seal the lines and then pay for the recharge, or learn how to do that myself as well. I'm hesitant to muck with it too much, these are high-pressure lines, right? and AC systems are, generally, sensitive to work on?

Cheers,
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:55 PM
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I attached some photos. They show, hopefully in order...

1) The HVAC system on the cargo van floor. You can see the refrigerant lines coming from below the deck on the lower left corner. Harder to see, a little northeast of there, the antifreeze lines come up and around the wheel well.

2) Where the lines enter the cabin from beneath the van. AC are closer to the camera.

3) From beneath the drivers' seat looking down. In the background the lines are running the length of the cab and in the foreground are the four lines crossing from outside to center.

4) Err this photo should be rotated 90 degrees CW, but here goes...Directly beneath the transmission, where the lines split. The heating lines are below and can be seen going north, they will pass through the doghouse and in to the engine cooling system. Above, the AC lines will begin to turn north right above the camera, pointing towards the hood of the van and I lose sight of them from here.
Attached Thumbnails
Hello! and help needed with rear AC-img_0498.jpg   Hello! and help needed with rear AC-img_0504.jpg   Hello! and help needed with rear AC-img_0505.jpg   Hello! and help needed with rear AC-img_0506.jpg  

Last edited by vanlife; 05-23-2016 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:02 PM
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the a/c when fully charged will have approx. 70psi, depending on ambient temp, when not in use.


cut and cap the lines at an easily accessible location. After a bracket support is a good spot.... means the end of the remaining lines are secure and won't rattle.
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Old 05-27-2016, 10:08 PM
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So I guess I could have updated this once more. I ended up paying the shop to do it, a fairly ridiculous sum but I think it would have taken me a few days and parts and suspect work on the AC ... soooo onward! They did a nice job though, capped everything under the hood as short as they could be and did the same for the antifreeze lines. In hindsight, seeing the work done, I wish I'd done it myself; however, at least now I have good fidelity in it and get to keep moving on with my work.

Next time!
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Old 10-12-2017, 02:16 AM
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I know the last reply to this thread was about a year and a half ago, but I just went through this same process and wanted to share my thoughts and experience on how to do this procedure so that the knowledge is out there. This whole deal took me a while to figure out so I thought I'd share.

This video was a HUGE help to figuring this all out..

I have a '96 E350 and found a kit online to block the AC lines from a website called streetrodguys.com
I ordered the corresponding kit for my van, and the springlock removal tool, and they showed up a couple days later (for reference, I live in Northern California). The whole get up was about $90 with shipping.
The kit is designed to block off the AC vacuum lines after they've been evacuated. Basically, there's a joint in the system near the brake booster right behind the drivers side front wheel, so you use the springlock tool to disconnect the rear section from the front, install the caps that come in the kit (following the instructions) and BOOM, the AC lines for the rear unit have been disconnected.
Then you find the "send" and "return" radiator lines that go from the main ac/heater system up front to the rear unit and create a loop to bypass the whole deal in the back, (like he shows in the youtube video) It involved partially draining the radiator in the process, so be sure to have some extra coolant/radiator fluid on hand before you start.

The youtube video breaks it down pretty well so check that out.

Hope that helps!
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