2004 Freestar AC question - Ford Forum - Enthusiast Forums for Ford Owners


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Old 07-26-2016, 11:38 PM
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Exclamation 2004 Freestar AC question

Hi al. i have a 2004 Freestar 3.9 with an ac problem. When I bought the van from the guy on craigslist, everything checked out OK, including the ac running very cold. Car ran fine for about 3 days but then the ac stopped working. Fuses were all fine and I couldn't find anything else obviously wrong. So I took it into a local shop and and they said there was a leak in the hose (from compressor), and that the guy who sold it to me probably filled it up with R134A refill cans so it was cold when I bought the van . The mechanic said if I got the new ac hose online it would be much cheaper than if he got it--so I did. I took it to the shop and they put the new hose on, and now they tell me the compressor is bad. I can see the hose leaking but I don't know how the ac could work great/at all if the compressor was bad. Not an ac guy but I can do moderate repairs. I called a couple of local shops and they quoted me anywhere from 1200 to 1700 depending on how much had to be replaced and labor. They said that if the compressor goes it can fill the whole system with crap and it is best to replace everything. Does this see right. Is the guy at the shop who first changed the hose and now says the compressor correct? Is this something a backyard mechanic can do? And should I assume the compressor is bad and replace everything in the system? Any and all help/suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:38 AM
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1st: do you have Front and Rear A/C or Front only?

2nd: "I can see the hose leaking"...Is this the new hose leaking?

3rd: Is it the suction (large cold) or liquid (small hot) line that is leaking?

4th: A compressor can be borderline bad, but still produce enough compression to operate properly for a while.

The compressors are Teflon coated and when the Teflon wears, it goes thru the system and starts plugging off the front orifice screen /rear screen to the expansion valve. This causes oil starvation to the compressor and increases the compressor wear to the point that the aluminum in the compressor starts wearing and going thru the system plugging the front orifice screen and rear screen even more. Finally enough oil starvation occurs that the compressor fails.

Compressor operation can be verified with a set of gauges to see what kind of LOW and HIGH side pressures you have when the A/C is running.

Pulling the front evaporator orifice will let you know if the compressor is going. If it full of crud then I would replace the compressor. But there's more to it than just replacing the compressor.

The 1200-1700 is reasonable "IF" the job is done properly. This means, new compressor, new dryer/receiver, new front orifice, new rear liquid line screen, new condenser as the R-134a condensers are of capillary design and thus non-flushable, flush the front evaporator and rear if applicable, flush remaining lines. Add proper amount of oil to the system, pull a good vacuum for at least 1 hour and then fill with refrigerant.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:15 PM
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Hi and THANK YOU for your help! Sorry I wasn't more clear in my description of the problem(s). Let me try and answer your questions: 1) We do have rear ac controls in our van. 2) When I first brought the van to the local shop, they charged the system and showed me the hose leaking. So I got the new hose and the shop installed it. After that, the shop said the new hose is fine but now the compressor needs to be replaced. 3) I don't know about any other hoses but I know the one I got that they put in is fine. Now the mechanic says the problem is the compressor and they suggested I get a full kit to replace everything, but I don't know all the components I should get. The mechanic said that if I just got the compressor replaced, then after they put it in and recharged it, that they might find another problem. That is why he suggested just replacing everything. I guess that makes sense but I am not an ac guy so I don't know for sure. So I need to know if I should replace everything as suggested, and what list of parts that means. I lost my job so I can't afford to pay $1,700 bucks so: A) I need to know if it is something a 'shade-tree mechanic' can do? , and B) What are all parts would I would need to get for this van? I can also tell you that since I got the new hose installed I did put in a can of R134 in and I thought I heard the compressor cycling on and off, but it never put out cold air. A few days ago I went to another local mechanic and he confirmed that there isn't any pressure (R134A) in the system now so it must have leaked out. Thoughts/Ideas?
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:21 AM
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Yes, a Shade Tree Mechanic can do this job with some patience over a week-end. To do the job right, you will need the following items from ROCKAUTO.COM as they are the lowest priced and I have used them for the A/C in my Freestar.

Item #1: Compressor Kit (GDP part #963348) $145.79 Consists of a new compressor w/clutch installed, new front orifice, rear expansion valve, O-ring kit and receiver dryer/accumulator (NOTE: ensure new orifice is ORANGE. If not, go to AUTOZONE and get part # MT0094-1 for $1.99)

Item #2: Condenser (VARIOUS MFG part #FO3030154) $57.79

Item #3: Mastercool A/C Flush Kit (part #91046-A-AZ) $50.00

You'll also need some PAG compressor oil and R-134a refrigerant (no sealer or oil added refrigerant), but that can come after your ready for them.

Since you have to remove the radiator to perform the repair, may as well pick up some antifreeze and do a cooling system flush while your at it.

If you want to tackle this job, let me know and then when you have all of the items, we will go from there. You can PM me if you want to continue or we can continue using this post so that others can also be helped.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:13 PM
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Hi Use Common Sense, as I can read you know very well what you say. I have a similar problem with my mini-van (same model exactly). The mechanic changed the compressor, drier and condenser but now we have a gas leak under the desk (passenger side, and the pressure only last for 1 day) and he told me that now the problem is the evaporator, and to change it will be a lot of money as they are gonna spend hours removing the desk (since the evaporator itself is only 40 bucks on ebay). So my question is, Is it very difficult to get there and change the evaporator? I want to try because I live in Florida and having no AC is killing me...Do you have any service manual? thanks in advance
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:56 AM
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carloscrp...I just responded to your PM...
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