Carnivorous A\C ! Eat or be Eat'en | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Carnivorous A\C ! Eat or be Eat'en


Well-Known Member
January 7, 2001
Reaction score
City, State
Branchburg, N.J.
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 XLT - 97 XLT SOHC
Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated.
-My AC crapped out a few days ago.
-Not cold air, all blowers are working
-Compressor clutch is not engaging.
-A\C recycling switch was jumped, hoping to find some life at the compressor and it did engage.
-Pressure gauges initially showed very low readings on both high and low sides. Low freon seemed very likely.

My first thought was to be merciful on the system and get SOME freon in then go for the leak detector.

The charge took very little of a 16oz can when the compressor clutch started cycling at regular 5 second intervals. From that point on, it seemed it didn’t want to take any more freon.

I put the gauge back on the high and then the low side and both pulsed in synch with the engaging compressor clutch, same 5 second intervals.
Low side 20–40 High side 50-90.

Over night, the freon level must drop and when I start it up there is no clutch cycling and the pressure readings have dropped ……….until I repeated the charging process.

I can’t determine if the high and low pressure line pulse with the clutch engaged because it doesn’t stay engaged…… something about the compressor reeds? (so I’ve read)

I went thought a series of voltage\resistance test from Helm’s and could only come up with “no 6volts TO” the A\C high pressure switch (that I’m going to recheck) that leads to check Circuit 441? right! that’s after 440 and before 442! which is another treasure hunt.

Bottom line:
A major leak seems a given.
The system takes very little freon to get the clutch cycling and I can’t seem to get past that point.

Can anyone help the unenlightened whose going up the learning curve?.. Point me in a direction? …or tell me where I’m spinning my wheels?

No gas and Zippo lighter jokes PLS (just kidding)

If it won't take anymore freon, you may be adding to the hi pressure side. Freon should go into the low pressure side. Sounds like you have a big leak. After you get freon in, start checking for leaks with a freon sniffer. Even one can of freon is enough to look for leaks. Check the connections on all the lines. There are several, and they are notorious for leaking. Also check the suction and discharge lines going to the compressor. Mine went out about 2 years ago. If you do find leaks and fix them, don't forget to add compressor oil. Oil will leak out of the system along with the freon. My compressor burned up because of a lack of oil.

thanks for the get back dave,
I'm charging on the correct side (low) or else that can would go off like a hand grenade... it won't be a pretty sight haha

I had such a hard time getting any freon in with that cycling compressor clutch, so I jumped the recycling switch to "hot wire" the compressor clutch to stay engaged. That at least got a can in. I have a high pressure reading at about 150psi.- still low. After getting to that point, "in went" the leak detector. I didn't see any leaks. I'll let it sit overnight and check it tomorrow. I'm know I'm losing freon big time but it doesn't want to reveal itself. There has got to be something stupid I'm missing (maybe like bringing it to someone to get fixed) but I would really like to get this one.