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Discussion Starter #1
My A/C was only staying cold for a day before the freon would leak out...:(

Got a few estimates...
First one was $700 parts and labor
Second one was $800
Last one was $900 :curses:

Even though I'm a mechanic (not on cars though), I dreaded pulling the complete instrument panel out to get to the evaporator "box".....

Not as bad as I thought....
Certainly not a cakewalk either...lol. This was a job I was unfamiliar with, as I've never had to do one before. The labor estimate times ranged from 5.8 hours, to 8 hours for the entire job. I did it in less than five, so I was pretty happy. Even happier that the A/C blows nice and cold again....:)

Not much tech in this post, but just a word of advice...

Don't be afraid. If you have a good manual, just about any job can be done at home by you, IF you have all your basic tools and some mechanical ability....One of the first things I buy when I get a new vehicle, is a Chilton's manual, AND a Haynes manual for it. Sometimes one is better than the other for certain jobs.
 

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Bob-

Great work fixing that yourself, although I am more interested in how you figured out that the evaporator was leaking? Where are the tell tale signs? My AC leaks out quickly and I dont even know where to begin.

TIA
Ben
 

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Did you think about changing out the heater core while you were in there???? Not trying to jinx you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BenW said:
Bob-

Great work fixing that yourself, although I am more interested in how you figured out that the evaporator was leaking? Where are the tell tale signs? My AC leaks out quickly and I dont even know where to begin.

TIA
Ben

Check all of the hose connections. A good telltale sign of a leak is oily wetness at a connection. Mine didn't have that. Everything looked great. At that point you need someone with a freon leak detector to "sniff out" the leak...

This season my AC wasn't cold at all. I added some freon, and it was ice cold...A week later, it wasn't. I took it to the neighborhood gargae and asked the guy to check for leaks. He added some more freeon and the only place it was showing a leak was beyond the firewall. The only thing beyond the firewall is the evaporator...I "flat rated" the job and cut a "trap door" for the old one to come out. According to Ford dealer, the entire evaporator housing should be replaced, but I figured I'd give it a shot....nothing to lose, ya know. If I screwed it up, I'd have to buy the entire thing from Ford....As it turns out, I got it out, and it wasn't a bad job, just time consuming mainly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Shifter handle, stereo & Console removed and in the back seat...
Steering wheel and column on the floor...
Entire dash unbolted and laying in the front seats...
If you've made it that far without disaster, you're home free...

My Chilton's showed where every single dash securing bolt or nut was located.

The heater core, blower motor, and other small incidentals are all bolted into, or onto the evaporator "case". The case is what bolts up to the firewall under the dashboard. I "cheated" and cut a "trap door" to remove the evaporator from the case. Ford sells it as a complete "unit"...retails for about $350...wholesales for about $235...I bought an aftermarket "EVERCO" evaporator for roughly $115...add 3 cans of R134, and money-wise, I spent less than $150...

I took it apart one afternoon, and put it all back together on another day, just so I wouldn't get flustered, or burned out on it.

Now I'm "chillin" at just under 40 degrees, so I'm a happy camper. :)

Feel free to PM me, or shoot me an email if you have any questions while it "fresh" in my mind...lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
BTW, to answer your question, it wasn't that bad...just time consuming...

No pics because I did the job on two of the hottest days we've had this year...:(
 

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Can someone tell me in some way what the newer Freon smells like? At first, I thought I had a gas leak but it does not smell quite like gas. Only smell it on Hot days so I am suspecting air conditioner problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My sniffer don't work...

Sorry Dom. I can't tell you what it smells like, or if it even has a smell. My sense of smell is very limited...
 
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