Excursion A/C issues, HELP

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Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:44 am

I am new to this forum and it appears that you guys are more responsive than the other AC forum I have been posting on, so hopefully someone can help me diagnose the problems that Ive been hvaing on my 2000 diesel Excursion. Its my wifes vehicle and she does most of the trucking the kids around since my truck is a work beater. We have owned this truck for 5 years or so and Ive been trying to figure out the issues Ive been having with no luck. I will trim the stories of all the previous ac repairs on this vehicle and cut right to the current status. System has been rebuilt with everything new except for the front evaporator (it is a dual system). Ive upgraded to a parallel flow condenser also. Pressures after the engine is warmed up, windows down, front and rear ac on max are Low-50 High 210. Vent temps never get below 65F while holding a steady 1500 rpm on the throttle. Needles are super steady and obviously the compressor never cycles. If I turn off the rear air, the low side will drop to about 45 psi and the vent temps may drop to 58F.

I have installed ball valves on the 3 heater lines so the heater box is not getting any warm water, that didnt help. I have checked the blend door and recirc door and they are working properly. I have also checked the evaporator and it is clean. Even if I do get the low side down into a normal range, will I get colder air from the rear vents that run off of the TXV in the back system? This is the only dual air system that I have worked on and Ive read the low side will be between 45-50 psi but something is causing this system to work very poorly. I would like my family to be comfortable while in this vehicle, its hot in Phoenix! Thank you for any help!!
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Nacho » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:25 pm

Some suspects: 1) compressor, 2) orifice tube, 3) condenser, 4) too mucho oil in the system. Higher suction is normal in Fords with the rear air on, by that I mean 35-40. The orifice tube may be installed backwards. It is a common mistake to add oil with every repair without flushing the coils or pooling zones in hoses. How are pressures with the rear air off, front only, max A/C, 2nd speed at idle?
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby JD'S Auto Repair » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:25 am

I have a 04 excursion with the v10 lowest temp @ the vent 60 to 65 @ idle low side 65 high side 325 1800 rpm and high side 400+ change the system 2 times and still not working im running out of options any help
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:55 am

Hi friend. Please use your other post not another person's thread for your. I see you made another, both approved and new system to me here can't split this from the other without risk of losing your message. Please leave this thread to the original and work with the other,

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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:51 pm

Update:
I recovered the refrigerant and replaced the orifice tube with an orange (0.057) instead of the red (0.062), also repla ed the rear expansion valve. Vacuumed the system for 80 minutes at 29+" mercury and then charged the 4.25 lbs of refrigerant. The system works better and the numbers are getting better. 1500 rpm the low side is at 45 psi and the high at 220 psi, ambient air temp was 100F and vent temps were low 50s. I went back to the store and picked up the next 2 smaller orifice tubes. Green (0.052) and brown (0.047). I will install the green orifice tube and report back.
Also wanted to note that my fan clutch seems to be working ok. I hear it lock up occasionally.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:26 pm

Looking better and think you'll really know when run a bit and whole vehicle cools down to ambient temps if in the sun. IDK - high side suggests a touch low but low 50sF outputs seem in line.

Fan clutches: Many have stunk for me over many years now. Some can be had for assorted vehicles and reasons that work lots harder at the expense of obnoxious fan noise to me anyway.

Sorry for the mix up for a few post back. It's easy for folks to search out a vehicle and find a forum and post on another's thread. Said somewhere I should be able to separate those but have lost whole posts trying so leave it there or another can take both out.

Stay cool,

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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:59 pm

No sweat, he is probably frantic just like I am. These systems in the Excursions are far from easy. It seems a lot of people have problems with the Ford systems in the super dutys, let alone the dual system.

We did drive the vehicle for about 15 minutes last night and it seemed like the front vents were taking a while to cool off. Once they cooled off, a few minutes later it seemed like they actually started blowing warmer. I didn't have the thermometer with me to verify. I know that when I rebuilt the system I replaced everything but the lines going to the rear and the front evaporator. I flushed those for quite a while and did not continue to see any pag oil coming out. I installed the 14 oz that it called for so if the system is over oiled it can't be by much. Historically this trucks ac will blow pretty good cold air if the sun isn't directly on the truck. If the truck is in the sun it's no good. Even if the temp hasnt changed and the sun has started to set the ac works much better. Very odd.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:42 pm

Just in from some yard work so only some thoughts to toss out for you.

Is this thing "climate controlled" and if so any chance something messing with where it's sensing temps? Usually air from low up thru top of dash in some manner.

Test this: Front only on and high fan or next to highest fan/blower speed. Feel the lines as close to the evaporator as you can. They should be dang near the same temps and if not it's not getting thru the proper amount of liquid refrigerant to evaporate just right for assorted reason that usually are a low charge but don't add anything yet.

Accumulator cool or cold to touch. If it has the blanket foam it really shouldn't need that at all IMO.

Would help you to get accurate thermometer that's also fast. I personally like using two types at same time. Wired in/out household one in center dash vent so I can see the thing from outside and infrared touchless ones for items under hood. Know how each works as those can screw you up depending on object some care about color or reflectivity.

IDK - Radio Shack at least once stocked them and have one key fob size that's pretty dang good but not on vent temps,

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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:28 pm

Great idea on the indoor/outdoor thermometer Tom, I will invest in one. The truck is not computer controlled climate control (all manual knobs). I do have a Fluke IR temp gun that I use for the inside temps but under the hood it is useless as everything thats cold gives a false reading (reflection due to condensation, aluminum pipe ???).

One thing Ive noticed since the first rebuild that makes me frustrated about this setup is that the lines into the front evaporator and out of the evaporator are pretty darn cold but I dont have an exact temp. They seem much colder than the air coming from the vents. The line out of the accumulator is really cold and its a short line from there to the compressor which the compressor is actually cold too after a few minutes. It does have the plastic cover on the accumulator and I noticed that near the hole where the low pressure switch threads on I could see ice on the accumulator. If the low side pressures were in a good range Id suspect something wrong with the blend door or max ac door but the heater has been completely shut off to the air box, I do hear a good difference in the air noise between max and recirc and Ive also checked the evaporator for debris.

Sorry for the long posts but another bit of concern is when I recover the refrigerant from this truck I do not get any oil after recovery. Usually I get some kind of automatic oil purge when I recover from a vehicle. Ive recovered this truck 3 times in the last few days and no oil comes out, even when I do a manual oil purge. Shouldnt I be getting something? I assumed the first time since I hadnt run the ac in a few days that maybe the oil was settled deep in the system so I didnt get any out but the last time I ran the ac for an hour and then almost immediately recovered, still no oil. I have a Skye 9534 machine, seems to work pretty good but they are out of business so I cant contact them.

Thank you for all the help Tom, I appreciate it.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:38 am

Let's see what I can do to confuse you and me more on this :shock:
#1 - I'm not very used to dual A/C here and about always suggest new vehicle buyer not to get it unless passenger's are expected in a third row of seats. Not hot here that long and hoses to rear evaporators rot out fast so whole systems fail fast too - high road salt use area where I am.

Thermos with wired remote: Now hard to find once cheap and common. I look everywhere I go. None at last Walmart visit, none at Home Depot, none at Autozone! Crap, have had them from each of those place made by Acu.Rite. Still have many. I understand when others say that certain IR thermo readers don't give credible results for assorted whacked reasons. One tech used black electrical tape on lighter things. IDK - I'm used to my own.

Recover and oil. I can't speak for all specific machines but why are you expecting much or any oil to come out? Oil doesn't turn to a vapor and get vacuumed out it settles to low spots fast and stays there.

I also question at some point reusing refrigerant. When funky things are happening go virgin new and made double sure on charge amount. Right now this seem like an undercharged system now with ice noted!

When I've noticed that GMs always not Fords it was low on charge. Pressures reflect that, yours don't suggest it's cold enough to frost or ice up?

Hate to spend your money but I'd charge this over again with known charge and virgin refrigerant to take any confusion of that out of the maybe list and go find a remote wired thermo on line or someplace.

You'll find wireless ones everywhere - they are slow and not useful as I use these for A/C anything.

If you suspect heater blending in pinch off heater inlet hose at the risk or harming it so there's not coolant flow at all thru core. Don't leave them that way ever as many engines use heater cores as the by-pass for cooling systems for the engine and quite necessary for it to work properly up to harming an engine if no bypass of coolant mixing all coolant even before a thermostat opens,

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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:28 pm

Thanks Tom,
I believe we are on the same page. I did use a virgin 30lb can of 134a, I have installed ball valves in the heater hoses (after extensive research on the coolant flow path on this engine). I'm in Phoenix so if someone sat in the back seat without air, you would be stopping by the hospital. 117F here yesterday.

The rear air is definitely colder since replacing the expansion valve and the front is colder after going to a next step smaller orifice tube so I may go yet another step lower. The only concern I have is that if I go too small of an orifice tube for the front, will the system force more flow to the rear expansion block valve? I'm not exactly sure how the expansion block works.

As for recovering refrigerant with my machine, I believe that every vehicle I've recovered produces some pag oil from recovery. Could be an ounce or two usually but this Excursion is not letting any go. Maybe it's because the service ports are so high on the system?

We drove the truck around for about a half hour the other day and it wasn't very pleasant when the sun was up but as soon as the sun sets (ambient temp changed about 5 degrees) then the ac starts to work much better. Weird.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Tom Greenleaf » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:55 am

I hear you with the heat, third row passengers and or pets could be deadly.

It totally matters when whole vehicle is hot when you head out vs at least ambient throughout. Dang tons of metal takes quite a while to stop being a heater for the whole thing.

The issue with rusted out lines to rear evaps wouldn't be common in anywhere SW USA.

By basics one compressor and a CCOT system front (clutch cycling orifice tube) set up and expansion valve rear is for the rear to hog more high side pressured up refrigerant to evaporate leaving front with what's left over not always enough even all thing right in your extremes. I've been in exactly Phoenix and around AZ and SW years ago but heat was like that and lack of shade.

Color of vehicle is going to matter. If this is obnoxious to you with it all working as well as possible do what you are willing for glass tint that's legal, painting roof a reflective color will help along with I suggest a carpet like (might be already made to size) dash cover and afraid of reflective shades as I've busted windshield before here never mind your sun/heat combo.

Floor mats on top of floor mats can help from the hot engine air and exhaust pipe heat blowing under vehicles a bit too. Duh - careful that they don't mess with pedals for driver.

Oil and recovery? Some is lost over time and recovery. Keep track of it as there's no dipstick for it. It's usually fine to add a couple (two) ounces but quit it there. Some will do that every time they do anything which will impair performance first up to problems. Too little is a problem too - compressor could be noisier while full of refrigerant and want a bit more to shut up.

You folks (have family/friends that live the heat belt states) that speak of wearing out compressors more than once. Just not so common here in New England as they plain don't work so hard for so long. The ground never really heats up much here either help a lot first thing out A/C can be totally cold fast.

Conversely Winter ground stays frozen deep especially is a low snow cover season and on plowed areas. We deal with it all but not 110F or more in ages even for a couple hours.

If still not happy there are thing to do to bolster A/C performance. You may see more. Added fans for condenser an example you might even find easy fit ones with little to alter to install if anything?

Good luck. If anything not predictably right will think harder on it and what to do,

Tom
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:19 am

I switched the orifice tube out today. Still not right and swung more towards the bad in my opinion. Im putting a chart together for the different results for each orifice tubes. With the current one (light green 0.052) the low sides didnt change much but I did get a considerable jump in the high side. Idling at 1600 rpm, windows down, max ac on front and rear, pressures were steady at Low 50 and High 350. Vents were no better than 58-60F.

What are the symptoms of too much oil as Nacho had mentioned earlier?
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby ACProf » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:15 am

pressures were steady at Low 50 and High 350. Vents were no better than 58-60F.

That's exactly perfect operation for R134 at 50 psi on the low side!

With a low side pressure reading I can tell pretty close tell you what your vent temperature will be.

All refrigerants have a temperature-pressure relationship. A little physics goes a long way in AC servicing.
At the beginning of this BB is a temp-pressure chart for R-12 and R-134a.

Low side 50 psi.
Go to the topic at the top of this board an open the topic "R-134a vs R12 Temp Pressure Chart"
Locate the R134 across the tops of the chart columns.
Look down the colum(s) and find the pressure 50 (or closest to it).
Look at the temp column to the left and find the temperature of the refrigerant in the evaporator (somewhere close to 55 degrees).
Add 5-10 degrees heat transfer overhead of the air going through the fins of the evaporator and you have a vent temperature of around 60-65 degrees.

OR you can just look under the low side gauge needle on the R134A temperature scale and find the same 55 degrees. Don't really need the chart if you have REAL AC Gauges.

If you want colder vent air, the low side pressure must be a LOT lower. To get 40-45 vent air, the low side pressure will have to be less than 30 psi!

Smaller Otube means less refrigerant into the evaporator to absorb the cab heat. Don't expect lower pressures and cooler temps by choking down the supply of the stuff going to the evaporator that cools off the vent air.

Keep us all posted on your endeavor.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:57 am

Thanks for the info Professor. I did want to lower the low side pressures to get down to a normal reading on this system and that is why I was trying smaller orifice tubes. With the factory size orifice tube (red 0.062) I cant get below 50 psi with just the front AC on and with the rear on it goes to 60 psi or so. With the orange orifice (0.057), the vent temps felt better and the pressures were a tad better but the vent temps were still not good. Vent temps are terrible in the truck even while driving 65 mph. Ive checked the recirc door and blend door flaps again and still working. I did check the evaporator in the past and it was clean too. Only thing I can figure is that I must have too much oil in the system but Im curious what effect that will have on the readings from the gauges. Ive been busy with work so I havent been able to make the chart yet but I have it all scribbled down and will do that soon. Thanks again guys!
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby cornbinder89 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:11 pm

In your 1st post you said you "Upgraded to a parralle flow condensor". Is it big enough for both evaporators? In large trucks (semi's) with both cab and sleeper A/C, it is common to see 1.5 ton Tx valves on both units, and some have 2 tonTx valves. A good test is to grab the outlet of the condenser with you hand, if it burns or is hot, the condenser isn't getting rid of the heat and it will not cool. Correctly sized, and with proper air flow, the outlet of the condenser should be 10-20 deg warmer then the air passing thru it, no warmer. I am a fan of the parralle flow condensors, but they are often thinner, and you may need to go bigger in size or stack them (inlet in the back, outlet in front) to get enough capacity.
I would also go back with the spec'd orfice tube. You need enough freon in the evaporator to absorb the heat. Without enough freon in the evaporator, what is there will quickly go thru phase change to gas and will stop absorbing heat. By useing a smaller orfice tube you are essentially makeing the evaporator smaller ( or more accurately, useing less area of it to absorb heat and change the liquid to gas). I think the CCOT system was the worse change in automotive A/C but it seams we are stuck with it.
If too much oil , the oil will line the tubes and reduce heat transfer, but it would have to be a lot of oil.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby cornbinder89 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:51 pm

Daves Garage wrote:One thing Ive noticed since the first rebuild that makes me frustrated about this setup is that the lines into the front evaporator and out of the evaporator are pretty darn cold but I dont have an exact temp. They seem much colder than the air coming from the vents. The line out of the accumulator is really cold and its a short line from there to the compressor which the compressor is actually cold too after a few minutes. It does have the plastic cover on the accumulator and I noticed that near the hole where the low pressure switch threads on I could see ice on the accumulator. If the low side pressures were in a good range Id suspect something wrong with the blend door or max ac door but the heater has been completely shut off to the air box, I do hear a good difference in the air noise between max and recirc and Ive also checked the evaporator for debris.

.

This suggests that either there isn't enough air flow over the evaporator, or that there is some restriction between the evaporator and the accumlator, where the evaportator is at a higher pressure (and temp) and the freon is going thru phase change in the accumulator. You shouldn't get iceing on the accumulator as the freon should have absorbed enough heat to prevent it being cool enough to ice the accumulator, low temp gas (32-45 degs) too warm to ice, it must be colder. 50 psi is way too warm for there to be ice on the acuululator, so pressures are saying one thing and observed iceing is saying another. Pressures equal (corralate to) temp AT THE PORT, or where the pressure is being measured, but don't hold true for the other parts of the system if there is a restriction between the port and the evaporater for example.
One other thing, the pressure at the cycleing pressure switch is either high enough to prevent cycleing (50 psi) or is bad, and the restriction then would have to be in the outlet of the accumulator, iceing indicates a pressure drop at the accumulator, but pressure switch not cycleing, indicates that at least at the switch port, the pressure is high enough (and temp as well) not to cycle. I would pull the accumulator and check for restriction at it and the line to the compressor. Its a long shot, I know, but the iceing of the accumulator and the high low side pressure point to a problem in that area.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:56 pm

Thank you for the great info CornBinder. I had the same vision in my mind about the smaller orifice not using the evaporator correctly but I figured if I could get the low side down it may make a bit of cold air, right now it is worthless running the ac. After the first rebuild of the system, I finished the rebuild at night in July (back in 2010) and it was making pretty decent cold air (at night). Next morning we left for San Diego and it was god awful, it was so muggy in the truck and everyone was sweating. It was either 75-80 degree vent temps (and humid for some reason) with the windows up or 105-110F temps but dry with the windows down. I made sure to drive home the next week at night.

WHICH brings up my next question, what would cause a system to work MUCH better once the sun goes down or even in the shade? The ambient air could be the same temperature but as soon as the sun isnt hitting the truck the ac vent temps cool off. I thought I was crazy but a buddy is having the exact same issues with his Toyota T100. He also is having difficulty getting his low side down after a recovery, vac, TXV swp and recharge. I dont want to jump tracks on the thread to diagnose his troubles but it seems we have similar problem. Could too much pag oil cause this?
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby cornbinder89 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:50 am

With the sun up, there is a lot more heat being absorbed into the cabin, and the surrounding outside air is hotter as well, making hard to move the heat from inside to out.
I'm not a "full time HVAC" man. I was a mechanic for many years and built my own AC systems for APU's (aux power units, a small diesel "pony engine" to heat and cool a truck when it is parked with the main engine off), so I may not be able to solve your problem.
The way I would go about solveing it is this:
I would want to know what the pressure is in several location on the low side of the system. Your low side pressure seam high, but it correlates to your recorded vent temp, both being too high. The thing that sticks in my "craw" so to speak, is the observed iceing on the accumulator. This says that at least at that point, the pressure is low enough to cool below freezing. That says there is an additional restriction between the evaporator and compressor, allowing for an addition pressure drop. It is essentially making a two stage system, where the orifice tube drops the pressure from high to medium/low (50psi) and there is an additional drop to below 30 (or close to it) to get freezing on the accumulator.
To solve the mystery, you may need to weld in additional low pressure ports to find where the restriction is.
As I understand it, this vehicle has duel evaporators? with the rear air using a Tx valve? is that correct? IS it possible that the rear Tx valve is defective or feeding too much Freon into the rear evaporator and it is returning to the accumulator in liquid form and going thru phase change there? I must admit I don't know how these new duel systems are plumbed with both a CCOT and Tx valve .
The duel systems I work on all have two Tx valves and the return to the compressor is always cool, but never cold, and I would say the body of the compressor is always above ambient when the system is operating. If the return is COLD and the compressor body is also, that says the Freon is still absorbing heat when it returns to the compressor, and a real risk of "slogging" the compressor with liquid Freon.
I would want a low pressure tap on the line just before it reaches the compressor, and one on the return line from the rear evaporator. All low pressure taps should read very close to the same pressure, with the one nearest the compressor being the lowest due to the least line restriction between the compressor it that tap.
You used to be able to by "line taps" that clamp around a section of tubeing and had a pierceing needle to add a connection where there wasn't one. I don't know if they were made big enough for the low pressure lines on automotive stuff and not sure you would want to leave them there permanently anyway, but they would be a good diagnostic tool in this case, and after the problem solved, the line could be replaced. Conversely, if you have good welding skills and the equipment to weld aluminum, you can weld in low pressure taps.
If you observe iceing anywhere on the outside of any part of the system, work back from there (toward the high pressure side) until no ice is found, and that point is where the restriction is.
Keep us informed on what you find.
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Re: Excursion A/C issues, HELP

Postby Daves Garage » Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:21 am

Thanks again Corn. I am pretty sure that I saw ice on the accumulator but it has a plastic cover on it that holds the accumulator to the firewall and where I saw the ice was through a very small opening where the low pressure switch threads onto the accumulator. If I was wrong and it wasnt ice, would you have any other suspicions on what could be an issue with the system? I do not have the ability to weld any low pressure ports to the system so my next step would be to RNR the system and replace the condenser and accumulator. I dont mind doing this, I am determined to figure out what is wrong here.
You are correct that the system is a block style TXV in the rear and a fixed orifice tube for the front. I know the lines in and out of the rear evaporator are pretty cold and it also does not blow very cold air from the rear vents until night time. Im wondering if the system is over loaded with oil. When I removed the rear txv to replace it a couple weeks ago there was pag oil running from the rear evaporator for a few seconds and then it turned to drips. Id guess about a half ounce to three quarter ounce of oil came out.
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