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Old 10-09-2013, 11:16 PM   #1
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Chassis AC - Compressor Leak

We bought our 2007 Georgetown 350DS in March and have been very happy with the purchase. We've put about 4500 miles on it so far and are three months into a year-long trip with our two children.

With all of that being said, we have a very small problem. The problem has existed since we purchased it and only recently did I decide to diagnose it. At the local Ford Dealership in Salt Lake City during our oil change, we asked them to diagnose why the AC blew moderately cool air... sometimes warm. Their diagnosis, a lead on a non-serviceable seal on the AC Compressor. They're recommendation, replace the whole AC compressor at a cost near $1K. The part alone is apparently $500.

I am not really bothered not having AC, first off it's started to get cooler as the US settles into winter. Secondly, I drive in shorts and a t-shirt anyway so I stay cooler.

Is there any less expensive way to replace a AC compressor? I suspect I could it myself, but I am geek not a car guy.

Thoughts?

If it matters, we're on our way to Arizona along I-15. If there is a shop along the way, a recommendation would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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It's strange that the seal cannot be replaced. If it were me, and didn't want to spend the money, I would remove it (can't use it anyway) and see about taking it apart. Put baggies over the lines and duck tape them. Not sure how the compressor is built, but usually you have to remove the clutch assembly and you will see the shaft and the seal around it. Usually, compressors can be taken apart to put new seals in them.

If you go the route of getting a new compressor and installing it yourself, it isn't really that hard. I would recommend swapping out the expansion valve and drier, but you don't necessarily have to. When you put everything together, get an air vacuum pump (harbor freight has one for less than 20 bucks if you have an air compressor, or if you want an electric one they are about 100 bucks) and evacuate all the air out of the lines. Then get your Freon with adapter and pump in the recommended amount, or keep filling it until the bubbles go out on the sight glass. Usually, the new compressor will have enough oil in it for the entire system. I'm not an expert, this is something I have not done in eons.

You could also run your generator and one of your AC units.

Cheers, AL
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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My 2012 Georgetown compressor was replaced last week because of dry seals. It was still under the 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. I have a lot of miles on it... 23,000 miles
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #4
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Evidently these compressors are not a "normal" Ford part.
Way too many F53 failures!


Ours leaked probably from day 1, replaced under warranty.


If you had a quote for $500.00 labor they must charge $250.00 an hour.

An independent big truck shop might do it for a lot less than Ford.


The compressor is on the bottom in the front in plane sight easy DIY and a REAL EASY 2 hour job for a pro.


You can buy a lot of R134a for 1K$'s

If you add freon be careful when you buy the hose, one manufacture uses a proprietary connection, from then on you have to but their freon.

This would be a good one to get you started. Should be less than $50.00

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Quest-R-134a-refrigerant-with-Sub-Zero-synthetic-A-C-booster-and-charging-hose/_/N-261q?itemIdentifier=532242&_requestid=553029

Then more freon is less than $15 a can, don't buy the leak finder or stop leak!


http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Quest-R-134a-refrigerant-with-Sub-Zero-synthetic-A-C-booster/_/N-261q?itemIdentifier=832120&_requestid=555071

good luck
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #5
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You can't just replace the compressor and then put new freon in. You have to vacuum pump the system first. (If the compressor blew up, you have to flush the system and replace the accumulator/drier and expansion valve/port as well.)

I'm not saying it's not an easy enough job. I have the equipment and have done it myself. But it's not as easy as some are suggesting.
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Old 10-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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Prior to me getting my AC compressor and Ford not knowing it was under warranty Ford dealer quoted me parts and labor to replace compressor and recharge the system for $675.36
Find another dealer.

Here's one on EBay for $134 and free shipping
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-FS10-A-C...fba72b&vxp=mtr
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:50 PM   #7
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As I read through your responses I am struck by something abjb said... "You can buy a lot of R134a for 1K$'s"

This may be the best approach, buy a couple cans of Freon and refill the system every month or so. I am rather cheap and if indeed this is a common failure the last thing I want to do is replace the AC compressor again in a few months.

As for finding another Ford dealer, yeah... Larry H Miller Ford in Salt Lake hasn't been very customer focuses. Multiple calls not returned, not acknowledging my presence when I arrived (it's hard to miss a 350 DS show up outside your shop). I'll call around in Arizona where I'll be in a few weeks, but .. I may stick with the Freon idea.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Moreau View Post
As I read through your responses I am struck by something abjb said... "You can buy a lot of R134a for 1K$'s"

This may be the best approach, buy a couple cans of Freon and refill the system every month or so. I am rather cheap and if indeed this is a common failure the last thing I want to do is replace the AC compressor again in a few months.

As for finding another Ford dealer, yeah... Larry H Miller Ford in Salt Lake hasn't been very customer focuses. Multiple calls not returned, not acknowledging my presence when I arrived (it's hard to miss a 350 DS show up outside your shop). I'll call around in Arizona where I'll be in a few weeks, but .. I may stick with the Freon idea.
I had my AC replaced at Peoria Ford Arizona on Bell road and the 101. (Not owned by Larry Miller)
You can call my Service Provider David Turner to make a appointment. Tell him John with the 2012 Georgetown motorhome sent you to him. He will treat you will respect and get you a fair estimate. 623-792-2670
They had me in and out in one afternoon.

But I also would first try the Artic Freeze 22 oz bottle with the gauge at Walmart. It will tell you how much to add and it can be used until the can is out. At that time you buy another can and use the gauge and hose again. $34 -$39

P.S.
Like your Family BLOG on your travels.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:05 AM   #9
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I also had the leaking compressor seal problem on my 2010 Georgetown. The service tech at the Ford dealer said it is a common problem they see on the F-53 chassis. I had mine fixed under warranty at Gator Ford in Tampa next to Lazy Days. They do a lot of Ford motorhome chassis service and are familiar with the vehicles. The compressor replacement and recharge took about 90 minutes.

I would suggest going to a Ford dealer where they frequently service motorhomes. An earlier Ford dealer was unsuccessful in diagnosing the problem.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:14 AM   #10
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my first choice would be to try and get it fixed.
if u opt to charge the freon, charge vapor to the low side and shoot for a pressure between 30 and 35 lbs. (this will vary depending on the temperature inside the vehicle).
if u have the sight glass on the high side (discharge) of the compressor, looking for the bubbles to clear up is a good suggestion.
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