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Discuss Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement... in the alt.autos.ford forum at Car Dealer Forums; Okay, I'm a bit confused. I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic ...
  1. #1
    visions of effty
    Guest

    Default Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...

    Okay, I'm a bit confused.

    I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic that I've had for a few
    years. The air conditioning has never worked that I can remember. I assume
    it needs to be recharged, but I've never looked into it. It could have
    absolutely no refrigerant for all I know. I've never been a big fan of AC
    in cars.

    The problem is this. When the engine is running the AC clutch on the front
    of the pump will engage for a few moments then disengage. Engage then
    disengage. Engage then disengage. The engine slows down a bit each time
    indicating that it is really engaging and using a bit of my precious
    horsepower.

    It doesn't matter where the climate controls are set, but if I turn the AC
    on and off a bunch of times sometimes the endless engage/disengage thing
    will stop. Like I can get it to stop sometimes by messing with the switch.
    Not always, just sometimes.

    I'm not sure if this is happening all the time, as I can't hear the noise on
    the road, just at stoplights and such.

    Where would I be looking to fix this problem?

    Would recharging the AC and getting it to a baseline level stop the
    compressor from trying to compress?

    Why the hell is it trying to compress when the AC is off?

    Is there a wacked-out pressure switch somewhere?

    Is it okay to just unplug the AC pump?

    Thanks for any help.

    ~e.















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  2. #2
    SC Tom
    Guest

    Default Re: Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...


    "visions of effty" <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote in message
    news:J4KGg.9366$St4.8895@trnddc01...
    > Okay, I'm a bit confused.
    >
    > I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic that I've had for a few
    > years. The air conditioning has never worked that I can remember. I
    > assume it needs to be recharged, but I've never looked into it. It could
    > have absolutely no refrigerant for all I know. I've never been a big fan
    > of AC in cars.
    >
    > The problem is this. When the engine is running the AC clutch on the
    > front of the pump will engage for a few moments then disengage. Engage
    > then disengage. Engage then disengage. The engine slows down a bit each
    > time indicating that it is really engaging and using a bit of my precious
    > horsepower.
    >
    > It doesn't matter where the climate controls are set, but if I turn the AC
    > on and off a bunch of times sometimes the endless engage/disengage thing
    > will stop. Like I can get it to stop sometimes by messing with the
    > switch. Not always, just sometimes.
    >
    > I'm not sure if this is happening all the time, as I can't hear the noise
    > on the road, just at stoplights and such.
    >
    > Where would I be looking to fix this problem?
    >
    > Would recharging the AC and getting it to a baseline level stop the
    > compressor from trying to compress?
    >
    > Why the hell is it trying to compress when the AC is off?
    >
    > Is there a wacked-out pressure switch somewhere?
    >
    > Is it okay to just unplug the AC pump?
    >
    > Thanks for any help.
    >
    > ~e.


    If all you're looking for is to stop the clutch from engaging, by all means
    just disconnect the clutch- there should be a single wire coming from behind
    the pulley. Just unplug that and tie it off where it won't get caught in the
    pulley/belt.
    If you want it to work right, it would be best for you to take the Ranger to
    a service tech and have them check it out. The A/C is also used in the
    defrost cycle to deliver dry air to the windshield.

    SC Tom



  3. #3
    Puddin' Man
    Guest

    Default Re: Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...

    The "engage" takes place when the Climate Control calls for cooling.
    The "disengage" likely takes place when the lo-pressure switch
    trips, usually due to insufficient refrigerant.

    Either "AC" or "Defrost" can call for cooling. If you can live
    w/o either, just shut 'em off and see if the AC clutch still
    engages. If so, you likely have a problem with CC switching.

    I think you can also disconnect a wire at the compressor if
    necessary, but that'd be my last choice.

    Good idea to chase the issue down: the compressor can be a *serious*
    drag on the motor.

    Cheers,
    Puddin'

    On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 20:48:41 GMT, "visions of effty"
    <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote:

    >Okay, I'm a bit confused.
    >
    >I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic that I've had for a few
    >years. The air conditioning has never worked that I can remember. I assume
    >it needs to be recharged, but I've never looked into it. It could have
    >absolutely no refrigerant for all I know. I've never been a big fan of AC
    >in cars.
    >
    >The problem is this. When the engine is running the AC clutch on the front
    >of the pump will engage for a few moments then disengage. Engage then
    >disengage. Engage then disengage. The engine slows down a bit each time
    >indicating that it is really engaging and using a bit of my precious
    >horsepower.
    >
    >It doesn't matter where the climate controls are set, but if I turn the AC
    >on and off a bunch of times sometimes the endless engage/disengage thing
    >will stop. Like I can get it to stop sometimes by messing with the switch.
    >Not always, just sometimes.
    >
    >I'm not sure if this is happening all the time, as I can't hear the noise on
    >the road, just at stoplights and such.
    >
    >Where would I be looking to fix this problem?
    >
    >Would recharging the AC and getting it to a baseline level stop the
    >compressor from trying to compress?
    >
    >Why the hell is it trying to compress when the AC is off?
    >
    >Is there a wacked-out pressure switch somewhere?
    >
    >Is it okay to just unplug the AC pump?
    >
    >Thanks for any help.
    >
    >~e.


    Pease pudding hot,
    Pease pudding cold,
    Pease pudding in the pot
    Nine days old.

  4. #4
    visions of effty
    Guest

    Default Re: Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...


    "Puddin' Man" <pudding.man@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:d4tme2tj74g31gose43d225emjh6d12fl9@4ax.com...
    > The "engage" takes place when the Climate Control calls for cooling.
    > The "disengage" likely takes place when the lo-pressure switch
    > trips, usually due to insufficient refrigerant.



    I've been reading up on it in some other threads and this seems to be the
    case. The fact that it just started happening kinda makes me think there's
    a slow leak in there somewhere, and if that's the case I'd rather not dump
    more refrigerant in it. Perhaps it sat too long before I bought it. I've
    read that that can make the seals where the refrigerant is go bad and cause
    leaks.


    > Either "AC" or "Defrost" can call for cooling. If you can live
    > w/o either, just shut 'em off and see if the AC clutch still
    > engages. If so, you likely have a problem with CC switching.



    Aha! I didn't know this. This makes sense. I thought I was switching the
    thing off, but I noticed that the two settings furthest to the right on the
    climate slider both have defrost. The middle settings (just the blower)
    seem to work without the AC clutch cycling.

    I really wouldn't have realized that on my own! So thanks!

    I wonder if it's worth having fixed just to have defrost? How does defrost
    work on cars without AC?


    > I think you can also disconnect a wire at the compressor if
    > necessary, but that'd be my last choice.
    >
    > Good idea to chase the issue down: the compressor can be a *serious*
    > drag on the motor.



    Yeah. It's only a 3L. I need all the hp I can coax from it!

    Cheers!

    ~e.


    > Cheers,
    > Puddin'
    >
    > On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 20:48:41 GMT, "visions of effty"
    > <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    >>Okay, I'm a bit confused.
    >>
    >>I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic that I've had for a few
    >>years. The air conditioning has never worked that I can remember. I
    >>assume
    >>it needs to be recharged, but I've never looked into it. It could have
    >>absolutely no refrigerant for all I know. I've never been a big fan of AC
    >>in cars.
    >>
    >>The problem is this. When the engine is running the AC clutch on the
    >>front
    >>of the pump will engage for a few moments then disengage. Engage then
    >>disengage. Engage then disengage. The engine slows down a bit each time
    >>indicating that it is really engaging and using a bit of my precious
    >>horsepower.
    >>
    >>It doesn't matter where the climate controls are set, but if I turn the AC
    >>on and off a bunch of times sometimes the endless engage/disengage thing
    >>will stop. Like I can get it to stop sometimes by messing with the
    >>switch.
    >>Not always, just sometimes.
    >>
    >>I'm not sure if this is happening all the time, as I can't hear the noise
    >>on
    >>the road, just at stoplights and such.
    >>
    >>Where would I be looking to fix this problem?
    >>
    >>Would recharging the AC and getting it to a baseline level stop the
    >>compressor from trying to compress?
    >>
    >>Why the hell is it trying to compress when the AC is off?
    >>
    >>Is there a wacked-out pressure switch somewhere?
    >>
    >>Is it okay to just unplug the AC pump?
    >>
    >>Thanks for any help.
    >>
    >>~e.

    >
    > Pease pudding hot,
    > Pease pudding cold,
    > Pease pudding in the pot
    > Nine days old.




  5. #5
    Puddin' Man
    Guest

    Default Re: Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...

    On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 23:13:43 GMT, "visions of effty"
    <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote:

    >
    >"Puddin' Man" <pudding.man@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >news:d4tme2tj74g31gose43d225emjh6d12fl9@4ax.com.. .
    >> The "engage" takes place when the Climate Control calls for cooling.
    >> The "disengage" likely takes place when the lo-pressure switch
    >> trips, usually due to insufficient refrigerant.

    >
    >
    >I've been reading up on it in some other threads and this seems to be the
    >case. The fact that it just started happening kinda makes me think there's
    >a slow leak in there somewhere, and if that's the case I'd rather not dump
    >more refrigerant in it. Perhaps it sat too long before I bought it. I've
    >read that that can make the seals where the refrigerant is go bad and cause
    >leaks.


    I've heard similar.

    I used to have a house AC'd hold a charge in summer but lose
    maybe 40% (r22) in winter b/c of lack of use. I suspected seals.

    >> Either "AC" or "Defrost" can call for cooling. If you can live
    >> w/o either, just shut 'em off and see if the AC clutch still
    >> engages. If so, you likely have a problem with CC switching.

    >
    >
    >Aha! I didn't know this. This makes sense. I thought I was switching the
    >thing off, but I noticed that the two settings furthest to the right on the
    >climate slider both have defrost. The middle settings (just the blower)
    >seem to work without the AC clutch cycling.
    >
    >I really wouldn't have realized that on my own! So thanks!


    I've forgotten myself but was reminded when I set "defrost",
    felt the cool air.

    >I wonder if it's worth having fixed just to have defrost?


    If it's an R134A system (read the stickers under the hood)
    it *could* be as easy as adding refrigerant and maybe some
    lubricant (maybe, perhaps). I dunno about R12 anymore.

    >How does defrost
    >work on cars without AC?


    Not sure there are any anymore. Just runs the blower?

    I'm guessing that if the CC is set to cool (and you have AC), it tries
    to cool. If set for heat it tries to heat. Both with blower, of
    course.

    I'm not that knowledgable about Climate Control. Maybe someone
    better informed can come to my rescue. Or you can start a
    new thread.

    Prost,
    Puddin'

    >> On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 20:48:41 GMT, "visions of effty"
    >> <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Okay, I'm a bit confused.
    >>>
    >>>I have a '93 Ford Ranger V-6, 3.0 (FI) automatic that I've had for a few
    >>>years. The air conditioning has never worked that I can remember. I
    >>>assume
    >>>it needs to be recharged, but I've never looked into it. It could have
    >>>absolutely no refrigerant for all I know. I've never been a big fan of AC
    >>>in cars.
    >>>
    >>>The problem is this. When the engine is running the AC clutch on the
    >>>front
    >>>of the pump will engage for a few moments then disengage. Engage then
    >>>disengage. Engage then disengage. The engine slows down a bit each time
    >>>indicating that it is really engaging and using a bit of my precious
    >>>horsepower.
    >>>
    >>>It doesn't matter where the climate controls are set, but if I turn the AC
    >>>on and off a bunch of times sometimes the endless engage/disengage thing
    >>>will stop. Like I can get it to stop sometimes by messing with the
    >>>switch.
    >>>Not always, just sometimes.
    >>>
    >>>I'm not sure if this is happening all the time, as I can't hear the noise
    >>>on
    >>>the road, just at stoplights and such.
    >>>
    >>>Where would I be looking to fix this problem?
    >>>
    >>>Would recharging the AC and getting it to a baseline level stop the
    >>>compressor from trying to compress?
    >>>
    >>>Why the hell is it trying to compress when the AC is off?
    >>>
    >>>Is there a wacked-out pressure switch somewhere?
    >>>
    >>>Is it okay to just unplug the AC pump?
    >>>
    >>>Thanks for any help.
    >>>
    >>>~e.

    >>



    Pease pudding hot,
    Pease pudding cold,
    Pease pudding in the pot
    Nine days old.

  6. #6
    Tom Adkins
    Guest

    Default Re: Ford Ranger AC Question... random AC clutch engagement...

    Puddin' Man wrote:
    > On Tue, 22 Aug 2006 23:13:43 GMT, "visions of effty"
    > <impeach_the_shrub@verizon.net> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>"Puddin' Man" <pudding.man@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >>news:d4tme2tj74g31gose43d225emjh6d12fl9@4ax.com. ..
    >>
    >>>The "engage" takes place when the Climate Control calls for cooling.
    >>>The "disengage" likely takes place when the lo-pressure switch
    >>>trips, usually due to insufficient refrigerant.

    >>
    >>
    >>I've been reading up on it in some other threads and this seems to be the
    >>case. The fact that it just started happening kinda makes me think there's
    >>a slow leak in there somewhere, and if that's the case I'd rather not dump
    >>more refrigerant in it. Perhaps it sat too long before I bought it. I've
    >>read that that can make the seals where the refrigerant is go bad and cause
    >>leaks.

    >
    >
    > I've heard similar.
    >
    > I used to have a house AC'd hold a charge in summer but lose
    > maybe 40% (r22) in winter b/c of lack of use. I suspected seals.
    >
    >
    >>>Either "AC" or "Defrost" can call for cooling. If you can live
    >>>w/o either, just shut 'em off and see if the AC clutch still
    >>>engages. If so, you likely have a problem with CC switching.

    >>
    >>
    >>Aha! I didn't know this. This makes sense. I thought I was switching the
    >>thing off, but I noticed that the two settings furthest to the right on the
    >>climate slider both have defrost. The middle settings (just the blower)
    >>seem to work without the AC clutch cycling.
    >>
    >>I really wouldn't have realized that on my own! So thanks!

    >
    >
    > I've forgotten myself but was reminded when I set "defrost",
    > felt the cool air.
    >
    >
    >>I wonder if it's worth having fixed just to have defrost?

    >
    >
    > If it's an R134A system (read the stickers under the hood)
    > it *could* be as easy as adding refrigerant and maybe some
    > lubricant (maybe, perhaps). I dunno about R12 anymore.
    >
    >
    >>How does defrost
    >>work on cars without AC?

    >
    >
    > Not sure there are any anymore. Just runs the blower?
    >
    > I'm guessing that if the CC is set to cool (and you have AC), it tries
    > to cool. If set for heat it tries to heat. Both with blower, of
    > course.
    >
    > I'm not that knowledgable about Climate Control. Maybe someone
    > better informed can come to my rescue. Or you can start a
    > new thread.
    >
    > Prost,
    > Puddin'
    >
    >


    Man, you're real close Puddin'. You know more than you thought you did.
    The compressor shaft seal can fail due to lack of lube in a system that isn't used
    much. Since you didn't know about the different settings, you've probably been using
    the AC and didn't know it. Your leak "could" be from the shaft seal, but it is more
    likely to be an oring in one of the line fittings (spring lock type).
    The operating strategy is a little more complex than AC=cold and Heat=hot. The AC
    runs in Defrost to dehumidify the air and remove fog quicker. On cars without AC, it
    just takes longer to defog. On a really damp rainy day a non AC car may not defog well
    at all. The AC\Defrost strategy also has the side benefit of not letting the AC system
    sit idle during the winter months.
    Your 93 Ranger will likely have an R-12 system as 93 and 94 were transition years.
    Check the tag under the hood to be sure. If it's R134 it should be a pretty easy fix
    (your compressor seems to be ok). If it's R12, it could get pricy to stay with R12 or
    convert to R134. The good news is that your R12 system was probably designed for the
    (then) upcoming change to R134, and would convert well. A competent DIYer can do it
    with a little guidance.
    If you don't want to spend the money to fix it, unplug the compressor to disable it.
    Since you don't really care about AC for cooling, see how defrost works on damp days,
    rainy days, etc. If you don't like the performance then think about repairing the AC.
    With the compressor disabled there is no drag on the engine from the AC, the pulley is
    just an idler.
    Myself, I would fix the AC if the truck is decent and dependable. When I was younger
    I didn't care about AC, but now that I'm a bit older I gotta have it or I get cranky.
    Regards, Tom

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