Trying very hard not to be insulting.. I can't.... You appear to be the
expert so in that light "physician, heal thyself"...
Rapid clutch cycling is "usually" due to low refrigerant charge.... and now
we are coming up on a couple of very specific things....
First - it sounds like you have brow-beaten your tech... you are trying to
be the diagnostician and (shame on him) he is allowing it....
Your orofice tube is plugged.... DUH!!!! What is it plugged with? After 14
years, where did this stuff magically appear from? Could it be desiccant?
Could it be bits of compressor? You are trying to cheap out on a repair that
I don't see being "cheapable".
Any of the Ford service manuals I can look at (and this is MANY) recommend
flushing - to the point where my shop spent almost $4G on an AC flushing
machine with all of the adapters. Now.. the flush chemical requires
breathing aids, rubber gloves and the whole nine yards.... One gallon of
flush agent is something over $25 in Canada.
IIRC, the flush and purge is something over one hour... but - you have crap
in your system... it didn't materialize there by magic.... Bitch all you
want, you are treating the symptom but not the cause...
Ford Escort 1994 1.9-liter had the compressor replaced a year ago
while on vacation. Recently I drove over a washboard dirt road and
then the A/C then would cool only about ten degrees below ambient
temperature. The A/C compressor had fast clutch cycle time and very
short on time with normal off time. Ford Escort Service Manual
states condenser core, fixed A/C evaporator core orifice (aka orifice
tube), or condenser to evaporator tube is partially restricted or
plugged for these symptoms. A local garage stated the condenser was
plugged and needed replacement. I requested they check the evaporator
core orifice and showed them copies of the appropriate pages from the
Ford Service Manual and they said they could also do a flush of the
condenser and verbally said this would cost about $95. Well, this is
a very small town I live in so usually a person’s word has validity
because if they lie, word gets around if you tell the right people and
you are not in business after a while because people stop coming.
They charged $204 including a new evaporator core orifice.
Two weeks later the exact same problem occurred. It seems to me that
if the system had been flushed, the problem would not have
reoccurred. They guaranteed their work so I took the car back and
they said there was a hole up high in the condenser so it probably was
not caused by a rock but by high pressure and it needed to be
replaced. They sure want to sell me a condenser. I told them there
was a high-pressure limit switch that cuts off the compressor, and
that there is also a relief pressure valve so a catastrophic failure
is very unlikely. They then said they did not want anything more to
do with me and would not honor the guarantee. Well I then put a
pressure gauge on the low side with the engine off which shows 75 psi
at 80 degrees ambient temperature. With the engine running at fast
idle and A/C on, pressure on low side varies between 45 psi and a few
psis when the pump briefly comes on and cycles off. I read the Ford
Service Manual some more today and see that a flush is not
recommended. So, two questions: how long does it take to do a flush
and replace the evaporator core orifice, and would it be standard
practice to replace the condenser? Was I scammed? Also, what is the
standard procedure for repair of this type of problem? The old
evaporator core orifice screen is completely plugged with a material,
which can be readably picked off the screen that feels slightly
rubbery and is attracted to a magnet.