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Old 03-05-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

I've had my rig into the dealer twice in the last year to diagnose why the AC would stop working and the fan would start blowing hot air. Not good when you're sitting on top of a diesel. Everything checked normal and of course when you get the Ford dealer involved it blows ice cold. And they're leary of digging deaper into the issue when they see the system has been modified with the addition of Starcool AC.

The Badgers apparently had a similar issue and discerned that the heater core on the 6.0 always has coolant flowing through the heater core, "regardless of the position of the temperature select dial". http://www.badgertrek.com/sportsmobile/vehicle.shtml

They added a vacuum controlled coolant flow valve and vacuum solenoid to address this issue. Has anyone else experienced this and/or installed a automatic heater core shutoff valve similar to that available for the 7.3s? http://www.dieselsite.com/maxacassistac ... 0373l.aspx
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:35 PM   #2
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

It could also be the AC icing up. It will work fine for the first few hours, then when it ices up it gets warm. It will drip water for hours as the ice melts.

Mike
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

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Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
It could also be the AC icing up. It will work fine for the first few hours, then when it ices up it gets warm. It will drip water for hours as the ice melts.

Mike
Thanks for the reply but I haven't noticed dripping water under the van. And it blows hot while the Starcool is still blowing cold. All the refridgerant is on the same lines. Someone else has had to have a similar issue. I haven't found anything yet on the Ford diesel forums.

edit to add: found this thread where Broncohauler and Jage discuss the now discontinued Dieselsite AC valve and hot air coming from the vents when the AC is on.
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=2884&hilit=AC+Control+Valve+h ot+air
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

So this is not going to fix your AC issue, improve performace but not fix it. Are you running the Ford Air By itself and the starcool off? You have to have the starcool on when running the front air.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...hilit=Starcool

"For clarification on the Starcool switch/Starcool operation. It is good to have the Starcool Blower switch set to "low, med, or high", so that you can operate the Starcool Evaporator without getting out of the driver's seat using the "on/off" rocker switch being discusssed. I would not however, recommend leaving the Thermostat set to "cool" as you could inadvertently place the inverter in an overload condition, or restrict the flow of refrigerant to the dash Evaporator.

Remember that the Thermostat, when switched to "cool", will only control the 110volt Starcool compressor, the lower Starcool Condenser Fan, and the Starcool Solenoid valve. The Thermostat has nothing to do with operating the Starcool Evaporator while using the engine driven compressor. It is very important to have the Starcool Blower switched to at least "low" whenever operating the dash A/C so that proper refrigerant balance between the systems is maintained. If you forget to turn the Starcool Blower "on", you'll notice the temperature of the air coming out of the dash vents getting progressively warmer.

I have seen times when a Factory Ford fuse that is suppose to provide 12 volt "ignition on" power to the Starcool Relay Plate be bad, thereby allowing the Starcool Solenoid Valve to close whenever the Thermostat is set to "cool". If this happens, you will have no refrigerant going to the dash Evaporator and will not get any cooling out of the dash vents, but you will get cooling out of the Starcool Evaporator.

Also, if you leave the Thermostat set to "cool" you can overload the Inverter. Let's say you're using the inverter with the engine running and the Starcool is "on". If the Thermostat is set to "cool", then when you turn the engine "off", the Starcool Compressor will try to operate through the Inverter and most likely send it into an overload mode. This could be avoided if you turn the "on/off" rocker switch "off" first, but you may not always remember.

Jage, sorry for taking this to another level, but you know how I like to give as much info as possible. Please move it wherever you feel it needs to be.

John K.
"

Hope it is a simple as this.

Greg
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

As others have said, it will help blow colder air, but it will not make it blow cold.
There is a flap that's covers the heater-core, this flap is operated on a vacuum when you turn the heater knob. If this get's stuck open it doesn't matter how cold the AC is, it will blow over the hot radiator fins and give you hot air in the cabin.

As the AC system itself seems to be fine from what you have said, I would first check that this valve & flap is working correctly.

There is a very good diagram and explanation in the service manual, I'll see if I can find an online copy.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

Best I can find.


If flap #5 get's stuck, you will get hot air with the AC on. Flap #19 get's stuck on my van, but it's not much of an issue.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

I'll reiterate that I am operating the starcool properly and the issue is with the stock Ford system in the cab. Thanks for the schematics SheepShagger, that will help troubleshooting!

It doesn't appear that too many diesel owners on this forum have noticed the same symptoms. It seems odd to me that it could be the system is blowing too cold, leading to icing. I did find one mention of this symptom from a thread in the powerstroke forum. Icing apparently doesn't let the air get through. I'm ruling this out because 1) the first time it happened I had it diagnosed by a Ford dealer while on the road. I had a leak in a line by the condenser and a low refridgerant charge. They recharged it with $60 of R-134; and 2) the second time I had the blower checked for a restriction or blockage. Airflow from the blower was ok and the AC was blowing down to 38F.

Another poster on powerstroke mentioned similar symptoms and replacing a shim in the compressor clutch solved the problem. I'll have a look at that and also flap#14 as suggested by SheepShagger. There's not much need for the AC since it's March but the way winter went I've got a feeling summer is going to be a SOLAR STORM. I'm going a coolant filter install soon so I'll dig into it more. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:21 PM   #8
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

What are the conditions that lead up to to hot air?

I'm suspecting a problem with the actuator, but more symptoms would help narrow it down. I don't think the heater valve mod would help the root cause of your problem. You still wouldn't get cold air with that mod, just ambient air (which of course still could be hot on a hot day). I believe the default on the blend door is full-hot, so that in the event of a failure, you would still have clear windows. Any loss of control signal to the actuator should cause a full-hot position of the blend door. It is not unheard of for the actuator itself to fail.

Also as mentioned, the blend door can stick. This is usually caused by the pivot pins breaking off., which causes binding. Dorman now sells a replacement door. THey used to only sell the complete airbox. P/N is 76809.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #9
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
What are the conditions that lead up to to hot air?

I'm suspecting a problem with the actuator, but more symptoms would help narrow it down. I don't think the heater valve mod would help the root cause of your problem. You still wouldn't get cold air with that mod, just ambient air (which of course still could be hot on a hot day). I believe the default on the blend door is full-hot, so that in the event of a failure, you would still have clear windows. Any loss of control signal to the actuator should cause a full-hot position of the blend door. It is not unheard of for the actuator itself to fail.

Also as mentioned, the blend door can stick. This is usually caused by the pivot pins breaking off., which causes binding. Dorman now sells a replacement door. THey used to only sell the complete airbox. P/N is 76809.
The heater core valve does seem like a bandaid. It seems to happen at any time but most often when the ambient outside temp is hot (>85F). On or offroad. The fan will just start blowing hot air but the dealer says the condenser is ok. The blend door is the thing as flap#5 in the above schematic?

Here's some part numbers and dealer msrp in case anyone else is looking into the A/C system.
mm-840 Blower Motor $105.02
YH-1697 Resistor $28.40
YH-445 Switch $24.14
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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Re: Heater Core Valve-hot air while AC is on question

I've had problems with the blend door and was told it was a vacuum problem that Ford fixed. I've also had problems when Ford recharged to stock levels, not the 4.8lbs of freon that the starcool system requires. They have done this to me 3 times and I now have a card on the zirk that states "additional AC+stock requires 4.8 lbs".
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