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Old 08-25-2007, 10:55 AM   #1
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AC problem

Had a problem with the van's AC system while up around Mammoth last week. I've got an 06 6.0l psd.

The tubing used in the AC system is relatively soft aluminum and one tube was positioned so that it rubbed against the dipstick tube used to check my tranny fluid. If you pop your hood you can easily spot the area of potential trouble.

The dipstick tube is steel and the vibration of the motor, plus lots of washboard roads caused it to wear a hole through the aluminum tube in the AC system. Result was a moderately loud hissing sound as all the coolant in the AC system leaked out. Took me awhile to find the problem because I first suspected that the radiator had boiled over and that the hissing was rad fluid overflow. But I carefully watch the temp gauges and had not seen anything odd.

Once I noticed the hole in the tube, I tried to patch with JB weld. No luck as the pressure was far too high for the JB weld to hold.

I called Ford dealer in Bishop and read them the ($55) part number that failed, which they ordered for next day Fedex delivery. Took the van into dealer and they did a great job fixing me up quickly. As far as Ford dealer experiences go, I'd give Bishop a big .

The tech working on my van said he sees this problem all the time. Not always in the same place, but often whenever the aluminum tubing makes contact with another part of the motor. If that is the case, it is just a matter of time until you get a leak.

Had I known where to check for trouble, it would have taken about 10 seconds to adjust the tubes so that they didn't rub against each other.


Rob
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:02 PM   #2
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Good find! Definitely something to check for.
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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I don't think the JB weld would have helped as the freon would be long gone at that point?

My compressor seized last week and I spent 2 nights and 3 days with no A/C in 108º weather. Mostly the delay was back to back part delays from other dealerships- no complaints though, I was still driving away before the other dealerships in the area were even willing to have taken a look at it.

Luckily there was pressure so you shouldn't have to worry about metal shavings getting into your system...
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Old 08-29-2007, 02:18 AM   #4
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Similar Problem with the Aluminum ATF Cooling Tubelines

Probably should start a new thread but that reminds me..a couple years ago..I had a similar "rubbing" issue with the ATF aluminum cooling lines running from the ATF Transmission Air Cooler to the AT.
The route for the pair of cooler lines runs an awkward path and they "will" rub against each other if you 4x alot, I would personally check them..

In my case, I found out the hard way with a micro rub rupture between the two aluminum ATF flanged lines with ATF fluid spewing underneath everywhere. I mean the rupture was MICROSCOPIC! and caused by the two lines rubbing against each other; it took some time but it happened.
And oh did it spray ATF! I have a macro pic of the actual rupture on the cooler lines after we yanked it out.

I'm lucky to have a good buddy McGyver who helped come up with a solution and we made it better by coating each of the atf cooling lines with kevlar hose protection sleeve (NAPA) in case they rub at all in the future..near the chassis where the lines route..

We repaired it by getting custom length aluminum lines from TruckDepo(Warehouse for big rigs) since the dealer didn't have anything (imprevised part was the dealers explanation of not having it in their computer); and we flanged it and bent it ourselves after matching it with the broken one. It was a B*tch to get the damaged atf cooler lines out! But we did it!

Anyone care to hear about my repair story on my leaking fuel vapor return line hose (another micro rupture!) that stunk up the cabin?

If so, read on:

I would smell this fuel smell in the cabin when camped and it got progressively more stinky this past year. Didn't want the family to experience that fuel smell, and I had no Idea where it was coming from? The Fuel Cap, the Fuel Tank? Tried a new fuel cap, nope. I had no idea!
So I Googled and consulted with my Buddy and we noticed that there was no vacuum being held when we removed the fuel cap.. one of the hoses had a leak..
That was it, time to take the fuel tank down and check every hose near the fuel tank and filler neck.. After about 3 hrs (removing the propane tank, then the fuel tank), we found the micro leak in the hose.

It smelled bad but that fuel vapor return line leak near the fill hose neck was MICRO! Also probably caused by excessive bumps probably.

To make a long story shorter, it's got new better fuel hoses now.. all replaced. I owe my Buddy more then beers!


Here's to DIY'ers!
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Old 08-29-2007, 07:02 AM   #5
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Micro ruptures

NRL, now you've scared me. I don't know any MacGyver types and I'm not sure I trust the local Ford mechanics.

How old is your rig, and how long did you have it before these mechanical adventures began?
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Old 08-29-2007, 11:21 AM   #6
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Re: Micro ruptures

I have a relatively older rig but maybe future owners who still have their rigs 10 years or more may find my repairs useful tribal knowledge for the future.

It's a 1996 Sportsmobile that I picked up with 40K in excellent condition in 2005. I cleaned it up from it being a stock vehicle by adding wheels&tires, mirrors, paint, inside toys, etc.. (Pics in Albums).

I've been offroad numerous times so I expect something to go wrong;eventually. I'm extremely happy with it by the way even though those problems occurred. It could happen to any vehicle really. I had a similar heater hose problem on my brand new FJ80 back in 97'

Yup, I don't really don't care to take it to the Dealer unless I really have to which is never so far. Addition to my good Buddy, I also found a good Van mechanic but he has yet do do anything that I would need a Dealer to do; and I'm sure he could fix it if anything occurs in the future.

I think the most he has done is re-pack the bearings and fixed the brake shudder by replacing the brake rotors. Replaced the belts (howling squeal - due to humidity really). (Gatorbacks didn't make the belt squeal go away.. went back to motorocraft Stock Belts - No Squeal).
My buddy and I have done most of the maintenance and the hard stuff so far (fuel vapor hose retur, ATF Cooling lines, 8D AGM Battery and UPS Powerinverter, Solar Panel, Second Starting battery, re-do of some Sportsmobile cabinets, propane lines and repaint of propane tank, electrical wiring for all the toys, backup cam and front rearview monitor, additional cams, etc..). It's been a great hobby fixing it up.

Everything is going good at 60k miles which really isn't alot of miles for 1996 Sportsmobile being 10+ years old.

Pretty Happy with it.

Neal

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Originally Posted by Ed in Montana
NRL, now you've scared me. I don't know any MacGyver types and I'm not sure I trust the local Ford mechanics.

How old is your rig, and how long did you have it before these mechanical adventures began?
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