Apologies, but this is probably going to be a long post.
I haven't seen too many posts on these Starcool/Danhard units being successfully fixed, so I will post my info to hopefully help someone out.
First off, I have the 12V only rear AC unit from Danhard. My SMB 3 ring binder is conveniently missing the pages that might possibly apply to my rear AC, however, I do not even think my unit qualifies as a "Starcool" as everything I have read about the "Starcool" units seems to indicate that they are 12V/110V units and can run fully independent of the factory Ford AC system.
Here is the unit that I have in my van:
Here is a pic of it installed in my rear cabinet, under my fridge:
That's it, the black box, the 4 hoses that vent through the commonly seen round black vents in the tall SMB cabinets, and 2 very long AC hoses routed to the front of the van under the hood. I do not have the condenser with fans mounted under my van. That is NOT the system that I have.
Here is a highly technical diagram of my system that I presented to the mechanic when they were hooking the hoses back up. "Evap #2" is the Danhard unit.
(Yes, I spelled condenser incorrectly, sorry, there is no spell check when using pen and paper.)
OK, so once the hose shop(Pirtek) placed the 6" splice in the middle of my hoses, exposing me to a point of failure, I got the hoses home and ran them from the back of the van to the front. The routing runs along the driver's side frame rail for the most part. There is a bunch of space above my propane tank so I ran both hoses above the tank and then there is a ton of space to swing the hoses up along the side of the engine. There is some sort of pinch weld/sharpish metal edge that the bigger hose routes near so I put some plastic hose protector shield that I bought from the hose shop on the hose to hopefully save me from a hole in my hose. From there they route up over the top of the radiator fan, in parallel with the factory AC hoses that come from the compressor pump.
This is where the hoses pass through the floor in the rear of the van, I will need to seal these up ASAP!
From the rear to the front is pretty self explanatory, just 2 hoses routed along the frame rail.
Here are the hoses dressed on top of the fan shroud:
Quick note all 4 hoses MUST be flat across to fit under the airbox(not pictured) in order to not compress the fan shroud housing to the point of contacting the fan blades thus making them not turn.
Once the hoses are routed there is a funky loop connector that allows the new large hose to connect to the factory system, the loop connector looks like this:
Pirtek told me they did not have the other "T" connector that was on my old hose so they reused it. It looks like this:
After I had run the hoses and had them hanging loose and disconnected under the hood, I took the van over to my local mechanic to have them evacuate the factory AC refrigerant, connect the loop and T connectors, and fill her up with fresh refrigerant. Now, my van has a sticker under the hood that says 2.5lbs for front AC and 4lbs for factory rear AC, however, someone posted this handy dandy sticker in response to one of my other posts:
So I asked the mechanic to fill it up to 4.5lbs.
The other thing I did was replace both orifice tubes, one in the Danhard unit and the one in the factory system. I don't know what the factory orifice tube looked like after 224k miles, but here is what my old vs new orifice tubes from the Danhard unit looked like:
If the factory Ford one looked anything like that one, I am glad I replaced both!!
Soooooo, what were the results???
I ran 2 experiments on 2 separate days:
Outside Temp: 90(Sunny)
Start Inside Temp: 115
With AC temp set to full cold, the selector knob set to Normal AC, the front fan set to medium low fan speed, and rear fan set to medium speed, I drove the van for 20 mins.
Inside Temp: 93
With AC temp set to full cold, the selector knob set to Max AC, the front fan set to highest speed, and the back fan set to highest speed, I drove the van for 30 more mins.
Outside Temp: 90(Cloudy)
Start Inside Temp: 109
With AC temp set to full cold, the selector knob set to Normal AC, the front fan set to medium low fan speed, and rear fan turned off, I drove the van for 20 mins.
Inside Temp: 104
With AC temp set to full cold, the selector knob set to Max AC, the front fan set to highest speed, and the back fan turned off, I drove the van for 30 more mins.
Here are all the parts that make up my system:
- Danhard Unit: 00942(pictured above)
- 19' 5/8" barrier AC hose(original hose was 1/2" YMMV) with #10 fitting on one end and #12 fitting on the other end that connected to the loop connector with green AC O-rings
- 19' 5/16" barrier AC hose with #8 fittings on either end with green AC O-rings
- Orifice Tube - Green .052 (for Danhard unit, goes into the smaller fitting)
- Orifice Tube - Red .062 (for factory Ford system, not sure where it goes, mechanic installed it)
- Loop connector - A/C Fitting FORD VAN SUCTION HOSE TEE 12#12#12
- T fitting - no Idea this was something SMB found and I reused it
- 4.5lbs of R134a refrigerant
Danhard unit - unknown
2xAC hoses - $300
Shop charge to connect and charge - $300
Loop connector - $40