Ford Bantam - 2006 - Aircon Evaporator
The A/C in my Ford Bantam 2006 1.3iXL suddenly stopped working. I have owned the vehicle from new and a couple of years ago the A/C compressor was coming on and off in short intervals every time I was stopped with the engine idling. I took it to an A/C place who re-gassed with dye after determining the gas was a bit low. I went back after a couple of days and they inspected with their special light and determined there was no leak. A/C worked like a charm after that even when just idling.
A couple of months ago the A/C started battling when the vehicle was just idling as in started blowing hot air. A/C compressor was still coming on but only warm air was coming out of the vents. Then when you drove on the open road it gradually got cooler until it blew cold again. There was no repeat of the constant on and off of the compressor this time. Then one day the compressor stopped coming on at all. I immediately assumed that the compressor or the compressor clutch may have seized.
The A/C people connected their gauges and said there was absolutely no pressure in the system. They pulled a vacuum and started to refill the gas. When enough pressure and gas had been restored the compressor kicked in. This meant that it was still okay as was the relay switch. Suddenly vapour could be seen coming out of the vents in the cabin while the car was idling with the A/C running. The technician immediately said it was the evaporator that needs replacing.
Apparently this is a riculously expensive part from the dealership and on top of that the labour costs are high as the entire dash has to be removed to replace the evaporator. He phoned someone to see if they had a price on a new evaporator but they said the vehicle was too old and they didn't make them anymore. Is this true/possible?
I have a Ford Batntam 2006 Service Manual and it shows accessing and replacing the evaporator unit from the engine bay and not from inside the cab via the dashboard:
1. Note the radio code and station preset.
2. Drain the A/C system.
3. Detach the coolant expansion tank - remove single screw, unhook the coolant expansion tank from it's bracket.
4. Remove the bulkhead extension - remove the rubber seal, unclip the cover of the central junction box (CJB), remove the single screw.
5. Remove the bulkhead extension (continued) - remove the bolts, unclip the connector.
6. Remove the bulkhead extension (continued) - remove the single screw.
Note: Seal the evaporator and refrigerant lines with plugs.
7. Disconnect the refrigerant lines.
Note: Plug the heat exchanger.
8. Pull off the connector and detach the coolant hoses - separate the electrical connector of the heater control valve, undo the clamps and detach the coolant hoses.
9. Remove the heater cover - remove the four bolts.
10. Pull out the evaporator (push fit).
Installation - Note: Before connectin the refrigerant lines, fit them with new O-rings. Coat the O-rings with refrigerant oil before fitting them.
1. Refit the componments in the reverse order.
2. Drain and refill the A/C system.
Now why would an expereinced A/C technician say that the entire dashboard had to be removed to replace the evaporator if it can be done from the engine bay? Is the technician wrong or is the manual wrong?
Is the cost of replacing the evaporator even worth it in a vehicle this old and does the dealership still have replacement parts for a 2006 model?
Try Protech Motors in Silverton. The are a Ford Scrap Yard. They might have. The airconditioner parts are normally obrained through Air Con Specialists. Independant Car Radio in Centurion is normally a good place to start