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Old 02-07-2018, 06:10 PM   #1
cobrajocky
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Default Diagnosing AC - Bad clutch or Bad Compressor 97 Mazda B-4000/Ranger XLT 4.0L

I have a 1997 Mazda B-4000 SE 4.0L Xtr Cab 2WD only 96k Miles (same as a Ranger XLT 4.0L). Last couple of years I've had the AC slowly lose Refrigerant to the point I was only getting Cool Air, not Cold. I refilled it with "Johnsen's" brand 134a and had nice cold airflow again all summer, fall and some of our "Hot" winter days here in So Cal. Suddenly today the AC failed - when switching on normal AC I could hear squeaking noises, no cool or cold air and then I could smell some "burning" odor, I quickly turned AC off. When I got home I popped the hood, and briefly turned on AC again. I saw that the electromagnetic clutch wasn't turning at all, then would turn for a couple seconds intermittently but mostly not run. There was a bit of smoke from the clutch and a "somethings seized" type of sound. I turn all off.

I've done a lot of engine work, nothing in the AC area, so I have no idea how to diagnose this failure. Is it the electromagnetic clutch or the compressor (like seized)?

Parts are getting hard to find for Rangers / B-4000's, like I couldn't anyone selling or making AC hose assemblies anywhere. What's the situation for Clutch and Compressors for a 1997 vintage Ranger/Mazda 4.0L AC?

How difficult is the swap out of the clutch and/or AC compressor for someone with good experience with engine work?

Thanks guys,
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:28 PM   #2
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Sounds like the compressor is seized. Most auto parts stores have everything you will need to get it done.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:36 AM   #3
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Sounds like the compressor is seized. Most auto parts stores have everything you will need to get it done.
Leaking refrigerant will eventually leech all the oil out of the system and after being recharged numerous times without oil being checked or replaced you have a condition where the compressor doesn't have enough oil and that's usually why they lock up, yes just replace it why bother with the clutch probably the same cost or close to it

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Old 02-08-2018, 10:57 AM   #4
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Leaking refrigerant will eventually leech all the oil out of the system and after being recharged numerous times without oil being checked or replaced you have a condition where the compressor doesn't have enough oil and that's usually why they lock up, yes just replace it why bother with the clutch probably the same cost or close to it

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Thanks for the reply Denise FWD.

I suspected as much that it's the compressor that's seizing or frozen now, funny that ran fine last week when we had an unseasonable 80's day in Winter.

Two questions that I have are:

1) There are complete rebuilt AC kit's (less hoses) being sold on EBay with warranted Rebuilt Compressors with install Clutches and with Receiver Dryer, seals, Oil for$130 or New ones for $180. Do I go for a whole kit or just the Compressor? Compressor only rebuilt are about $50, New for $100.

2) Ford has not made replacement AC Hoses for Rangers and B-4000's for years. I know the leaks are at the the hose connectors because they are discolored as one mechanic pointed out to me.

Where can I go to get hoses new or made for my AC system that won't cost me an arm and a leg?

Thanks for the help!
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Last edited by cobrajocky; 02-08-2018 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cobrajocky View Post
Thanks for the reply Denise FWD.

I suspected as much that it's the compressor that's seizing or frozen now, funny that ran fine last week when we had an unseasonable 80's day in Winter.

Two questions that I have are:

1) There are complete rebuilt AC kit's (less hoses) being sold on EBay with warranted Rebuilt Compressors with install Clutches and with Receiver Dryer, seals, Oil for$130 or New ones for $180. Do I go for a whole kit or just the Compressor? Compressor only rebuilt are about $50, New for $100.

2) Ford has not made replacement AC Hoses for Rangers and B-4000's for years. I know the leaks are at the the hose connectors because they are discolored as one mechanic pointed out to me.

Where can I go to get hoses new or made for my AC system that won't cost me an arm and a leg?

Thanks for the help!
If your compressor has completely froze then you are going to have to flush the system with ac flush. Whenever an ac compressor freezes up it sends lots of internal metal parts throughout the entire system. I would buy a new condensor because the ports in the newer ones are extremely small and pretty much impossible to dislodge all the tiny metal shaving. Your orfice tube will catch most of the metal before it gets to the drier. My uncles locked up and there was blackish metal coating from the beginning of the high side outlet port of the ac compressor all the way to the drier inside the lines. I would buy a new a/c compressor. I have dealt with UAC products for a long time and have had good luck with them. I bought one for my 98 for 124.00 and free shipping on ebay.

Last edited by Craig0320; 02-08-2018 at 11:06 AM.
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