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1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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AC shim hints

It hit 100 degrees here in KY yesterday so last night I figured it was time to study the forums and figure out how to fix my air conditioning.
It would cut out at stop lights and even some times at cruise. After a few miles it would kick back in and blow nice and cold for a few miles then cut out again. I read about the air gap and the shim so I decided I would try and tackle it myself. My air gap was .050 so I figured there was a pretty good chance that it was the culprit.

http://photos.thedieselstop.com/data...1648Feeler.jpg

I used an 8mm socket on a quarter inch drive to get the bolt out. I couldnít hold the clutch with a strap wrench and when I tried a pair of oil filter pliers, they slipped off and I mashed my thumb. I then got smart and turned on the truck ignition switch but didnít start the engine. I turned on the air conditioner which engaged the clutch holding it tight to the non moving AC compressor pulley while I loosened the little bolt. I was afraid of dropping the bolt so I held a strong little magnet close to catch it when it came out.

http://photos.thedieselstop.com/data...1648Magnet.jpg

I gently pried the clutch away from the pulley with a screwdriver until it came loose and it just slid off.

http://photos.thedieselstop.com/data/500/81648Shim.jpg

The shim (washer)was inside the back side of the clutch just as you guys said it would be. I cleaned everything up with carb cleaner and compressed air and was ready to reassemble the clutch. My next obstacle was trying to reach between the coolant reservoir and the AC compressor to get the little bolt started. I did this by taping the bolt into the hole on the clutch with a piece of duct tape, slid the pulley on the shaft loosened the tape and screwed the bolt in.

http://photos.thedieselstop.com/data/500/81648Bolt.jpg

I then re-engaged the AC to hold the clutch while I gave the bolt its final tightening. My friend borrowed the truck and drove it about 12 miles stopping several times and said the AC worked great the whole time. My next step will be to put in the Air Conditioning Control Valve kit that Bob Riley sells on www.dieselsite.com. Then I should be able to make it snow in the cab.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

So how thick was the shim, what was your air gap when you finished, and what is recommended for maximum A/C efficiency???
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Awesome write-up, this should be a sticky. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Iím not sure what I did with the shim after I took it out. If I find it I will measure it for you. The book I have says the air gap should be .35-.75 mm or (.014-.030 in) I need to get a new feeler gauge because mine only goes down to .025 and it is less than that.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Additional thoughts about the shims.


One of the questions I had before I took the shim out was, ďWhy is it there to start with if it keeps the compressor from kicking in?Ē Once I got it apart I could see the genius of the system. When the clutch is new everything works great because when the compressor and the clutch are assembled the air gap is what it should be. As the clutch and its mating surfaces wear, the air gap between the two surfaces increases to the point where it is hard for the magnetic forces to overcome the air gap and engage the clutch and it becomes intermittent. I think one reason we see the problem first appear when the rpms are low is that the alternator is putting out a little less voltage. When the rpms pick up the voltage increases a little, the magnetic force increases and the clutch kicks in. This works until the mating surfaces get worn so much that even the higher voltage wonít increase the magnetic field enough to engage the clutch. At this point Ford could have sold us all new clutches but it looks to me like it was designed that by simply removing a spacer (shim) we extend the life of the clutch. Once I did it I bet it isnít a 15 minute job. From what I have read when the clutches are new there is probably more than one shim installed. As the clutch wears you take them out one at a time until they are all gone. Once that happens and the air gap increases to the point that the clutch is again intermittent you are looking at a new clutch because there is no more adjustment. Some of the real mechanics on this site may disagree with my analysis and if they do I will defer to their experience.
I hope this helps someone.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

I just did mine the other day and found the shim to be about .040"

I measured in 3 different places and found it to be a max of about .060" down to about .050" - when I removed the shim - it seemed too close, so I filed the shim down a bit. It is still likely wider then spec, but I couldn't get the shim any thinner - but i prolly picked up about .006".

As a note, i pulled and cleaned the blower fan and examined the evaporator - it was nasty and matted with hair and dust. I pulled it off with tweezers and blew it out with water - out of a large syringe. I made sure it drained out the drain hole and not into the cab. I then put the A/C on full max and sprayed some lysol in the intake just for good measure. Seems to be working much better.

The heater control mod will really help.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

FlyWheel reply:

Once more again....How did you get into the evaporator coil...

Thru the blower motor????

""I'VE ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT THAT???? With ""NO"" filter....

There's got to be a lot of crude & corruption some place in the system....
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Yep -

Just remove the vacuum pump (unplug the wires and let hang by the vac lines), then unplug the blower motor and remove the blower (3 screws).

You can see prolloy about 30% of the evaporator - but it will give yo ua good indication of it's condition. It looks like there is a much more involved way of disassembling the whoe deal - but it looks like a heck of a project.

One note - yesterday, I found water down by the door - I don't think I left a window open in the rain, so some water during my flushing may have made it through. I removed the step plate and p-side kick panel and picked up the carpet - more like moisture then water - but there nonetheless. If you try the flush - just make sure the water is draining out the evaporator - then check the floor the next day.

I don;t really expect any problems since it is usually 1000 degrees down here - so it'll dry.
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Flywheel,
Thanks for the post, I bet a lot of guys will be checking their evaporators soon. I know I will.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Yup I just put cleaning the evaporator on my to-do list for today.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

I took mt cluth off the other day almost the same way AMETCALF did.... When i pryed off the clutch off i carefuly watched for a shim to fall.... I never saw one.Now the splins go up pretty far on that shaft. Could the shim be up inside there?? I found no shim but maybe it could have been removed by the previous owner?? Which i doubt because he was not too smart...sold me the truck CHEAP because it kept shutting off and he was tired of it....200.00 cps and shes like new!!
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Old 08-17-2007, 05:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Chris,
How many miles on the truck? Mine has 228k and I just took the last shim out if it in fact had more than one. The previous owner didn't necessarily take it out. If he had problems with the air conditioner that was caused by the air gap, any shop or mechanic could have taken it out in a few minutes, charged him a few bucks or a lot of money and sent him on his way. If you look up in the spline end and don't see it and put it back together and the air gap is still too big then my guess is you are looking at a new clutch. Maybe someone else will chime in with better advice. One other thought. Is it possible at a junk yard you could buy just the part of the clutch plate that removes and put that on to get some more use out of the original clutch?
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

205k on the truck...Im going to take it off again here in a few and look again... i dont think there was any shims up inside there....but then again it was getting dark...give me an hour or so and ill check it out tho. My Air was cold for about 25 mins on the ride home from work...95 degress outside...then it got warm...if i shut the a/c off and turn it right back on it gets cold again for a few minutes....It has to be this clutch causing this!!
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Ok looked again and there WAS a shim in there....took it out and drove for 5 mins or so....seemed to do alright but i wont know until tonight how long it stays cool...Another question...Shouldnt the A/c being on MAX and the fan Wide open pretty much freeze you out>?? I can run on max for a while and just stay comfortable! My other Superduty with the V10 WOuld have moisture and a light smoke coming out of the vents it got so cold in there! ANy way to get these things colder? I just put freon in it!
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: AC shim hints

Chris,
Iím still learning how this whole system works. If I understand it right, hot water is circulating through the heater core all the time the truck is running. The air conditioner is also on in most of the climate control positions. Temperature is regulated by the mixing of the heated air and the cooled air. In the stock setup when you put the air conditioner on and set the temperature to the coldest position the air conditioner is putting out cold air but it still has to overcome some hot air in the plenum from the heater core. Some of the guys on this forum in the last week have talked about putting valves in the heater lines to stop the hot water from circulating through the heater core in the summer time. Bob Riley from dieselsite.com has a kit for under $50. to do this. Look at some of the posts about air conditioning for the past week and look for PRODUCTS FOR COLDER AIR CONDITIONING AND VENT SETTINGS on the dieselsite.com website and you can learn about shutting off the hot water. It seems to me that by shutting off the hot water to the heater core the system should discharge air that is a lot colder. I hope I am not leading you astray.
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Pyro,Boost,Trans Gauges A pillar isspro guages,CC, short bed, Extang Tool Box Tonneau Cover
upgraded headlight harness, locking fuel cap,
Dual car seats for twin granddaughters
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