How to Replace a Receiver-Drier in an Explorer

by Cayden Conor

The accumulator in a Ford Explorer is often referred to as a receiver-drier, and while they look the same, they perform different functions. A receiver-drier is in line before the evaporator and takes moisture out of the Freon. An accumulator is in line after the evaporator and holds moisture until it is turned back into gas, before it reaches the compressor. The accumulator must be changed each time you open the system for any reason.

Take the vehicle to a shop with an EPA-approved container -- it is illegal to vent Freon into the atmosphere. Have them reclaim the Freon for you.

Remove the air filter housing using the appropriate socket. Remove the plastic trim fasteners along the top of the grille. Pull the grille assembly upward to remove it.

Disconnect the condenser line and the evaporator line form the top of the accumulator using the appropriate line wrench. Ensure that the O-rings are not stuck in the lines. If they are, remove and discard them.

Push the radiator air deflector forward to gain access to the accumulator retaining nut on the back of the radiator support panel. Remove the nut. Remove the accumulator mounting bolts, then lift the accumulator out of the engine compartment.

Install the new accumulator and tighten the retaining nut and bolts. Coat the new O-rings with refrigerant oil. Install the O-rings into the lines. Attach the lines to the accumulator and tighten them with the appropriate line wrench to 71 inch-pounds of torque.

Reinstall the grille and air filter housing. Take the vehicle to a certified shop to have it vacuumed down and filled with Freon.

Items you will need


About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.