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Old 03-06-2009, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default Loud a/c clutch

I had forgotten about it over the winter, but the somewhat warm weather today reminded me that scorching hot and humid summer is almost here (summer in the extreme SE is from April till November, no springs or fall). At the end of last summer my a/c compressor clutch had gotten quite loud, and would kick on very hard. I think it all started when I got belt dressing sprayed down into the clutch assembly while trying to fix a slight belt chirp. Should have left it alone. It only has ~110k miles on it, so surely its not dead yet. I was just going to replace the compressor and redo all of the orings before this summer, but damn I forgot how costly a/c parts are. Would be looking at probably $600 after compressor, rings and refrigerant. Anybody know of a trick that might make it a bit more livable? From what I know compressors and clutches arent really servicable.

The noise was a metallic squeak, with a slight rattle sound, maybe like bb's in a can, but not very loud. When it would come on, it would grab very hard and would jerk hard enough to feel it in the driver seat. Seems like before it was a very gradual and smooth process

I'd really like to save that money for the turbo, since Im about to spend way too much on taxes and new insurance, which is going to eat way into my turbo savings. A/C would surely give it to me up the ***.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:28 AM   #2
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I just sourced a reman'd AC clutch for my 97. Not too bad... $129.99 at NAPA Online

Install looks like a real bitch though.

<edit> They want $189.99 for a 90-93 AC clutch. A little pricey if you ask me.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:49 AM   #3
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Hell, I could sling that. The OEM stuff I was looking at was like $500, or you could go with a company that sells "lightly used" stuff for like $250, neither of which I want. I dont mind spending $200 on a reman though. I might go by Napa this weekend and see what they have to say. I just really dont want summer to sneak up on me. 100 degree humid heat in a black top conmvertable with black dash, black leather everything, and dark tint..... HOT Last year my a/c was just barely able to keep up with the cooling demand. I even went as far as removing the center 2 vent *****, and left them nice large open holes that flow straight back. Ive noticed it actually makes a swirl of air around your back and neck area, and actually helps cool even though its not pointing straight at you.

On a side not related to interior cooling. Doesnt the heater core always flow hot coolant? Even if you have the heater off, you are probably still getting some heat transfer and leaking hot air from the jungle of **** under the dash. Does anyone just bypass the core in the summer and just loop the lines? Every little bit of extra cooling/less heat to remove helps. Im VERY hot natured, so 75 today may as well have been 100. I get sweaty and in a pissy mood.

Either way I think Im going to have to fight my heater core soon. I think one of the long pipes going between the firewall and the core has a crack, or it broke a solder where it ties into the core. I can slightly smell coolant inder heavy load runs on the interstate, or high load flying through the gears. But just a normal cruise and it goes away. No leaks in the engine bay, so it has to be. Plus one of the nipples through the firewall are a bit floppy compared to what they used to be. So I may come up with a bypass and valve system while checking this out.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:26 AM   #4
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Well **** this. Napa in store quoted $502 for a reman compressor... no thanks. Even the online store is showing the lowest price at over $300, and I think that one was without the clutch. I can get just the clutch assembly for $129, but even that is **** since Im not fully sure its only the clutch and not the compressor. Oh well.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
Well **** this. Napa in store quoted $502 for a reman compressor... no thanks. Even the online store is showing the lowest price at over $300, and I think that one was without the clutch. I can get just the clutch assembly for $129, but even that is **** since Im not fully sure its only the clutch and not the compressor. Oh well.
Napa ONLINE. Look around online. Odds are someone sells a new or reman for 200ish. It's probably just the clutch bit changing the clutch is a bitch and a half. Just do the entire compressor, flush the system, clean the evaporator if you really want cold air, and then vac. and charge it up. Don't forget to put oil in the new compressor if it doesn't come with any, and if it does come with say 2 ounces from the factory, add whatever the system calls for minus what's already in the compressor. More oil hurts efficiency.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:40 AM   #6
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Ive been looking. Only places I see reman compressors are those shady looking auto parts websites, which I will not give $200+ to, not knowing what I will get in return.

Is there a method to checking a compressor for wear without any major trouble? I have no clue as to what some of the bearing clearances are, or seal locations and inner workings of most compressors. Id be willing to spend the money for a clutch if I knew the compressor itself was still fine.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:50 AM   #7
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I'd either buy a new/reman compressor and swap it out or buy a used good compressor from the forum or partsgroup, etc and install that. Those clutches are seriously a bitch. I'll never do one again.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:05 AM   #8
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Maybe I will just live with it then. Being as it only has 100k miles on it, Im not going to buy a used one and chance it, since it will likely has as many or more miles than mine.
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