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Discussion Starter · #1 ·




So, I've never messed with AC work much. Can I replace just the clutch, or does the whole compressor have to be replaced? I bought the AC parts from a wrecked 60K mile car to reinstall AC on my 89, but never got around to it. Therefore, I have a goodcompressor with working clutch sitting in my garage. Can I just swap the AC clutch? I see a bolt to undo. Do I need a pulley remover or will it just come right off? Thanks.
 

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replacing just the clutch can be done, but it's a PITA. if you have a good compressor I would just swap it out, vacume the system then recharge it and cal it good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It use to blow ice cold, and I'm pretty sure its still R32 or whatever, not the new stuff. If I can simply swap a clutch, I'll be doing that. Come to think of it, I still have a pulley puller from autozone I got when I rebuilt my t5z.
 

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If it's still R12...def replace only the clutch. The extra work is worth keeping an original R12 system completely intact
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So anyone know exactly whats involved with swapping clutches? This is all new to me.
 

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It use to blow ice cold, and I'm pretty sure its still R32 or whatever, not the new stuff. If I can simply swap a clutch, I'll be doing that. Come to think of it, I still have a pulley puller from autozone I got when I rebuilt my t5z.
I wouldn't be surprised if the compressor seized for the clutch to burn up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I wouldn't be surprised if the compressor seized for the clutch to burn up.
How would I tell?

EDIT: Wait, if the compressor seized, and I turned the AC on, wouldn't that mess up the belt? I drove the car to SC and back with the AC on, it just wasn't blowing cold. At least some air being blown beats nothing.
 

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The compressor could be seized and you wouldn't know because the clutch is broken. If the clutch was seized the belt would look like that clutch. If you got the a good used unit use it.
 

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my car did this to me in June. i just bought a used compressor for a guy on here, swapped it in, converted to R-134A by going to O'Reillys and paying $13 for some fitting adapters, took it to the car shop down the street, and had em evacuate and recharge the system for $89. blows ice cold, and it's a beautiful thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, I went out to the garage. I took the belt off, and the pulley spins freely. I grabbed the front of it(area with the ford part numbers) and it spun freely, but was a little wobbly. I then put the belt back on, and tried to undo the nut in the center. This caused the center part(area with the 6 holes) to spin freely without moving the outside part(area with the ford part numbers).

So nothing seems seized to me, but I could very well be wrong.
 

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Kevin, the front of that pulley(?) looks like mine about four years ago. I noticed a strange vibration after startup one day, then popped the hood and noticed the rubber broke down (like your pic shows) between the piece with six holes and the piece with the Ford stamping. Sorry for the lack of terminology; I don't know what that is called.

We unbolted the compressor from the bracket, swung it upward and put an impact on it to remove the nut from the front plate. We swapped one from a '90 Mustang and all was well. A/C worked still, vibration was gone and it still held four years later. Hope your fix is as easy as mine was, but the pictures seem to show the same symptoms as what I encountered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Damn, I don't know if I have the compressor or not? :( I thought I did. I went out to the garage, and found out I have the black cylinder looking thing that goes in the passenger side part of the engine bay, and the long black line that runs to the compressor. I know I had the compressor at the old house, but I left a bunch of junk there when I moved out. I think I may have left it behind. ****!!!!
 

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Damn, I don't know if I have the compressor or not? :( I thought I did. I went out to the garage, and found out I have the black cylinder looking thing that goes in the passenger side part of the engine bay, and the long black line that runs to the compressor. I know I had the compressor at the old house, but I left a bunch of junk there when I moved out. I think I may have left it behind. ****!!!!
that black cylinder would be your acumulator/drier. look around in the Classifieds section, you may be able to find a used one for cheap, thats what I did.

if you swap out the air compressor, make sure you go have the system evacuated first, because if you don't, you'll leak R-12 into the atmosphere which is against the law, and then the EPA people will raise hell (not really, but just better to go get it evac'd.), and second if you try to disconnect the a/c lines from the compressor with refrigerant still in their, the contents are under pressure, and it could blow your ear drums out (saw a dumbass former friend of mine do this, and it made his ears ring for about 2 days, and i was right there, and mine were ringing for about a day as well).
 

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Buy a new clutch, easy to install.

cordless 1/4" impact, snapring pliers, smaller puller and you are good to go.
 

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Tough break about your compressor bro. I had the exact same deal go down a couple weeks ago, posted in here about it and got the same advice pretty much. Judging by the type of failure you got a pretty old compressor. You could go ahead and change the clutch hub which would allow you to keep your r-12 charge and skip opening the sys. but that has its down side as well. Price is pretty reasonable for the hub at around 60 bucks. To rent the removal tool will be about 30 bucks but you get that back when you return it. Hopefully you can rent it from someone because if not the kits arent too cheap to buy and kindof a waste of money cuz when will you use it again?....exactly. Hopefully, once you get the thing back running again another problem that maybe caused the hub to shred wont rear its ugly head...Wont know tho until you get it in and have already spent the money.

Just a word from my experience last week. I wound up replacing the compressor and doing a retrofit to 134a and once I removed my compressor, I saw that my front seal had been leaking which I didnt see when the compressor was in place cuz it was all dark with dirt and oil matching the braket. I also went to empty out the old compressor and there was vitually no oil left in it and what was left was a dark brown in color. I dont think that compressor would have been worth fixing. My retrofit went amazingly well given all the horror stories I read.

I ordered up a reman. compressor, accumulator with hose and the liquid line with orifice tube. Also picked up 4 cans of gas, 2-8oz. bottles of bva100 Polyolester ref. oil. and 2 cans of brake cleaner. Also grabbed a batch of new o-rings for good measure. Once I had all the spring-loc fittings taken apart I isolated the coils and blew the out with shop air and flushed them with brake cleaner. I got good results from just popping my finger on and off the outlet of the coil as I was hitting the other side with the air hose to build pressure up and then rapidly dropping it off. Once I got that part of the job done, I got it all put back together I pulled a 300 micon vacuum and charged in the 40oz factory charge and even with the existing condenser coil I had pressures of 32/215. Air temps were 48* at idle in driveway and 41* at 2000 rpm in driveway as well. Now granted, the air temps arent as good as r-12 temps of 40* at idle like I used to have but for what I spent which was only like 350 bucks I cant complain. There is no way I would just change the clutch but I also have the means of doing a/c work as in vacuum pump, manifold, misc. fittings needed and such that the avg Joe may not have handy as well as the knowledge of a/c sys. Taking it somewhere to have this work done would cost a whole lot more which I guess makes the changing of just the clutch more viable but I think you would be changing out a bad compressor not too long after tho. Mine was definately on borrowed time judging by the oil charge's condition and quantity. Good luck with whichever choice you make......l8r
 

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I had same problem last july. The rubber spring was sprayed on the side of the battery. The compressor spun nicely with hand so I took the clutch off and found out the clutch bearing was shot so I replaced the clutch. Two weeks later the compressor seized. So the clutch plates rubber spring also seems to work as a fuse in the belt drive system. The replacement clutch have different type of rubber spring so when it jammed it almost melted the drive belt. So it melted rubber spring may indicator of seizing compressor. My advice is that replace the whole compressor with new clutch.
 

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I had the same issue many many years ago. Replacing the clutch will just buy you some time. You're better off -if you use your AC frequently- to just spend the $ and replace the whole deal. Once pulleys are off center for any amount of time things just go to hell. Mine was seized not long after looking like the one in your pic.
 

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if the shaft seal is not leaking, no need for a new compressor. Unless its seized or not sucking.
 
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