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A/C Dead, Replace Just Compressor Clutch?

eldrijt on Fri March 14, 2008 1:45 PM User is offline

Year: 1993
Make: Ford
Model: Probe
Engine Size: 2.5 l
Refrigerant Type: R12
Country of Origin: United States

93 Probe GT with 2.5 Liter 6 cyl. Wife was driving in 100 degree heat last summer. She said she smelled a burning smell and the cool air disappeared.. Not sure if it gradually went away or immediately. So far, I've pushed on the shrader valve and got a healthy flow. Then I bypassed the underpressure switch and still no clutch engagment. I checked and am getting 12 volts at the wire going into the clutch although there appear to be 3 wires so I'm not sure if I did that part right (this wire went into the pulley area, the other 2 went into the compressor body so I think I'm OK here). The 12 V went to zero with car off. This was done with the under pressure switch functioning so I believe I have enough freon. Pulley bearing is smooth. This car is a garage queen with only 110,000 miles on it. AC system has never been touched. No added freon, nothing. My guess is that the clutch burned up, but I'm wondering if it burned up because the compressor locked up. Is it worth my time to investigate the bad clutch theory or is it time to get a whole new compressor? If I have to evacuate the system to replace the clutch, I'll go ahead and get the whole compressor.

Looking at another post, I was surprised how cheap R12 is now. I was considering going 134 but for only about $15 extra over 134 I'm staying R12.

Thanks for any advice you can give!

Jim

brickmason on Fri March 14, 2008 10:17 PM User is offline

First of all hook up some gauges to get the high and low pressure readings.

In that 100 degree plus weather with a 15 year old non maintained system maybe the condenser fins are clogged with bugs, debris, tarnish or several bent fins which could cause the high side pressure to exceed more than it normally should, making the compressor much harder to turn which could cause clutch slippage.

Expansion device could be clogged also.

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Just another brick in the wall

Had a little mule I fed him castor oil and every time he jumped the fence he fertilized the soil

bohica2xo on Sat March 15, 2008 11:18 AM User is offline

You can check for a locked compressor by turning the clutch plate on the front of the clutch - it is attached to the compressor shaft. It should turn smoothly, with no hard spots or grinding.

The other wires on the compressor go to a thermal switch. This switch may have opened permanently when the compressor overheated.

With a 15 year old system, it is time to change the dryer. Depending on the condition of the compressor, you may need to flush the system as well. Something caused this event. As Brickmason pointed out you should check the condensor, and make sure the fans are running properly. I would recover the system, and have a look at the orifice tube - it is the only filter in the system.

B.

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"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

eldrijt on Sat March 15, 2008 12:13 PM User is offline

Thanks to Brickmason and bohica for replying! I just checked the condenser. It's got some debris and bugs but you can still easily see through the fins. I'll definately clean it, but I'm not seeing that as the obvious reason. Can't check high and low side pressure since the compressor clutch won't engage. Per bohica's tip, just checked the compressor by spinning the outer clutch disk. Seems pretty smooth. I can hear a sound like a piston going up and down. A slight oscillating squeek sound. So by bohica saying "something caused this event", I guess he's saying replacing just the clutch (if that's possible) would just lead to a quick repeat. The whole compressor at ackits is only $275 so I'm leaning that way (that and no clutch by itself offered). One new hose, new orings, dryer, compresser, orifice tube, possible flush, and recharge. All for less than $350 sounds pretty good to me. I have my own freon. I did this for my old Ranger truck so it's not new to me. The DIY flush is the only new thing since the Ranger compresser just blew shaft seal so no black death. I'm hoping the smooth compresser means no extensive flush is needed. Won't know till I pull it apart.

Thanks,

Jim

eldrijt on Sat March 15, 2008 12:21 PM User is offline

Oh! I forgot to mention that my alternater went out at the exact same time. In fact I was hoping after I replaced the alternater, the AC would come back to life as a limp home mode reset. The alternater shares the belt with the AC.

My best guess is that oil leaking onto the alternater from leaky cam cover gasket, was the reason. Does this provide any clues? Oil on the clutch = failure? Hm....

Jim

TRB on Sat March 15, 2008 12:41 PM User is offlineView users profile

Re-manufactured Clutch (22-11563-R) assembly is about $ 80.00. May not be listed on the site but is available. Normally a clutch goes bad do to another reason. Does the front of the hub have a burnt reddish color?

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com


Edited: Mon March 17, 2008 at 5:26 PM by TRB

bohica2xo on Sun March 16, 2008 3:31 PM User is offline

Replacing the compressor could lead to a repeat failure as well. The cause of the clutch failure may have been caused by a high pressure event. If your condensor fan(s) quit running for some reason, the high side pressures climb quickly.

Your compressor is not locked up. If the clutch was oil soaked, it might have slipped enough to damage it. Or perhaps the coil simply failed, and the smell was the alternator. Many possibilities.

You have checked the condensor for a clear air path. Be sure the fans are working properly. If all of that is Ok, and the system is still holding pressure, then a clutch change may be all you need. Pushing down on a schrader valve is not a test however. Measuring the static pressure of the system would be a good place to start.

110k is not a lot of miles for a compressor. The system is probably low on charge from normal attrition. If you don't have a recovery machine, changing the clutch & carefully monitoring the system is the lowest cost repair.

B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

eldrijt on Sun March 16, 2008 5:02 PM User is offline

The front of the clutch looks normal.. No burnt or reddish color. The whole compressor has some oil on it. It's directly below the new alternater so I'm certain the oil dripped from the old alternater onto the compresser. I fixed the leaky cam cover gasket a few years ago so new oil shouldn't be a problem. Shaft seal area does not look like it's been leaking (no built up cakey grime).

I have a new concern. If the clutch plate burned up, why does the solenoid not click? I'd think it would click but not grab. Maybe whole thing overheated.

Bohico-->"If you don't have a recovery machine, changing the clutch & carefully monitoring the system is the lowest cost repair."

I don't have a recovery system. Can I assume this means a clutch change doesn't require breaking into the freon system? Any instructions out there for doing this? There's just one alen head bolt at the center of the pulley.

If I go the new compresser route, what would I expect to pay for someone to recover my freon charge?

Thanks for all the help!

Jim

Chick on Sun March 16, 2008 9:19 PM User is offlineView users profile

If this is an O tube system, try jumping the low side pressure switch. If the compressor grabs and runs the switch is bad, if not, "gently" tap the front hub of the compressor and see if it grabs. Remember we can't see it, so we want you to be sure before you break into the system.. Then we can better advise you on which route to go..As Bohica mentined, if the clutch failed you will need to know why. And even static pressure will help us help you...,.

Low side switch (If O tube system) will be on the fatter of the two lines, the one with the accumulator... it is a "TWO WIRE SWITCH " Don't jump any other wires or switches with more than two wires..Hope this helps..

-------------------------
Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

eldrijt on Mon March 17, 2008 2:18 PM User is offline

Thanks Chick. I already bypassed the under press switch and no go. But then I reconnected the under pressure switch, and I tested voltage at the clutch and it was 13+ Volts. So it's getting power and the freon is not low enough to trip the switch. So since the compresser is not locked up (spins freely when I rotate the front clutch pully) I'm thinking that my immediate problem is the clutch. I agree that the cause of this problem may be an obstruction etc but I don't think low freon is the ticket, or I wouldn't get 13 volts at the compresser.

The best scenario for me right now is for the clutch to be bad because of too much oil dripping down and contaminating the friction surface, causing it to overheat and burn up the clutch solenoid. Or maybe due to a partially blocked condenser on a 100 degree day. I could bet $80 and replace the clutch, clean the condenser and top off the freon. The next step up is much more expensive and involves evacuating, new compresser, dryer, orings, otube, etc etc. I'm leaning towards the cheap bet.

I wonder if ackits has the compresser without clutch, in case the compresser turns out bad as well. TRB, you found the separate clutch. Do you know if they offer the compresser without the clutch if I later need it?

Thanks again everyone for the advice. I really appreciate it.

Jim

Chick on Mon March 17, 2008 3:37 PM User is offlineView users profile

That is of course possible, but I would check the clutch coil for three to four ohms, and also try the tapping in while it's running. But as Bohica said, that compressor has a thermal switch that may have blown. Checking the coil can help you isolate the coil itself or the thermal switch If one wire comes from the coil, use that and the other lead from the ohm meter to the compressor body, if two wires from the coil, one lead to each, but make sure it's is unplugged. There is a reason I am saying this, reman compressors do not come with switches. The cut the wire close to the switch so you can't splice it. The reason for this is they warrant the compressor, not switches.. So you need to do all your testing before tearing it apart...Hope this helps..



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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

TRB on Mon March 17, 2008 5:28 PM User is offlineView users profile

I updated the clutch # 22-11563-R.

Remanufactured Compressor w/o clutch: 204-904 $ 258.00 plus freight.

-------------------------

When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

eldrijt on Mon March 17, 2008 6:56 PM User is offline

Chic-->"There is a reason I am saying this, reman compressors do not come with switches. The cut the wire close to the switch so you can't splice it. "

Jim-Not sure I understand. Actually, I'm pretty sure I don't! :-) They just don't let you use a overheat switch? Or are you saying they don't provide a solenoid to engage the clutch? Or are you saying you must remove your switch from the old compresser to use on the new one? Chic could you please try explaining again?

TRB, the price without clutch is more than price with clutch. I guess I'd get it with and throw the spare on a shelf! And save myself $9. Thanks for checking though.

I'm going to lightly hit that clutch while running tonight. That sounds like a good idea. I used to get my boat starter solenoid to work that way for a while till I replaced it. If I can get it to work just once I could learn a lot about what is wrong.

Still haven't heard if anyone knows how to remove the clutch from the compresser.

Thanks,

jim

Chick on Mon March 17, 2008 7:06 PM User is offlineView users profile

Still haven't heard if anyone knows how to remove the clutch from the compresser.


You remove the center nut/bolt, remove the front clutch driver, and the pulley will be held on with a snap ring, the coil may also have a snap ring holding it to the body, but I'm not sure on that one...

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Chick
Email: Chick

---------------------------------------------

Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

TRB on Mon March 17, 2008 10:20 PM User is offlineView users profile

Doing some more checking with a different vendor. They list two models for this vehicle, which do you have?

Reman Nihon/Calsonic DKV14D Compressor w/ Clutch

Reman Matsushita/Panasonic N1301AE4 Compressor w/ Clutch




-------------------------

When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

mk378 on Tue March 18, 2008 10:47 PM User is offline

if you haven't already, check continuity thru the clutch, all the way from where you measured the 13 volts to ground. If no continuity, make sure it is the clutch coil itself that is open, not just the ground or protector switch (if equipped). If you have continuity, plug everything back in, start the engine engage the A/C and try the hitting the clutch test. If it pulls in the clutch gap is too wide, should be adjustable. Take the shaft nut off, slide the plate off, and take some of the shims off of the shaft behind the plate.

eldrijt on Sun March 23, 2008 3:44 PM User is offline

Finally checked out the Clutch and removed it from the compresser. NO continuity through it. Good continuity through compresser switch. So I need a new clutch. No number on the clutch/elecromagnet. All that's on the compresser that I could see was HQ52492 and then elsewhere on the compresser, is N37. No name, nothing else but it is still hanging under the car and there is some oil residue that could be hiding numbers/name. I used a mirror to look at the top but I could have missed something.

Anyone know how to find the right clutch for the HQ52492 compresser? The Q could be an O.

Thanks,

Jim

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