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Clutch Switch

JEL on Thu August 06, 2009 10:23 AM User is offline

Year: 1989
Make: Chevrolet
Model: C1500
Engine Size: 5.0
Refrigerant Type: 134A
Ambient Temp: hot
Pressure Low: great
Pressure High: superb
Country of Origin: United States


A few years ago I rebuilt and converted my R12 system to R134A spec thanks to all the help generously offered here on this forum. The project was very successful with only one exception.

I installed a new clutch switch (screws into the drier) at the time and since day one I have had intermittent issues with bad connections between this switch and the harness which plugs into it. When this happens I can barely touch the harness with my finger which results in enough movement so that contact is made and the system works. The original switch never had this problem.

For years I have used Vaseline on battery terminals to prevent corrosion with great success. So I tried using Vaseline on the pins and inside the sockets in an attempt to prevent any oxidation and to assist with providing a good connection. This worked better than usual for a while so I thought I had solved my problem but the problem has returned.

My willingness to procrastinate is no longer strong enough to resist fixing this correctly.

To summarize, I have a sloppy connection between this switch and the harness which plugs into it. There is obvious movement when I grasp the harness and wiggle it.

I guess the obvious first choice might be to buy a new switch and see if that solves the problem. If I replace the switch in hopes of getting a better connection, will I lose freon when I unscrew it?


GM Tech on Thu August 06, 2009 10:26 AM User is offline

Bend the connectors in the wire harness so that they grip better-- new switch won't help

The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......

JEL on Thu August 06, 2009 10:41 AM User is offline

Thanks GM Tech, I failed to mention that I made a feeble attempt to do that but was fearful of bending them too much. I will give that another try.


JEL on Thu August 06, 2009 10:44 AM User is offline

Regarding the bending of the connectors, should I bend them at the base,
like this: /
or attempt to actually make the connectors non-straight,
something like this: ^


NickD on Thu August 06, 2009 1:20 PM User is offline

I just use a small jewelers screwdriver inserted between the plastic housing to close the gap, of course 90* from the gap, do that on both sides. You should never rock a connector off, only pull it straight out. If you worked for me and I caught you doing that, would make you stand in the corner with your face to the wall.

That's not cruel punishment, guy that worked my my trike wanted to take it for a test ride on a small track, but had to put on his helmet first. You have to wear that on a trike 4" off the ground on that isolated track going at 3 mph? He said, yep, if he doesn't, will have to wear that helmet for a week full time. Now that is cruel punishment.

Chick on Thu August 06, 2009 3:57 PM User is offlineView users profile

You can also go to a wrecking yard and buy a used connector if the switch is good and splice it in to the harness.. I believe they even sell them new...

Email: Chick


Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

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