Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

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rrowe52
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Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by rrowe52 »

I have a Delco Remy compressor, Part number 15-22255 (also shows 8877492 on the label). It's about 10 years old. The AC quit the other day and, upon returning home, I found the composite material inside the clutch had shredded - it was completely gone. Car is loud, but I didn't hear anything unusual at the time the AC quit.

The damage to the clutch seems to be consistent with either a locked-up compressor or failure of the composite material - as I said, it's about 10 years old. The system is still pressurized, but I can turn the compressor with some effort by holding the splined part of the clutch remains on the shaft and turning by hand. Clockwise as viewed from the shaft end is a bit easier, but the compressor turns in both directions and I have been able to make complete revolutions.

This is a classic car that's still running r12 and while I have the tools and know how to evacuate the system, flush it then replace the compressor, drier and expansion valve, I really want to make sure that's necessary before committing the time and expense to do that. Any thoughts on whether replacing the clutch is worth a try or do I need to go ahead and bite the bullet?

Separate question: I haven't yet found a replacement part number for the now-shredded clutch assembly. The compressor design is not original to the car, so looking up parts by year/make/model doesn't work. This compressor has a splined shaft with a bolt to hold the clutch on the shaft. I'm looking for a kit with coil, pulley and clutch. Any suggestions on where I can find such a kit for this compressor would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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JohnHere
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by JohnHere »

Sounds like the compressor seized momentarily for some reason. I doubt whether the rubber ring, similar to that of a harmonic balancer, disintegrated merely because of its age.

If the compressor seized, I would replace the compressor assembly, as well as the condenser and R/D, and flush the rest.

You might be able to flush the original condenser, but definitely replace a more modern parallel-flow condenser, which can't be effectively flushed.

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Tim
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by Tim »

That is an Import version A^. I've heard some negative stories about them. Especially the early models. I suggest the real A6 to Ackits.com customers, but they are not cheap on both fronts.
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rrowe52
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by rrowe52 »

Thanks guys. Sounds like I need to bite the bullet. One question for JohnHere: You didn't mention the expansion valve in your list of things to replace. I'd like to keep my current expansion valve if possible - it's the original and was rebuilt and re-plated at the time I installed this compressor. I've read that these cannot be flushed, but I've also read that it's possible to warm the bulb enough to get them to open up and flush. What do you recommend?
tbirdtbird
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by tbirdtbird »

I am gonna let JohnHere respond in a proper manner, but please know that at ambient temp, the valve is already open. It only closes once it becomes cold at about 35F. I was always taught not to flush, tho.
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JohnHere
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by JohnHere »

I don't believe you mentioned the year, make, model, and engine size of your classic car. Did it originally come with an A6? Although not without issues, the A6 is arguably the best compressor ever made.

The A6 isn't designed to cycle, though. So if your current setup is configured to cycle the compressor, and you plan to replace the failed unit with an A6, I strongly suggest that you change the system back to its OEM configuration (for instance, by removing the POA eliminator kit) so that the compressor doesn't cycle.

Adding to what has already been said about the TXV, I can't guess whether yours is good or bad. But personal preference is to avoid having any TXV adjusted, re-plated, rebuilt, or otherwise worked-on due to their high level of precision and sensitivity, which IMHO are too easy to knock out of specs. If I suspect that a TXV is malfunctioning, my first choice is to search for an OEM or NOS replacement. Many are still easy to find, others not so much. My second choice is to look for a high-quality aftermarket TXV (preferably not manufactured in The Orient) and sourced from a trusted supplier, like this site's sponsor.
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rrowe52
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by rrowe52 »

Car is a 1967 Corvette and still has a POA valve. Challenge with finding a new expansion valve is that these cars used a valve with a curved bulb made to wrap around the evaporator pipe. They were also silver in color - zinc plated I assume - rather than the brass ones you see today. I found one source for a brass one but will check with the forum sponsor as well. I have no reason to assume the current valve wasn't working properly prior to the clutch failure, however.
tbirdtbird
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Re: Bad Clutch or Bad Compressor?

Post by tbirdtbird »

I think the color makes no real difference, and if you can't get the bulb in that curved shape, no worries, just strap the bulb firmly to the evap outlet pipe with a copper strap clamp, even if you have to make that strap yourself from some sheet copper. That is done all the time in resi HVAC
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