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can I replace just the clutch on air compressor?

This is a discussion on can I replace just the clutch on air compressor? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; 2002 Camaro SS vert - The clutch on my air compressor sounds like the bearing has gone bad. It is ...

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    can I replace just the clutch on air compressor?

    2002 Camaro SS vert - The clutch on my air compressor sounds like the bearing has gone bad. It is fine without the a/c on but once on it makes a terrible grinding sound. Its been doing it a while and doesnt seem to be getting worse but Im afraid it may seeze at some point. The a/c still cools extremely well, so it doesnt seem to be internal.

    Called the parts place and they dont sell just the clutch but can I get a replacement at a junkyard maybe or do I have to replace the entire thing?

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    Subscribed... My pump has begun to moan but blows very cold too.. But I think mine is from an over spin condition or possibly bad clutch too..
    Last edited by Smittro; 06-02-2010 at 03:31 AM.
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    Now that I think about it... Over the years, I don't think I've ever had a GM that had a AC pump that lasted more than a few years.. Nine yrs. on my car is prolly pushing it.. Hmm time to get rid of it on mine I think...
    Last edited by Smittro; 06-02-2010 at 03:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by perryth View Post
    2002 Camaro SS vert - The clutch on my air compressor sounds like the bearing has gone bad. It is fine without the a/c on but once on it makes a terrible grinding sound. Its been doing it a while and doesnt seem to be getting worse but Im afraid it may seeze at some point. The a/c still cools extremely well, so it doesnt seem to be internal.

    Called the parts place and they dont sell just the clutch but can I get a replacement at a junkyard maybe or do I have to replace the entire thing?
    the clutch plate is grinding on the pulley.the air gap is off.

    Rent a ac clutch remover from a parts store and pull the clutch out a little bit to the proper gap...I think it's between .010-.015" This will solve your grinding ac compressor. No part replacement needed.

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    ^^^he said it makes noise only when on. If the gap was too small, it would make noise with the AC off because the clutch plate could be touching still. Since it's only noisey when on, the bearings or valving inside the AC compressor are likely the cause, not the clutch bearing, so just replace the whole thing. That's what I do for my customers. I explain that the whole thing has the same mileage/age on it, so the odds of the rest of the compressor going bad soon are good anyway.

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    subscribed ..might try this today

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^he said it makes noise only when on. If the gap was too small, it would make noise with the AC off because the clutch plate could be touching still. Since it's only noisey when on, the bearings or valving inside the AC compressor are likely the cause, not the clutch bearing, so just replace the whole thing. That's what I do for my customers. I explain that the whole thing has the same mileage/age on it, so the odds of the rest of the compressor going bad soon are good anyway.
    You're right I got it backwards. Disregard what I said.

    Sorry it was early in the morning.

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    if it is just the clutch or the pulley bearing, then yes you can replace it.
    here's what the parts look like. GM sells them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^he said it makes noise only when on. If the gap was too small, it would make noise with the AC off because the clutch plate could be touching still. Since it's only noisey when on, the bearings or valving inside the AC compressor are likely the cause, not the clutch bearing, so just replace the whole thing. That's what I do for my customers. I explain that the whole thing has the same mileage/age on it, so the odds of the rest of the compressor going bad soon are good anyway.

    Thanks, thats a good point about it being internal even though it still cools well. So what would one expect the replacement to cost, including parts and labor?

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    As much as $1000 at a dealership using genuine GM parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutlass View Post
    As much as $1000 at a dealership using genuine GM parts.
    Its 1000 in parts at my local stealership. Thats why I was curious at an independant shop.

    I called a few local places late today that are working up quotes and getting back to me. Just curious what the ballpark would be.

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    You could also try a junkyard.. Maybe have better luck than I did when I was thinking of replacing mine. However I found that most of the ones I found were either ruined, or they had way more miles than my car has.. Too much of crap shoot imho.. So now I'm thinking about introducing pump lube into the low pressure side. If that does'nt help @ least quiet my pump some I'm going to have it vaccumed out @ the shop and I'll remove the unit for good..

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    ^^^I've never heard of any "pump lube". It may do more damage then you already have, but if you already have damage don't waste your money on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Fast View Post
    ^^^I've never heard of any "pump lube". It may do more damage then you already have, but if you already have damage don't waste your money on it.
    They sell the lubricant @ auto parts here in small pressurized cans. They also sell 134a with lubracant in it too.. I used it on a few cars no problems I also have a set of guages for refilling/testing the coolant sys.... My 92 z34 was a retrofit for 134a and I needed service guages for it.. Only thing I don't have is a refrigerant vacc..

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5703823_rech...ditioners.html

    Step
    1 It is illegal to vent freon into the atmosphere, so evacuate the existing freon from the vehicle's air conditioning system by taking it to a garage or collection facility. They will typically collect the freon at no charge as they are compensated for collecting it. This evacuation will also remove contaminants, which may be the result of a leaking, "open" system.

    Step
    2 Attach the can of freon to the valve adapter kit by turning the can into the bottom of the valve clockwise, until the internal needle punctures the can of freon and pressurizes the valve. Some valve kits will have gauges, which will indicate the freon can has been punctured with gauge needle movement.

    Step
    3 Attach the nozzle of the valve to the low-pressure side of the air conditioning system, usually a nipple on the evaporator or a freon line. Some rare cases could have these nipples on the compressor. There are typically two, the other being a high-pressure nipple for evacuation. The nipples are sized for only the operation they are designed for in cars that take 134a freon coolant. Press the nozzle onto the nipple and pull the ring on the nozzle back. Releasing the nozzle ring will set it onto the nipple.

    Step
    4 Start the car and turn the air conditioning control to the maximum setting. The compressor should kick on, and the system will start to operate.

    Step
    5 Pull the trigger on the valve, or turn the valve counterclockwise, to begin discharging the can of freon into the system. The vacuum of the system will draw in the freon, emptying the can in about five minutes. It is important that the system not run for very long between starting and adding the freon, as the compressor will not have the required lubricant after being evacuated. Most brands of freon will contain a small amount of lubricant.
    Step
    6 Once the can is empty, stop the A/C system by turning it off at the control panel. Pull the nozzle from the low-pressure nipple by pulling the ring on the nozzle back firmly. Turn the empty can of freon counterclockwise and replace it with the can of lubricant. You should add a can of lubricant for every 1.5 cans of freon for a 134a system, but check the owner's manual for specific values. Reattach the nozzle, start the car, and discharge the can of lubricant into the system. The cans are smaller than the cans of freon, and should take about two or three minutes to fully empty.

    Step
    7 Add a third can of freon, if required, or a can of UV dye to the system. The UV dye will glow under a black light and can be used to detect the leaks that must be present in the system for it to lose freon.
    Last edited by Smittro; 06-04-2010 at 10:20 AM. Reason: added link and instructions..

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    To add....................Lubricants


    http://tomorrowstechnician.com/Conte...0000001996.pdf

    Operation

    Automotive air conditioning lubricants are specially formulated because of how and
    where they operate. Air conditioning oils must be “dry” (having little or no water
    content) and mix with the system’s refrigerant so they can circulate. They must
    lubricate system components under temperatures ranging from -30F to 200F.
    Refrigerant oil is circulated throughout the system by the compressor.
    Different oils are used in automotive A/C systems, based on the type of refrigerant.
    Polyalkylene Glycol (PAG) oil is used for R-134a refrigerant.

    The three types of PAG oil are:
    • PAG-R for rotary compressors
    • PAG-S for swash plate compressors, and
    • PAG-F for the FOT system on the Quest.
    Refer to the service manual for the correct oil for the system you are servicing.


    NOTE: PAG oil is very hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air) and should be exposed to the
    atmosphere as lit tle as possible while charging an R134a system.


    Malfunctions
    Oil contamination, including moisture, can cause system failures. Improper
    lubrication can cause abnormal wear to the compressor as well as corrosion to other
    system components.

    Different types of refrigerant oil (even PAG oils) are not interchangeable and should
    never be mixed. Because vehicles with R-12 systems continue coming in for service,
    it is important to remember that R-12 systems use mineral oil instead of PAG oil.
    Adding PAG oil to an R-12 system (or vice versa) can cause seal failure and
    refrigerant leakage.

    In the old R-12 systems, lines and hoses relied on refrigerant oil to maintain seal
    integrity and prevent leakage at hose and line fittings. Newer R134a air conditioning
    systems use barrier-type hoses that are self-sealing and prevent refrigerant leakage
    with or without refrigerant oil.
    Insufficient oil in the system will damage the compressor due to lack of lubrication,
    but excess oil will collect in the condenser and prevent proper cooling performance.
    When working with the ACR5 AC Service Center or replacing components, make sure
    to replace the exact amount of oil required. The best way to be certain is to drain all
    the oil, then refill with the amount specified in the service manual.

    Diagnosis
    If the compressor sounds as though it needs lubricating, it probably does. Check the
    system for debris, and replace the compressor if needed.

    If cooling performance is poor despite several recent repairs, the system may contain
    excess lubricant, especially if oil was added to the system without draining and
    measuring all the oil.
    Last edited by Smittro; 06-04-2010 at 10:14 AM.

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    Senior Member Too Fast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    They sell the lubricant @ auto parts here in small pressurized cans. They also sell 134a with lubracant in it too.. I used it on a few cars no problems I also have a set of guages for refilling/testing the coolant sys.... My 92 z34 was a retrofit for 134a and I needed service guages for it.. Only thing I don't have is a refrigerant vacc..

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5703823_rech...ditioners.html

    Step
    1 It is illegal to vent freon into the atmosphere, so evacuate the existing freon from the vehicle's air conditioning system by taking it to a garage or collection facility. They will typically collect the freon at no charge as they are compensated for collecting it. This evacuation will also remove contaminants, which may be the result of a leaking, "open" system.

    Step
    2 Attach the can of freon to the valve adapter kit by turning the can into the bottom of the valve clockwise, until the internal needle punctures the can of freon and pressurizes the valve. Some valve kits will have gauges, which will indicate the freon can has been punctured with gauge needle movement.

    Step
    3 Attach the nozzle of the valve to the low-pressure side of the air conditioning system, usually a nipple on the evaporator or a freon line. Some rare cases could have these nipples on the compressor. There are typically two, the other being a high-pressure nipple for evacuation. The nipples are sized for only the operation they are designed for in cars that take 134a freon coolant. Press the nozzle onto the nipple and pull the ring on the nozzle back. Releasing the nozzle ring will set it onto the nipple.

    Step
    4 Start the car and turn the air conditioning control to the maximum setting. The compressor should kick on, and the system will start to operate.

    Step
    5 Pull the trigger on the valve, or turn the valve counterclockwise, to begin discharging the can of freon into the system. The vacuum of the system will draw in the freon, emptying the can in about five minutes. It is important that the system not run for very long between starting and adding the freon, as the compressor will not have the required lubricant after being evacuated. Most brands of freon will contain a small amount of lubricant.
    Step
    6 Once the can is empty, stop the A/C system by turning it off at the control panel. Pull the nozzle from the low-pressure nipple by pulling the ring on the nozzle back firmly. Turn the empty can of freon counterclockwise and replace it with the can of lubricant. You should add a can of lubricant for every 1.5 cans of freon for a 134a system, but check the owner's manual for specific values. Reattach the nozzle, start the car, and discharge the can of lubricant into the system. The cans are smaller than the cans of freon, and should take about two or three minutes to fully empty.

    Step
    7 Add a third can of freon, if required, or a can of UV dye to the system. The UV dye will glow under a black light and can be used to detect the leaks that must be present in the system for it to lose freon.
    OIC. "pump lubricant" just another way of saying oil for the compressor.

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    So is there a way of just re-oiling the compressor, or am I in for an expensive replacement of the entire system? Mine is groaning only when I turn the A/C on as well.. And groaning loader the more gas I give it. I replaced the belt and tensioner pulley since a. both looked worn, b. both were an easy job and 3. I get to buy genuine GM parts at cost since I work for a GM dealer.. But the damned thing is still groaning!

    Someone suggested that I spray a lil WD:40 on the rest of the pulleys to make sure it wasn't one of them.. Does that sound right?

    Is it wise to replace just the compressor, or is that just asking for trouble if I don't also replace the rest of the components on the (200k plus miler) system?
    Last edited by FishinCricket; 08-09-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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    Depends on where the groan is coming from. If its the compressor pulley bearing, then you can just replace the pulley/bearing assembly(assuming its not too rusty and crusty to use the pulley puller tools). If the groaning is internal to the compressor, then you'd need to replace the compressor. Oiling won't help.
    WD-40 on the pulley is a good way to stop a belt squeak temporarily to help diagnose a belt noise but probably won't help diagnose a groan noise.
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