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Old 01-22-2003, 09:10 PM
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Post bad ac clutch?

My wife drives a 97 Mercury Sable LS with a 3.0 V-6. I believe the ac clutch is bad or it has caused the bearing to go out. It makes a fairly audible rattling noise all the time, and of course in north dakota during the winter, the ac is turned off. Has the clutch gone bad and is it staying engaged causing the bearing to go out? Every once in a while there is a wisp of smoke that comes from it, the bearing/pully/clutch area of the ac compressor. Will unplugging the electrical plugin disengage the clutch? Is there any major damage that can occure from continuing to drive it in this condition until I get the money to get a new unit? Anyone with any ideas or solutions to this problem will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Bill

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Old 01-22-2003, 09:20 PM
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hope this helps. My wife drives a 94 taurus, 3.8l v6. ac compressor started whining, I thought that if it went out we'de just be out the a/c. wrong. pulley froze up. thought I could get a shorter belt to make do. wrong. no proper fitting belt available.(rubs on h2o pump intake.) REPLACED it myself, wasn;t that tough but Ive had this car disassembled down to the block before. The a/c compressor runs when you turn on your defroster, fords idea to make sure your a/c gasses stay circulated and you don't prematurely wear out the compressor. you can unplug the electrical connection but the pulley will continue to spin. that really wasn't any help, but i do feel for you, beentheredonethat. when the pulley does decide to freeze up, you ain't going to much farther or you will burn up those aluminum heads.....minot afb?, you in?

[ January 22, 2003: Message edited by: crazy larry ]</p>
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:23 PM
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The newer cars are designed to engage the A/C compressor when the defrost is being used. This is to ensure that there's always oil circulated throughout the refrigerant system (year round). It's quite possible that the clutch is OK but you're gonna need a bearing if it makes noise at all times (engaged or not). You can unplug the compressor to determine if it's the bearing (if noise persists) if not bad clutch. You will no doubt be left stranded on the side of the road if it's a bearing and you don't fix it. If there's nothing but the compressor being driven by the A/C belt (doubtful serpentine) you can just eliminate the belt.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:26 PM
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yeah, I'm in for two more years, then im outta the air force, just cant take it anymore. LOL
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:29 PM
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I hate that you hate it, but thanks man, this buds for you. cough cough. really, thanks.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:32 PM
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I think the belt runs the ac, alternator and something else like emissions pump or something retarted like that. I guess the shorter belt is outta the question, that was my first guess, and unplugging it was my second option, but my wife need to defrost the quarter inch of frost of the windows each morning, LOL. How much are new compressors running at the junkyard, anyone know? Thanks again guys/gals. Bill
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:36 PM
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very funny crazy larry, lol. I guess its not the job, i dont mind guarding nukes, its the morons i work for and with, and getting my off time messed with. As you know, im on salary and theres not much of it. So going in on my off days because one of my troops im supervising is a moron and got in trouble sucks, and i dont even get overtime or even a day off to compensate it. Oh well, i served my country for eight years now, and seems some cool stuff, so, it isnt all bad. Even met my wife in the military.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:36 PM
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If there's an Autozone nearby, and you are up to it, you can just buy the bearing and borrow their tools from their Loan-a-tool, and replace just the bearing. This way you don't have to vent all the refrigerant, and have to recharge the system. Oh yeah, Auto zone will most likely sell the whole clutch/bearing as a unit. To get JUSTY the bearing, you will have to try NAPA. Still cheaper than the whole pump though, and no recharging.

[ January 22, 2003: Message edited by: BstMech ]</p>
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:37 PM
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don't know bout the recyclers, but i bought a reman at O ****tys for 200 and change. no warranty though. didn't have the change for all the new parts 4seasons said i needed and the sob is still running. <img src="graemlins/crash.gif" border="0" alt="[crash]" />
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:39 PM
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How hard is a bearing change on the ac compressor/clutch pulley? I don't have much expertise in the new car era.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:46 PM
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Working room is the biggest concern for changing a bearing. You will no doubt have to remove the pump from the brackets and let it drop to where you can get at it. Swapping the bearing is a pretty straight forward job. The tools that you get from Autozone will only work one way. The new clutch would be the best bet, it will have instructions on setting the airgap etc.
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for all of your help gentlemen, Im heading for bed, get to go to work again tomarrow on my off day. Woo-hoo! Anyone else who replies with cool comments or helpful hints or ideas, thanks in advance, have a cold one on me. Well not on me, it's free, you know what I mean. Later, Bill
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:52 PM
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Larry, one more thing. It's -25 tonight, crazy huh? Can't wait to get back to Minnesota, NO WIND!
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Old 01-22-2003, 09:55 PM
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whoooooo thats nipply. Hope you got an indoor heated place to work on it. Yeah I bet you'll need the defroster in the morning. sposed to get down to the mid +20's F here tonight, in the teens tomorrow. mexico looks good right now.
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