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Replace a/c compressor clutch??

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Old 05-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
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My a/c compressor has been noisy for awhile now and I figure it's time to fix it. Can I replace just the clutch and not deal with evacuating and recharging the system?? Or are there bearings inside the compressor that fail. Searches revealed conflicting info. Anyone have tips on making the job easier or know of a link or a write up. I figure the pass. front tire needs to come off and the fender liner. Anyone have a write up or a link for doing it. 1997 4.6 liter
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
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Yes you can replace just the pulley or clutch without emptying the system. In 98 the pulley design changed fyi. I found out the hard way. Take out the fan,shroud,serpentine belt as well as the skid plate. One bolt holds the clutch/pully on 12mm i think. Fairly easy fix
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Agreed, the freon system does not have to be touched. Behind the pulley bolt is a snap ring that secures the clutch assy to the compressor nose piece. Simply pry off old clutch, problem will be in installing new clutch. On my 02, 4.2 the compressor was at top and didn't offer any room for tapping on new clutch with hammer and block of wood. I had to remove fan and shroud for access.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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I am having the same problem, I was going to just replace the clutch becuase it was making noise but found it was almost cheeper to buy a new compressor and swap it out. I know that to take the clutch off you need special tools or if your comfortable you can jerry rig somthing to take it off, but when you do the clutch needs to be re-balanced. I found the clutch online at local stores for like $105 and the whole compressor depending if it is a super duty or not was about $150, and you dont have to balance anything if you stick a new one in. I bought a complete set 2 dryers and compressor and other little things for like $210. After mine made the noise a week later the compressor seased up and I had to get it towed back home. I would recomend a few things, check the compressor before you change out the clutch, if you replace the clutch and the compressor goes then your going to hate yourself, and also do not drain the system of refridgerant untill you change out the compressor if your going to. When you drain the system it will make the compressor lock up if you drive it and you will have a whole mess of problems after that. Sorry to be so long winded just did not want you to make my same mistake.
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