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Old 06-14-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
tk3000
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2001 SL2
Default No A/C, clutch not engaging

Hello Folks,
I have a 2001 Sl2, in the past the A/C would working in an intermitent way (sometimes it would blow cold air, sometimes not). Now it seems to be completely off, so I checked under the hood and found out that the clutch now is never engaging, also checked the voltage going to the compressor when the A/C is turned on and the car running; the voltage seems normal: about 14Volt d/c. SInce there is power going to the compressor, should one assume that the compressor is the likely defective? If that is the case, it seems a better deal to buy a new compressor rather than buying a new clutch.
thanks
tk3000

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Old 06-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No A/C, clutch not engaging

If you are absolutely sure power is at the connector to the compressor then its a burned out thermal fuse in the coil on the compressor. Unless you are familiar and have the special tool to remove the clutch hub then pull off the pulley with a 3-jaw puller before seeing the coil, replacement compressors come complete with pulley, clutch, and coil for immediate replacement.

You can test the power at the connector with a 12v bulb to ground or measure coil resistance for 3-4 ohms. An open reading would verify a blown thermal fuse in the coil. I would verify before doing anything.

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Old 06-16-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
tk3000
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2001 SL2
Default Re: No A/C, clutch not engaging

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you are absolutely sure power is at the connector to the compressor then its a burned out thermal fuse in the coil on the compressor. Unless you are familiar and have the special tool to remove the clutch hub then pull off the pulley with a 3-jaw puller before seeing the coil, replacement compressors come complete with pulley, clutch, and coil for immediate replacement.

You can test the power at the connector with a 12v bulb to ground or measure coil resistance for 3-4 ohms. An open reading would verify a blown thermal fuse in the coil. I would verify before doing anything.
Thanks for the info. I am familiar with certain types of clutchs how they operate in CVT transmissions of small engines and alternators type clutches/pulleys, so I believe that it should not be a big deal to install a clutch in a/c compressor. But I would rather buy a a new compressor that has everything new in it (maybe the compressor has other issues besides the clutch) specially considering that the price of a remanufactured compressor with warranty and so on runs for about $160 and a new clutch for about $140. I am assuming you are referring to a magnetic coil inside the clutch, is that correct? I tried to find it on part stores but have not found it as a separate part.

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: No A/C, clutch not engaging

Separate a/c compressor parts (like clutch assemblies) are available online if you search diligently. I know because I occasionally do some research and find them.

And yes, this is the electric clutch coil that most likely blew its thermal fuse.

Its difficult to decide which is better, replacing the whole clutch/compressor assembly as a unit and go through the entire a/c repair procedure or attempting a clutch coil replacement with the compressor on the engine without disconnecting the a/c lines. Doing a short cut depends on the overall age of the car, a/c system, finances, and skills. Its an individual decision made on a case by case basis. Its easy for someone to post that tearing off a clutch plate by practicing on a junk yard one will go easily but on the real compressor, no one has ever posted doing so and followed up on a complete repair.

For a better idea of what's involved and another shameless pitch for my pictures, go to my photo album for a disassembled compressor to see the clutch parts. I used a 10mm bolt as a quasi-clutch tool and various 'implements' to pry the clutch plate off. I have no intentions of buying the special tool needed so I improvised on a dead compressor. The disassembly is for show and tell as well as the autopsy to find the reason for this dead compressor.

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