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Old 09-23-2012, 01:32 AM   #1
trock859
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Default replaced my a/c pulley bearing

After a lot of research in these wonderful forums, I replaced my A/C clutch bearing a couple of weeks ago. It was really rough and noisy. I was worried it would lock up on me. I took pictures in the hope of helping others who might want to give this a try. Since, my a/c is still working a couple of weeks later, I decided to post how I did it.

I have a 1997 SL2 auto with 131K miles. It has the Zexel DCV-11A compressor. The bearing is a 35mm ID, 55mm OD, 20mm Wide. I ordered it from Autozone, Santech part number MT2021. That bearing is available other places online and ebay as well. I borrowed the a/c kit and 3 jaw puller from Oreilly's, though it turned out the a/c kit was of no use. I found this awesome info in one of the treads thanks to Tommie:

http://www.justanswer.com/uploads/as...246_ANSWER.pdf

Unfortunately, the special tools are hard to come by, so this is how I got it done:

Remove the serpentine belt 14mm
Unplug the clutch wire connector
Remove the compressor bracket bolts 13mm

After removing the compressor, you can remount it using the bottom bolt of the compressor into the top hole of the bracket (although I eventually removed the compressor and laid it on the front cross member for more room to work). I used a square screwdriver across the knobs on the face of the clutch to allow me to loosen and tighten the 10mm bolt in the compressor shaft.





Under the 10mm bolt, there are larger threads the special clutch removal tool thread into. Unfortunately, it is not a standard thread. The mounting bolts that came out of the compressor are awfully close to the same thread per inch, so I used one of them as a jack screw to pull the clutch off. I just went easy, and tightened and loosened a little further each time until I had the bolt bottomed out. Then it pushed the clutch right off. The clutch appears to be aluminum, and it did separate the first thread on the clutch and warped the clutch shims as seen below. But, I figured the worst that would happen is I would replace the whole compressor anyway.





Remove the snap ring behind the clutch.

I used a 3 jaw puller and a 1" socket to remove the pulley. It is stated everywhere DO NOT PUSH against the compressor shaft. Use the socket to push against the compressor housing where the bearing presses onto it.



Here is the compressor without the pulley.





The bearing was staked in the pulley in about a dozen places. I used a dremmel to grind out the stakes and used a 1 1/2" socket to drive out the bearing. I blocked up under the center of the pulley with a 2X4 to get it started. The center is recessed, and I didn't want to warp the pulley hammering it unsupported in the center.



After I got it so far, I had to block under each side of the pulley to allow the bearing to come out. It was looser at this point, and it didn't warp the pulley.





With the bearing out, I used a harbor freight seal driver kit to install the new bearing. Drive the bearing from the outside race so not to damage it. I should have taken the old bearing appart and used the old outer race as a drift (I did this later when I used the inner race to put the pulley back on).

Hint to get this bearing apart: pull the grease seals, pull out the plastic bearing spacers, and move all the ball bearings to one side. It will then fall apart.



I then restaked the bearing with a 5/32 punch in between where the stakes had been previously.



Next, I used a 1 1/4" socket as a drift to get the pulley started back on the compressor housing. Push against the inner race to reinstall the pulley, and do not press against the compressor shaft. After it went on so far, I used a 1-1/2" X 3/8" fender washer and the 10mm bolt to pull it on. Apparently, you can pull with the compressor shaft, but not push.



That only went so far, then I had to use the inner race of the old bearing to drive the bearing all the way onto the housing. I did follow someones suggestion here and ground the old race with a dremmel so it wouldn't stick on the housing. The picture below is the compressor with the old race being used as a drift.



With the pulley fully seated, I reinstalled the snap ring (beveled side out).



I hammered the shims back flat and reinstalled the clutch. Make sure the splines are lined up, then use the 10mm bolt to pull the clutch back up tight. I torqued the bolt, and checked the clearance of the clutch. It was .027 in all 3 places.

I then reinstalled everything (I replaced my serpentine belt tensioner and idler pulley while I was there), and started the car to check the air. I about had a heart attack till I realized I forgot to hook up the clutch wire.

Everything works great, and I have tested the a/c every day I have driven it since.

The bearing was on its way out, and it seems more people have been having this trouble recently. I fixed it for $23 and several hours of work. It was not the easiest job, but I managed to get it done with what was in my garage. I hope this helps others get it done with less trial and tribulation.

Thanks again to everyone here. I would have gotten rid of the Saturn a long time ago if it wasn't for you guys.

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Old 09-23-2012, 01:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

I don't know what happened to my pictures in the thread; maybe there were too many of them. Anyway, they are all in my member gallery. Just click the link under my avatar.

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Old 09-23-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Excellent write up! You're one of less than a handful capable of thinking through issues of attempting to replace the idler bearing on a compressor without disconnecting a/c lines and working without the correct tools. I would ask Charlie, the Admin, to put your thread into the How-to section.

BTW, the clutch can't be aluminum. Its steel otherwise how will the coil pull the clutch plate into the spinning pulley face to engage and turn the compressor? The three rivets are part of a flex plate arrangement to allow a certain amount of forward/aft clutch plate movement with the air gap; coil power off - clutch plate at rest away from the idler pulley face/compressor not turning, coil powered on - clutch plate attracted to and engaging the idler pulley face to turn the compressor shaft.

I never try to encourage anyone attempting to do what you did as you encountered all the pit falls; no tools to borrow leaving you to your imagination, measuring the correct I.D./O.D./width of the bearing, ordering a replacement without agonizing on the choice of bearing, having the ability to understand how to use a press or imagination to press out/press in bearings, bypassing the compressor by finding the correct short belt to allow time for preparing a repair without worrying about the car being unusable, and having better than average mechanical abilities in dealing with a/c compressors.

I too used a 10mm bolt to disassemble a donated compressor for show and tell, in my photo album.

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Old 09-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Thanks a bunch fdryer. That means a lot coming from you. It makes sense that the clutch would have to be a ferrous metal. It felt really light and did not have any corrosion that I noticed, so I just assumed it was aluminum.

I saw your pictures of the compressor, and it helped a lot to see how it came apart.

I found the specs on the bearing and ordered it beforehand. This is one website:

http://www.intheclutchbearings.com/a...-55-x-201.html

It gives a cross reference for several different brands.

I don't know why my pictures did not come up on the thread.

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Old 09-24-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by trock859 View Post
..... I don't know why my pictures did not come up on the thread.
I don't know too. At least you caught it and suggested a redirect to your photo album.

I have my reasons for congratulating you; I'm pointing everyone to you - anyone asking how to do it will have you as an authority on it.

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Old 09-25-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Nice work. I just replaced my entire A/C pump do to the clutch giving out. I am keeping the compressor and I know where to look when this one gives out and I need to replace my clutch finally.

...
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

As a public service, I'm quoting your entire procedure with fixed links to the photos. Your links didn't point to the photos, but to the PAGE the photo was on, so that's what I fixed. Enjoy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trock859 View Post
After a lot of research in these wonderful forums, I replaced my A/C clutch bearing a couple of weeks ago. It was really rough and noisy. I was worried it would lock up on me. I took pictures in the hope of helping others who might want to give this a try. Since, my a/c is still working a couple of weeks later, I decided to post how I did it.

I have a 1997 SL2 auto with 131K miles. It has the Zexel DCV-11A compressor. The bearing is a 35mm ID, 55mm OD, 20mm Wide. I ordered it from Autozone, Santech part number MT2021. That bearing is available other places online and ebay as well. I borrowed the a/c kit and 3 jaw puller from Oreilly's, though it turned out the a/c kit was of no use. I found this awesome info in one of the treads thanks to Tommie:

[see original post for that link - I'm too new here to use URLs to other sites]

Unfortunately, the special tools are hard to come by, so this is how I got it done:

Remove the serpentine belt 14mm
Unplug the clutch wire connector
Remove the compressor bracket bolts 13mm

After removing the compressor, you can remount it using the bottom bolt of the compressor into the top hole of the bracket (although I eventually removed the compressor and laid it on the front cross member for more room to work). I used a square screwdriver across the knobs on the face of the clutch to allow me to loosen and tighten the 10mm bolt in the compressor shaft.





Under the 10mm bolt, there are larger threads the special clutch removal tool thread into. Unfortunately, it is not a standard thread. The mounting bolts that came out of the compressor are awfully close to the same thread per inch, so I used one of them as a jack screw to pull the clutch off. I just went easy, and tightened and loosened a little further each time until I had the bolt bottomed out. Then it pushed the clutch right off. The clutch appears to be aluminum, and it did separate the first thread on the clutch and warped the clutch shims as seen below. But, I figured the worst that would happen is I would replace the whole compressor anyway.





Remove the snap ring behind the clutch.

I used a 3 jaw puller and a 1" socket to remove the pulley. It is stated everywhere DO NOT PUSH against the compressor shaft. Use the socket to push against the compressor housing where the bearing presses onto it.



Here is the compressor without the pulley.





The bearing was staked in the pulley in about a dozen places. I used a dremmel to grind out the stakes and used a 1 1/2" socket to drive out the bearing. I blocked up under the center of the pulley with a 2X4 to get it started. The center is recessed, and I didn't want to warp the pulley hammering it unsupported in the center.



After I got it so far, I had to block under each side of the pulley to allow the bearing to come out. It was looser at this point, and it didn't warp the pulley.





With the bearing out, I used a harbor freight seal driver kit to install the new bearing. Drive the bearing from the outside race so not to damage it. I should have taken the old bearing appart and used the old outer race as a drift (I did this later when I used the inner race to put the pulley back on).

Hint to get this bearing apart: pull the grease seals, pull out the plastic bearing spacers, and move all the ball bearings to one side. It will then fall apart.



I then restaked the bearing with a 5/32 punch in between where the stakes had been previously.



Next, I used a 1 1/4" socket as a drift to get the pulley started back on the compressor housing. Push against the inner race to reinstall the pulley, and do not press against the compressor shaft. After it went on so far, I used a 1-1/2" X 3/8" fender washer and the 10mm bolt to pull it on. Apparently, you can pull with the compressor shaft, but not push.



That only went so far, then I had to use the inner race of the old bearing to drive the bearing all the way onto the housing. I did follow someones suggestion here and ground the old race with a dremmel so it wouldn't stick on the housing. The picture below is the compressor with the old race being used as a drift.



With the pulley fully seated, I reinstalled the snap ring (beveled side out).



I hammered the shims back flat and reinstalled the clutch. Make sure the splines are lined up, then use the 10mm bolt to pull the clutch back up tight. I torqued the bolt, and checked the clearance of the clutch. It was .027 in all 3 places.

I then reinstalled everything (I replaced my serpentine belt tensioner and idler pulley while I was there), and started the car to check the air. I about had a heart attack till I realized I forgot to hook up the clutch wire.

Everything works great, and I have tested the a/c every day I have driven it since.

The bearing was on its way out, and it seems more people have been having this trouble recently. I fixed it for $23 and several hours of work. It was not the easiest job, but I managed to get it done with what was in my garage. I hope this helps others get it done with less trial and tribulation.

Thanks again to everyone here. I would have gotten rid of the Saturn a long time ago if it wasn't for you guys.

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Thanks glenstewart. Maybe I,ll figure out the picture thing next time.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Very cool. I need to do this on my '98 SW2, so I'll probably be making use of this guide in a few weeks.

...
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

I just did this today on my daughter's 98 SC2. A lot of bad bearing noise from under the hood and when I first looked at the compressor I was shocked to see that the drive plate was gone! It had sheared off the hub. Found the plate, less hub, on the lower frame rail immediately under the crank pulley.

It was harder to remove the compressor than it was to pull the clutch! I found that a spacer I had from a Greenlee hydraulic knockout tool was the perfect size to drive the pulley assembly back onto the compressor.

There is currently an electrical issue that's keeping the clutch from energizing. It was cooling okay according to my daughter, so I'm not sure its a low refrigerant issue but I'll be checking that as well as the pressure switch tomorrow. This is a good trouble-shooting guide for electrical issues with the clutch. http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...t=a%2Fc+clutch
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File Type: jpg IMG_1709.JPG (84.0 KB, 14 views)

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Old 05-26-2015, 11:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Clutch energizes with the relay jumpered. Pressure switch working. Picked up one of the cheap recharge kits to see if that takes care of it - will probably invest in a guage set to really get it right. No signs of leakage anywhere that's easy to see....

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Old 05-26-2015, 05:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Something else is wrong with the system. I checked refrigerant level with the cheapo can and gauge - no charge. So I shot some in to get the gauge into the charged zone and the clutch energized. Let it run for a few minutes but its not cooling. I suspect the damaged drive plate may have messed up the compressor seals. I'm going to borrow a set of gauges from AutoZone and check high side and low side pressure - that should tell me if the compressor is "compressing" or not.

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

The only thing wrong with your a/c is the leak that caused the low pressure switch to send a disable signal to the pcm. Its sole purpose is to protect the compressor from loss of refrigerant. All you did was verify the l/p switch works by bypassing it and seeing the compressor run. Your system leaked and refilling with store refills, with or without sealer, simply refills a leaking system. Factory dye may seen by eye or using an inexpensive UV blacklight. Examples? Dye comes out both service ports and settles inside the valve cores when the caps are removed. If you used sealer, you assume all risks to sealer damage as it does more harm than good. Two members tried, one paid dearly for almost a complete system overhaul while a recent member hasn't replied once his system appeared to run great but now makes noises that didn't occur before using store refill cans with sealer. Since factory air doesn't have sealer, adding it is just a bandaid to an expensive repair that could have been less expensive when following simple guidelines to use a UV light instead of reaching for refill cans.....

A/c repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.

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Old 05-27-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

I hear what you're saying and agree, but for a quick diagnostic the R134 refill (without sealer) pointed me in a different direction. I have not observed any obvious leaks based on dye staining, but after I check the high/low pressures with a set of gauges that is next on the list.

I should also add that the compressor, expansion valve, dryer and evap coil were all replaced, along with correct o-rings/gaskets a little over a year ago. What I discovered was the remanufactored compressor was not so reman - it appears the clutch/puller bearing was not replaced, for whatever reason. This was an AutoZone reman. unit.

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Old 05-27-2015, 11:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Refrigerant is a gas and without dye is invisible as it leaks out. The indications a leak occurred; no cooling, lower than normal pressures on low/high side service ports, manually bypassing the l/p sensor, compressor oil leaking and staining the area. Refrigerant, oil and dye circulate throughout the system and a leak is 98% of all loss of cooling problems. Your Saturn requires approximately 24ozs of r134a to operate. Most leaks are not catastrophic, leaving large dye or oil stains. Large hissing sounds won't occur unless the front end was involved in a crash, bending things. Most leaks occur from wear and tear as aluminum suffers from repeated flexing, hardening until a stress crack develops anywhere in plumbing. Loosened fittings, incorrect repairs, loose service caps, etc., contribute to loss of cooling problems. Sometimes the easiest leaks are from service valves since they're overlooked. They are the only way to connect to a sealed system for service and counted on to reseal once fittings are removed but without using caps with O-rings as back up, refrigerant, oil and dye can slowly leak out; examine each valve for tell tale signs. Are indications from service or a slow leak?
No one can tell you compressors fail as there are underlying reasons original compressors fail and if not aware can continue to cause replacement compressor failure. Refrigerant, oil and dye are the only things circulating in a system's closed loop. An empty system, as you found out isn't from a faulty compressor. No pressure or lower than normal pressure means gas leaked out despite a rebuild. No one guarantees a/c repairs beyond a certain time as any car can suffer a major crash that destroys an a/c system or the next pothole shocks an a/c system to rupture. Try running a room a/c unit in a car and see how long it lasts. Factory air lasts due to new car parts and reasonable driving but after some years and the new car feeling wears off potholes and daily driving creates wear and tear on everything. Try retaining high pressures exceeding 250 psi on hot and humid days of stop and go driving with aluminum tubing while rattling the car thru potholes...........
The pulley assembly mounts onto a thick hub on the compressor. Wear and tear on the largest bearing on a car won't cause compressor failure unless the bearing failed. Bearing failure is not the same as compressor failure if internal damage occurred like attempting to run a compressor with the low pressure switch bypassed.

With a relatively new/rebuilt system, finding and repairing the cause of the leak applies the same if this were an old original system. Avoiding the leak that caused the loss of cooling has always been the first thing to look into before attempting to find fault with replacement parts.

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Old 06-05-2015, 04:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

Ok, so this afternoon I hooked up a set of gauges to the suction and discharge ports, brought the car up to operating temperature, and got the following readings at 2000 rpm: suction (low pressure side) = 43 psi; discharge (high pressure side) = 45 psi. Ambient air temperature was 73 degrees F, humidity 66%. Both suction and discharge hard lines were warm to the touch. Reading through the Saturn FSM for a 98 SL2/SC2/SW2 posted elsewhere in this forum and checking system conditions and corresponding pressures it appears the compressor is in "no-pump" although the charts indicate that pressures for both sides should be between 70-100 psi. Diagnosis: bad compressor.

Does anyone have other opinions/suggestions?

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Old 06-05-2015, 09:55 PM   #17
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: replaced my a/c pulley bearing

With the compressor running (at idle or 2k rpm), 45 psi on low and high side gauges can mean either a damaged compressor or more likely insufficient refrigerant to allow a compressor to operate. A characteristic of r134a in a correctly filled system should display pressures close to ambient temperatures. If outside temps are 85F, the static pressures should be mimicking 85F, 85 psi. 95F, 95 psi. Since you observed ambient temps at 73F, static pressures should be close to 75 psi. Since pressures are nowhere close to matching ambient temps, this is another indication of lost refrigerant due to a leak. Unless you have expertise in refrigeration, the only way to know would be to remove remaining refrigerant by evacuating the system completely and refilling with the correct amount. Guessing on what's left and "topping off" has already proven to a few members of overcharging and finding out the hard way when their car was brought to a dealer finding a system overcharged and causing a/c problems. Older r12 systems allowed a certain margin of error but not with r134a systems designed with tighter tolerances to use less refrigerant. Its your choice to replace the compressor or perform more diagnostics to determine whether this is just another leak (regardless of repairs). Opening Pandora's box occurs when advancing deeper into a/c troubleshooting without familiarity of refrigeration principles.

Not accepting a leak occurred and presuming a faulty compressor can be an expensive learning experience if you're wrong. Your choice. I would examine this system for leaks using a uv blacklight as the only other way to determine a leak is when using a vacuum pump. A properly configured a/c system will allow a full vacuum to occur to near absolute zero, 29.99 in hg. When a vacuum pump is closed and a system is monitored, only one of two results will be displayed on both gauges, especially the more sensitive low pressure/vacuum gauge - either a leak allows air to re-enter this system with gauge needles creeping towards '0' or both needles remain to indicate a sealed system. You're already familiar with refrigeration gauges so the next steps are using either a uv blacklight to search for dye markers where a leak occurred or connect a vacuum pump and verify a leak doesn't exist. A vacuum pump is always used after a repair to remove all air and moisture in preparation to refill a system with the correct amount of refrigerant. Using a vacuum pump is the last step in ensuring a repaired system will hold a vacuum. If a vacuum cannot be held then pressurizing a system will be a waste of time.

A vacuum allows 14.7 psi of atmospheric pressure to bear on a sealed system. Typical operating pressures for r134a systems are 25-35 psi on the low side and anywhere from 125 psi-250 psi+ on the high side in hot and humid weather while idling in stop and go traffic. A relief valve on the compressor will release refrigerant in case operating pressures exceed 450 psi.

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