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Old 08-17-2016, 01:53 AM   #1
mitche
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2006 ION-3 Sedan
Default A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Hi folks, 06 ion, 2.2. Power to clutch but it doesn't engage. It's real close to wheel well but looks like it may be possible to get just the clutch out without breaking open system. Anyone do this or know if it's been done in car? Thanks
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Old 08-17-2016, 09:06 AM   #2
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2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Doubt it, need special tools,room to work
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:43 PM   #3
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

With little room to work in, its doubtful unless you're prepared to accept mistakes with downtime. The clutch is bolted onto the compressor shaft and must be held from turning when loosening the bolt. That's easy part. What's next is the make or break scenario, removing the clutch plate, pulley/bearing assembly, and clutch coil. Google for parts images.

Clutch plates are slid onto shafts but may seize after years of exposure to weathering. A special puller is used (usually a bench repair) with some clutches falling out easily while others seize and need the puller tool or pried off. Prying risks damaging the pulley face that's used as the mating surface to the clutch plate. If you are lucky enough to have the clutch fall off, the next hurdle is pulling off the pulley - its pressed onto the compressor hub and requires a 3-jaw puller. Prying it off has the same risks but damage to itself if pried off incorrectly. If you get this far, the coil is fastened onto the compressor with three or four screws. Some coils may have their thermal fuse exposed for replacement if its blown while other coils have epoxied fuses. Epoxied fuses means coil replacement.

Read the procedures, several times if necessary, and examine how much access is available. If in doubt, you're looking at removing the compressor for bench repair or just replacing it altogether. There are YouTube videos but may not be for Ions and are for general information to see how its done on a car. Beware that these videos may not warn of problems as mentioned here (worse case scenario).

And no, its not been done here by anyone. You're on your own.

Last edited by fdryer; 08-17-2016 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

On my S-series I successfully replaced the electromagnet on my compressor, but I found out the compressor was also shot as it wasn't compressing the refrigerant when it was engaged. (and this all was with top side easy access to the compressor)

You may manage to do it, but you're likely to find more problems than you expected. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitche View Post
Hi folks, 06 ion, 2.2. Power to clutch but it doesn't engage. It's real close to wheel well but looks like it may be possible to get just the clutch out without breaking open system. Anyone do this or know if it's been done in car? Thanks
I just had the exact same thing happen to my car a few weeks ago. The engine stalled during a panic stop when someone else ran a red light and I stopped to avoid an accident. The A/C clutch wouldn't engage after the engine was restarted. When I got home I did some testing and found that I was still getting power at the clutch plug, but the clutch was an open circuit when measured with an ohmmeter (should be 2-5 ohms).

I didn't think there was enough room to replace the clutch without removing the compressor so I decided to replace the entire compressor assembly since it was only about $20 more than the clutch alone and the same amount of labor was required. I bought a kit off ebay for included a remanufactured compressor & clutch assembly, new refrigerant filter, new thermal expansion valve, a small bottle of PAG 46 oil, and an assortment of new seals for only $170 (link here). I paid a local shop $96 to recover my refrigerant and evacuate & recharge it after I installed the new compressor. My A/C is working good now.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:00 AM   #6
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2006 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Gonna give it a shot, worse that happens if i can't do it in car is i take it for an evac and take comp off for clutch change then take it back for refill.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:51 PM   #7
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2006 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Just did it today. Glad it went smooth and that i didn't have to pay ac shop to evac/fill freon. Took the wheel and inner liners out. Took out the three bolts holding compressor to block and took the black plastic clip holding upper ac hose off the bracket. Pushed comp towards drivers side and toward radiator and worked on it thru a pretty large opening that was behind inner liner.

Instead of special tool i put two nut driver bits from a drill/screw gun, the ones with the hex shaft and nut driver on end, about 2 inchs long. Put them in the holes, they fit tighter than any bolts i tried, and just used a half inch wrench between then and let it rest on frame to stop clutch from turning. Got lucky with hub, it came right off.

Hardest part of whole job was the snap rings holding pulley and coil on. So glad it was a snap ring holding coil on and not screws, I was worried philip head screws were holding coil, got lucky again.

I cleaned up the end where the snap ring for pulley was before trying to take pully off with some sandpaper. Pulley bearing is not pressed on, I just had to work it off by hand evenly, pulling at all positions so it didn't get cocked.

Snap ring for coil was the hardest part. Had to get a smaller pair cause the frame was in the way and had to pry compressor away from frame at same time, got lucky again that the ends were at 3 o clock and not 9 where the frame would have really been in the way.

Actually job was not too bad but i had to be creative without special tool and getting those snap rings off. Not a job for beginners that's for sure.
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I don't speed much anymore but I don't slow down for turns much either to keep the fun factor.
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Old 08-30-2016, 11:48 PM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

So how did this end?
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:58 AM   #9
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2006 ION-3 Sedan
Default Re: A/C clutch replaceable in car??

Guess i didn't say in my last post that i now have ac again, before i replaced clutch i plugged in the new one and it magnetized, the one on compressor did not and had power so really all it could have been was the bad coil.
Works fine with no freon lose. Very happy.
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