SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn S-Series > S-Series Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-13-2021, 01:37 PM   #1
boomerB5
Junior Member
boomerB5 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 26

1999 SL1
2005 RELAY-2
Default A/C Clutch vs Compressor

I know there are a number of existing threads regarding the 99 AC clutch and how to remove it. For a newbie, it can be challenging to sift through 10+ years of data. So bear with me.

When I bought my 99 SL1 in November, the seller was upfront that the AC did not work. I wouldn't be needing it for several months, so no big deal. But after a week of 90+ heat, it is suddenly a very big deal.

The AC does not work, because the clutch (for lack of a better description) disintegrated. I've found pieces of the outer clutch cover at the bottom of the serp belt area when I replaced the dogbone mount. The inner disk on the clutch kind of flops around when you turn it.

The prior owner said the AC worked fine until the day it didn't (and started to make the horrible noise). So I am under the assumption that it is still holding refrigerant.

I pulled a very nice looking compressor from a local U-Pull junkyard. The pulley spins very quiet and smooth. I had watched a number of YouTubes showing how easy it is to swap the clutch out without opening up the system. But none of the videos involved Zexel compressors with UniDamp clutches.

Needless to say, I do not have the tool to remove the donor clutch. I've not yet tried to remove the existing clutch to know if it will require special tools.

So I see a few possible options:

1. Find/make the tool to pull the donor clutch. I do not have access to a workshop where I can bore a bolt to insert the pin. Unlikely to happen.

2. Take it someplace to empty the refrigerant. Then bring it home, get a vacuum pump, remove the existing compressor, install the new one, draw a vacuum, recharge the coolant. Kind of a hassle, but certainly do-able.
* side question. if I connect manifold gauges, they should show *something* if there is refrigerant loaded...even if I do not engage the AC...correct? I suppose I could also just release the shrader valve a little and see if anything is expelled.

3. Take the compressor back to the junkyard and try to find one that is easier to work with. I suppose I first should determine if my existing compressor requires special tools to remove the clutch. If it is easy to remove, any specific models/years I should target for the new donor clutch?
boomerB5 is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 06-13-2021, 03:45 PM   #2
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,146
Default Re: A/C Clutch vs Compressor

The refrigerant pressure should be approximately equal to its temperature in degrees F, when the compressor is not running. You can check at either the high or low port, they will read the same when compressor is not running. So, if your underhood temp is 90F, then the refrigerant should be about 90 psig.
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 45,071
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: A/C Clutch vs Compressor

With several compressor configurations, GM/Saturn may have settled on one type with one clutch. If I'm not mistaken, original S-series compressors don't have three tapped holes for a clutch puller tool. When the center bolt is removed, using a long screwdriver propped against two of three buttons on the clutch to prevent rotation while loosening the bolt, the bolt is removed for the GM tool. The tool is a two piece unit; the outer body is externally threaded to mate with the clutch plate internal threads, not the bolt threads. Fixing this tool onto the clutch plate then allows a second longer bolt threaded into the tool to turn against the compressor shaft to pull the clutch plate off the shaft. The end is ground similar to a center punch to fit over the compressor shaft. This GM tool is specific for Saturns using Zexel compressors with specific threads on the clutch plate so it's not a parts store item sold everywhere. GM supplies dealers with this tool. The manufacturer supplying this tool may sell it online. Repair shops may have this tool and pads repair bills if used. I don't know if dealers and repair shops replace clutches when it's time consuming for this procedure as compared to wholesale replacement of the compressor to rule out debris contaminating diy refill repairs. When a compressor is replaced, the drier is replaced as insurance against moisture contamination for a complete repair. Along with compressor replacement is balancing the oil removed by draining the original compressor and using this amount to pour new oil into the replacement. The replacement is drained of any oil before pouring in the correct amount. Too much or too little oil can be detrimental to proper lubrication.

I see on rockauto several compressors, one having three threaded holes in the clutch plate. The others either don't have these threaded holes or images are lacking clear front views. A different clutch puller is made for this.

If you are familiar with refrigeration repairs then a gauge set is necessary along with an electric vacuum pump to remove air and moisture from a repaired system. The best way to determine if damage occurred with 98% of vehicle damage resulting in leaks is to use an inexpensive uv blacklight. This makes factory dye glow in a dark garage or after sunset to reveal the source of leaks. Examples of dye would be the two service valves containing residual oil and dye. Dye mixed in with refrigerant oil is permanent no matter how old a vehicle as it isn't released into the atmosphere. Sudden catastrophic damage or slow leaks releases refrigerant, oil and dye. Refrigerant evaporates immediately but oil and dye mark the area of damage. If you're lucky, an inspection with a uv light doesn't show damaged parts leaking with dye markers with service valves the likely source of leaks, especially when refilling occurred and caps aren't tightened. With vehicles over ten years and ac repairs needed, replacing the two service valves should be included in the list of parts. If the o-rings are worn or missing in caps, replace the caps. Any major repairs to vehicle ac systems always includes replacing o-rings and one flat seal (the flat seal is on the suction side of Saturn compressors). This seal is used dry, all other o-rings are lubed with mineral oil from a drugstore or r12 oil. Using pag oil will absorb moisture and accelerate corrosion on fittings leading eventually to leaks. Refrigeration repairs are unforgiving of mistakes.
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2021, 01:15 PM   #4
boomerB5
Junior Member
boomerB5 is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 26

1999 SL1
2005 RELAY-2
Default Re: A/C Clutch vs Compressor

So if my manifold gauges show approx 10 psi on both high and low sides when engine is running (but AC is off, because the clutch is exploded and will not engage), then I only have trace quantities of r134 left in the system? Enough to legally be found negligent for releasing into the atmosphere, but likely all (or mostly) gaseous and very little (or any) liquid form...correct?
boomerB5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2021, 01:35 PM   #5
billr
Master Member
billr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to beholdbillr is a splendid one to behold
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,146
Default Re: A/C Clutch vs Compressor

Correct
billr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AC compressor/clutch bad? allstar21369 S-Series Tech 3 03-02-2015 01:55 PM
07 GL AC compressor clutch katemcd Vue Green Line 1 06-22-2012 06:21 AM
AC clutch and compressor halfey Ion Tech 4 07-13-2010 06:07 AM
Compressor Clutch erick295 S-Series Tech 7 01-05-2006 04:48 PM
WTB: 93 SC2 A/C Clutch or Compressor or Both TIMSPEED Classifieds 2 07-11-2002 08:25 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:42 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.