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Old 06-17-2021, 04:44 PM   #1
afskwarek
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Default AC Compressor Rattle - With Video

Greetings

So my AC compressor has as rattle. It noticeably rattles often while running even when ac is off. It rattles fairly consistently when during higher revs and when the ac is on (obviously). Been going on for the past few years. Been getting more frequent. All I'm wondering is, is it really that big of a deal? Can I replace the pulley without pulling the compressor? Cause I rather not deal with the hassle of evacuating and recharging entire system if I don't have to.

Thanks!


Compressor rattle on video:

https://youtu.be/D9Hn_BzdSk0
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:15 PM   #2
afskwarek
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Default Re: AC Compressor Rattle - With Video

Minor correction of minor importance. It only really rattles when the ac is on. Only rattle when a is off is when only high revving. So it's clearly the compressor.
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: AC Compressor Rattle - With Video

While I was diagnosing my system, I watched a video of a guy removing the clutch off his A/C (on a Mustang) and his clutch plate was doing a similar thing. I think you can just replace the clutch plate and be fine as long as the magnet is pulling the plate in with no issues, though finding one might be a chore...

The plate unbolts from that center bolt and shoooould slide off, might have to use a small pry bar to wiggle it around a bit, but it should just come right off (it's the rest of the stuff that can be hard to come off). If worse comes to worse, you can unbolt the whole compressor from its cradle without taking the hoses off and get a tool to remove it, most auto parts stores rent them out.

Be thankful these ones are at the top of the engine.
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: AC Compressor Rattle - With Video

There should be three rivets, buttons to anyone unfamiliar with vehicle ac compressors. The three rivets hold three straps. Each strap is riveted to the compressor clutch plate. In technical terms, the three straps connecting the compressor hub to the clutch plate may be described as a flexure configuration. This allows the clutch plate to move inwards towards the pulley for engagement or away in normal position. The .012-0.018 inch air gap between clutch plate and pulley face allows the clutch to rest, disengaged from the idler pulley. When the clutch coil is powered up, the magnetic field generated attracts the clutch plate to engage the idler pulley resulting in compressor operation. The rivet is either worn down or broken, leaving one strap loose and making noise. The clutch plate/hub assembly should be replaced. If damage occurred to the idler pulley face from the loose strap, the idler pulley should be replaced too.

Clutch plate replacement is mostly a diy repair to anyone with skills. Repair shops and dealers prefer to replace the entire compressor along with a new drier.
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Old 06-18-2021, 04:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: AC Compressor Rattle - With Video

For many cars it is supposedly a pretty easy task to remove the clutch plate. Many require no special tools. Some require tools that most auto parts stores will lend out. But I just picked up a compressor from the junkyard that uses the same sort of clutch shown in your video. It requires special tools that are almost impossible to find. Literally no store seems to stock them. You might be able to find them on ebay if you are lucky. Its the reason I still don't have AC in my 99 Sl1.
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