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A.C. Help and Advice needed

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Jul 2017, 10:44 am
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Default A.C. Help and Advice needed

Like several others I've seen posting lately, I have a.c. issues.

Here's what it's doing. When I first start the car, and turn on the a.c., the compressor clutch will kick in, and the air will blow nice and cold for 10-15 minutes. Then, the air returns to ambient temperature (I assume the clutch stops turning) and it doesn't ever kick back in again unless I let the car (compressor?) cool down for a while. If I've let the car sit for a few hours and turn the a.c. on, it will turn on again and run for 10-15 minutes.


Using the gauge on a can of AC Pro, my system appears to be fully charged.

With the help of NitroPT and VsandFords, I jumped the low pressure switch at the connector and the clutch kicked in and ran (while in the driveway) for a solid 10 minutes, ice cold. When I would remove and re-install the jumper wire, the clutch would turn on and off. I assum e it was the low pressure switch and replaced it, but saw no change.

Last weekend I removed my front bumper so that I could get to the compressor and test the high pressure switch, and do a resistance/continuity test on the clutch coil, but found out that the fan and front bracing are in the way. I didn't have enough time to do anything more complicated, so I buttoned it all back up without doing any testing

Is there some trick to accessing the compressor without having to remove the radiator and fan? Can I get to it if I lift the car up in the front?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why it consistently blows cold for 10-15 minutes when the car is cold, and then stops working till things cool down again?
I'm suspecting a bad connection either in the clutch coil or at the connector which delivers voltage to the compressor.

Are clutch rebuild kits available, or do I have to replace the entire unit?

Thanks.
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Old 11 Jul 2017, 10:48 am
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Sounds to me like you probably have a broken wire off the low pressure switch, Kon. I'd try tracing those wires. It may not be broken all the way, but maybe pinched somewhere and not making full contact. I wish I could tell you more, but I'm A/C challenged!
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Old 11 Jul 2017, 11:01 am
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
Sounds to me like you probably have a broken wire off the low pressure switch, Kon. I'd try tracing those wires. It may not be broken all the way, but maybe pinched somewhere and not making full contact. I wish I could tell you more, but I'm A/C challenged!
Seems I am, too, hahahahahah!

I'll take a look. Hopefully, it's something that simple.
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Old 11 Jul 2017, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gkon View Post
Like several others I've seen posting lately, I have a.c. issues.

Here's what it's doing. When I first start the car, and turn on the a.c., the compressor clutch will kick in, and the air will blow nice and cold for 10-15 minutes. Then, the air returns to ambient temperature (I assume the clutch stops turning) and it doesn't ever kick back in again unless I let the car (compressor?) cool down for a while. If I've let the car sit for a few hours and turn the a.c. on, it will turn on again and run for 10-15 minutes.


Using the gauge on a can of AC Pro, my system appears to be fully charged.

With the help of NitroPT and VsandFords, I jumped the low pressure switch at the connector and the clutch kicked in and ran (while in the driveway) for a solid 10 minutes, ice cold. When I would remove and re-install the jumper wire, the clutch would turn on and off. I assum e it was the low pressure switch and replaced it, but saw no change.

Last weekend I removed my front bumper so that I could get to the compressor and test the high pressure switch, and do a resistance/continuity test on the clutch coil, but found out that the fan and front bracing are in the way. I didn't have enough time to do anything more complicated, so I buttoned it all back up without doing any testing

Is there some trick to accessing the compressor without having to remove the radiator and fan? Can I get to it if I lift the car up in the front?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to why it consistently blows cold for 10-15 minutes when the car is cold, and then stops working till things cool down again?
I'm suspecting a bad connection either in the clutch coil or at the connector which delivers voltage to the compressor.

Are clutch rebuild kits available, or do I have to replace the entire unit?

Thanks.
You may be able to reach it by taking the lower splash shield off and removing the right headlight.

This is a picture from when I did my power steering pump. Not alot of room, but may help. The compressor is directly below the pump. I also removed the bumper to make it easier to remove the headlight.
You can buy A/C clutch assemblies. IMO, you should just replace the compressor if you have to go that far. To have access to the clutch, you will more than likely have to remove the compressor. If you have to discharge the system, might as well replace it.
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Last edited by VsandFords; 11 Jul 2017 at 02:39 pm.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 10:45 am
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Τhanks @VsandFords !! The pictures are always a big help.

I've found rebuilt compressors for under $100. Much more palatable than $250-$350 for e new one. I'm moving soon and have to cut some corners if necessary, for now.


However, I may have solved my problem! After doing more research, I've found several videos of people with the same issue as I have, where it will run for 10-15 minutes till the car gets hot, then stop running and not re-engage.

And the culprit is......... (Drumroll, please):

Clutch gap.

Unbeknownst to me till now, there is a specific gap that there needs to be between the clutch and the compressor. For my PT the manual states .014"-.026".

If the gap is greater, which can happen in older vehicles, the clutch will engage just fine when the car is cool but, as things heat up and expand, that gap will get bigger and, if it's too big, the clutch is too far away to pull back in to the compressor to re-engage.

If the gap is too tight, the clutch can't release and will just spin all of the time.

Who knew!?!?!? Not me, till now.

When the gap is too big, you can adjust it using some (homemade) shims, without having to disassemble the clutch or remove the compressor. I DO have access to the clutch and pulley without having to move too much stuff, so that's good.

The only thing left to do is verify that that actually is my problem. I won't really be able to get to it till the weekend, though.

I sure hope I'm right.

I'll let y'all know how it goes.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 11:13 am
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

A simple fix would be NICE!
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 11:54 am
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

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A simple fix would be NICE!
Tell me about it. Cross your fingers.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 12:42 pm
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Back when I worked for Autozone, we had clutch removal tools available through the loan a tool program. I don't know if that's still the deal, but you can check. Make sure you specify it's for a Mopar. The threads are different on GM/Ford/Chrysler clutches. You'll still have to remove all of that stuff to access the clutch. What I'm getting at is that you may be able to use one of those tools to push the clutch in some and achieve the gap you need. You get what I'm talking about, right?
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 01:10 pm
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Since it doesn't work after it gets hot, your going to have to measure the gap when its hot to have a good number.
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Old 12 Jul 2017, 01:50 pm
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Default Re: A.C. Help and Advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
Back when I worked for Autozone, we had clutch removal tools available through the loan a tool program. I don't know if that's still the deal, but you can check. Make sure you specify it's for a Mopar. The threads are different on GM/Ford/Chrysler clutches. You'll still have to remove all of that stuff to access the clutch. What I'm getting at is that you may be able to use one of those tools to push the clutch in some and achieve the gap you need. You get what I'm talking about, right?
I do get what you're saying. Thanks.

Thing is, I don't need to disassemble anything to shim it. That's the beauty of it.
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