Mechanics

A/C CLUTCH PROBLEMS

1998 Plymouth Voyager

Air Conditioning problem
1998 Plymouth Voyager 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 110000 miles

Hi, I have been noticing an intermitant burning smell coming from under the hood of my 1998 voyager 3.3 litre. I wasn't sure what the problem at first but finally reliized that the only time the smell would occur was when the defrosters or the a/c was running. I popped the hood and turned on the A/C. When doing so I noticed that the clutch assy. On the compressor was turning intermitantly. I saw no smoke at all but did think I saw some sparks as I raced the engine a little. I tried to make it spark again but it did not. This past summer the A/C did not seem as cold as it was in the summer before last, I had thought that maybe I had a small freon leak and had plans on buying a sealing and recharge kit, but have not as yet done so. The belt does not get hot at all. Compressor does get hot but not quite hot enough to burn myself. Is it possible for the clutch assy. To start shorting out intermiantly? Also the burning smell can be described as a trash burning kind of smell. One other thing I would like to mention is that after I saw the clutch turning intermitantly I shut the engine off and sprayed a little bit of PB blaster in the area where I am guessing that there flyweights or something of that sort. I started engine and the clutch assy. Seemed to still turn a little bit better but still intermitantly. Is it possible to change the clutch without removing the compressor from the engine. Thanks in advance to any advice, Bob
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Bobmac219
November 15, 2009.




The a/c clutch can fail and has been know to spark when it partially engages, though I don't remember one smelling as you described. There is a possibility of poor power contact to the clutch and it is not fully engaging.

The clutch requires special tools to remove and is difficult without experience while still installed in the van. Even then finding just a clutch as opposed to an entire compressor/clutch assembly will take you a little time.

Good Luck.

Tiny
Knowyourauto
Nov 16, 2009.
Thanks for your help. Is the clutch assy. Any harder to pull off than a pulley on a power steering pump?
I have pulled those off and reinstalled on a new power steering pump. The compressor looks as though it would be relatively easy to get to if I pulled off the radiator/windshield washer resevoir. What is your opinion on this. Also would I use the same puller for the clutch assy. As I did for the power steering pump?

Tiny
Bobmac219
Nov 16, 2009.
I haven't done one of these in a long while but the only two specialty tools that should be needed are an a/c clutch puller and appropriate sized snap-ring pliers. You need to have at least twice the distance of free space as the clutch assembly is thick to perform the service.

Yes, by removing the mounting bolts to the compressor it will allow the space to work in tools to perform the repair.

A few notes: 1) Do not pry any of the parts off as this will warp the clutch plate or pulley. Use a soft faced mallet instead.
2) The clutch coil is the part you probably want to replace and should come as part of the clutch.
3) The gap between the plate and pulley should be checked even if it comes as a complete assembly with the coil to ensure proper operation.
4) Keep an eye out for the clutch plate shim when removing the plate and reinstall with old plate and pulley, or discard if assembly is new and complete.

If you would like the step by step I can post it here.

Good Luck.

Tiny
Knowyourauto
Nov 16, 2009.
Thanks again, yes I would like to read the step by step posting and again thanks for all of your help. Bob

Tiny
Bobmac219
Nov 17, 2009.
(Thanks to freeengineinfo for the pictures)
This plastic engine guard is located under the passenger side and will need to be removed to access the air conditioning.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_1_1.jpg


The arrow points to the idle tensioner. The tensioner is generally loosened by rotating the piece with a ratchet or socket, but there isn't enough room to get at this spot. Luckily located at the back of the belt tensioner is a block that an adjustable wrench fits on. Just rotate then slide the belt off the tensioner wheel.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_2_1.jpg


This three jaw puller can be used to remove this pulley, first you will need to loosen the bolt located in the center of the pulley. As the pulley works out farther it will eventually pull out far enough to tighten up against the center bolt. As it comes out farther you will need to use a longer bolt until it comes off. Before you remove the pulley remove the center piece first and refer to the picture two spaces below.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_3_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_4_1.jpg


The two arrows point to the cir-clip that will need to be removed for the bearing to come off. If you don't remove it first you have what happened here. From this picture you see that the clip will still need to be removed, which includes reinstalling and uninstalling the pulley again for it to come off.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_5_1.jpg


Here is the ac clutch coil which can be removed by the cir-clip shown by the center yellow circle. The plug for the ac clutch is shown in the red, the little orange clip will need to come out before the electrical connection will pull apart.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_6_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_7_1.jpg


Here are the new parts including the new cir-clip held in my hand. The beveled cir-clip edge must face outward. Always verify that the cir-clip is in the groove by rotating it in the groove.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/435113_8_1.jpg


Here is the new clutch reassembled on the old ac compressor unit. The feeler gauge is used to check the space shown here. There are a few small washers included that are placed behind the pulley to get this spacing correct. The spacing dimensions are shown below. Don't skimp on procedures noted for the break-in on your instructions in the box as it may fail prematurely.

Good luck,
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Tiny
Knowyourauto
Nov 17, 2009.

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