Dandy testing! If you have voltage and ground, logic dictates the coil in the clutch must be open, but after fixing tvs and vcrs for over 34 years, I've been bitten many times by logic. Use your meter to measure the resistance of the clutch coil. You can expect somewhere between, ... Oh, ... 4 to 12 ohms I would expect. If it measures about in that range, use a pair of small jumper wires to connect direct battery voltage to it. If it engages that way but not when connected normally, you may have been tricked by your meter. I've seen some really sharp mechanics go down the wrong road because of misleading readings.
Instead of your meter, use a test light to measure for voltage, then move the clip lead to the battery positive post and use it to measure the ground wire. If there is a break in one of the wires, the test light will not be able to get enough current to light up, but if just a tiny taste of current trickles through a carbon track, say in a corroded splice for example, that will be enough for the voltmeter to pick it up and show a reading.
As for replacing the clutch, you can leave the compressor on the engine and just slide the clutch assembly off. I have a former student who coincidentally just replaced his clutch on his 2000 Dakota V-6. His had a bad bearing though. The coil was ok. You will need a special puller that you can borrow from some parts stores. It just threads into the center of the assembly, then tightening the center bolt pulls the unit off.
Sunday, May 9th, 2010 AT 7:55 PM