Damn you, mysterious ticking noise!

I don't know yet if there is such a thing as a rebuild kit for the R-134a refrigerant compressor in a 1997 Chevy Tahoe? I will look later via Google. If so, has anyone tried rebuilding one? I don't
use the device (I'm used to brutal heat), but the fan belt loops around it so I cannot stop the device's pulley from being driven.
At first I thought there was a nick in the fan belt that was causing the rapid ticking noise, but the frequency is too fast: it ticks several times per belt revolution. There is probably an electric clutch on the R-134a refrigerant compressor, and something in the clutch is making the noise once per revolution of the pulley.
I would just live with the noise, but the ticking might be a symptom of a worse problem, and if the compressor seizes, the whole belt-driven system will be royally screwed.
Ideally I could perhaps replace the clutch on the R-134a refrigerant compressor without having to vacuate the system.
Two of the three horses are also injured. I assume there aren't any rebuild kits for them, poor things.
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On 12/26/2010 12:56 PM, Desertphile wrote:

Sounds like a bad clutch bearing. I have one that has been bad for 3 years and 35,000 miles.
Yes, can change the clutch system, but, almost the same amount of money to replace the entire compressor, as I do all my own stunts.
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On Mon, 27 Dec 2010 06:30:44 -0500, Big Red Truck

Damn. I would just as soon replace it with an idle wheel since I don't "do" the cooled air. I hate all that fancy shit under the hood: cars were just fine 40 years ago.
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wrote:

Wanna buy my 66 chevy? It's got "crank" windows, and they all still work fine! OK, wrong post for that... but did you get the compressor noise fixed? I've fixed a number of these by simply fixing the air-gap. Especially on unit's that no longer work. You need the right tool to pull that clutch plate away a little (after removing the bolt in center, into shaft). If it's the bearing, you can sometime get just the bearing if you have what it takes to remove the pulley and press one into. Otherwise, it's replace the whole clutch pack... still cheaper than changing the whole compressor.
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On Tue, 18 Jan 2011 19:02:23 -0500, "In2hoppn"

I wish I still have my 1956 Plymouth Barracuda, darn it.

I tested the unit while driving on the highway and I cannot detect any refrigerated air; I suspect a key pin or something may have sheared, or the clutch is no longer engaging. Now that I am old and fat I would like cool air now and then; I will see if I can find an exploded diagram for the compressor and clutch and perhaps I will figure out what's going on.
The vehicle is driven once or twice a month, and some times the ticking doesn't happen.
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On Sun, 26 Dec 2010 10:56:02 -0700, Desertphile

So, the ticking has ceased; also, the compressor is no longer compressing. So that is good news and bad news. Argh. It appears the A/C clutch has ceased engaging; I have no idea how to replace it, but for darn sure I do not want to void the coolant and replace the whole compressor.
Looks like there is a snap ring, a coil, a spring, and the clutch itself. All told the parts are:
Clutch $87.00 Snap Ring $3.60 Coil $38.00 Hub shaft key $4.00 ------------------- Total: $132.60
Golly; where the bloody hell am I going to get that kind of money?! I suppose I need a pulley puller and a skinny socket wrench---- I've no idea what.
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wrote:

You could always get a bypass pulley and just yank the old compressor off and ditch it. With the 134a I believe it is safe to vent, it's the older r22 stuff that is considered bad for the ozone layer.
or...
Hit a local junk yard and pick up a used compressor and install it and leave the electrical disconnected until you can afford to have a local shop charge the system for you.
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Nightcrawler wrote:

If your SURE the compressor itself is OK and the problem is the clutch then you can just replace the clutch itself. No need to drop the charge, The only thing you need to do is remove the belt. Disconnect the wiring and pull the rotor, then remove the clutch coil and replace it. Reinstall the rotor and set the air gap and enjoy.
Test the clutch by applying 12 volts directly to the coil leads on it. If it doesn't engage then the coil is likely bad. Usually though the problem isn't the coil, they seldom fail. Ticking is usually indicative of a bad bearing or bad compressor.
Personally I would grab a used compressor, then unbolt everything and remove the line block LAST. Install new O-rings on the block and bolt on the used compressor. Then vac the system down and see if it holds. (should be OK if the only problem is a bearing failure) Then recharge. Can all be done with rental/loaner tools and won't take much over an hour (not counting how long you pull a vacuum).
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wrote:

The good news is that the clutch is once again engaging: the A/C RELAY under the hood was not making good contact with the socket. I started the engine, removed the A/C relay and the STARTER relay, and plugged the STARTER relay into the A/C socket---- and the A/C clutch engaged. I put both relays back where they came from, and the A/C clutch is still engaging properly.
The bad news is that it still makes a slight ticking noise.
The more bad news is that it looks like I must buy a special tool to replace the clutch plate and coil, snap ring, etc.
The baddest news is that I have not found a repair manual that shows me how to do the job.
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