A/C clutch squeaks

'98 Olds LSS, 3800 N/A.
One annoying squeak has been tracked down. With the engine running and the A/C off (it doesn't seem to work anyway), I can see the A/C clutch turning
slowly with it's pully. Not at engine speed, it lags behind quite a bit. At one point of it's revolution it squeaks, once every few seconds or so. I can touch it with the handle of a breaker bar and keep it still with no effort which silences the squeak. Turning the A/C on does absolutely nothing. I had attributed that to a low/leaky system but maybe it's clutch related. So two questions: How is it even possible for the clutch to behave in such a way, and how do I shut the damned thing up?
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SBlackfoot wrote:

Sounds like the clutch gap is too tight. You can use a clutch puller to adjust the gap. It may also be that the compressor failed internally and damaged the shaft causing it to shift and the clutch drag. What does a set of AC gauges show?
--
Steve W.

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No idea what gauges would show. I had assumed a leak and the system was empty until I noticed the clutch misbehaving. There isn't a lot of room down there to get a puller on the clutch. Maybe through the fender well but going by memory I doubt it. At the moment I just want to shut it up, the lack of A/C isn't a huge concern. I guess a shorter belt might be the simplest solution.
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this is classic v-5 clutch drag- the clutch has corrosion built up in behind the rivet head "stops" not allowing it to fully disengage...
http://acsource.net/acforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t 97&hilit=clutch+drag
http://acsource.net/acforum/search.php?st=0&sk=t&sd=d&keywords=clutch+drag
Had the same problem on my 00 Century, sprayed the rivets with WD40 and it dislodged the rust.
No more scraping.
Could not get a puller in there with the compressor on the car.
Worth a shot.
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Thanks for the suggestion, a little penetrating oil is definitely worth a try. Is there a risk pf the oil hurting the clutch?
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Not penetrating oil - WD40. WD40 does a good job of cleaning up light rust and won't leave a residue behind. You won't have to worry about your clutch with it. WD40 should never be confused with a lubricant - it is not a lubricant.
--

-Mike-
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From the WD40 Web site:
Car/Truck 26 uses found.
Lubricates key holes Lubricates license plate bolts and screws Lubricates door latches to gas caps Lubricates linkages on emergency brake releases Lubricates knobs on air conditioners Lubricates car ashtrays for easy sliding Lubricates convertible top zippers Lubricates hood release cables Lubricates locks on vehicle bike racks Lubricates gas cap locks and levers Lubricates zippers on zip-up car windows Lubricates car door hinges Lubricates auto hood latches Lubricates stainless steel hood latches

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Yeah, I know what the manufacturer claims. Once the carrier dries though, you've not got a good lubricant left behind. It functions much better to displace water and lift rust than it does as any kind of lubricant. Hell, while it's still wet, water even makes a lubricant. Doesn't make it a real lubricant though.
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Most penetrating oil isn't much of a lubricant either. I figured I'd hit it with some PB Blaster, it tends to dislodge rust too. If WD40 would do a better job then I'll use that instead.
Agreed, WD40 makes for a LOUSY lubricant long term.
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Agreed on the PB Blaster - that's actually what I use, but most people are more familiar with WD40.
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