Sounds like a clutch bearing failure. If you are lucky, you
may be able to replace the clutch assembly which can be done
w/o removing the compressor. I do not recall whether there
was a option for no air on that engine in that vintage but,
if there was, you may be able to find an idler sheave in a
salvage yard to replace your compressor. I suspect you will
be much better off to open it up to see whether you can
simply replace the clutch. You may also note that operation
of the a/c system is also important during cool weather to
defrost/demist the windows.
Only worth it if the rest of the system is sound. If it needs a
clutch, condenser, reciever, and a couple hoses, save your money. The
3.8 is likely ready to pop an intake gasket or timing cover gasket and
wash out the bearings anyway. On a more valuable vehicle, sure, but
nothing stopping you from taking the compressor off completely and
putting on a shorter belt - and/or possibly an idler to take the
compressor's place. Up here in the rust belt the average '94 Taurus
3.8 isn't worth much more than the compressor.
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