My 93 Aerstar has 170,000 miles. Today when I switched on the Air
Conditioning I heard a loud squeal from the engine compartment and
soon smelled burning rubber. Later when I had a friend switch the AC
on and off while I observed the compressor, I could see the plate
initially move in to engage then quickly disengage. Increasing RPMs
caused a loud squeal and the burning rubber smell again. Does this
sound like the clutch itself has gone bad, or some other problem
(bearings?) in the compressor?
Assuming it is the clutch, how difficult is it to replace? Can it be
done without pulling the compressor? I read somewhere that special
tools are required for Ford AC clutch replacement....are those still
available for loan at AutoZone? Also, given its age, would I be
better off in the long run buying a remanufactured compressor and
clutch, changing it myslf and then having a pro charge the system?
You're probably better off getting a new compressor. If you do go this
route make sure you get the system flushed & a new filter drier too
Also your '93 might still be R-12 freon which is expensive. You might
as well get it converted to R-134 too.
Sounds like the compressor has locked up. It probably has internal
damage and needs to be replaced. If it is the bearings they've failed
catastrophically. Either way, it's messed up bad. The good news is that
your clutch is working fine but you'd be wise to replace that. I'd
replace the belt too but that's just me.
Read the other replies...They say most likely a compressor.. I agree.
BUT you CAN check it out.
Many tools are still available at Autozone. They even sell a few parts
but I would only buy a compressor from them if it were new and
guaranteed, which I dont know if they have.
If your compressor is seized, you probably need to flush this system,
etc etc, and replace with a new compressor. If you cant do this, have
it professionally done or dump the Furd.
Probably a silly question but I need to ask it anyway: Do I need to
remove the serpentine belt before trying to turn the clutch? And if
it turns freely, does that mean the clutch is OK and the problem is
the compressor (bearings, etc.)?
AutoZone's web page indicates new compressors with clutch are $298,
vs. rebuilt version with 90 day warranties $230-250. Clutches by
themselves are $122. I've been running one of AZ's 12K warranty
rebuilt water pumps for 50K miles now.....guess I'd probably go with
the new compressor since I want to hang onto the Aerostar for another
5 years or more.
as well get it converted to R-134 too.
Yep, it's an R-12 system. Anyone know if the Aerostar is a good
candidate for conversion to R134, or do major parts have to be
replaced? Wouldn't want to sink $300 into a new compressor only to
find out it won't work with R134.
You'll have to take the belt off. The problem is that the pulley will be
freewheeling and you'll need to engage the clutch. I don't know if you
can do that unless the engine is running. If you can't, then you might
be able to apply 12 volts to the magnetic clutch by jumping the wires to
the clutch connector. You could also remove the clutch and then try
turning the compressor flange. However, there's not much point in doing
any tests on the clutch since your compressor is locked up. Symptoms of
a bad clutch would be a wobbly clutch cover or clutch slipping - not
locking up. As was mentioned by his, you might have some contamination
of the refrigerant with compressor particles which may require that you
flush out the system and replace the filter/dryer.
No. With the engine off and a/c off (key out of ignition) the clutch
is released so there is no mechanical connection between the face of
the clutch and the pulley. It won't turn freely meaning you can just
spin it but you can turn it by hand.
I haven't heard great things about their new compressors. They are
new but they aren't OEM. Some kind of Chinese knock off crap. Check
out the discussion boards at www.aircondition.com. There are some
great folks there that do this all day every day and know what you
will need and the best places to get it from. Some things I will risk
lower quality parts on but not a/c stuff due to the work involved.
I have bought a fair amount of AC parts at www.ackits.com
These people have been very helpful, and the parts have been reasonably
priced and of very good quality.
Local mechanic here, a friend of mine, says he has had good luck with
NAPA new and rebuilds. There is definitely an advantage to having a
nearby parts source, although they might be a little more expensive.
IIRC, most if not all of the new compressors can take 134. Check to be
sure, however. In my limited experience, 134 can do a good job if you
do the conversion with thoroughness. But, dont do a halfway job.
If the OP doesnt know what constitutes a thorough job, he needs to do
some reading (ackits website and forum are good sources for info).
Also if you do go the new/rebuilt compressor route make sure the
system gets flushed properly and you replace the drier & orifice tube
or you will void your warranty. Also make sure your mechanic documents
everything on your workorder so you have proof it was done in case
something goes wrong down the road.
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