bypassing AC on f150


Old 01-12-05, 03:54 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 16
bypassing AC on f150

Sorry for the double post.... I put this in the truck/rv/motor home forum, and thought it may not be the best place

Ok, same ole story.
A friend of mine calls me up. his trucks broke, no clue what the problem is.
Told me it's been squeking for awhile.

I have him try to turn it over and it tries to, has the power to, but can't turn it.... something is locked up.
my first thought, I check the oil.... none. He has not checked or changed it in 10,000 miles. *sigh* After a long lecture:

I pour some mystery oil, and top it off with some napa oil.
I pull off the serpentine belt, click the selenoid and wala... fires up. Engine isn't locked up, runs like a champ.
5.4 V8 triton btw.
Kill the motor, and I can manually turn everything by hand, the power steering, the water pump, the alternator, tensioner spins. Only thing I can't turn is the drive shaft (duh) and the wheel for the AC.
After putting the belt back on and a few clicks to see what'll happen, the drive shaft does indeed move an inch when we try to start the truck.

obvious assessment, bad ac, either clutch or compressor.... locked up either way.
$300+ for the new unit, he can't afford it, and I'm tired of picking him up for work.

so (finally) to my question.
Is there some way I can use a different serpentine belt, and if neccesary, a different tensioner to run the truck without turning the ac?
The guys at Napa told me for this truck, 99 f150 xlt, 5.4 V8 triton, that you CANNOT.
I've done it on older trucks.

any advice, any wisdom? seems a pity the AC (which is totally non essential) is killing this truck.

many thanks in advance,
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Old 01-12-05, 04:13 PM
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I have no experience with this, but I would try running a string around the path that the new (bypass) belt would need to travel. This will tell you if there's anything in the way when bypassing the AC and after tying it off tight, you should be able to match it up with a belt at the parts store.
Old 01-13-05, 01:38 PM
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I dont think you can just simply bypass the compressor on that engine because of the pulley arrangement of the other components. If the pulley spins freely with the clutch not engaged the easiest thing to do is just unplug the clutch solenoid and keep using the same belt. The other option is getting a compressor bypass bracket/pulley that takes the place of the compressor and cost a lot less. I cannot remember who sells them but I think the company that puts out the HELP! line of components makes them.

Hope that helps,

Old 01-14-05, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 100

I'm not that familiar with Fords but had the same issue with a Chevy about 300 miles from home in the middle of the night on a Sunday. I melted my belt. Luckily, I had the old belt form the last service I did in the truck. I had to use a hammer and screw driver to pry the clutch out a little from the AC compressor, it was junk anyway. I also unplugged the compressor as stated earlier. Got me home and worked for a couple of more days until I got a new compressor. I don't know how long it would have gone but it did get me by. It's worth a try.

The only way I could bypass mine would be to replace the AC Compressor and bracket with the bracket and idler pully that comes with the model with no AC. In my situation, it was almost the same price as an aftermarket compressor. Keep in mind that the AC does not necassarily need to work if you have other AC parts that need to be purchased. You just need the thing to turn. I'd still make sure there's oil in the compressor though to be safe.

A cheaper option may be to see if you can get either the idler pully assembly or the AC compressor from a junk yard.

Good Luck!

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