Clutch Assembly or Compressor?

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Old 08-21-06, 08:37 PM
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Clutch Assembly or Compressor?

97 Camry 4cyl 2.2l 81,000.

A/C compressor locked up this morning and snapped the belt. Am currently running car with belt designed for non-A/C version, which works great...but no A/C.

Question is whether the compressor, clutch or both need replacement. A/C blew extra cold right up the when the unit met its demise. Is it possible that only the clutch needs to be replaced? If so, what's the difference between a clutch, clutch assembly and clutch bearing? Is an assembly both the bearing and the clutch?

I had a compressor blow on a Honda once and the unit kept spinning. In this case, it will not turn at all.

Ideas?

As always, thanks in advance.

allenzachary
Sweating in the South
 
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Old 08-21-06, 09:49 PM
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Post ac

for the do it yourself guy , id recommend you replace the whole assy ( compressor ) because the clutch is stuck . you also need to replace the reciever dryer when replacing the compressor , thats kind of like an ac filter , but but but but , it is illegal to dispense freon into the atmosphere , so you need to take the car to a shop and first have them recover your r 134a , then you can crack the lines and begin work , also always use new ac seals on any lines you open , and make sure you lube them with ac oil for r134 a before reinstalling , then return to the shop and have them recharge your system , and if you buy one of them home kits that they sell at walmart or a.z. , you can overcharge your system and cause seriuos damage or even injure yourself so i dont recommend.
 
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Old 08-22-06, 05:56 AM
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Good info from smogman. The ac compressor on our previous ('95) Camry bellied up when it was about 7 or 8 years old. If you haven't priced the part yet, be sure you're sitting down when you get a price from the dealer. Needless to say you'll want to get one from somewhere else - CarQuest, NAPA, Advance, whatever.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 09:22 PM
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So I Can Do This Myself

Smogman makes it sound as if a relative novice like myself can handle this. I'd sure like to save the labor costs.

Is it likely that I would be able to replace the compressor and the dryer/accumulator without too much difficulty? The repair manual I had for my beloved Honda skipped right over A/C repair, suggesting it be left to professionals.

What wlse would I need to replace? I've heard "evaporator."

How would I "lube the seals?" Is it the same way I coat the gasket on an oil filter during a change?

Any suggestions as to which repair manual would offer step-by-step instructions for A/C?

How do you feel about used vs. reman vs. new? I've found they range dramatically, $125 (with 90 day guarantee) vs $300 vs $550 respectively.

I have a mechanic that is smart and honest, if a bit pricey. I usually don't mind paying a little extra, as he gives good advice freely and has always done what I've asked. I'm sure he'll remove and replace the refrigerant and even give me a nod if I can do the job properly without driving him crazy.

Any info you have would be terrific.

allenzachary
(growing hopeful)
 
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Old 08-25-06, 09:32 PM
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Talking you can do it

allen , to remove the compressor is not difficult , usually only 4 bolts hold it in place , usually the hard part is getting it out of the car once it is loose , usually ( usually ) you have to remove something else just to give you space to remove the compressor , now as for the dryer / accumalator , 2 10mm bolts and shes out , as far as lubing the seals , yes you just lube them like a oil filter gasket , but remember it must be ac lubricant , and the lubricant must be for r134 ac, now as far as the evaporater is concerned , that is a big job as its under the dash , but in your case right now that is not something you need to worry about , you dont have a not getting cold problem , you have a bad compressor , anyways i hope this helps and please let me know if i can continue to help , i have this post on instant notification , so ill here from you .
 
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Old 08-26-06, 03:29 PM
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Smog, (I figure that now we are on a first name basis)-

Thanks so much!

I will likely by a remanufactured compressor on ebay. There are several available in the $200-250 range. All are being sold by dealers wotith very ggod feedback. Can you think of any reason why a reman comprossor is a bad idea?

Based on funds and time availability, I probably won't get to the project for at least two weeks. Will you still pay attention to posts and be there to help?

I really am tickled and actually looking forward to doing this. I figure I'll save $300-$500 by doing this myself instead of using my mechanic.

allenzachary
 
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Old 08-26-06, 03:35 PM
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Don't get all wild and rip it apart until you determine whether it is just the clutch assembly or the compressor, it is very unlikely they both went at the same time. Toyota(at least my Lexus SC400)sensors will not let the clutch engage if the compressor is frozen(it will until the sensors realize it is frozen). Remove the clutch assembly and then check if the compressor is frozen. No sense in spending money that ain't necessary. Have a nice day. Geo
 
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Old 08-26-06, 04:46 PM
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Since you have the belt off, try to turn the center of the assembly (not the part the belt is on). That is connected to the compressor, don't turn it more than 1/4 turn. If you can turn it, the compressor is probably ok. Since it snapped the belt (no small feat), I'm betting the compressor is locked. You can re-use the old clutch if the new compressor doesn't come with one, just mind the clearance between the clutch face and the pulley face.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 06:41 PM
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I tried to get to the center of the assembly, but there isn't enough clearance between the pulley and the side of the engine compartment. The clutch pulley is visibly askew and there are shredded and burnt looking marterials sticking out from the inside of the pulley, between it and the compressor face.

My slightly pricey mechanic told me that in most cars, once the clutch bearing has locked up like this, it is nearly impossible to remove the clutch assembly from the compressor without damaging the compressor (something about a thin piece of aluminum...) He also said that the heat built up when the clutch bearing failed likely would have also caused damage. He suggested replacing the clutch and compressor at the same time. I've felt comfortable with his suggestions in the past. He is also one of the few shop owners who doesn't roll his eyes when I tell him I'd like to try it myself. He often gives me a tip or two about the project as well.

I'm thinking, at this point, that I'll replace the compressor and clutch at the same time, especially with the prices on ebay. It actually looks like it will be less work. If the compressor turns out to be good, I ca keep it as a backup.

By the way, nobody here has commented on whether that was a good idea. I've never had a bad experience with ebay purchases, I can't imagine they'd start now.

You guys are awesome.

Allen
 
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Old 08-26-06, 06:56 PM
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Good Idea

hey allen it sounds as if you got most of your bases covered , and you are ready to bat , the reason why I didnt recommend replaceing the clutch assy , is the same reason your mechanic explained , it is a commen practice in our industry to not replace only the clutch , when its pretty toasted , anyways Ive never purchased an auto part from ebay , so I wouldnt be able to give you any feed back as far as that goes , and yes sir if theres anything else I can help you with , id be more than happy to .
 
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Old 08-26-06, 07:22 PM
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Sounds like you are determined to take it apart, ask your mechantic friend what he would charge to remove the compressor then call your local Toyota service dept and check what they charge you will find an amazing difference, there is a reason, Toyota didn't plan for them to be taken apart. Have a nice day. Geo
 
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Old 08-26-06, 09:04 PM
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I just ordered a refurbished compressor from my friends at ebay. They say it's "fully charged with PAG oil." Does that mean that no oil should be added when my mechanic refills the system with 134a?

Also, I see suggestions that the sytem must be flushed. Will that happen when my mechanic recovers the existing 134a from the system? If not, is it necessary?
 
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Old 09-18-06, 08:03 AM
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Follow up: All Fixed!

Spent a couple hours yesterday carefully removing and reinstalling a new compressor and accumulator/drier. I bought a refurbished compressor for $145 from "centuryair" on ebay. I felt confident as they have done business with at least 223 other ebay customers with 100% satisfaction ratings.

Autozone charged $30 for the accumulator/drier and $14 for the new belt. My mechanic recovered the R134a and recharged it, with an additional 3/4 of a pound for $70 including the refrigerant. I asked where the freon went. They said that in a ten year old car it's not unusual to be down some. They found no leaks.

The A/C is cold cold cold.

Total cost: Around $270. Overall, I believe this saved me over $600!

Thanks to all for the input and help. A special thanks to Smogman who helped enormously. I'm glad you all are here.

allenzachary
cool in SC
 
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