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1996 Deville 4.6
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 96 Deville, Northstar engine (4.6). The clutch on the a/c compressor seems to be sticking. I know everything else works because when I tap on the clutch, the compressor starts working blowing cold air out and works for a good while. Is it possible to replace just the clutch? and if so, can one get a new clutch, can I do it with the compressor still on the car and do I need any special tools? Thanks,

Rich Banta
 

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2010 DTS
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87,556 Posts
Before you spend any money, check the gap at the clutch plate. It should be .020 - .030.

Yes, you can replace just the clutch and it can be done with the compressor in the car and without discharging the refrigerant. You do need some special tools.
 

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1996 Deville 4.6
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Ranger. So I can buy a new clutch, if necessary? What kind of special tools do I need, if you know?

Rich
 

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2010 DTS
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Yes you can. I forget exactly what you need. Hub puller and installer and a clutch plater puller and installer I think. I just tried to do it on my wifes car because I though that the clutch was bad. Rented the tools from AZ. They gave me wrong ones and even after getting the right ones I was missing one. It was a fiasco. Never was able to get the clutch off, but I realized that the bearing was OK after all and just needed the gap adjusted. She's 13 yrs old with 160K and the original compressor and is running quiet again.
 

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1996 Deville 4.6
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51 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Exactly what do you mean by the "clutch plate gap"? Gap between what and what? How do you adjust it? I would imagine you have to use shims? Would you have to pull the clutch to add or subtract shims and where would you get the shims if needed? Again, thanks
Rich
 

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2010 DTS
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No shims Rich. Look closely at the clutch and you should see a gap. With the engine off, press on the outer edge and you should see and feel the gap close. It is electromagnetic so if the gap is too large, it will not work. It is adjusted by tightening down on the nut that holds in on if I remember correctly. If you don't have the tools any A/C shop should be able to tighten it up very quickly. I can't imagine that they'd charge much for that. Your comment "I know everything else works because when I tap on the clutch, the compressor starts working blowing cold air out and works for a good while" leads me to believe that the gap is too large. When you tap it you manually press it in and it then is close enough to magnetically be drawn in and engaged. When the compressor is commanded off, the clutch disengages, but when it gets commanded on, once again the gap is too large.
 
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