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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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Discussion Starter #1
My A/C clutch is making awful noises and leaving bits of metal shavings everywhere. I've only ever tried to remove a clutch from a compressor one other time in the past and it ended poorly (broke both the compressor and clutch by using a puller inappropriately).

The clutch assembly is $93; the compressor WITH the clutch assembly is $195. If it's possible to replace the clutch with the compressor installed, I think that's the way to go. Even if I can remove the compressor without discharging the lines and replace the clutch, that would be ideal too. It's a pain in the butt, and costly, to evacuate the system and recharge it.

So what would you do? Just the clutch or the whole thing?
 

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2011 Escalade ESV
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417 Posts
I replaced the clutch bearing on a 96 chevy truck once. It went very smoothly. I did have to go back a few days later at reduce the clearance on the clutch as it wasn't quite tight enough. But other than that it was very simple and straight forward. I want to replace the bearing on my 95 FWB but I can't seem to find the right bearing very readily.

So obviously my take it try replacing the clutch or even the bearing first.
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I replaced the clutch bearing on a 96 chevy truck once. It went very smoothly. I did have to go back a few days later at reduce the clearance on the clutch as it wasn't quite tight enough. But other than that it was very simple and straight forward. I want to replace the bearing on my 95 FWB but I can't seem to find the right bearing very readily.

So obviously my take it try replacing the clutch or even the bearing first.
Thanks! After posting, I looked at the manual and it looks like a special tool is required to remove and re-install the clutch. The tool is $90, which would sway me toward just getting the whole compressor/clutch assembly. Do you really need the tool to remove the clutch?
 

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2011 Escalade ESV
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417 Posts
you can rent them from advance auto and get a full refund when your done so it is actually free.
 

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Those tools can be annoyingly expensive, so renting them is always nice. If you're adamant about not opening the system, then just replace the clutch. You cannot replace the compressor without opening the system, and then you have to vacuum and recharge.

However, from what I've seen, when clutches go bad, compressors are not far behind. I believe this is because increased resistance that leads to failure in the compressor causes the clutch to burn up. Your compressor isn't unusually noisy or clattery is it?

Or maybe your compressor has simply outlived its clutch. :)

Let us know how it works out!
-Greg
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Those tools can be annoyingly expensive, so renting them is always nice. If you're adamant about not opening the system, then just replace the clutch. You cannot replace the compressor without opening the system, and then you have to vacuum and recharge.

However, from what I've seen, when clutches go bad, compressors are not far behind. I believe this is because increased resistance that leads to failure in the compressor causes the clutch to burn up. Your compressor isn't unusually noisy or clattery is it?

Or maybe your compressor has simply outlived its clutch. :)

Let us know how it works out!
-Greg
75Sled's posts got me thinking - it could be the bearing and not the clutch itself. The compressor isn't making noise. When the clutch kicks in and the compressor runs it's nice and quiet. As soon as the clutch shuts off, it makes this grinding, metal-on-metal noise and leaves metal shavings around the compressor housing. I'm afraid one of these days it's going to seize up and then I'll have real problems.
 

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2004 deville
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what usually is wrong with the a/c compressor making a grinding noise when clutch disengages? a/c works great other than the noise
 

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1994 Fleetwood 60" Stretch; '07 Avalanche, '95 Nighthawk
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3,963 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
what usually is wrong with the a/c compressor making a grinding noise when clutch disengages? a/c works great other than the noise
That's usually the bearings on the clutch. Mine was doing that, which is why I started this thread. Eventually, however, it quieted down so I never replaced it. My car had sat for a long time without an A/C charge. Once I charged it and ran it routinely the noise went away (took several months, but eventually it disappeared).
 
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