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Old 07-19-2006, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ok i just bought a buddys 92 mercury sable for $400 has power everything. the only thing wrong with it is the air conditioning. the compressor pulley will not spin. the compressor it self will spin, but the pulley will not.

now i was told that when these cars run out of refrigerant the compressor will lock up to prevent damage. i know for a fact the compressor it self is not siezed. when i put a belt on and start the car the pulley wont even budge. just starts smoking.

my question is: is there a safety lock on the pulley it self to protect the compressor incase of no refrigerant? if so how do i unlock it? i would appreciate any help from anyone. please help
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe you need a better understanding of how the ac system works, before you can describe the symptoms more accurately.

First of all, the compressor pulley is supposed to free wheel when the ac system is switched off. There is a ac clutch, and you can see the magnetic clutch plate in front of the ac pulley. When the ac system is off the magnetic clutch plate should be disengaged, and sitting stationary (not rotating) with the engine running and the ac clutch pulley spinning.

It sounds like when you got the car, the belt did not run the ac clutch pulley. Doesn't the serpentine belt drive the ac pulley, as well as other components? How did the Previous Owner get around that? And when you install a belt on the ac clutch pulley, the ac clutch pulley does not rotate. Is that with the ac on, ot teh ac off, or all the time?

The compressor is not designed to "lock up" when the ac system is low on refrigerant, what happens is the low pressure switch sees that the pressure on the low side of the system is too low, and it disables the ac clutch, so the compressor cannot be engaged with the refrigerent too low for safe operation.

Now, if the ac clutch is engaged all the time, then the ac clutch pulley bearings are defective and you must replace the ac clutch pulley. If the ac clutch is engaged and the compressor will not turn, then you need to replace the compressor.
was not on the car
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by gohim@Jul 19 2006, 11:36 PM
Maybe you need a better understanding of how the ac system works, before you can describe the symptoms more accurately.

First of all, the compressor pulley is supposed to free wheel when the ac system is switched off.* There is a ac clutch, and you can see the magnetic clutch plate in front of the ac pulley.* When the ac system is off the magnetic clutch plate should be disengaged, and sitting stationary (not rotating) with the engine running and the ac clutch pulley spinning.

It sounds like when you got the car, the belt did not run the ac clutch pulley.* Doesn't the serpentine belt drive the ac pulley, as well as other components?* How did the Previous Owner get around that?* And when you install a belt on the ac clutch pulley, the ac clutch pulley does not rotate.* Is that with the ac on, ot teh ac off, or all the time?

The compressor is not designed to "lock up" when the ac system is low on refrigerant, what happens is the low pressure switch sees that the pressure on the low side of the system is too low, and it disables the ac clutch, so the compressor cannot be engaged with the refrigerent too low for safe operation.

Now, if the ac clutch is engaged all the time, then the ac clutch pulley bearings are defective and you must replace the ac clutch pulley.* If the ac clutch is engaged and the compressor will not turn, then you need to replace the compressor.
was not on the car
thanks i have quite a good understanding on a basic ac system works. i know the pulley is supposed to spin freely.

the ac pump was by passed with a shorter belt, that is how he got around that obsticle.

like i said in my first post the compressor spins freely. i reached down there and spun the middle part. the pulley does not move. like i said before the pulley just stays still while the motor is running, causing it to smoke.

now on to the part where i said i thought the compressor locks up when it is low on refigerant. im just repeating what my friend told me. i have no idea if the system has a safety swith to deactivate the compressor. dont shoot the messenger.

im not trying to argue with anyone, i just dont like being talked down to, especially when i was quite clear in my original post.

edit: the pulley does not spin anytime with or without the ac on
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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how difficult it is to replace the pulley? also anyone have a ball park figure of how much it will cost? i dont want to dump a whole lot of money in this car
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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1992sable,

Welcome to the forum, you will find a lot of great information and resources for your vehicle. I don't think gohim was trying to put you down, just needed clarification on your question. If I do not understand your question then I would ask for additional information. Anyway a couple of thoughts. Your buddy knew about AC problems and bypassed it with a shorter belt. If he was clever enough to come up with the bypass if it were a simple solution believe he would have found and repaired. Make sure the electrical connection is firmly attached to the connector on the AC clutch. I would think the pulley is replaceable but do not know if it can be done on vehicle or pull the compressor? Possiblilities in my mind are bad pulley, bad AC clutch, problems in the wiring to the clutch. Another issue is that about 1992 R-12 was being replaced with the new R-134a. Knowing you do not want to invest a lot you may want to diagnose, then recharge and try your luck. If it is the old R-12 and you end up replacing the compressor you might want to convert to R-134a. If you do this you can replace proper compressor oil, O rings, orifice tube and probably a new accumulator drier. Even if you do all this the condensor may have leaks or corrosion. My experience has been with the refrigerant level low, but not low enough to damage compressor it cyles rapidly on and off. If the refrigerant level is low or there are leaks, moisture has probably entered the system and started corrosion. One other option is to take to an AC shop for diagnosis and estimate. After their proposed repair do it yourself.

Scott
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't see where anyone was trying to talk down to you. Saying that you needed a better understanding was really quite an innocent comment, on top of that the response was really pretty quick. From what I see that you wrote, you do need just a bit . I guess we were to assume that the compressor had been by-passed because you certainly didn't mention that. Now I know I come off as a jerk, I'm not, but I will openly admit I am an ******* , he was just trying to help. As it stands, it's not very hard to replace the clutch/pully assembly. You would need to make the compressor front accesible or remove it completely(requiring discharge). i have done several by removing the compressor mounting bolts and letting the compressor "hang" kinda. You will need anywhere from an 8mm. to 13mm. to remove the center nut or bolt, which ever it has. once you get that out, sometimes you can use 2 thin flat screwdrivers and place them between the clutch plate and the pully and gently pry alternating side to side. Once thats out there SHOULD be some very thin small washerseither stuck to the back of the clutch plate, or down in the hole it came from. Next you need to have a pair of snap-ring pliers to get the snap-ring out. This should free up the pully, if not it's probably frozen on and you'll probably have to remove it with the coil. Then comes the coil removal(thick center section), I usually pop on it lightly with a small brass hammer till it falls off, notice it should have a indexing notch or little nipple to locate it correctly. After that, it should be reverse for installation, just follow the directions for the shim(little washers)gap, and torque the bolt/nut. and you should be set, and no loss of refridgerant. Also, this should apply to most late model ford style compressors.





off topic, Jason, think this is good enough for a how-to?




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Old 07-20-2006, 04:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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How do you know that the compressor is not seized?

It seems to me that there are two possibilities, since you say that the ac pulley will not turn, no matter what you do.

You have not mentioned whether you have tried turning the ac pulley with the ac switched on and with the ac switched off, and when the ac pulley is locked up. All the time, or only when the ignition is switched on.

#1: The clutch pulley bearings failed, and the pulley was wobbling back and forth until it jammed itself against the ac clutch coil real tight. This would explain why it will not turn. If this is what happened, then the compresssor itself might still be good, but you will need a complete ac clutch assembly (magnetic plate, ac clutch pulley, and ac clutch coil).

#2: The compressor itself has seized. If this happened while your friend owned the car, he would not have had to bypass the ac clutch pulley to run the engine, as the ac clutch pulley would have continued to work, and allowed the engine to run, as long as the ac was not switched on.

Personally, I think that the #1 scenario makes more sense in your case.

If you don;t want to sink a lot of money into the car (what's a lot of money these days?). You might be best off, leaving the ac inoperative.

If you are going to try to fix it, I would look for a inexpensive used compressor on eBay. You can usually find them for between $25-$40.

If money is a consideration, you should change over to R134a from R12.

Look for a complete used compressor assembly (compressor and clutch assembly). One from a later car that came with R134a from the Factory (must be from a 3.0L Vulcan engine. Then you should replace the receiver/drier, before evacuate the air from the system prior to refilling
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Old 07-20-2006, 10:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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From what he describes, the pulley itself is siezed, but the compressor seems ok. So yes, it's a bit of work, but you should be able to just replace the clutch assembly (that should come with the clutch and pulley, as they wear together, so you shouldn't re-use either part), and keep the compressor. Your friend obviously knew the pulley was toast, and that's why he bypassed it, since he must not have wanted to spend the money to fix it.
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If he can spin the center part then the compressor is fine, the pulley is siezed.
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Old 07-20-2006, 11:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thank you for every ones response.

i just want to clarify something right now. go in to a short little story. ok this car was giving to my friend by his brother in law. when he took delivery of car, it did not have a belt (ac,ps). he tried just putting on a new belt. but it shredded in 2 days. he said it was because of the PS pump. i know for a fact that was bad. one of the conditions of this sale was for him to install a new power steering pump if i paid for the part. ( i was trying to avoid any work on the car). anyways. he told me that the ac was blowing cool for those two days, until the belt shredded. obviously i don't know for sure, I'm just taking him for his word. it may have been a combination of the ac pulley seizing and the power steering pump going bad?.?.? i dont know for sure

well after installing the new power steering pump, he bought the belt for the ac/PS. as soon as he put it on, he said it started smoking, then realized it was seized. so they he purchased a shorter belt to not run the ac compressor.

hopefully that clears things up a little bit. BTW he's one of my buddy's, i don't think he's lying. we live in phoenix, i think he would have rather spent money to fix the pulley/clutch, to get the ac working. if he knew for sure thats what it was, but im sure he thought it was the ps pump.


GO HIM--- i think your first scenario is correct. the reason i know the compressor it self is not bad, is because i can spin it(the middle part) by hand.

i am retrofitting this car to r134a, i already purchased the kit. r12 is way to expensive for me.

the main reason i want to get this ac working is because i am located in phoenix, i think it will help the value tremendously. although depending on how difficult it is, and how much its gonna cost me, i may just leave it inoperative
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