2004 Duratec AC Clutch repair from bottom without lowering subframe - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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  • 2 Post By rjacket
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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2004 Duratec AC Clutch repair from bottom without lowering subframe

A month or so back, I managed to replace the AC clutch on my 2004 Duratec from the bottom without lowering the subframe.

I was planning to attack it from above but my offset wrench was the wrong size / shape to get onto the clutch bolt. I do understand that with the right offset wrench you can do this from above, but I found it was quite simple doing this from the bottom, and one advantage was it was easy to get a hand onto the clutch to hold it still, remove it to try different washers and measure the air gap.

You will need 2 things

1) A wobble socket set. I used this: https://www.harborfreight.com/9-pc-w...set-67971.html
2) An assistant although it may be possible without one

Steps

1) Remove the front passenger wheel and front inner fender shield
2) Locate the hole in the wheel well through which you will get a socket onto the ac clutch bolt. Watch this video to see the locations of the inside and outside holes.

https://youtu.be/DJJLQ_e_RJU?t=42

Note that there is an outer and inner panel and a hollow space between. The single hole that you see on the outside panel is directly opposite another hole on the inside panel. However, the inner hole that you want to go through which is directly in front of the ac clutch bolt is slightly offset to the outer panel hole.

Note there is no need to make another hole as in the video, the wobble sockets will let you maneuver the socket through the offset outside and inside holes.

3) Put your socket on the shortest 1/4 wobble extension and then put that extension on the next shortest 1/4 wobble extension.

4) Poke the socket through the outer hole up and to the left to get it into the inner hole. You can put your hand up between the inner hole and the ac clutch to feel the location differences between the two inner holes. An assistant looking down should be able to tell you what adjustments to make to get the socket through the correct inner hole.

5) Once through the inner hole, your assistant can help you locate the socket onto the bolt. You may be able to do this through trial and error or even by using your other hand.

6) You should then be able to hold the clutch with your left hand while undoing the bolt with a ratcheting wrench in your right hand.

Other Thoughts

1) I used a Motorcraft replacement AC clutch and found that the original washer created the right air gap.

2) I did not change the ac pulley. From the bottom however, you are far closer to the pulley and it seems it would be easier to get snap ring pliers onto the snap ring. It is also possible that an inspection camera could be routed between the outer and inner holes to let you see what you are doing.

3) Another member used this offset wrench to get to the bolt through the top, albeit with moving some things out of the way. It may be possible to use this wrench from the bottom and not have to go through the holes.

https://www.harborfreight.com/8-piec...html?hftref=cj
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2004 Taurus SES Duratec 110k

Upgrades: Mach RCU & Tweeters, Bluetooth, Ford Cargo Tray, LED Trunk Lighting, Headlight Relays, Adjustable Pedals
Running on: Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, Pennzoil Platinum 5w20 & Fram Pro Synthetic Filter, Valvoline MERCON V, Valvoline DOT 3&4, ZEREX G-05, Top Tier Regular Gas

Last edited by rjacket; 01-28-2019 at 08:35 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 09:52 PM
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Nice job detailing how to access this from the underside of the car. This is one of those jobs that can be approached from both directions. I have the luxury of a U Pull yard 15 mins from my house so I could go there and practice to see which method I felt more comfortable with before attempting it on my own car. When I finally felt ready to tackle this project, I went at it from the top and it wasn't bad. Just used a small 8 mm box end wrench to get the bolt off. It was tight between the clutch and the inner fender frame...but, I was able to get my fingers down in there to break it loose (it isn't that tight of a bolt). Fun part was using a mirror-on-a-stick and maneuvering a 90 degree tip snap ring pliers to remove the c-clip to get the pulley/brg ass'y off. Fortunately, this was as far as I had to go to fix things and the compressor has worked flawlessly since.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I intended to do this from the top and had all the tools but my offset wrench was too chunky.

A few other advantages in going through the bottom:

1) I was also changing the serpentine belt and the ac clutch had thrown a lot of rust onto the old belt and onto the pulleys. I was able to easily clean the bottom of pulleys inaccessible from the top. It was good to know that I'd gotten all the junk off the pulleys before putting on a new belt.

2) I was able to see and hear the crankshaft pulley once I restarted the car. There was a slight noise which I'm leaving for now.

3) I could also access a couple of oil pan bolts which I was unable to tighten from the bottom. I completely forgot to tighten them though. Doh! There was definitely a lot of dried up oil on that side.

4) If it is necessary to change the magnetic coil, I think it would be helpful to run a long piece of wood from the top to the bottom and apply equal pressure to press it in. As mentioned, I also suspect removing the snap ring for the pulley would have been easier.

2004 Taurus SES Duratec 110k

Upgrades: Mach RCU & Tweeters, Bluetooth, Ford Cargo Tray, LED Trunk Lighting, Headlight Relays, Adjustable Pedals
Running on: Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, Pennzoil Platinum 5w20 & Fram Pro Synthetic Filter, Valvoline MERCON V, Valvoline DOT 3&4, ZEREX G-05, Top Tier Regular Gas

Last edited by rjacket; 01-28-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 10:57 PM
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Your next assignment (should you choose to accept) is to detail the easiest way to remove that nasty alternator on these '04/'05 Duratecs...lol!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2019, 11:20 PM
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I lowered the subframe last time I did an A/C clutch on one of these. If you get the four seasons clutch you need to use the smallest shim. Ask me how I know...

The nice thing is that the coil rarely fails on these cars, so you can just ignore it most of the time.


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Last edited by ice445; 01-28-2019 at 11:23 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2019, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERCrunner View Post
Your next assignment (should you choose to accept) is to detail the easiest way to remove that nasty alternator on these '04/'05 Duratecs...lol!
Ha!

I do already know the answer to that. Give it to a shop!

2004 Taurus SES Duratec 110k

Upgrades: Mach RCU & Tweeters, Bluetooth, Ford Cargo Tray, LED Trunk Lighting, Headlight Relays, Adjustable Pedals
Running on: Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus, Pennzoil Platinum 5w20 & Fram Pro Synthetic Filter, Valvoline MERCON V, Valvoline DOT 3&4, ZEREX G-05, Top Tier Regular Gas
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MERCrunner View Post
Your next assignment (should you choose to accept) is to detail the easiest way to remove that nasty alternator on these '04/'05 Duratecs...lol!
I have done 4 on '01 & '03's.
From the "school of hard knocks": I would suggest.
Drop the sub frame as in the pic. First remove the bolts, and detach the big wire from the mega fuse and take the Alt out with the wire in place.
For putting back. See pic, I tape the long bolt in place so it does not fall out. Use a parachute cord or rope as in the pic to pull the alt up. place the wire and rope up to the top first then place the Alt in the frame. Jack the frame up before pulling the Alt up. Hold the Alt by the rope for installing the long bolt.
I am not suggesting, but I do not take the battery cable off but remove the wire hot. Just use care.
And you must have the right Alt for the year. I made the mistake, you do not have to.
And, if you use the sub drop, remember only have the sub low while the Alt is down. The Sub drop closes the gap between the engine and fender.


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