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My screeching serpentine belt decided to snap last night. Picked up a replacement today and fitted it, but found the AC pulley is not turning. No time or resources to swap compressors (or need for AC in near future), so looking to do the minimum to get things running.

I have websearched a number of people who have bypassed the AC entirely with a shorter belt. Lots of mentions of something in the 82" range, but the specific mentions of an '05 or '06 Taurus have said 79 and 79.5". However, the one youtube video I found includes a shot of the 'successful' bypass and the belt is barely but clearly deflecting on the pulley for the compressor. Apparently this is slight enough to still work, but not sure I want to chance that for half a year, or pass it on to the next owner that way.

Assuming 79.5 is the right length, can I simply remove the bolts on the AC pulley, remove it, and leave it like that?

Alternatively, I see parts listings at salvage yards mention the compressor clutch assembly is a seperate unit. How do I tell if it is just the clutch that is toast or if it is the compressor itself. If just the clutch, can I replace just it without messing with the freon lines and such? Also, no clutches show up anywhere in the whole state at the salvage website, and a search at Autozone turns up nothing, is this actually an available part?
 

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For what it's worth, I went to the local parts store, asked for a shorter belt to bypass the AC on my Chev. Cavalier, they pulled one off the shelf, I put it on, done.
 

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The clutch can be removed in place, there are many threads on it here try the search box. The part is readily available. Your comment about AZ not having a listing was surprising so I took a look myself. They do list it, in fact they have the full assembly as well as the individual components available:

 

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Could be that just the pulley brg seized...but, usually you would have had some indication that it was going bad by the grinding noise. Most likely, the compressor itself seized. Best approach without getting into it too deeply is to just find the correct belt for a bypass. No harm done if you need to remove the forward clutch hub and pulley if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The clutch can be removed in place, there are many threads on it here try the search box. The part is readily available. Your comment about AZ not having a listing was surprising so I took a look myself. They do list it, in fact they have the full assembly as well as the individual components available:

The parts didn't come up the way I was searching, website fail.

The clutch can be removed in place? There's barely a half inch between the bolts and the fender wall. could probably do them with a crowfoot except they seem to have collars around the bolts to prevent access. Is there a specialty tool for this, or another way to access things?

I'm plowing through youtube videos to find info, but does anyone have clear info on how to determine what part of the A/C system has failed down there, which of the parts I would need?
 

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You can't remove the clutch bearing without dropping the subframe on the car to get the clearance. Maybe if you take out the four bolts holding the compressor to the engine you maybe able to push it back to get clearance. Renember you have to push the bearing on to the compressor nose. The bearing is approximately an inch thick plus a little thickness for the pulley
 

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No...although it obviously would have helped. Was mainly trying to avoid the rusty subframe bolts...and, the sometimes troublesome smaller head compressor mtg bolts (10mm vs 13mm I've seen on other Fords). Getting the C-clip off was a challenge. Had to use a mirror and right-angle clip pliers. I also discovered that an aftermarket forward clutch hub was slightly thicker/deeper and wouldn't clear the space between the compressor shaft and the inner fender rail. So, back to a new Motorcraft and it just fits. All in all, this method probably didn't save me any time...just made it easier for me under the circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How does the compressor integrate with the car besides cooling and drying incoming air for warm weather? I've noticed occasional hesitation and 'power shimmy' since installing the bypass belt. Could it just be friction from dragging on the compressor pulley? I think I read something about the compressor trying to run even when A/C is not selected to constantly dehumidify and keep the seals in the system lubricated. (Seems like sucky engineering to me, if I'm just heating the cabin I definitely don't want my air any dryer than it already would be...)
 

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If your bypass belt is deflecting off the seized a/c pulley, you need to remedy this. Is it causing the symptoms you describe...who knows. Did you disconnect the power connector to the compressor? Your car will perform just fine without a working a/c compressor. Might notice it isn't quite as effective defrosting/defogging your windshield...but, believe it or not, there was a time when a/c was optional on vehicles and we all made due.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was going by the video linked in the OP and his deflected at least as much as mine but reported no problems with belt integrity after 5 months of driving. I'd remove the pulley if it were a simple enough task, but everything I'm reading and seeing by looking down at it make it seem like a major job.

Also the video didn't mention disconnecting the compressor power but I've seen it brought up elsewhere. Is there just a plug on the compressor I can pull?
 

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I don't know that's it's necessary to disconnect it...just thought it would eliminate any chance it was causing some issue with your car's performance. The plug is on the forward end of the compressor on the side facing the front of the car. However, the clip to release it is on the bottom of the plug and can be a little difficult to get your fingers on it to release the plug.
 

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I did the bypass with a generic 82.5 from Autozone without doing anything with the compressor, since the frozen clutch was causing all sorts of electrical issues, throwing all kinds of codes.
(The frozen clutch was dragging the S belt which intermittantly slowed down the alternator.) Changed it for the shorter 82.5 and it fixed everything.
That was about 4 mo ago and the belt doesn't show any wear even though it is slightly rubbing on the clutch assy and no issues yet.
 

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My screeching serpentine belt decided to snap last night. Picked up a replacement today and fitted it, but found the AC pulley is not turning. No time or resources to swap compressors (or need for AC in near future), so looking to do the minimum to get things running.

I have websearched a number of people who have bypassed the AC entirely with a shorter belt. Lots of mentions of something in the 82" range, but the specific mentions of an '05 or '06 Taurus have said 79 and 79.5". However, the one youtube video I found includes a shot of the 'successful' bypass and the belt is barely but clearly deflecting on the pulley for the compressor. Apparently this is slight enough to still work, but not sure I want to chance that for half a year, or pass it on to the next owner that way.

Assuming 79.5 is the right length, can I simply remove the bolts on the AC pulley, remove it, and leave it like that?

Alternatively, I see parts listings at salvage yards mention the compressor clutch assembly is a seperate unit. How do I tell if it is just the clutch that is toast or if it is the compressor itself. If just the clutch, can I replace just it without messing with the freon lines and such? Also, no clutches show up anywhere in the whole state at the salvage website, and a search at Autozone turns up nothing, is this actually an available part?
When I was dealing with a frozen clutch bearing in my 1998 Taurus, I remember seeing a substitute bracket and pulley that replaced the entire a/c compressor. You would still have to pull the compressor to install but might save you money.
 

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The AC clutch pulley bearing on my 97 completely disintegrated, to the point where the pulley could flap around like a shirt drying on a clothesline. Rather than just have the clutch unit replaced I bought a rebuilt compressor. At $90 off eBay is was pretty much a wash between that and buying an AC delete pulley, which would entail the same labor to install as replacing the compressor. (I traded a guy a nice laptop for doing the job.)

To see if it's the compressor that's seized, get hold of the inner part of the clutch and try to turn it in the normal running direction. (Engine off of course.) There should be some resistance but nothing grabby and definitely no hard stops. If the compressor is defekt, remove the belt and try spinning the outer part of the pulley. If it spins freely and isn't noisy nor wobbly you can get by with just unplugging the wires to the clutch until you can get the compressor replaced.

If the compressor has sent bits of itself into the system, you'll need to get it flushed and replace the orifice tube. You'll want to find out if the condenser is the micro tube style. If it's that instead of the style with the round tubes you'll have to replace the condenser because the micro tube (flat extruded aluminum tubes with several small channels) type is difficult to impossible to flush debris out of. The orifice tube replacement requires replacing one of the pipe and hose assemblies from the compressor to inside the cabin. Ford just couldn't make the pipe in two parts there with a replaceable orifice tube.

You might get lucky with a back-flush of the pipes, evaporator, and condenser with the compressor out, especially if the compressor didn't chew itself up and send pieces of itself into the rest of the system. Mine was still good, could have got by with just a new clutch and pulley, but I figured with over 100,000 miles it would be prudent to replace the compressor. Since then I've had to replace the steering pump (happy to have the DOHC with the pump right on top!) and the crank pulley. My ghod what a stupid OEM design. Someone with their head on straight engineered the simple replacement.
 
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