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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well she's done! I finished my complete autobody repair work including painting (bumper paint), plus a new IAC valve (minus a gasket which I figured out in a different thread), new battery clips, a new rearview mirror, fixed door weather strips and an undercoating. So I'm including before and after pics because I'm really, really excited :) The beginning of a new world with my Taurus.

OK the only issue: Today I drove her a lengthy distance for the first time in over a year, including 70+mph. When the A/C was on I smelled a burning smell, not too strong but distinct. The blower motor resistor is bad (just ordered the new motorcraft part) because the A/C and heat only work at full blast. Could that cause the smell? When I got out I sniffed all around the engine and couldn't smell anything, and no check engine light or any strange symptoms or smoke, she runs like a dream. At first I thought it was the exhaust of the car in front of me but it kept it up with different cars. Eventually my husband got irritated with the smell so I turned it off and we just went with the windows down and no more smell. I actually don't mind it much but maybe my nose isn't as sensitive. Any ideas of what could cause it?

Back to the autobody repair work, all the work cost about $750. The autobody repair shop gave me an estimate for the same work at $2700. And that's without the new valve, undercoating, etc. And you know that I had a mechanic laugh at me when I said I'd be doing the work myself? Jokes on him. Girl power. Ha!

Thanks for all the help, still learning just by checking the forum every day.
 

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Congratulations getting the car put back together! I know on Gen 4s people have reported that the clutch/coil assembly on the ac compressor can start smoking when it gets burned up with age. If you turn on the AC can you see the compressor turning on/off?

Check this video out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I'm going to check the compressor tomorrow when it's light out. That video was good information. I saw a motorcraft part was more then $200 on rock auto so hopefully it's not something that needs immediate replacement. They were also selling individual parts so if I could figure out the compressor itself maybe I could just fix problem parts rather then get a whole assembly. Worth a shot :wub:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks guys!

Changing the compressor sounds like a doozy, but I'm learning anything is possible as long as you take it one step at a time and those instructions were great.

I went under the hood this morning and, after watching the video a few times I think I was able to locate the compressor, a spinning wheel deep underneath the belt pulleys toward the front of the car. I turned on the engine and set it to max a/c and turned up the fan. I went back to the engine with a flashlight and everything was spinning properly. Then I left the engine on and the a/c on max for a while and no burning smell. So maybe it's not the compressor? I'm starting to wonder (and hope) that it had something to do with the engine not being run for a while and maybe the problem fixed itself. Actually, come to think of it, I think I'm going to put the A/C on max and go out and drive for about 10 minutes and see if the smell comes back. I'll come back and edit this post when I'm done.

Edit: So after a freezing cold trip, no burning smell. I figured I was in the clear, but as I was walking past the car I caught a slight whiff of something. It's sort of like the smell you get if you've ever started to drive a little with the parking brake on, but much more faint. So I went under the hood again and sniffed around thoroughly and found where the smell was coming from this time. It's the back of the engine area by the passenger side. This might explain why my husband in the passenger seat was more effected by the smell then me. That area looks like just a bunch of hoses (I'm including a picture). The engine itself wasn't overheating at all, the radiator is less then two years old, the coolant is new and still green. The belt seems fine. I'm not sure what could be back there that makes that smell when the car's running. Any ideas?
 

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Sounds like a clutch locking up occasionally.
My 00 SEL is side lined right now for the same reason.

Mike
:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is that part of the transmission? Is it something that could hold off for say 3 months with only short distance occasional driving? I'll have some extra income in 3 months and I can study hard until then...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This thread is probably getting too old for anybody to read it, but just in case:

Could it be a belt issue? Because the side where the burning smell comes from is where the belts are. I read more about the clutch and I'm not sure if that would effect my automatic transmission (still need to learn more) also it's supposed to cause a paper-burning smell and I have more of a rubber-burning smell. I did another test, this time I turned the radio down and ever so often there was a really high pitched noise. I had the belt get shredded a few years back, I had the pulleys fixed and got a new belt, but the car has a history of belt problems. Sound like an idea? Maybe I should try one of those belt lubricants they sell at the auto stores?
 

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A.C Compressor clutch bearing. I have to do mine. I have the same symptoms it even started smoking so bad one time I alomost thought the motor was on fire. Kinda frightening at first but the worst thing that can happen is the belt snaps. Oh and if it goes to long it will kill the a/c coil from what I have heard. I am just replacing the whole compressor. Since I got two tall cans of arctic freeze just sitting.

It is something about these cars once they hit over 75k prepare to work on them at least once a month during the summerB)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ah, ok, the A/C compressor clutch. I was a little confused. So even though the compressor is spinning it could still be having issues. I found some detailed instructions on replacement online, only it was for a mustang but I imagine they're similar. It would be a far reach for me I think but I'm sure I could work it out. The problem is I can't afford the parts, at least at the prices on rock auto. I spent my savings on the body work. I'm going to scavenge the house again for more things to sell on ebay though. We have to save money around for a new baby. As much as I adore my car, baby has to come first. But in September there will be bonus money so I can do repairs then (and I shouldn't be too huge to work on the car by then). In the meantime I can drive only short distances and roll down the windows rather then use the A/C. Think that would help to keep things from getting worse?

On rock auto they have a whole A/C compressor, motorcraft for $204. Then they've got individual parts: bypass pulley, clutch, clutch coil, clutch hub, clutch pulley, and clutch shim. Do you think I'd need the whole compressor or just an individual part, like just the clutch?
 

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You could replace the bearing yourself. Not a hard job and you wont have to recharge the system if you leave it on the car. But it can be difficult to access and you may have to drop the sub frame to get to it. $204 is not bad for a genuine motorcraft compressor though, just make sure it comes with the clutch attached. The bearing is cheaper however if the coil or clutch is damaged I would just get a new compressor and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok that sounds good. Before replacing anything I'm going to try jacking the car up and get a closer look to see if more then the bearing needs replacement. If more looks damaged I'm thinking about replacing the whole compressor. If that's the case, I'm also thinking about wimping out and taking it to the dealership. But I've found good information on the forums, I've got the video provided and googling and info in Hayne's to help make the decision.

One last question if anybody knows: I still can't repair this problem till September. If I don't use the A/C, will that help mitigate any additional damage that could be caused by driving the car before repairing the problem? Or will the compressor continue to operate even if I am not running the A/C.

Thanks for all the help, this has been really informative.
 

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Yes, the compressor will continue to operate even if you don't use AC. You could disable the compressor by disconnecting the electric connection to the clutch. But if indeed the clutch bearing is bad, even then the clutch may seize up and snap the belt.
 

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Does the AC still work? If it works, you could just replace the clutch. It's not a hard job, although access may be an issue. Many here on the forum have done it without taking out the compressor. A new clutch costs less than $100 at NAPA.

Depending on the year and trim, accessing the clutch could be very hard. Another thing, you need to use the right shims to get a correct gap for the clutch plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've got a 1994 Taurus GL. The A/C still works fine, it's only the burning smell I'm noticing and that seems to be somewhat intermittent. I've been looking at motorcraft parts on rock auto because I've seen many recommendations for them in the forums. On rock auto getting a bearing, clutch and shim starts to approach $200. But you think napa parts would be ok? Or maybe the Adelco parts on rock auto? That would save a lot of money.

I was hoping any special tools I might need would be available for rent at autozone but I'm not sure what they provide. The Hayne's manual mentions a spring lock coupling tool.

The manual also says I would need to remove the power steering pump to get to the compressor. There's a special tool (steering pump pulley remover) I would need for that also. It's all a little overwhelming, but if I follow the instructions step by step I could do it I'm sure. I've just not really done much internal work like this before and I don't want to make the problem worse rather then better.

I still need to search the forums for personal experience on removing a power steering pump.
 

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Congrats on your completed body work! If you have the patience to make that look good you can definately do the mechanicals :) One other thing to check before you order any parts is to see if an idler pulley is freezing up and causing the problem. I've seen them either wobble loosely when the bearing falls apart or sieze up from the heat of friction. If it seizes it would squeal and the belt would have to slide over it causing the burning rubber smell. Just a thought. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!
 
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