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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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My `04 Duratec Taurus suddenly started smoking under the hood today and when I was able to pull over and raise the hood there was nothing noticeably wrong. None of the idiot lights came on and the brakes weren't dragging but I did find the above pictured piece of rubber lying in the frame just below the A/C compressor pulley. There were several other small chunks of rubber lying there also but this was the largest and only identifiable piece. It's definitely burnt on the bottom but I have no idea where it came from. Any ideas?
 

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Looks like the rubber isolator from the AC clutch hub. You probably need a new clutch/bearing. Don't use the AC if this is the case. The bearing will most likely fail soon.
 

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I agree, looks like rubber from the a/c clutch. Avoid driving it until you can replace the a/c clutch: the bearing will go out whether you use the a/c or not, and will seize up, breaking the belt and leaving you stranded. The question is, how many miles are on the car, and should you just replace the clutch, or spend a bit more and replace the whole compressor (those wear out and start to leak r-134a around the shaft).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have a about 105,000 miles on the car. Is the replacement of the clutch hub a do it yourself job or should I take it to the garage?

After looking at it further it looks like the clutch hub is an easy thing to replace. But why would the hub fail? Is the clutch itself the problem?
 

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The cause of the problem is widening of the air gap due to wear. The gap is set by shims. The result is slippage which causes heat which cooks the bearing. If the pulley friction surface is OK, you can replace just the bearing and the hub. It is difficult to access.
 
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