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2005 Taurus 3.0 V6 A/C clutch making noise


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#1 topsy

 
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Posted 12 January 2008 - 12:58 PM

The car is a little more than 3 years old with 36,000 miles.

Recently I've been getting noise from the front of the engine, which I assumed was from a belt driven device. To confirm it, I removed the belt and started the engine, noise was gone.

Using a long pry bar to listen to each item, it was hard to tell, but it sounded like the A/C compressor is the culprit. The pulley is definitely moving around, so it's most likely the problem.

From what little info I can find, it sounds like I can get a new clutch and associated parts and repair it.

Does my diagnosis sound correct?

The most important question is where can I get some detailed instructions on the repair?

Thanks!

#2 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 12 January 2008 - 03:06 PM

Does the noise change when the a/c compressor engages / disengages? Sometimes all that is needed is a air gap adjustment. As the a/c clutch wears, the air gap gets bigger. But either way, a air gap adjustment or clutch replacement is a sort of big job. The subframe needs to come down some to access the a/c compressor.

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#3 topsy

 
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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE (Karrpilot @ Jan 12 2008, 08:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does the noise change when the a/c compressor engages / disengages? Sometimes all that is needed is a air gap adjustment. As the a/c clutch wears, the air gap gets bigger. But either way, a air gap adjustment or clutch replacement is a sort of big job. The subframe needs to come down some to access the a/c compressor.



Yes, when you turn on the a/c, it gets really loud. I'm assuming it's more of an air gap problem since the pulley seems to have quite a bit of movement, whereas the other pulleys don't move around. Can't I pull the compressor out of it's bracket for service?

#4 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 12 January 2008 - 08:55 PM

I do not remember the exact adjustment proceadure. If you have to pull the compressor out to do it. Most Ford vehicles you can adjust the air gap without pulling the compressor, or discharging the a/c charge. You just need to access the pulley itself. And the only way to do that on a Taurus is to drop down the subframe.

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#5 Jim Warman

 
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Posted 12 January 2008 - 11:13 PM

Measure the air gap between the pulley and the driven member with a feeler blade in at least three places.... Spec is (memory thing) 0.014" to 0.030"... To adjust the air gap, the DRIVEN member is removed... you will find a shim between this and the compressor shaft. These are selective thickness.

The mating surfaces between the pulley and the driven member need to be relatively smooth...

FWIW... I see excessive air gap as being a reason for the clutch not to engage... but I don't see it as a reason for noise.

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#6 m-chan68

 
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Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:03 AM

QUOTE (Jim Warman @ Jan 13 2008, 01:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Measure the air gap between the pulley and the driven member with a feeler blade in at least three places.... Spec is (memory thing) 0.014" to 0.030"... To adjust the air gap, the DRIVEN member is removed... you will find a shim between this and the compressor shaft. These are selective thickness.

The mating surfaces between the pulley and the driven member need to be relatively smooth...

FWIW... I see excessive air gap as being a reason for the clutch not to engage... but I don't see it as a reason for noise.

I agree with Jim. Excessive air gap would cause a non-engagement concern as opposed to the noise you've described in your question. If it is the newer style "swash-plate" type compressor, I have personally seen more of them fail. Sounds like a new compressor itself is what you need. And yes, as karrpilot already advised, the subframe on the right side of a Taurus does need to be dropped a few inches to enable compressor access, removal and replacement.
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#7 topsy

 
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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (m-chan68 @ Jan 13 2008, 06:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with Jim. Excessive air gap would cause a non-engagement concern as opposed to the noise you've described in your question. If it is the newer style "swash-plate" type compressor, I have personally seen more of them fail. Sounds like a new compressor itself is what you need. And yes, as karrpilot already advised, the subframe on the right side of a Taurus does need to be dropped a few inches to enable compressor access, removal and replacement.



I can put the car on jack stands. How feasible is it to drop the subframe enough (presumably using a jack) to get the necessary clearance? Am I loosening several bolts, or removing them? How many bolts are involved?

I'm considering an online subscription to Helm to get the factory repair information.

Thanks

#8 raven_hammer

 
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Posted 14 January 2008 - 11:53 AM

QUOTE (topsy @ Jan 14 2008, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I can put the car on jack stands. How feasible is it to drop the subframe enough (presumably using a jack) to get the necessary clearance? Am I loosening several bolts, or removing them? How many bolts are involved?

I'm considering an online subscription to Helm to get the factory repair information.

Thanks

Put the jackstands on the body seams and remove both of the right side sub-frame bolts adn lower it down with a floor jack. The clutch plate is held on with a 8mm bolt. If you need to replace the pulley as well it is held on with a snap ring. The pulley does not slide off the compressor as easily. It takes a bit of tapping to remove.
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#9 Warren Johnson

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 07:54 AM

You say the pully seems to move. Are you realy checking the pully or are you checking the clutch. If the pully is moving you have a bad bearing on the pully if the clutch is moving this is normal. it is spring loaded on the front of the pully
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#10 carnut

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:46 AM

The bearing in the clutch only moves when the AC is off.
1) does the AC work?
2) If yes, does the noise go away with the AC on?
If the AC works and the noise goes away, then the clutch is probably got a bad pulley. If the noise is still there with the AC on, then you may have something else making noise. If the AC doesn't work, the compressor is suspect, but it could be excessive air gap in the clutch.
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#11 topsy

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:59 AM

QUOTE (carnut @ Jan 15 2008, 01:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The bearing in the clutch only moves when the AC is off.
1) does the AC work?
2) If yes, does the noise go away with the AC on?
If the AC works and the noise goes away, then the clutch is probably got a bad pulley. If the noise is still there with the AC on, then you may have something else making noise. If the AC doesn't work, the compressor is suspect, but it could be excessive air gap in the clutch.



The AC seems to work fine.

When the AC is off, it's making quite a loud noise. It got a lot louder in a short amount of time, about a week.

When the AC is on, it get's even louder, maybe as much as twice as much.

I noticed that the pulley seems to be "moving around" some. It certainly isn't anywhere as near as stable as the power steering pump pulley or the water pump pulley.

I went ahead and got an online subscription to the shop manual, interesting that it doesn't say anything about lowering the subframe when servicing the compressor. Is this something that you guys learned on your own? Seems pretty simple, if I understand correctly it's just 2 bolts per side, so I would only remove 2 bolts?

#12 raven_hammer

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

QUOTE (topsy @ Jan 15 2008, 08:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The AC seems to work fine.

When the AC is off, it's making quite a loud noise. It got a lot louder in a short amount of time, about a week.

When the AC is on, it get's even louder, maybe as much as twice as much.

I noticed that the pulley seems to be "moving around" some. It certainly isn't anywhere as near as stable as the power steering pump pulley or the water pump pulley.

I went ahead and got an online subscription to the shop manual, interesting that it doesn't say anything about lowering the subframe when servicing the compressor. Is this something that you guys learned on your own? Seems pretty simple, if I understand correctly it's just 2 bolts per side, so I would only remove 2 bolts?

Yeah dropping the frame is something we all learned along the way. Big headache saver. Your problem may be more than just a pulley though. You may have a compresor going bad on you causing all of this to happend. Is the clutch plate looking rusty or have a red tint to it like it's been getting hot?
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#13 topsy

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 11:18 AM

Can't answer that question yet, but I'm going to take a look at it tomorrow (Wednesday). Right now, the car is just sitting in the garage, trying not to use it any.

#14 carnut

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 05:43 PM

I am wondering if the pulley is comming loose.
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#15 topsy

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 07:17 PM

QUOTE (carnut @ Jan 15 2008, 05:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am wondering if the pulley is comming loose.


I just took the belt off the pulley and I can move the pulley in and out at least a 1/16" most likely more than that. Is the pulley supposed to move around like that?

#16 raven_hammer

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 07:46 PM

Pulley or clutch plate? If the pulley is moving in and out, that's not good
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#17 topsy

 
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Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE (raven_hammer @ Jan 15 2008, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Pulley or clutch plate? If the pulley is moving in and out, that's not good


Definitely the pulley, I had a firm grip on the pulley and could easily move it around.

What's everyone's best guess? Would a broken snap ring cause this? Do you think this is repairable or am I looking at buying a new compressor?

#18 raven_hammer

 
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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:14 AM

If all it does is move in and out and has no lateral play than all it may be is the snap ring. But it may also be that the snout of the compressor has cracked and the snap ring will no longer stay on holding the pulley from moving. Hopefully the snout isn't worn down from the pulley walking around on it, and you don't need a new compressor.
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#19 dmullenax

 
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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:29 AM

Aftermarket clutch, coil and pulley kit: $100.00

Remanufactured compressor w/clutch, coil and pulley: $150.00

I wouldn't waste my time, effort or knuckle skin trying to replace the pulley in the car. First, you don't have the right tools to do it (floor jacks, jackstands, big-ass prybars, feeler guages, pulley puller, etc.).

If it were my personal car, I'd plan on taking the compressor out the top, which will require removal of the fan and alt. and maybe the radiator, but it'll be way easier than trying to seperate the subframe while laying on your back.

#20 topsy

 
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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:35 AM

I have a question about lowering the subframe. Is the passenger side, front bolt almost directly under the A/C compressor? In that area, I see two bolts protuding, one with a nylon locking nut and it is much larger than the one next to it. It looks like the smaller bolt is holding something on the top of the subframe, under the compressor, but I can't see what it is (not that it would seem to matter).

I'm assuming the other bolt/nut will be the same at the rear of the subframe.

Thanks

PS: How much can I safely lower the subframe?




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