After my 2006 LGT fell victim to the crank pulley delamination problem
, which threw an A/C belt and destroyed my A/C wiring harness, I was faced with having the A/C compressor replaced ($820 at the dealer).
The service manual makes no mention of the magnetic clutch assembly being replaceable/serviceable on the compressor. In fact, the manual claims that if the clutch is faulty, the entire compressor must be replaced. As it turns out, replacing the magnetic clutch assembly is not only possible ... it's actually very straightforward. This is very useful information if you're replacing a destroyed wiring harness like I was. The wiring harness is part of the magnetic clutch, NOT the compressor itself.
So, rather than having a new compressor installed ... hit eBay up for a used junkyard compressor (I got mine for $85 shipped), and just swap the magnetic clutch!
- Phillips screwdriver (to remove the plastic engine cover)
- 10mm & 12mm sockets
- 4" & 8" extensions (needed to easily remove the v-belt cover)
- Snap ring pliers, preferably both straight and bent (or a small-bladed flat screwdriver, if you're patient)
- Feeler gauge
- Optional: Large channel lock pliers, chain wrench, or deep well socket (see below)
First, pop the hood and remove the plastic engine cover. Then, using 10mm & 12mm sockets, remove the v-belt cover. Using a 12mm socket, loosen the A/C v-belt (if present). You don't need to completely remove the A/C v-belt, but you will want to pull it off of the compressor pulley and move it out of your way.
First, you need to remove the 10mm bolt holding the clutch itself on:
You can do this easily with a ratchet and 10mm socket. The only catch is that the clutch will spin with the bolt. So, you need to hold the clutch from spinning while you loosen the bolt. You could do this with a very big channel lock pliers, a chain wrench, or just wedge something in there so that the clutch won't turn. In my case, I wedged a deep well 11mm socket (honestly, the 4" socket extension would probably work just as well):
Once the bolt comes out, the outer clutch half will just slide right off. You'll see the snap ring that holds the compressor pulley on. If you are planning to reuse your existing clutch parts (pulley & outer clutch half), PAY ATTENTION TO HOW MANY WASHERS ARE IN PLACE HERE (see picture). These washers act as shims to ensure proper clutch clearance, and in some cases you may have more than one (mine had two):
Once you've set the washer(s) aside, you need to remove the snap ring holding the pulley on. This can be done with a snap ring pliers, or a small flat screwdriver. With a small screwdriver, you simply work around the ring prying it out from the groove it's seated in. With a snap ring pliers ... well, if you have a snap ring pliers you know how it works.
Once the snap ring is removed, the pulley will slide right off. What's left now is the electromagnet that engages & disengages the clutch, turning the compressor on and off. This is the part that needs to be replaced if your wiring harness was destroyed by a thrown v-belt. This is also held in by a snap ring, which is easiest to get to with a big set of 45-degree bent snap ring pliers. If you're going to try and remove this one with a flat blade screwdriver, be very careful not to gouge the shaft on which the pulley bearing sits:
Once the snap ring is removed, the magnet will slide right off of the compressor. At this point, perform these same steps on your junkyard compressor, removing the clutch, pulley, and magnet. Installation is the reverse of removal.
Two notes on reinstallation:
First, the outer clutch slides onto a splined shaft (as seen in photos above). The clutch and the splined shaft are keyed, so don't force the clutch onto the shaft if it resists. There is a black dot (seen in photos above) on the splined shaft. This must mate up with a flat spot on the inside of the clutch:
Second, if you're reusing the clutch & pulley from your old compressor, just make sure you put any and all washers back on BEFORE the outer clutch half. With the proper number & thickness of washers in place, you should find that the clearance between the clutch surfaces (measured with a feeler gauge) is within the spec listed in the factory service manual: 0.45-0.15 mm (0.0177-0.0059 in)
That's it! Hopefully someone finds this useful!