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A/C compressor/pulley wet?? Leak behind clutch? Help??

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Old 05-17-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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A/C compressor/pulley wet?? Leak behind clutch? Help??

Hey all, I was under my truck today and noticed the bottom of the a/c clutch/pulley was wet, no clue where its coming from. Any ideas? Also, this truck has been sitting for the past 6 months during a rebuild and I have just started driving it.

Also to note, I dont even have the belt for the A/C compressor on (wasn't on when I got it) because the Idler pulley was so full of mud it wouldn't turn, I got it off and I am putting on a new pulley and belt this weekend, but should I with the A/C compressor "leaking?" Help me please!
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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Does it have a color? An odor?


I may be confused....but theres no pulley on it because the compressor is "full of mud" and seized? So you're putting a belt back on? That will fuck your belt in 30 seconds. You have a new compressor? And it is leaking? The only thing it could possibly leak is refrigerant. If the AC compressor itself it leaking, it is refrigerant.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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No color or odor as far as I can tell, I swiped it with my finger. I can be more investigative about it tomorrow.

The compressor wasn't full of mud & seized, the idler pulley was. Also, compressor isn't new, probably original on 03 taco 3.4 120k
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Is it water? don't try drinking it though. Basically put on the idler and see if the AC works...
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Water? I'm not sure where water would be coming from. It's the only wet part under the hood.

I'm just afraid to hook it all up and try it and it burn up the compressor, b/c I'm not sure I can afford a new one!
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #6
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Then it is refrigerant. wipe it off see if it comes back. R134 refrigerant is green and smelly. If it is, you'll be able to tell for sure. The leak is either water dripping off the compressor, refrigerant, or coming from somewhere else.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NastyBuzzard View Post
Water? I'm not sure where water would be coming from. It's the only wet part under the hood.

I'm just afraid to hook it all up and try it and it burn up the compressor, b/c I'm not sure I can afford a new one!
If it's leaking from behind the pulley (front seal) the compressor is already toast.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:35 PM   #8
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The AC system uses ester oil and refrigerant, so the oil leaking out is the ester oil. It's probably leaking from the front compressor seal along with a little bit of refrigerant. Mine has been leaking for over a year and the AC still works. It will need a new compressor some time in the future, but a little bit of oil is not catastrophic.

OP said the idler pulley is jammed and not the compressor pulley. It should be easily replaced, and the AC might even work.

A used compressor can be had for less than a hundo, but make sure you pump the system down to a vacuum after installing the new one and charging it back up.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koco View Post
The AC system uses ester oil and refrigerant, so the oil leaking out is the ester oil. It's probably leaking from the front compressor seal along with a little bit of refrigerant. Mine has been leaking for over a year and the AC still works. It will need a new compressor some time in the future, but a little bit of oil is not catastrophic.

OP said the idler pulley is jammed and not the compressor pulley. It should be easily replaced, and the AC might even work.

A used compressor can be had for less than a hundo, but make sure you pump the system down to a vacuum after installing the new one and charging it back up.

Honestly, I wouldn't ever suggest doing any A/C work yourself.
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Old 05-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PartyBusGaming View Post
Honestly, I wouldn't ever suggest doing any A/C work yourself.
+1

For one thing, it's illegal to vent the system, but beyond that, venting the system introduces atmospheric moisture, and properly evacuating, purging, and recharging the system is not something that can be done with parts purchased from Autozone.

The DIY recharge kits aren't even good for DIY recharging... systems are frequently overcharged by those things.
You have to read both the low and high side, read the ambient and evaporator temperature, and know how to factor them together for the proper charge.

It's not rocket science, but it's not something for the shadetree grease monkey.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PartyBusGaming View Post
Honestly, I wouldn't ever suggest doing any A/C work yourself.
I know how to perform the work myself though.

It is nothing to be afraid of; it just takes some careful steps. The vacuum pump and manifold gauge set are the main specialty tools involved, and are not super costly. The system has to be pulled down to a vacuum before adding refrigerant and oil.

If there is refrigerant in the system, an AC shop will suck it out probably for free because it's expensive.

It is not science of rocket. Similar to posting on a forum, you have to follow the steps.
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:03 AM   #12
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I plan on putting the pulley on and the belt today. Only thing is, I don't have to bolt to tighten/loosen idler pulley. So once I find a way to get it tight ill try the A/C out.

I'm pretty sure if its ester oil I can buy some to replace what's leaking, correct? Just how do you put it in?

I tried to see what color or smell it had, but previous owner played in too much mud so every sample I try to get is just brown from all the dried mud caked everywhere, which is not easy to get off!
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NastyBuzzard View Post
I'm pretty sure if its ester oil I can buy some to replace what's leaking, correct? Just how do you put it in?
No disrespect intended, but if you have to ask this question, you should not attempt to perform any service on the pressurized portion of the AC system.

You can't just "add oil" like an engine. The lubricant is carried with the refrigerant, and if oil is leaking, the R134a is likely leaking as well.

When you turn the AC on, if the compressor does not kick in, or starts but cycles off and on, it is low on charge and needs to be serviced by a shop that can properly evacuate the system, repair the failed components, and install the proper quantities of lubricant and refrigerant.

Hopefully, you will only need a new compressor and accumulator/dryer. If the old compressor failed, then it shed parts into the system.
The evaporator can likely be flushed, but modern condensors are not easily flushed. The orifice tube will also need to be replaced.

Budget around $1000 and you should get a couple hundred back if the compressor needs to be replaced.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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The oil is added through the low pressure service port with a charging hose. If only a tiny bit leaked out, it shouldn't need more. The oil and refrigerant have to be added to the system in pretty precise amounts. Too much oil or refrigerant will cause a system failure.

I would say that if there is still enough pressure left in the system for it to run with the belt hooked up, there will be no damage from running it. There will be enough oil left below the front seal level and in other parts of the system to run it safely. If the compressor doesn't engage, ( you won't hear it click when turning the AC on) the low pressure switch is preventing it from running. It's a safety feature to keep it from running without refrigerant. In that case, it will need to be tested.

Right now, you might not have a really expensive repair on your hands, but you will not be able to service the AC without the technical documentation and the tools.

So, pretty much what Rich said.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:38 AM   #15
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Well I tried to put on the new idler pulley and belt and ran into some complications. I will go at it again as soon as I can.

I understand the importance of not attempting to work on the A/C system without proper tooling and equipment. I don't plan to break any lines or anything to release anything harmful into the ozone.

However, all I'm doing is putting on the pulley and the belt. I never intended to work on the A/C system at all. I plan to test it and see if it works. I may add some R134 w/ some leak detection/ sealer or possibly take it to my friends shop so he can test the system. If the compressor doesn't click on after I install the belt, I plan to remove the belt until its tested. I don't want it to lock down and cause a fire or anything.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NastyBuzzard View Post
Well I tried to put on the new idler pulley and belt and ran into some complications. I will go at it again as soon as I can.

I understand the importance of not attempting to work on the A/C system without proper tooling and equipment. I don't plan to break any lines or anything to release anything harmful into the ozone.

However, all I'm doing is putting on the pulley and the belt. I never intended to work on the A/C system at all. I plan to test it and see if it works. I may add some R134 w/ some leak detection/ sealer or possibly take it to my friends shop so he can test the system. If the compressor doesn't click on after I install the belt, I plan to remove the belt until its tested. I don't want it to lock down and cause a fire or anything.

If the compressor doesn't click on when the belt is installed, you won't have to take the belt off. The compressor has a electric clutch on the front of it, and when it's off it doesn't spin the inside of the compressor. You won't damage the AC by having the belt installed on it.

Adding refrigerant is a risky proposition because adding too much might cause damage. The basic test is to hook up a pressure gauge to the service port to see what's in there. If it's completely empty, it must be pulled down to a vacuum before charging.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #17
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Compressor came on and the A/C is COLD!!! That is the good news.

1st off, doing that setup makes me miss a Chevy. I couldn't find the right length replacement bolt to tighten down the idler shoulder bolt, so I had to improvise with washers.

Also, the replacement pulley, doesn't allow for the washer/spacer that was on originally to be put back in, and the pulleys dont align 100% correctly in my opinion. Any advice on that?

Next, there are two issues. One, I swear its making a funny sound under my hood now, I actually hear some funny noise that is louder than the injectors ticking. Although this is the first time I have heard this truck run with A/C working.

The big issue is when I rev it up, I see what looks like a little amount of splash on the wheel well. Still colorless and odorless. Any ideas???
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:20 PM   #18
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All of that is really hard to guess at. Maybe post some photos of the bracket and belts. It sounds like something isn't installed the right way.

The best way to find fluid leaks is to wash the engine (don't spray water into the alternator or starter) and then you'll see the trail of fluid.
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:31 PM   #19
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There is no fluid leaking anywhere else. The only place that is wet is/was on the bottom of the a/c compressor pulley. However, its hard for me to tell where its coming from. I can try and take pics of everything. I got the replacement pulley from Advanced, it is the same size as in diameter and thickness as the origanl, just the hole in the bearing isn't same size as original so the spacer/washer on the original application doesnt work.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:48 PM   #20
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Also, the little dripper that drips excess water/moisture after a/c runs is for some reason dripping the water right on top of the flange for the exhaust. Is that normal or is it turned some how? All you can hear after I park is tsssss......tssss........tss......... Lol.

Still have to take pics, I think I am going to order the idler with sealed bearing off of rock auto tonight but for now I have the idler pulley spaced out with washers so the noise I was hearing is now gone.

Still no clue about the small/itty bitty leak the compressor has.
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