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Air Conditioning Blues

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by FreeHeel, May 26, 2010.

  1. May 26, 2010 at 6:39 AM
    #1
    FreeHeel

    FreeHeel [OP] Not Dead But Definitely Dying

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    The Truck: 2006 Tacoma[​IMG], 2.7, 5 speed with 32K on the clock

    The Problem: When the AC is turned on (with the truck running obviously) I'm getting a nasty squeal which lasts a few seconds then the AC light in the cab blinks and the system shuts itself down (a fail safe I think). It seems as though the compressor clutch is engaging but the compressor pulley won't spin, hence the nasty squeal. I suspect the compressor has seized for reasons unknown. What I'm wondering is if there could be anything else causing this other than a seized compressor... Low refrigerant? Bad pressure cutout switch?

    I'm likely grasping at straws here but can't come close to affording a new compressor, clutch, evac, refill etc. etc.

    Items Already Checked: Fuses ok, wiring to compressor has no obvious cuts or loose wires and I can spin the clutch by hand while the truck is off.

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!
     
  2. Jun 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM
    #2
    b0ules

    b0ules Fresh frame!

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    I'm in *exactly* the same boat as of yesterday. Everything was fine on Saturday night, AC blew super cold and life was good. No noises, no drama. Then Sunday I hit the AC button, heard what sounded like one of those Awooooga horns from under the hood as the belt slipped on the locked pulley (was so loud that people in front of me at a light thought I was honking), and the AC light went into flash mode...

    I had a look under the hood, and there's a nice red 'dust' between the AC clutch and compressor which leads me to believe that my front bearing on the compressor is fragged.

    I've got a call into my trusted mechanic and I'll report back with the outcome but I've got a feeling that it's gonna cost me... Parts websites show $900+ in the US to replace - I really don't want to know what the part would cost me up here in Canada!

    Cheers,
    Marc
     
  3. Jun 28, 2010 at 10:52 AM
    #3
    COMAtized99

    COMAtized99 Well-Known Member

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    The cab, Bed and frame are stock...
    is the belt tight? when the compressor clutch locks it adds a load to the belt, if its loose it will slipp.. i hope its that simple for ya.. hate to hear your having trouble with your truck:(
     
  4. Jun 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM
    #4
    PreRunnerSeth

    PreRunnerSeth Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like your compressor is seized. Clutch engages, belt squeals trying to turn seized compressor, eventually disengages clutch and shows error. look for black stuff on the A/C compressor pulley.
     
  5. Jun 28, 2010 at 4:08 PM
    #5
    concrete jedi

    concrete jedi Well-Known Member

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    Broken and scratched tailgate, cracked rear tail light lens, coffee stain in driver seat.
    I'm sorry but the end is near, I just replaced the A/C unit on my 2006, I went outside the dealer and still spent 1200.00 dollars, sorry cool but you're about to get very hot and un-comfortable. You can try the mothership but chances are they are going to say "sux 2 b u"
     
  6. Jun 28, 2010 at 4:40 PM
    #6
    b0ules

    b0ules Fresh frame!

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    Well, with some pointers from my mechanic I did a little diagnostic work and the answer isn't as bad as I'd anticipated...sorta.

    I can move the compressor by hand by turning the center of the pulley with the vehicle off (duh). The compressor gives about the same amount of resistance as a chainsaw or mower engine. So it's fine.

    But what's fragged (and where the red dust came from) is the clutch assembly. When the clutch is engaged with the switch, it locks in place but then can't rotate due to a bearing within being seized.

    So, for about half the price of a compressor assembly, I can get the parts and have him replace the clutch. BUT, he did say that we run the risk of messing up the front seal on the compressor. His advice (and I tend to agree with this guy a lot) is that since it's a keeper, I should just do the whole thing. I won't have to do any lines though, as there's no internal mess from a compressor that blew up. THANK GOD...

    He advised against reman'd compressors as he sees those leak a lot, but wants to know the name-brand of the aftermarket replacement I've found. It's about 1/3 the US price of the OEM part and it's already here in Canada, so I'm really tempted to pull the trigger.

    Again, I'll report back with what he has to say about the aftermarket brand I found being sold on ebay.

    Cheers,
    Marc
     
  7. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:12 PM
    #7
    FreeHeel

    FreeHeel [OP] Not Dead But Definitely Dying

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    Ditto with mine.

    If the bearing inside the clutch pulley is seized you will have resistance and/or noise and/or a broken belt even with the AC off as this bearing allows the AC pulley to "freewheel" around the compressor shaft with the AC off and the engine running. If you are only getting the squeal with the AC on then it is unlikely that your problem is the pulley bearing.

    Here's a pic of the AC clutch that may make some sense of it...

    [​IMG]

    In my case, what failed was the outermost ring or "clutch hub". It's actually supposed to be one piece but is actually comprised of three concentric circles. The outermost circle is metal, followed by a rubber circle (that allows the hub to "flex" inward and engage with the pulley when the magnet pulls) and finally an inner metal circle. On mine, the 2 metal rings became separated from the rubber ring and would simply spin around on each other with the AC on. The metal/rubber rubbing together caused the "squeal like a stuck pig" noise.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:25 PM
    #8
    WTtoolman

    WTtoolman Facial bones colapse as I crack your skull in half

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    The AC compressor, clutch and condensor all had to be replaced on my 2005 Tacoma. I hadn't even owned the truck for 3 days before I had the infamous compressor squeal. Luckily I still had the option for purchasing the extended warranty through my credit union.
     
  9. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:37 PM
    #9
    FreeHeel

    FreeHeel [OP] Not Dead But Definitely Dying

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    Forgot to mention that the ONLY place I could find JUST an AC clutch replacement was the dealer and they wanted $600 or so if memory serves me correctly... I was able to find a new OEM clutch AND compressor online for $445 so I went that route, used only the clutch and now have a spare compressor should I need it.
     
  10. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:42 PM
    #10
    WTtoolman

    WTtoolman Facial bones colapse as I crack your skull in half

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    Try ebay or an online parts finder.
     
  11. Jun 29, 2010 at 8:54 PM
    #11
    FreeHeel

    FreeHeel [OP] Not Dead But Definitely Dying

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    I feel like I looked EVERWHERE and could not locate just the AC clutch other than the dealer. Pre 2005, and they can be had all over the place for $150 or so. I even tried to cross reference the clutch/compressor to see if it is used on other vehicles but was unable to confirm that. Tried calling Delphi and they were of zero help. Too bad Toyota didn't use a Denso part instead of a crappy Delphi. Never had a single problem with the 5 previous pickups/Tacomas I owned that used Denso parts.
     
  12. Jul 15, 2010 at 1:35 PM
    #12
    b0ules

    b0ules Fresh frame!

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    Ok, I follow you on the slipping rubber issue and it all makes sense.

    As you saw, I'm finding that it's far cheaper to go aftermarket or used for the whole compressor/clutch assembly instead of just a clutch. I've sourced a used one online and I'm going to take the gamble. The whole thing's still half the price of a new clutch from the dealer...

    Cheers,
    Marc
     
  13. Jul 15, 2010 at 9:09 PM
    #13
    troy_279

    troy_279 Active Member

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    I managed to find a new a/c compressor online for my 02 taco with the 3.4 for $190. it was about $300 by the time i got it to Canada but that was $500 cheaper than the dealer wanted to sell it for!
     
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