AC clutch bearing issues (need opinions)

Discussion in '96-04 - 2V Specific' started by Chris111, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Chris111

    Chris111 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Car: 98 GT

    I noticed that I've been getting a slight squeal from the engine bay lately so I figured it was the tensioner or idler pulley going. I opened the hood and listened and it seemed to be coming from that area. It was king of hard to tell considering the coils, ac lines, and radiator hose. I replace the idler and nothing changed. I then swapped the tensioner pulley for the idler and nothing changed.

    I took the belt off completely and spun all of the pulleys and couldn't really make sense of it so I figured that I'd look more at the ac clutch and pulley. If I turned the ac on then the noise was almost gone and if I turned it off than it would be loud again. I figured the only logical thing would be that the bearing in the pulley was bad. So I replaced it with the $14 dollar Santech bearing from autozone and now it's even louder.

    I'm racking my brain here trying to figure this out because it seems so obvious. I turn the ac on then the hub spins with the pulley and the noise goes away. I turn it off and the noise comes back. If it were the compressor bearing than I would get noise while it's spinning and not stationary while it's not engaged I'd think.

    Am I missing something obvious that I'm over looking?
     
  2. 96laseredcobra

    96laseredcobra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    Farmington MO
    I'm having this same issue. I've replaced the idler and tensioner pulleys to no avail. If I lube the ac pulley it stops then comes back. So next week I'll be changing the whole unit. Let me know if you find a cheaper alterative.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  3. Chris111

    Chris111 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    Before I replaced the bearing on the pulley I did spray wd40 on the bearing area without the clutch and the noise stopped at idle but it would still squeal if I raised the rpm. I figured that it was certainly the bearing. I replaced it and now it's constant.

    I'm going to try anther bearing tomorrow and see if the bearing was bad also. I just think that it's odd because it's a new bearing.
     
  4. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

    Messages:
    5,649
    Likes Received:
    670
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    South Mississippi
    How many miles do the cars have? Does the a/c work good? Have you guys checked the air gap on the compressor clutch? You may need to put a new clutch assembly on the a/c compressor.
     
  5. 96laseredcobra

    96laseredcobra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    Farmington MO
    217707 on mine and what's the air gap?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  6. Thomas_W

    Thomas_W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Capon Bridge, WV
    There should be a slight gal between the ribbed pulley and the front of the clutch. If the ribber pulley is able to move forward and rub on the clutch, it'll squeel and make all sorts of fun noises.
     
  7. 96laseredcobra

    96laseredcobra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,387
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Location:
    Farmington MO
    If that happens what is cure?

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  8. Thomas_W

    Thomas_W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    44
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    Capon Bridge, WV
    New AC compressor clutch.

    Ive got the same thing going on with my 99.. If i wasnt in Florida, id just delete the AC all together. Lol
     
  9. Chris111

    Chris111 New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2015
    To clarify on the comment about the ac clutch assembly. The clutch hub boots to the compressor shaft and is spaced out using washers for shims. If I recall spec is something like .25-.40
    In my experience the bushings wear on the clutch hub and contact will make a light metallic grinding noise.

    To to the original post.

    I found the problem. After checking pulley alignment I noticed that the tensioner was bouncing. As I was watching it I noticed that the belt was actually riding off the pulley by a rib or two. I take the belt and tensioner off and to my surprise I find that the tensioner is actually bent. The arm and pulley were actually angled from the mount surface. The noise was actually caused by belt squeal the whole time. The noise went away when the ac was on because of load on the belt and tensioner.

    I was surprised that the tensioner was actually bent. This is a prime example as to why you should always go over all the diag steps. I know better as I'm certified. I just simply overlooked something obvious because of the ac cycle with the noise. Oh well...replaced the tensioner and I'm back in business.