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Old 07-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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Default A/C help...

Hey everyone.... new to the forum thanks to an a/c issue on my 1997 Buick LeSabre.

So I've tried to do alot of reading online, but I am a little confused as to what to think

PROBLEM-
A/C 'pulley' makes grinding noise only when a/c is turned off. Once you hit the a/c button inside the car the noise instantly stops and the a/c runs great! Or pretty good at least...

so after doing some inspection, the inside of the pulley turns freely (I'm not familiar with the parts lingo, so excuse my homemade terminology) while the outer part of the pulley that the belt rests on does not turn. Also there are tiny metal flakes resting on the frame/shield thing underneath the compressor.

There is no belt squeal at all.

QUESTIONS-
Do you think this is the clutch?

I read that if you replace a clutch only, the compressor isn't far behind...but how far behind is my question? If it'* months later I could get into the winter then maybe put a bypass pulley on till spring next year (can you say 'thifty'?)...

I read online that you can grease or lube the clutch to stop some of the friction and noise but that you'll have to keep reapplying cause it wears off- WON'T that make the clutch slip, if you grease it?

If it'* safe to lube- where, how and with what?

Basically I'm trying to buy some time with the car without putting a lot of money into it. I know alot of shops won't put just a clutch on - but I'm pretty sure I could find a competent mechanic to do it on the side. Unless lubing it will give me the same life span as the new clutch

Any ideas or thoughts?
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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Here is a writeup from Dan Thurs that may be a match to address your compressor noise:

Adjust AC clutch plate

https://www.gmforum.com/mechanical-1...-plate-278951/
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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WOW! BIG THANKS TO YOU!

I think that'* the problem...I went out and looked at the 'clutch plate assembly' (I'm trying to learn the lingo!) and there was absolutely no gap in the space that Dan Thurs said should be between .015 and .030 - THOUGH that was the view from the top- it looked like their was a hair of a space on the side of the pulley, so maybe it'* warped?

OK- NEW QUESTION!

Would it be less wear and tear on the a/c system to drive with the a/c on until I get it adjusted? I can do that...we're having a heat wave here!

Secondly, if that inner part (clutch plate ?) IS warped, what then? Just adjust the best I can and go with it?

Since there'* been metal flakes should I have the system flushed?


Thanks so much guys!

IF I can fix this my husband will officially name me the household mechanic.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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No worries about the flakes. Aint no way in heck it will enter the A/C system.

Once you re-adjust the clutch plate, you should be good to go.

Welcome to the forum!!
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:20 PM   #5
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So is it better to drive with the a/c on until I get it spaced properly? I'm afraid of it seizing but need to drive the car and probably won't have a chance to work on this for a couple days.

Also- does the serpentine belt need to come off to do this adjustment? (Please say no...)
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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I don't really see a problem with the A/C on or off.

From reading Dan'* writeup, it would appear that you may need to move the compressor back a little while its still in the car. The project your going to work on is harder than removing the belt. And really, your not removing it. Just takes a 15mm socket and long handle ratchet to take tension off. Then just move it off the A/C compressor. No big deal.
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