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Old 11-08-2014, 12:01 PM   #1
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in-vehicle AC clutch replacement - what NOT to do

Just thought I'd share my experiences trying to replace the AC clutch pulley without removing the compressor. It's do-able, but......

I have slight bearing chatter on my AC clutch pulley, and decided to take advantage of the last warm day of 2014 to do some preventative maintenance on it. Since my compressor sees very little use (northern climate), I was willing to gamble that a pulley replacement would buy me another year or so until I sell this POS, rather than spend hundreds $$ on a new compressor, accumulator, evacuate/recharge, etc.

I purchased an aftermarket clutch assembly - nice because it comes with all of the necessary pieces. There's pretty much just one product available (Part #47869 for Zetec FS10 compressor, ~$80), sold under about four different brand names; all are identical and made by the same mfg:



So far, so good.

To access the AC compressor & serpentine tensioner, you might need to lower the engine. I provided a step-by-step procedure for that in an old thread http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=413354 . At a minimum, you will need to remove the belt guard.

The face of the pulley (clutch plate) is easily removed via the center bolt, which is only torqued to about 12 ft-lbs:



Keep an eye out for one or more small spacers (washers) that sit on its splined center. You'll need those if you reinstall the old parts.

After removing the serpentine belt, remove the pulley snapring, noting its orientation (large leg at 7 o'clock position, small leg at 5 o'clock):



The pulley is not pressed on. Grasp it with both hands and pull firmly to remove.

Now, the only thing remaining on the AC compressor is the field coil, which is pressed on:



At this point, you may reach the same conclusion that I did: there is no way to squeeze jaw-pullers in that cramped area, so I'll just do what folks in other car forums did - cut my losses and leave the old coil on there, and install the new pulley & pressure plate.

WRONG!

The aftermarket pulley will not fit over the OEM field coil. Prior to purchasing this kit, I called the manufacturer, who insisted that it would fit fine.. Thanks, bud.

At this point, I could have ordered a new pulley & pressure plate from a Ford dealer (~$150) or just a new pulley bearing (~$60). But, seeing that winter has come early to Chicago and I'm in an unheated garage, I decided to reinstall my old parts and return the new kit. If not forced to do so again in the meantime, I'll revisit this issue next spring.


Hindsight is 20/20
The next day, I decided to check Google with slightly different search terms, to see if anyone else ran into similar problems. I found a shop manual which stated:
Especially in the case of Ford FS6 and FX15/FS10 type clutches, complete replacement of the clutch and coil assembly is required. Original or replacement Ford OE clutch components cannot be mixed with aftermarket type clutch components (such as a Ford OE coil and an aftermarket pulley and hub).



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Old 11-08-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
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Depends on who makes the clutch, I've switched coils and pulleys and worked fine. Some copycats follow design blueprints closely and some don't. Got a mismatch running on one of my cars now and works fine. Front plate, pulley and coil are all different from each other. I take a fine flat file and dress the hitting flats down some to let more material rub at engagement, it allows for a close gap to pull in easier too.

Next time just pull the four compressor mounting bolts and let compressor drop to work on it, no need to drop engine at all.
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