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Thread: Broken AC pulley - do I need a new clutch or just the pulley?

  1. #1

    Default Broken AC pulley - do I need a new clutch or just the pulley?

    The pulley and clutch both have quite some grooves. Can I just buy a new pulley and reuse the old clutch (with the thick vibration damper) or is it wise to use both new?
    Need to import that stuff so I donīt want to end up having to re-order and wait for weeks.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    What so you mean by "grooves" on the pulley and clutch?
    I'm not aware of a vibration damper. The AC clutch has 3 parts, the magnetic clutch, the pulley and the clutch plate (on the front).
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  3. #3

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    Clutch plate has a 3/8" thick rubber on the front. It is rubberized to the metal. Can only think it is sort of a damper they used on the Lincoln to silence the clutch engaging.

    By grooves I mean grooves on the front face of the pulley and the back side of the clutch plate. Looks like it is there to enlarge surface area, but not sure.

    Pics of new clutch packs I see have no grooves but a flat mating surfaces.

  4. #4
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Yours doesn't look like this?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyways, atleast RockAuto doesn't list the clutch pulley separately. EDIT: And you'd most likely need new shims for the clutch.
    Last edited by Arquemann; 06-08-2021 at 12:28 PM.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If you mean there are deep grooves on the face of the pulley, I would replace both pieces. Every time I've seen a deeply worn pulley face, the rear face of the hub part was equally worn. Never tried it, but I would just assume the worn piece would wear the new piece until they fit. Kind of like using new brake pads with a grooved rotor.


    You don't have to replace the coil underneath, but sometimes you can find complete setups with the coil, the pulley, and the clutch disc in one go for cheap. I've even found NOS Motorcraft ones on ebay for not stupid money.

    They don't always come with shims either, and sometimes the shims are hard to find. Last time I needed one, a common washer from the hardware store happened to be the right thickness.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  6. #6

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    Hi gadget73,

    thanks, Iīll get me a complete clutch pack then. Makes more sense.

  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The worn one on my Mark VII was caused by the rubber bushing in the middle of the clutch face wearing out. That one is a stupid design, instead of the usual metal spring, it uses the rubber as the spring and after 30 odd years it stops being springy. It got to the point where it was constantly rubbing and it just ate itself up. I think this was only used from about 89-92 or so.

    The bad one on my Continental was a different clutch face failure. The older compressor has a rubber hub in the middle of it where the disc actually drives the compressor. The rubber had oozed out, probably from heat and oil leaks. The rubber caught the retaining ring that holds the pulley in place on the front of the compressor and spun that ring until it sawed the front of the compressor off, then the pulley moved forward until it just ground against the clutch face. Had to replace the compressor along with the clutch because of this.

    the one on the Towncar was mostly my fault. I had the belt jump and it sawed through the electrical connector. Eventually it just broke and stopped pulling the clutch in. Changed the whole thing including because I bought a complete kit. The good pulley and clutch face actually are on the Continental now, mated to the original coil on a good, used compressor.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  8. #8

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    @ Arquemann: No, it has a solid one-piece rubber about 3/8 thick on the hub face where yours has the three.

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    all the CFI are belong to me
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    For some photos of the clutch replacement, see this reply within my Lincoln thread: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...l=1#post817398

    Current driver: 85 CS
    Currently owned, parked: 83 GM 2dr POTM 10/2019 | 84 TC POTM 1/2017 & 4/2019 | 85 Ranger +trlr | 86 GM | 88 TC | 91 GM POTM 12/2017
    Gone: 97 CV | 83 TC
    Junkyards

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the hint with the upper rad hose. pulley is off already but coil still on. Iīll maybe change the coil when I do the new rad hoses and coolant flush then in one turn.

  11. #11
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The 3 puck clutch is later and many replacements are that style. The older original style looks like the one on Kishy's car. Both work fine, I have swapped from one to the other with no fuss. The 3 puck one is arguably easier to hold since you can jam a screwdriver in it, but with the proper triangular holding tool neither are hard to deal with.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  12. #12

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    Got a new complete FourSeason clutch pack from Rockauto. Itīs the 3 puck design. Enclosed was a paper that showed the different clutch styles. The one I originally had, was shown as a "Warner" clutch.
    Install was super easy even without taking off the upper radiator hose. Old and new shims were enough to dial in for the correct gap.

    AC is completely ripped apart now. Drained ALL oil. The compressor had way to little left. I pulled the orifice tube which had been heavily plugged by some chrystalline stuff that tasted salty (Aluminumcloride AlCL3 maybe due to reaction of the cloride in the R12 with the aluminum parts? ) - we need A/C chemists to solve this
    Flushed condenser and evaporator with 1 Liter of acetone each. Condensor puked about one tablespoon of sandlike debris from the liquid line.
    Iīm glad I did pull everything apart and clean/flush the whole system. My first intention was to just slab on the new clutch and have it recharged. That wouldīve not worked well in the end.
    Sometimes you really need to go step by step and do things throroughly.

    Got me 12 fl oz of AC system mineral oil and will refill all parts with the correct amount. Then install the new accumulator and orifice tube, as well as the suction hose I was able to buy new from Rockauto. Have to reuse the other two hoses in lack of a source for new ones.

  13. #13
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Warner Electric had a clutch and brake division, they made a lot of things. My boss once worked for them before they were bought out by some larger company. I wasn't aware that the old clutch was a Warner product though.

    The oil circulates through the AC system so there should not be a significant amount in the compressor at any time. It basically circulates a mist, very similar to how 2 stroke engines with oil/gas mixtures work.

    what refrigerant are you charging it with? Mineral oil only works for R12 or a hydrocarbon sub (usually propane/butane mix) for R12. It does not work for R134a. Not sure about other refrigerants. R152 is the other usual suggestion but I haven't looked into that one much.

    I'd change the O rings on the hoses you are not replacing. Its already discharged and it will never be easier to do.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  14. #14

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    It was really very little oil in the compressor. Just a few tablespoons.

    Donīt know what R12 substitute the shop will use. But it is not R134a. So I want to stick with the original type of oil.
    Thanks for the tip with the O-Rings. I had spent some thoughts about changing or leaving untouched indeed.

  15. #15
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    If the shop claims its a R12 substitute, it might be Isceon 49 (plus), which is also called R437A.

    My AC system is a bit of a mess, I had it originally charged with Isceon 49 (R12 is illegal) since it had the old valves. It worked really well until the next spring and I just thought it had leaked the stuff out. The moron at the AC shop put in R134a, but it was actually the clutch that failed. Since replacing the clutch it has worked fine since june last year. I don't know what oil is in there, but it has the old valves and a compressor with a reman tag that says R12/R134a compatible.
    But when I had the Isceon in the system, the air was brutally cold, not so much now with the R134a.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

  16. #16
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Just find out for sure what they are using and what oil that requires. Not all refrigerants want the same oil.

    R12 came with mineral oil. Native R134a was PAG, R134a conversion is typically POE or ester oil which doesn't react badly with any mineral oil that may be in the system. PAG doesn't play nice with mineral oil.

    Isceon says this

    "Compressors can be charged with most current oils but better oil return will occur with polyolester oils, contact the compressor manufacturer for more information"

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  17. #17

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    AC is all back in the car and filled with the proper amount of mineral oil. It will get charged tomorrow by the shop. They use R413. I cross my fingers it will work our well.

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