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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I have a whining noise coming from the accessory area of my car, and have narrowed it down to the A/C compressor clutch / pulley. Here is a video of the noise when the pulley spins freely: New video by Stuart L - It sounds like a metallic grinding when spinning it by hand, but more of a whine you'd expect from a failing alternator when the engine is idling / revving.

I found this thread where someone replaced just the A/C compressor clutch bearing (Front End Whining - Pulley or AC Bearing), but I'm not sure I have the aptitude to do that.

A few questions:

- Is that the only real solution aside from replacing the entire A/C compressor?

- If I do end up replacing the entire A/C compressor, would you suggest I also replace the accumulator?

- The tensioner for the A/C compressor jumps up and down a bit when the car is idling. Is that a sign of a failing tensioner, or could it be a symptom of the bad A/C clutch bearing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

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It looks like Volvo offers a clutch kit - 31267041 - which is very expensive. I've found some aftermarket alternatives such as this one (NEW AC COMPRESSOR CLUTCH ASSEMBLY VOLVO C30, C70, S40, V50, XC70 2004-2011 | eBay) - any suggestions on source/brand? I think this is ideal vs replacing the whole compressor which would require discharge, flush, recharge.
Hello,

I used one of the $50 clutches off ebay, and it worked okay for a while, but It is failing already with only about 20k miles on it. I'd try to find a bit better unit, but idk that I'd fork out the money for the volvo replacement when a reputable replacement compressor is less money than just the clutch. Hope this info helps you make a decision.
 

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The part number you listed does not look like your existing clutch. A 30733821 does. Simple to replace if you have a tool to get the inner pulley off, snap ring pliers and a puller to get the large pulley off. The electromagnet coil is held on with a few Philips screws - tightened very tight - and easy to strip. I always use an impact driver to get them loose. If you purchase an aftermarket clutch - the electromagnet coil will probably be different than the OEM part. Meaning if you buy a factory part you can reuse the original coil (those coil retaining screws are really hard to get off sometimes) if you can't get the screws loose.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@hoonk - Thank you for providing the correct part number and the helpful tips.

@V50unicorn - Good to know. I'll try and find the highest quality clutch replacement kit I can find without springing for the Volvo kit. I'd prefer not to replace the entire compressor which will save the cost of having a shop evacuate and refill the system with refrigerant.
 

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Or, I might source a good used compressor and transfer all clutch/pulley related parts over.
My 2 cents from past A/C experiences- It is so much easier to work with the compressor on a bench, and a lot less frustrating. So you might want to take it to an A/C shop to suck out the old R32 then after the work take it back to recharge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My 2 cents from past A/C experiences- It is so much easier to work with the compressor on a bench, and a lot less frustrating. So you might want to take it to an A/C shop to suck out the old R32 then after the work take it back to recharge.
Thanks - I think if I went that route I would just throw in a new compressor.
 

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I have sourced a cheap used compressor - it sounds like the compressor is seized, but the pulley wheel spins nicely. I think that will be the ideal solution.
You'll probably have to install a new evaporator/accumulator. Which are not too expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks - the compressor itself will not be swapped, just the pulley wheel and potentially clutch.

Question: Is it acceptable to mix and match the electromagnet, pulley, and clutch? I will definitely have to swap out the pulley, but if the existing clutch is in better shape I may be inclined to re-use it. And, I'd prefer not to swap out the electromagnet if I don't have to.
 

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Thanks - the compressor itself will not be swapped, just the pulley wheel and potentially clutch.

Question: Is it acceptable to mix and match the electromagnet, pulley, and clutch? I will definitely have to swap out the pulley, but if the existing clutch is in better shape I may be inclined to re-use it. And, I'd prefer not to swap out the electromagnet if I don't have to.
I can't see why that would be an issue. Let me know how your solution works out! I may go this route with a picknpull unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My existing A/C compressor / clutch has a gap that's too large (over 0.6mm). When I turn on the A/C, it doesn't engage (as is expected with too large of a gap), however if I give it a good tap with a mallet to reduce the gap to help it engage, it won't budge whatsoever and still doesn't engage. The clutch / compressor spins freely and independently of the pulley when the car is off. I assume the portion of the clutch assembly that allows it to slide in and out is seized, so hopefully the replacement will remedy that issue. I probably shouldn't have gone so long without replacing the broken splash tray.
 

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it won't budge whatsoever and still doesn't engage.
When you say " the clutch/compressor spins freely - I trust you are spinning this part pictured below (that actually spins the compressor) . The "portion of the clutch that allows it to slide" is (on the pictured style clutch) is the 3 metal straps that bend to close the gap under the influence of the magnetic field produced by the coil.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the tip. Yes, that's the part that I was referring to. Perhaps pressing one portion of the clutch (outer disk in your image) was not sufficient to enagage it, and the entire ring needs to contact evenly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I received the used compressor, pulled off the clutch, then pulled off the pulley. In the process my puller mangled the pulley a bit - damn. For those doing this at home, pull from the middle ridge of the pulley - the metal is a lot stronger there.

Anywho - I can try and file down the damaged parts, but that seems risky. I think I will just replace the bearing on my existing pulley. I can spring for the $45 OEM Nachi 35BG05S16G-2DL (35mm ID, 55mm OD, 20mm wide), or I could try to re-use the one in my "new used" pulley which "seems okay".

QUESTION: If I press out the bearing from the inner race (the only way it can come out), will that destroy it?
 

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I have just replaced the bearing. If I remember the bearing was staked but was not a problem. I have also bought low mileage used compressors for 30$US and just swapped the clutch out for years of no issues. Just some ideas. All Volvo. Glück.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks @J5T - can you please clarify what you mean by "the bearing was staked"?

I do need to remove some spacers to re-gap the clutch, but the reason I'm doing this job is because of the squealing pulley bearing.

Unfortunately used compressors are not that cheap here - it was over $100 for a broken one!
 
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