Author Topic: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.  (Read 306 times)

Offline mikanystrom

  • Posts: 83
  • Name: Mika Nystrom
A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« on: November 04, 2017, 12:23:39 AM »
Hi everyone,

Driving my 1968 Eldorado today, I had the climate control set to VENT.

All of a sudden (in heavy traffic on I-15 through Las Vegas), car stalls, I restart it, smoke comes out, bad noises.... get it off the road... more smoke and bad noises  (I had to keep my foot on the gas to keep it from stalling... nasty!)

Turns out... the A/C compressor clutch has seized.  I open the hood and the belts are shredded (two-groove pulley, so two belts).

Not the compressor!  I can still turn the front plate of the compressor by hand, quite easily.  Heck it wasn't even engaged when it went out.  So it's just the clutch.

What the heck could have happened here?

I think the compressor is about a year-old reman from RockAuto.  Maybe 3K miles on it.

Anybody seen this happen?  And successfully just replaced the clutch?

I am contemplating buying another reman compressor and swapping clutches with the one on the car.  I could avoid dumping the refrigerant and recharging if I swap the clutches instead of the compressors.

Or should I replace the compressor?

Any ideas from the Forum?

       Mika
1970 De Ville Convertible
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1968 Eldorado basket case
1968 Eldorado "Purple Sister"
1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 4-spd
1999 Camaro SS Convertible 6-spd
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX :-)

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2017, 12:36:34 AM »
Sounds like the double row roller bearing that the pulley rolls on is seized.

This can be replaced without removing the compressor, or losing the gas, but you will need the proper tool for removing the driven plate which is attached to the compressor shaft, which is what you were turning.

If you are going to do it yourself, then you will need some circlip pliers, to remove the circlip that retains the inner part of the bearing, a deep either 1/2" or 9/16" socket to remove the retaining bolt, the puller, and another puller to remove both the pulley, and the bearing.

The Shop Manual describes how to accomplish the task.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline mikanystrom

  • Posts: 83
  • Name: Mika Nystrom
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2017, 03:19:48 AM »
Thanks, yeah.... I think I have the puller.  Never used it before.  I did do a clutch on a ... R4.. once on a '93 Fleetwood.  Not sure about the pliers.

I am mostly curious whether this kind of failure "does happen" or it's indicative of something else that might be wrong.  My intuition says no, since it wasn't even engaged... the compressor ought to be fine.  But I've never seen this particular failure before.

It's a pain to park without power steering but it actually feels almost better on the freeway...
1970 De Ville Convertible
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1968 Eldorado basket case
1968 Eldorado "Purple Sister"
1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 4-spd
1999 Camaro SS Convertible 6-spd
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX :-)

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 03:34:46 AM »
If the '68 472 uses the the same external parts as the '72 500, then you can get belts to simply run the power steering pump on its' own.

On my 500 I run one belt from the crank to the power steering pump, and the front one via the AC Compressor, as when the compressor was changed whilst in USA, it was replaced with a single-pulley pump.   Both are tensioned via the Power Steering pump.

As I am running  an HEI Distributor, I left the belts the way they were because the rear belt would rub on the distributor cap.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline Dan LeBlanc

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Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 07:22:58 AM »
I bought a low mile used unmolested compressor for my 70. Upon installation the bearing was noisy. Had a good bearing in the compressor I took off. I got the tool kit from O'Reilly loan a tool program and swapped the works out in about half an hour. It's pretty easy to do but the removal and installation tools are a must. Compressor stayed in the car and no loss of refrigerant.
Dan LeBlanc - CLC # 27657
1970 DeVille Convertible
1977 Continental Town Car

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2017, 05:12:13 PM »
..... I got the tool kit from O'Reilly loan a tool program and swapped the works out in about half an hour. ......
I suppose one of the good reasons for living in USA and Canada. .... But, I would still live here.

Bruce. >:D
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 05:13:49 PM by The Tassie Devil(le) »
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline bcroe

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A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2017, 08:48:42 PM »
Quote from: mikanystrom
I am mostly curious whether this kind of failure "does happen" or it's indicative of something else that might be wrong.  My intuition says no, since it wasn't even engaged... the compressor ought to be fine.  But I've never seen this particular failure before.

It's a pain to park without power steering but it actually feels almost better on the freeway...

I have had a few clutch bearings go out; spares and tools are in stock
here.  As I remember A6 and R4 use different tools, but the same
bearing.  My belt arrangement allows everything else to work without
compressor belt(s). 

Bearings without good grease will soon fail.  A sealed bearing can't be
regreased, and decades old grease dries up, so this failure can only be
avoided by adding the bearing replacement to regular maintenance. 
Bruce Roe

Offline cadillacmike68

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  • Name: M Santos
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 08:25:28 PM »
A couple of notes:

You can use 48" belts to bypass the compressor and give you power steering until you can get it repaired.

Undo the mounts that hold the compressor to the engine. I think its 3 bolts in the back and 2 up front. This way you can lift it up by the front; easier to get at the retaining nuts in the front of the clutch. You do Not have to undo the refrigerant lines as noted earlier.

You can SOMETIMES get a clutch & pulley off of fleabay, but most that I see are single groove. The A6 double groove went through 73 (at least part way thru 73).

If its more than a year old, then Rockauto probably won't warranty it. You can also get the entire compressor with double groove pulley from amazon with free 2 day shipping if you are a Prime customer. The price fluctuates. Right now about $245. I'm not sure what rockAuto's is. I'd buy one for a spare but then it likely sit for years and there will be no warranty on it!
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
2000 ElDorado ESC Hard Boot Convertible
1995 Fleetwood Brougham
1973 Sedan DeVille
1970 Fleetwood Brougham
1969 DeVille Convertible

Offline mikanystrom

  • Posts: 83
  • Name: Mika Nystrom
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 08:46:37 PM »
Ahhh so I did this the... easy(????) way...

since it's a double groove compressor, nobody seems to carry just the clutch.  I guess I could have just replaced the bearing?

Since I have all the equipment, and a big 30-lb tank of R134a sitting around, I just replaced the whole compressor.  Autozone, $159... hope it holds up for a while.

The hardest part was tensioning the stupid belt on the even stupider AIR pump!  HOW are you supposed to loosen that inside bolt with the belt on? 

And AutoZone had only a single 59 1/2 inch belt and screwed up ordering another one so I only have one belt for now.  Well, no matter, I don't need the A/C in the winter, and the car is going to San Jose for a V/P transmission next week.  Then I will finally get to install Bruce's controller!

1970 De Ville Convertible
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1968 Eldorado basket case
1968 Eldorado "Purple Sister"
1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 4-spd
1999 Camaro SS Convertible 6-spd
1999 Honda CBR 1100XX :-)

Offline cadillacmike68

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  • Still finishing up this 1968
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  • Name: M Santos
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 08:10:48 AM »
$159 for the whole compressor at autozone? That's pretty good!

What is a V/P transmission? You have an ElDorado, so it may not have meaning WRT my RWD DeVille, But I'm still trying to get a 4sp transmission fittedto this car, it would save a lot of fuel and educe engine wear.

The AIR pump. I had to go under to car to do anything with that, so off it went.  If you can find the 1970 pulleys you can go to three belts.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
2000 ElDorado ESC Hard Boot Convertible
1995 Fleetwood Brougham
1973 Sedan DeVille
1970 Fleetwood Brougham
1969 DeVille Convertible

Offline bcroe

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Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 02:53:53 PM »
Quote from: cadillacmike68
What is a V/P transmission? You have an ElDorado, so it may not have meaning WRT my RWD DeVille, But I'm still trying to get a 4sp transmission fittedto this car, it would save a lot of fuel and educe engine wear. 

Every automatic big block 65-67 Olds, Buick, or Cad was built with a V/P or
Switch Pitch transmission.  The torque converter may be switched electrically
to performance or economy mode, in effect a 6 speed trans.  It can slightly
increase mileage by slipping less, and even allow a somewhat lower number
axle ratio for lower rpm and more savings.  In the performance mode it can
considerably improve the response of the car, and smooth trans operation. 

Any TH400/TH425 car can be converted to a switch pitch trans, which is a
direct bolt in and just as strong as the original.  There is  long list of issues with
trying to convert a TH400 car to a 4 speed.  In time I got tired of regular 3
speeds, and eventually converted all 5 of my cars to switch pitch.  Bruce Roe

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 1139
  • Still finishing up this 1968
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  • Name: M Santos
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 07:48:26 AM »
Bruce, if they were all built with a V/P (variable pitch??) Trans, then why do you have to convert the trans? Might be time for a new topic, we don't hijack this thread.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
2000 ElDorado ESC Hard Boot Convertible
1995 Fleetwood Brougham
1973 Sedan DeVille
1970 Fleetwood Brougham
1969 DeVille Convertible

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 2037
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A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 07:55:02 AM »
Quote from: cadillacmike68
  Bruce, if they were all built with a V/P (variable pitch??)
trans, then why do you have to convert the trans?

Wasn't me that asked about V/P and 4 speeds.  I had to convert my
cars, because they weren't 65-67 models.  Bruce

Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 1139
  • Still finishing up this 1968
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #15823
  • Name: M Santos
Re: A6 compressor clutch seized, what to do? 1968.
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 11:46:31 PM »
So I take it that 1967s had V/P transmissions but 1968s did not? Well, that's not good news to me.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
2000 ElDorado ESC Hard Boot Convertible
1995 Fleetwood Brougham
1973 Sedan DeVille
1970 Fleetwood Brougham
1969 DeVille Convertible