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2003 AC Pooched

 
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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject:  2003 AC Pooched Reply with quote

Hello everyone;

My AC stopped working probably 3 years ago now, but recently it's started rattling something fierce because it's starting to lock up.

Since there is no way to remove the compressor and route a shorter belt amongst the remaining pulleys, is there some other way to eliminate the noise, aside from replacing the AC unit?

Dealer price is 550+refrigerant+labor+taxes =$1000+. I'm just not willing to pay that for a car that hasn't had AC for the last three years, and is not worth much in the first place.

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VictoryRed09
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

There are a couple of fixes.
The Easiest is a "By Pass pulley" by Dorman or the other vendors.

You take off the Compressor. Chop or disconnect the line , then bolt the replacement idler type pulley in place.
about $20 to $40 bucks.
Just google "2003 Impala a/c eliminator pulley" you should get a lot of sites to by it from.

Even Autozone has them ..
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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I run an A/C bypass pully on both of my 3.8's. Much much cheaper than servicing the A/C. Dorman part #34195 on rockauto, runs $28. I know autozone sells them too, they had one in stock that I bought.

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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Hm. this dealership is of course going to protect their business, but I specifically asked if there was a workaround for less money. I'm starting to dislike the parts department that previously had been very good for me.



Is there any sort of a writeup or how-to for doing this? The wife's car is gone, so we're only running on one car these days, so I don't want to be hung up on something I didn't expect.

I'm familiar with removing the belt and fiddling with the tensioner, I'm more curious about what I might run into on the lower end, and where it's going to be easiest to remove the condenser.

Thanks for the info! I called Partsource up here and it's $50, taxes included for next day pickup. It's no 28 bucks, but I never have much luck shipping over the border, so I'm alright with the price. Hell of a lot better than 1000! Cool

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Last edited by Lingenfelter on Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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topgun
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject:  AC Reply with quote

What VictoryRed09 said. It is that easy. And your removing the compressor not condenser. Cool

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outonthetiles
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Pull the belt off. Put the front end of the car in the air, turn the wheels all the way to the right or pull the right wheel off. Remove the black splash guard near the oil filter. After that, its a few 10mm and 13mm nuts and bolts and the compressor is off. I'd disconnect the lines coming from it first, otherwise it might be more difficult when the compressor is not bolted to anything. Make sure it doesn't spray you in the face if the system is still pressurized (I'll bet it isn't). Its pretty self explanatory once you can see it. The bypass pulley bolts up to the engine with 3 bolts, right where you unbolted the compressor. You will have a few nuts/bolts left over.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:14 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Like what was said above I think you can do it yourself ..If not a local shop should be able to handle it without to much trouble. Smile

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Must suck not having A/C. Laughing Have you tried other places too fix it, or even do it yourself?

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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

PushrodPower wrote:
Must suck not having A/C. Laughing Have you tried other places too fix it, or even do it yourself?



It was nice to have it, but I have a really short commute, so it only sucks if I'm on some sort of trip and get hung up in traffic. I don't exactly know how long it's been broken because I didn't use it often Laughing

Now that the components are broken, I definitely have no interest in bringing it back. I had considered throwing one of those 'fill up' kits of refrigerant into it, but if the factory stuff leaked out, the new stuff isn't likely to hang out long either.

I'll fix it myself, basically just to save the money. I can't see it being too difficult but I figured I would get as much info as I can before I pull the car apart and realize I need to drive somewhere to get something so I can finish the job.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:52 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

If the A/C is dead or not working, it shouldnt be rattling. That is unless the clutch bearings are getting worn out really badly.

If you are turning the A/C ON and then hearing the rattling, stop stop stop turn the a/c off now!

A rattling but working compressor means it is dying a terrifying death and is pumping metal shavings all throughout the A/C system, which means you'll have to replace most of the major parts and flush the rest. Its about $700 in parts alone, did that myself last year. Mad

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

MISHNAH wrote:

A rattling but working compressor means it is dying a terrifying death and is pumping metal shavings all throughout the A/C system, which means you'll have to replace most of the major parts and flush the rest. Its about $700 in parts alone, did that myself last year. Mad


That's what happened to the A/C in my Intrigue. Let me tell you, tooling around when its 100 degrees without air is a miserable experience.

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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I replaced the compressor with a dummy pulley.

The compressor was shot, but it didn't matter.... there was no refrigerant whatsoever. When I disconnected the lines, there wasn't so much as a hiss, whistle or pop. Wether one is related to or caused by the other makes no difference to me at this point!

Drove in 86/104 (humidex) sunny weather on a 200 mile trip yesterday without the AC. Not bad on the highway, not that great in town though Laughing

Otherwise, between eliminating the seizing compressor clutch, all highway driving (with the windows down, mind you), I did manage pretty amazing milage: 36.0 mpg! I did check all the fluids and tire pressures before I set off.

If anyone wants to check the math...
590km on 38.5L of fuel. 110-115km/h
366.61mi on 10.17 US Gallons.

Most boring drive ever, by the way.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:22 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

man if I could ditch the AC and get that mileage I would...was 90+ most of last week

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Lingenfelter
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:28 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

ShortyDoo wrote:
man if I could ditch the AC and get that mileage I would...was 90+ most of last week


Those temps are very high for around here. Typically we reach 90 on the 'hot' days but float around probably 80-85 on average for summertime.

My trip yesterday was for a wedding. I had to sit in a church, that didn't have air conditioning. People were fanning themselves with the church books that sit in those little shelves on the back of the pews. Laughing I'm wondering if I'm the only person who didn't have a huge long ceremony and lengthly speeches at dinner. Too hot for that in summertime!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:57 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

ShortyDoo wrote:
man if I could ditch the AC and get that mileage I would...was 90+ most of last week


Just turn the AC off. Very Happy

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How much miles are on those seats? How much pounds of ass were applied to the seat during every trip? Lol

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