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A/C clutch chirps loud when engaging


hiljak

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My 99 STS has an annoying loud chirp everytime the a/c clutch engages/didengages (which is very often). If I spray some WD-40 it helps for a while but then it comes back). My a/c is cold enought to run you out of the car though.

Can the clutch be changed without opening the system? Is there any hillbilly fix for it? :D

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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My 99 STS has an annoying loud chirp everytime the a/c clutch engages/didengages (which is very often). If I spray some WD-40 it helps for a while but then it comes back). My a/c is cold enought to run you out of the car though.

Can the clutch be changed without opening the system? Is there any hillbilly fix for it? :D

Where do you spray the WD40, on the Serp belt? It is possible that your tensioner is not applying sufficient pressure and is allowing slipping. Have you had the belt off to inspect it and the tensioner? If the belt is dry or worn out it may be slipping.

Does the AC compressor make any noises, growling when it is engaged? A bad hub assembly makes a rattling, whinning or growling noise. The hub assembly can be changed and the clutch can be changed without depressurizing your system.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Scotty,

I sprayed right on inbetween the face of the clutch and the actual pulley. I was carefull not to get any on the belt (I think). The belt looks brnad new. Do you know how to change the pulley?

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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Scotty,

I sprayed right on inbetween the face of the clutch and the actual pulley.  I was carefull not to get any on the belt (I think).  The belt looks brnad new.  Do you know how to change the pulley?

HMMM, that is interesting and a new one by me, dont think I have ever heard that happening before. The entire clutch assembly can be replaced, but its not easy to find a mechanic that would do the job. I think your best bet would be a reputible Auto AC shop that will fix the clutch, most shops will try to sell you a compressor as they can guarantee it. You could always do the clutch yourself but there are some special tools needed (puller at least)

WD40 is a lubricant, and spraying the clutch gets rid of the noise as you induce slip. THis one has me stumped. I am interesting in seeing what others say here.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I had the same problem... I put a new belt on and I cleaned the clutch off by spraaaying some deep creep on it and then brake cleaner. since then the chirp hasn't come back. Glad to here someone else's 99 is doing the same thing.. i was thinking i had a rash of bad components in my car :/ I've had the strangest things happen to it.

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Scotty,

I sprayed right on inbetween the face of the clutch and the actual pulley.  I was carefull not to get any on the belt (I think).  The belt looks brnad new.  Do you know how to change the pulley?

Are you speaking about the AC pulley or the tensioner? bigfoo confirmed my thinking, using WD40 may be causing your chirp, if you look up a description of WD40 it says it has lubricant features and its not just a penetrant. You really don't want your clutch slipping it will overheat and wear out prematurely. As we all know anything premature is not good.... ;) I would follow bigfoo's lead and see if what he did helps, take a close look at the belt and tensioner, you can buy a new tensioner for about $50 at www.gmotors.com I recently purchased a Goodyear Gatorback Poly V serp belt that is suppose to be 25db quieter. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Stop spraying WD-40 in the clutch face...! There should not be any lubricant there. It sounds like the clutch air gap needs to be adjusted. You need to use a clutch remover/installer tool to move the clutch and a set of feeler gages to set the air gap to the proper spec.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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THis one has me stumped.  I am interested in seeing what others say here.

I knew someone would add words of wisdom, Thanks Kevin, you LEARN me sumpin everyday.... :P

I did not know there was an air gap adjustment, now I do (take note bigfoo if the chirp starts again).. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Kevin, do you know the specs? Thanks for your response. The reason I sprayed WD-40 on the clutch face was because the noise started after the car went through a severe flood and the compressor was definitely submerged. I was thinking the WD-40 would displace any water from the clutch.

If you can get the specs, I will do the repair and post back. I have changed a Northstar compressor out and am very comfortable with the job so changing/adjusting the clutch should be no problem. If the clutch has to be removed to adjust it, should I just swap it for a new one? Thanks.

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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Kevin, do you know the specs? Thanks for your response. The reason I sprayed WD-40 on the clutch face was because the noise started after the car went through a severe flood and the compressor was definitely submerged. I was thinking the WD-40 would displace any water from the clutch.

If you can get the specs, I will do the repair and post back. I have changed a Northstar compressor out and am very comfortable with the job so changing/adjusting the clutch should be no problem. If the clutch has to be removed to adjust it, should I just swap it for a new one? Thanks.

Hey, I would clean it out with brake clean first, since you are not reacting to the chirp, and originally used the WD40 to displace water, you clutch could be chirping as a result of the WD40, try cleaning out all of the WD40 before you go to the trouble of setting the gap which probably is an all day job and you will need to buy a puller.. just my 2 cents.. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I'll try that, do you think I should remove the belt before spraying brake cleaner on the clutch?

Only to inspect the belt but I think you can shield the belt with a piece of cardboard. mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Well, I tried brake cleaner on the clutch but it still hirps. I think what I am actually hearing is the clutch slipping momentarily. This car only has 68k miles on it. Guess I will look into changing the clutch myself.

anyone done the job?

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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Well, I tried brake cleaner on the clutch but it still hirps.  I think what I am actually hearing is the clutch slipping momentarily.  This car only has 68k miles on it.  Guess I will look into changing the clutch myself.

anyone done the job?

Kevin said you dont need to change it but adjust the air gap. I just bought a new compressor for $270. You may find that the clutch assembly cost plus all the work to do is not worth it (assuming you don't have a lift). Although a lot of the work is done through the wheel well. The tools if I recall are not cheap, and I can not remember if you need both a pulley puller and pulley installer, but I know you need a pulley puller. Well good luck maybe it makes sense to buy the tool, pull the hub and clutch, clean it up and set the air gap and reinstall, post your experience with it, mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Kevin, do you know the specs? Thanks for your response. The reason I sprayed WD-40 on the clutch face was because the noise started after the car went through a severe flood and the compressor was definitely submerged. I was thinking the WD-40 would displace any water from the clutch.

If you can get the specs, I will do the repair and post back. I have changed a Northstar compressor out and am very comfortable with the job so changing/adjusting the clutch should be no problem. If the clutch has to be removed to adjust it, should I just swap it for a new one? Thanks.

The clutch air gap should be .020". Use a set of feeler gages to measure the gap. If you notice metal filings in the area of the clutch, that's a sure sign that it is not set to the proper dimension.

Many Autozone stores will loan you the puller/installer tools.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Well, I tried brake cleaner on the clutch but it still hirps.  I think what I am actually hearing is the clutch slipping momentarily.  This car only has 68k miles on it.  Guess I will look into changing the clutch myself.

anyone done the job?

Kevin said you dont need to change it but adjust the air gap. I just bought a new compressor for $270. You may find that the clutch assembly cost plus all the work to do is not worth it (assuming you don't have a lift). Although a lot of the work is done through the wheel well. The tools if I recall are not cheap, and I can not remember if you need both a pulley puller and pulley installer, but I know you need a pulley puller. Well good luck maybe it makes sense to buy the tool, pull the hub and clutch, clean it up and set the air gap and reinstall, post your experience with it, mike

I would check the air gap and then use the installer tool or the puller (depending on what direction you need to move the plate) to set the air gap to the proper spec.

I believe that many compressors are replaced that could be restored with minor repairs.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Well, I tried brake cleaner on the clutch but it still hirps.  I think what I am actually hearing is the clutch slipping momentarily.  This car only has 68k miles on it.  Guess I will look into changing the clutch myself.

anyone done the job?

Kevin said you dont need to change it but adjust the air gap. I just bought a new compressor for $270. You may find that the clutch assembly cost plus all the work to do is not worth it (assuming you don't have a lift). Although a lot of the work is done through the wheel well. The tools if I recall are not cheap, and I can not remember if you need both a pulley puller and pulley installer, but I know you need a pulley puller. Well good luck maybe it makes sense to buy the tool, pull the hub and clutch, clean it up and set the air gap and reinstall, post your experience with it, mike

I would check the air gap and then use the installer tool or the puller (depending on what direction you need to move the plate) to set the air gap to the proper spec.

I believe that many compressors are replaced that could be restored with minor repairs.

Hey Kevin, how is the air gap can be set are the hub and clutch assembly removed?

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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It's the position of the clutch plate. The air gap is dependent on its position on the shaft.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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Well, I checked the gap and I can get a .024 to fit in the gap (snuggly). Its the highest my set goes up to but I don't think a .025 would fit. I don't see any metal shavings around bu I started the car and ran the ac with the inner fendor well off and I could clearly hear the clutch bearing grinding.

Kevin, could the bearing be the whole problem and not the clutch? Maybe I should just change the clutch too while I'm at it? Should I not be using the ac until the bearing is changed? I really don't want to emd up having to swap out the compressor.... been there, done that, plus my system has the perfect amount of charge and blows ICY cold air.

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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One more thing, I went to autozone's website to look at all the ac clutch tools they have available. Here is a link to the page, can you take a quick look and tell me what tools you used? I'm going to price out the whole hub assembly from Napa and if it's uner a $100.00, I'll just get that and swap the whole thing. Thanks.

http://www1.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?...onditioning.jsp

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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Well, I checked the gap and I can get a .024 to fit in the gap (snuggly). Its the highest my set goes up to but I don't think a .025 would fit. I don't see any metal shavings around bu I started the car and ran the ac with the inner fendor well off and I could clearly hear the clutch bearing grinding.

Kevin, could the bearing be the whole problem and not the clutch? Maybe I should just change the clutch too while I'm at it? Should I not be using the ac until the bearing is changed? I really don't want to emd up having to swap out the compressor.... been there, done that, plus my system has the perfect amount of charge and blows ICY cold air.

.024" should be fine for the clutch gap. If the bearing is bad, it will make noise all the time - not just when the A/C is engaged. Does the compressor make noise when it is not engaged?

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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:o The goes away (at least is extremely quiter) when the clutch is not engaged. It's like a deep rattling sound. What do you think it could be then if not the bearing? I noticed the car has a green sticker from some where someone did a leak test but I checked all the lines and compressor and find NO signs of dye anywhere. Maybe the compressor is ready the crap the bed.

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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Unless the leak is huge, you usually need UV enhancing glasses to see the dye. It could be that the system needs a shot of oil but it is difficult to diagnose noises via the internet. Too much oil is just as bad as too little oil.

The compressor could be going south or the system may need an ounce of PAG-150 oil injected into the low side port. Unles you have an oil injector, do not attempt this...

Also, don't be tempted to use the oil charges in the cans. For some reason, they are ester oil which is not what GM recommends.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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well,

the ac now seems like it takes longer to get cool, but it does eventually get cold. will the clutch hub from a 95 sts work? I have an old compressor I changed off of my 95 that was leaking at the compressor seems. The clutch sounded fine on it. If they are the same, I may try that just to rule it out.

Is there anyway to check the amount of oil in the system?

James

1999 STS 65k

1995 STS 127k

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