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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old May 26th, 2008, 17:40   #1
diesel&dust
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Default AC Clutch is gone!! ????

My AC was not cooling and I put a gauge on the low side and it was reading high. I had heard that if it is running higher that normal pressure on the low side that make sure the compressor is running, because the pressure is high when the compressor isn't working.

When I threw the switch, I did not hear the tell-tale click when the compressor clicks on. I got a visual on the clutch and couldn't believe what I thought I was seeing.

The center of the compressor pulley was hollow (where a clutch normally is) with a threaded center post and no nut.

I have not gotten under the car and removed the pan yet to see if there is a dangling clutch from the wires or if it is ripped out and gone forever.

Is this a freak accident or is this something that you guys have seen before?

Should I replace the whole compressor or just the clutch assembly?
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Old May 26th, 2008, 19:56   #2
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Pretty common. The center portion of the clutch is attached by a nylon lock nut on a splined shaft- over time the nut will work loose. You might get lucky and find the cluch sitting on the bottom engine cover- no it will not be dangling as that part is bolted to the a/c compressor. If you did lose it, post a WTB in the classifieds.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 20:11   #3
tdibigd
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My clutch cratered in the same fashion about 3 years ago. I replaced the entire compressor as the clutch was not available as an individually replaceable component.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 20:39   #4
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The clutch isn't available, but you might find one on a wrecked car.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 03:47   #5
diesel&dust
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greengeeker
no it will not be dangling as that part is bolted to the a/c compressor. If you did lose it, post a WTB in the classifieds.
I figured that maybe it was still connected by the wires that control it....probably not, but it would be nice.

Thanks!
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Old May 27th, 2008, 19:12   #6
tdibigd
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I found mangled chunks of mine resting on top of the skid plate.

Check the pricing for a new or rebuilt compressor/clutch assembly online. Oddly, when mine went out, the dealer had the best price...about $200 w/core if I recall correctly.

The job took me a few hours. I think I could easily cut it down to 2 hours the second time around. While you're at it, it's a good time to replace the accessory belt and the hydraulic belt tensioner if necessary.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 20:14   #7
KCL
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Default Models/years with compatible a/c clutch?

I also discovered my a/c clutch was gone. Before I managed to find this thread I also thought I was crazy.

It looks like you can find the clutch sold by itself. World Impex has it for $450, for example ( http://www.worldimpex.com/parts/genu...utch_8429.html ).

That's a bit steep for me, though. I'm thinking of trying some junkyards. My car is a 2002 Jetta TDI stick-shift. Does anyone know what other models and years would have a compatible a/c clutch?

And do I need to watch out for anything in terms of the condition (do they ever go bad) ?

On mine it's the whole center insert that's missing, but the wires are still there, coming out the base-side of the pulley. Will I need to take the pulley off and unmount those wires somehow? I tried to search for any how-to's but only found this thread. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks,
KCL
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Old May 27th, 2009, 03:33   #8
diesel&dust
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I am not sure what you get when you order a clutch. Since I had found the center of mine, I did not have to take off the pulley. I can only guess that the wires are attached to a fixed magnet that sits behind the spinning pulley. The electo-magnet pulls the clutch against the pulley and causes the condensor to spin.

Ironically, I was working on my a/c yesterday since it went out again. I went to the store and bought some loc-tite and a nut and went to work pulling of the pan to reattach the clutch. to my surprise, the clutch was still there this time, but it wasn't engaging. I found that the clutch circuit had an open and would have to be replaced.

The moral of the story is....if you find your clutch, put it back on. If you have to buy a clutch I would buy a whole condensor w/clutch for $400. BleachedBora has them for around that price. I am going to order one now.

Good luck!
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Old May 27th, 2009, 07:46   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diesel&dust
I am not sure what you get when you order a clutch. Since I had found the center of mine, I did not have to take off the pulley. I can only guess that the wires are attached to a fixed magnet that sits behind the spinning pulley. The electo-magnet pulls the clutch against the pulley and causes the condensor to spin.
You are correct - the coil attaches to the compressor with a large circlip. Then the pulley slides on and is attached with another circlip. Finally, the outer clutch part is held on with the nut.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 14:27   #10
KCL
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Great! Thanks for the info. That sounds promising. I'd rather not have to change out the compressor (I assume that would mean opening up into the freon lines, with all that entails), and as far as I know the compressor still works.

I found an a/c reconditioning place in TX that will ship just the clutch to me for a bit under $100. That seemed expensive to me until I started seeing other prices in the multiple hundreds of dollars. Maybe I'll give them a shot.

Any warnings or other advice are appreciated.

Thanks,
KCL
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Old May 27th, 2009, 14:57   #11
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In the future, check that nut whenever you change your oil.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 05:01   #12
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The only other thing I can add is a mention in the manual to make sure the circlip gets installed facing the right way. One side is flat, the other has a slight rounding. If you put it on the way you took it apart, you'll be fine.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:05   #13
KCL
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Just wanted to post back with the results. I didn't want to name names until I could say whether it all worked out or not.

I had ordered from www.bornagainair.com (which I found using http://info.automotix.net/partlocator.html). They sent me a remanufactured clutch plate and magnet for $92 incl. shipping. I really only needed the plate part, since that's what had fallen off.

It looked fine and in good shape and the plate was easy to put on -- just place it on the splined shaft, then put the washer and nut on. I'm amazed that nut is all that's supposed to hold it on. No wonder it came off. I may take D&D's idea and get some loctite, but even then it seems precarious (and would it lock a nylon-lined nut anyway?).

One thing -- I couldn't figure out how to really tighten that nut, since you just start spinning the compressor when you turn the nut (assuming you're supposed to tighten it -- I was also afraid tightening it would keep the compressor engaged all the time). I got more resistance from the compressor by turning the AC on briefly, so that it was under pressure, but I'm still worried about that nut coming off again. How did you guys do it?

Diesel&Dust, sorry I didn't make the connection sooner when you said "the clutch circuit had an open and would have to be replaced." As mentioned I now have an extra magnet coil. If you haven't already replaced yours, let me know.

Thanks for all the help everyone!
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Old June 25th, 2009, 09:32   #14
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kinda hard to describe but I counterhold the pully by inserting a screwdriver along the side of the 13mm socket and one of the three large rivets on the face of the clutch. I'll snap a picture tonight and post.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 08:38   #15
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They make compressor clutch wrenches:

http://shopping.msn.com/prices/cps-p...t-%23-ctk1300a

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