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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 September 25th, 2009, 15:37   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Default Replacing AC Clutch without loosing refrigerant

On a 2000 jetta tdi manual trans. Is it possible to replace the ac clutch without opening the the refrigerant lines?
Is it as easy as loosening the belt.
Using a clutch/pulley puller and replacing i t with a new one?
Do i need to lockdown the compressor from turning? how?
Thanks for any response.
Also where can i source just the AC clutch/pulley/magnet ?
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Old September 26th, 2009, 10:20   #2
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle (GranolaVille)

I haven't done it on the jetta yet, but on my Saab it was as easy as putting the car up on jackstands, dropping the compressor down (there is enough hose to allow some working room) and remove the clutch/pulley. The clutch is typically a plate on the very outside of the pulley and may not even require removing the compressor from its mount. It should be very easy to do since its right on the bottom of the car.
Question is, can you get a clutch plate seperately? It may be wise to do the bearing at the same time if you're going to all this trouble. They tend to go bad about the same time and will leave you stranded if it really goes bad.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 18:53   #3
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Location: Northern Virginia

No experience personally, but I have read here that for some odd reason a new compressor (with clutch) costs about what a replacement clutch does.

2004 Jetta GLS TDI 5M Plat. Grey w/ Leather. RC Stage 2, G60/VR-6 clutch, steel skid plate, TDIHeater, CAT 2um fuel flter, Phat Noise, and VDO boost & volt guages.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 19:01   #4
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle (GranolaVille)

I looked around and can't see just the clutch for sale anywhere. This is typical though. Most manufacturers don't sell the individual parts, though you could probably find them directly as I did in the case of my saab's compressor bearing which had failed. Naturally, the shops all wanted me to buy a $500 compressor to fix what turned out to be $40 bucks in parts. I was able to find the bearing and clutch from a place called Polar Bear AC supply. Look them up on the web. They sell many of the individual mechanical parts for these compressors, but you will need to know the model of compressor. They don't have a way to cross reference to the type of car usually.

For me, it was worth the effort to save hundreds at the shop.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 19:10   #5
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Location: San Antonio, TX

I got a new clutch from an Ebay seller for $100. I highly recommend him. If anyone needs contact info, pm me.
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Old September 26th, 2009, 19:33   #6
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Location: Westtown, NY
Fuel Economy: Jetta: 44.5 summer / 47 on snows

To answer the original question - you do not loose any refrigerant. Remove the belt then remove the center nut. To do this you'll need to hold the end plate still. I was able to grab one of the nubs with pliers (Beetle was a little tight). Once that plate comes off there is a circlip holding the pulley on. Behind that is a circlip holding the coil in place. The owner of the car I was working on bought a whole used compressor just for the clutch and it was relatively cheap.
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Old September 27th, 2009, 00:40   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Fuel Economy: Lowest 36.1, Highest 53.7, AVG 44.4

I've done it, yes it's possible, wear double rubber gloves your knuckles will love you for it and don't don't leave the compressor hanging by the hoses
'99.5 Golf, 4 door, mufflerectomy, ventectomy, Inmotion Tuning Stage 2, chip and nozzles, VDO Boost Gauge, Boostvalve, Dieselgeek oil bypass kit, Scangauge II
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Old September 27th, 2009, 06:48   #8
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2 each 2003 GLS Jetta Wagons (White/tan leather and White/black leather), 5 speeds, Panzer plates, roof rack cross bars (hers), homelinks, 520 nozzles, ventectomies, trailer hitch (mine), VR6 front springs (hers); 1 inch lift kit w/ESP (mine) 1986 Isuzu Trooper Turbo Diesel, 1985 Isuzu P'up NA Diesel
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Old September 27th, 2009, 14:44   #9
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Columbia NJ
TDI(s): 98 NB
Fuel Economy: 40-42

Originally Posted by Rxfire
The tools you show are for Alternator pulley NOT A/c clutch.
NJ's best shop performing Quality Repairs on TDI's, Toyota, Lexus, Scion and other European and Asian cars as well as Motorcycles & ATV's. Written warranty, reasonable prices. ASE L-1 & A-9 Master re-certified. NEW LOCATION: Montague NJ. Hunter Wheel Alignment. Snap-on Tire Service.I don't need to have specials, my prices are better already!
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Old September 27th, 2009, 14:54   #10
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Location: Lexington, SC
TDI(s): 02 TTQ (BEW)
Fuel Economy: avg. 43

rent the wrench from autozone
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Old September 29th, 2009, 10:11   #11
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Location: Suwanee (Atlanta), GA
TDI(s): 2000 Jetta

I did mine on stands from underneath. It's not a bad job at all. I decided to replace the bearings, plate, and clutch magnet all together rather than get a "built in who knows where" aftermarket compressor.
'00 Silver Jetta TDI on Ground Control coilovers, Koni Yellows, B&M shifter, Audi R8 reps, and VNT20 ST2b. R520. '99.5 F350 with injectors, 4page chip, intake, and exhaust, '00 Honda RC51 in race plastics, Ducati 1098S, '94 RX7 436RWHP Rotary 4 life!
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Old October 4th, 2009, 20:24   #12
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Location: San Antonio, TX

I got the clutch replaced and it worked perfect for several weeks. Now today, it doesn't cool anymore. If you turn the A/C off, it makes a terrible noise.

I got under it and checked it, and the front plate free spins... and the nut and shaft don't spin with the plate. I put a socket on the nut to try to take it off, and I could spin the nut which was turning the compressor shaft. I could turn it with the socket with just using my fingers.

Any ideas? new compressor? new front plate?

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