I recently acquired my car and right away noticed that part of the air conditioning compressor was missing. The nut had been lost off the hub which caused part of the clutch to disappear.
I ordered a new clutch assembly on ebay and I must say it's top notch. It sure appears to be OEM and even has vw cast into the electrical connector for the coil.
I managed to replace this without removing the compressor.
All I did was jack the car up, my whole plastic belly pan has been missing so I didn't have to remove that but most of you will.
Grabbed some c-clip pliers and removed the clip that retains the bearing / pulley. Next took 2 long screwdrivers and carefully worked the pulley back and forth and it came off fairly easy.
Next: removed the c clip holding the coil to the compressor and slid it off.
Just do the opposite to re-install.
I honestly don't see where the issue is with space? I can see there being an issue if you end up using a puller but mine came off pretty easy. Gentle back and forth with the 2 screwdrivers.
A/C works great! I was hoping the fan module and charge were good. Today I found out they were.