So an hour after I agreed to buy this car from a friend, a lot of noise near the pulleys turned into an unbelievable amount of noise from the pulleys. I had already ruled out the power steering pump and the water pump as the source earlier.
So tonight, thanks to some inspirationhttps://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2288999, I decided to hunt down the racket.
After wrestling with the belts and various inconveniently located brackets and bolts (8mm hex on the compressor and 13mm everywhere else), I was able to isolate the AC compressor. The clutch/pulley bearing sound like a blender crushing ice. And boy was it a pain getting that inboard slider nut to turn in 1 click increments.
I was kneeling in front of the car with my head on the radiator in grief that this was the case. Particularly painful considering that the AC didn't work anyway, but I cannot simply bypass the compressor because the alternator belt links to it. (I could retrofit this, but the complexity level shoots up a magnitude).
So as I tried to pull out the compressor, I tried to get the engine-side bracket loose and heard a sickening *snap*. I had pressed one of the AC hoses into the oil dipstick plastic and broke it in half.
I gave up at this point , changed clothes and parked in front of the computer to see what kind of cost impact this is looking like. *GASP* $250 for a rebuilt compressor.
All I need is a bearing that spins a pulley - I don't really need the back end of the compressor!
Oh and to turn a mechanical dilemma into a moral matter, I discovered that my non-working AC still has a lot of R-12 refrigerant pressure in the lines. I'm not going to chain myself to a Humboldt County redwood tree over this, but hey, I live in California and have to admit this makes me uncomfortable.
Should I simply replace the compressor? Can I get the pulley assembly only replaced? Should I push the car into the bay? Any suggestions on this matter would be appreciated.
Modified by JPX at 9:29 AM 1-29-2006
Modified by JPX at 11:34 PM 3-24-2010