Bearing Noise From Belt Accessories

ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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I'm hearing some bearing noise from one of the belt-driven accessories. I thought at first it was the alternator, but it seems it's coming from lower down, maybe the power steering pump. Having a hard time determining since everything is so low and close together. Are any of those things more likely than the others to get noisy bearings? I was going to be testing when I replace the belt, but also uncertain that spinning by hand will tell me anything.

I'm still quite new to the platform and this 4.3L V8, more familiar with the Ford modular and Windsor motors.

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ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Figured it out. It's the AC compressor pulley bearings. Not looking forward to dealing with that. Ended up with a damaged AC compressor trying to replace the same parts in my Buick last year.

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ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Yeah, now I just need to fix it. Hoping it doesn't go sideways.

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Shortfuse

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May 15, 2020
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Just replace the whole compressor it is not worth messing with the clutch and bearings plus you need special tools.
 

ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Just replace the whole compressor it is not worth messing with the clutch and bearings plus you need special tools.
I actually have the tools, so no worries there. At least so long as I don't have to deal with the clutch magnet.

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Shortfuse

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May 15, 2020
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If thats what you want, but I know of no one professionaly that replaces them anymore. If it is far enough along for that to go out the rest of the compressor is not far behind. So you have the pullers to remove the clutch assembly and the shim assortment to space the new one back to the correct air gap?
 

ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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If thats what you want, but I know of no one professionaly that replaces them anymore. If it is far enough along for that to go out the rest of the compressor is not far behind. So you have the pullers to remove the clutch assembly and the shim assortment to space the new one back to the correct air gap?

Have the tools, don't care about the gap. The system has a leak sufficient enough that there's no pressure, and I believe there to be a problem with the blend door given how hot air blows out the vents even when it's cool outside. So, at this point, it's not worth spending money on a new compressor. I just don't want the bearings to seize and snap the belt. Figure once I have the blend door situation resolved, then I'll tackle a proper repair on the AC.

I've also seen an AC compressor bypass which essentially replaces the compressor with an idler pulley. But I'm not certain that I really want to openly expose the refrigerant lines to the environment in such a fashion. It's one thing having a leak somewhere, it's another to blatantly expose the system. Probably wouldn't worry too much about that if I had a good way to cap off the threaded connections to the suction/discharge assembly, just to be safe.

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ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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I've been giving this some thought, and decided I'm instead going the "delete" route for now. Only about $40 for the bypass unit for the belt. Figured I could wrap the compressor end of the hoses in a heavy duty freezer bag and tie it off to the side. The only hold up at the moment is some tube that seems partially wrapped around the compressor. Can't seem to trace it currently, don't know what it's for. Looks maybe 3/16", the size of a brake line, which one would hope isn't wrapped around an AC compressor.

At least I'm not worried about releasing refrigerant, as the system appears to already be discharged. Down the road I can revisit getting the AC functional. But for now, is anyone familiar with what that line is for, and what difficulties it poses for removing the compressor?

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ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Well, looks like I took too long. The pulley bearings seized and stalled the engine. Thankfully it happened at home. I took a photo of this odd line. You can see it coming up around the compressor just to the left of the belt. Any idea of how much difficulty this will cause removing the compressor? I can't find any info on this.


 

ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Ok, I figured out that the line belongs to the power steering. Started the compressor removal process, but the hoses are stuck. All I get is a little bit of wiggle trying to pull out the compressor.
 

ledzilla

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Feb 15, 2020
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Finally got the old compressor out and the pulley bypass in. It was tough removing the hose assembly from the compressor, but once I did I was able to reach the last couple bolts on the back of the compressor. It's such a tight fit to get hands back there. Removing the alternator helped big time. I also had to drill out the mounting holes for the pulley bracket. They were threaded, and seemed about the same thread as the mounting bolts for the compressor, but given that the bolts weren't threaded their full length, had to drill out the threads in the holes. Got it all mounted up, no more squealing noises. In fact, once I also replaced the front end links, the car doesn't seem to have any rattles, squeals, or other troublesome noises aside from an as yet unknown piece of interior trim in the back with an odd rattle.
 
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