Bearing Noise From Belt Accessories

ledzilla

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
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

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
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

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
Yeah, now I just need to fix it. Hoping it doesn't go sideways.

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Shortfuse

New member
May 15, 2020
20
3
Just replace the whole compressor it is not worth messing with the clutch and bearings plus you need special tools.
 

ledzilla

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
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

New member
May 15, 2020
20
3
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

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
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

New member
Feb 15, 2020
16
3
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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