I have a 1989 3.0 Litre Aerostar with air conditioning that doesnt work. I was thinking about replacing my belts. Can I buy a shorter belt that bypasses the compressor? Would I get more power from the engine or should I just put the same belt back on? Thanks!
I have known people whose compressors burnt out, to use a different belt to by-pass it. The only thing to worry about is it will place the stress at a different angle that may or may not cause a problem.
As for extra power, when the compressor is not running, the load is off it and it acts as a straight pully. I doubt you are going to see any change in performance.
That is basically what is happening when the air is off. It is an idler pulley. The only trouble is the bearings can burn out and I once had them catch on fire. If you definetly are not going to use the air, it might be better to bypass. On less thing to go wrong.
I will probably bypass it by using a belt for a 3.0 L that doesn't have AC. When I do it (if I find the time) I will let you peoples know how it goes. By the way, you mentioned something about putting stress on other components if I bypass the AC. Wouldn't there be that stress on a vehicle that doesn't have AC?? So I would assume that it would be ok. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
All I was suggesting was that a part that had stress from one angle now would have a slightly different stress angle. It ma produce a slight wobble if over the years the part has bent slightly in that direction. On one that has never had air, the part has always had the stress at that angle. I still don't think it will cause any problem but it is interesting food for thought.
My buick has an AIR system (air injection reaction) so it has an air pump. The air pump went bad and was making noise so I put a shorter belt on it to bypass the air pump.
BIG mistake..... I ended up taking out the ac compressor and the water pump.... It's because of the fact that the balts have been loading the bearings for the same way for a LONG time, and if you change that you can destroy the bearings like I did.......
The engines without AC would not have problems because thier bearings have been loaded like that thier whole lives... your's has not.....
With a high milage engine don't just go taking belt driven components off of it for the above mentioned reason. Even with a low milage engine you could have a component that is fine as long as everything stays the same, but the second you change the load points on the belt you may take it out...
You will not see a performance increase by bypassing the a/c compressor, as already mentioned it is not driven unless you have the air on.... when the air comes on the clutch locks and it drives the compressor.... I wouldn't risk it... most likely it will eventually end up costing you more money if you do it...
Well, I can't say about loading the bearings in a different direction but here is my experience from my Mazda Miata.
I was out of freon and left the compressor in place. That is until the bearings in the compressor clutch froze and started the belt to burn. I got home by cutting the belt off. It only went to the A/C and the power steering.
I got a smaller belt but it wouldn't work because the A/C pully would rub the back side of the belt. I had to remove the A/C compressor.
If you want to just bypass the compressor make sure the (shorter) belt will fit without interference form the A/C pully.
I eventually had my compressor rebuilt and put it all back. Hope things work for you.