I have a 1996 F-150 with an inline 6 cylinder engine. Either the A/C compressor clutch or the compressor itself is making a rattling/clinking noise every 15-25 seconds or so. I don't know if it is the bearings, the clutch or the compressor itself. Is there a way to determine which it is? I am trying to figure out which part to buy.
Another question: The engine temperature always stays just at the lower edge of the normal operating range. Does this mean that the thermostat is going out?
Thanks for the reply. There is no need to muffle any surrounding noise. The noise from the clutch/compressor is quite loud. I can also see the clutch jumping a bit when it makes the noise. The noise sounds sort of like the clutch is slipping excessively. It is not really a grinding noise, but a clangey scrrriiiippp-scrrriiiipppp sound. It appears that the compressor is cycling on or something, and maybe the clutch is having trouble engaging. It does it for a few seconds and then stops. And about 15-25 seconds later, it does it again. It does it regardless if the A/C is running or not. I even unplugged the electrical connector from the compressor and it still did it. The A/C does work, however.
Sounds like the clutch is fragged or it needs to be shimmed. There is a single nut in the middle of the clutch that holds it onto the keyed shaft. Behind that are some paper-thin shim washers that are used to adjust the gap between the clutch & the pulley face. You can probably find the specs here, but you can certainly find the diagrams.
Any trick to replacing the clutch and seal?
I took my clutch off and the seal below it was gone! It burn't up somehow, perhaps related to a new serpentine belt the dealer told me was after market and too long. Anyway, I need to remove the lock ring and replace the seal. The clutch is red which I have been told is a sign it is bad. The new clutch is $63 and I just can't see how this can go bad. I do get some noise when I spin the pulley without the clutch on it. It looks like there should be more bearings in there but I haven't found anyplace/anyone to confirm what it should look like.