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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently replaced my bad compressor clutch assembly (worn out bearing) and the pulley and the clutch plate don't seem to be lining up correctly. One side of the clutch plate is rubbing the pulley while the other end has a big gap. The problem seems more pronounced with the belt tightened on. Driving around produces the same high pitched metallic noise before I replaced the old pulley, minus the grinding noise.

The whole clutch assembly is brand new and when I put the two plates against each other there doesn't seem to be any warping. I did notice there is a lot of "play" when the pulley is inserted on the compressor unit. You can jiggle it easily by hand. I know someone else has posted about this on another thread, but not sure the problem or solution was ever identified.

Maybe the whole compressor needs to be replaced? Maybe the belt is too tight? How do I determine the correct belt tension without buying the special tool the service manual suggests?

Any ideas?
 

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Were you able to put the new clutch assembly on and get the snap ring on okay? If the snap ring went on then it should be in the proper position. There shouldn't be much play on the shaft, it should slide on easily but snug.
 

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Replacing AC clutch

I had the same pulley noise described on other threads. Upon removal of the AC belt, it was obvious the bearing was smooth but with considerable wobble.
I replaced only the bearing and re-used the original pulley and clutch. This eliminated the pulley wobble and now the chattering when compressor is engaged is gone except for a little when compressor first starts.
Two observations: The spindley compressor shaft looks like it could be bent if great care was not taken to keep the puller centered when removing pulley. And: The fit between the inner bearing race and the compressor shaft was tight enough that the clutch had to be driven on with a hammer and block of wood. This tight fit leaves no room for pulley wobble (which you seem to be getting, judging by the continued chatter.)
If the shaft is not bent, or the pulley was not bent during re-installation, could it be possible you do not have the correct replacement part?
The bearing I used is available at Autozone, and you can have the old bearing removed and replaced at a machine shop. However, the new bearing should be locked in by punching divots around the pulley housing, somewhat similar to how the old bearing was held in.
 

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I've replaced the AC clutch assy on two of my other cars, the clutch plates take a real beating and get warped with heat and use so I've always replaced the entire clutch/bearing assembly and not just the bearing? I never had to use a puller to get the old assy off and never had to force the new one on, not sure what is going on with yours? Now to be fare I've never done it to an Insight, maybe their specs for the shaft to bearing fit are tighter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
rudyred, both the pulley and the clutch plate are new from majestic honda and they are the right part. I compared it to the old ones. And the bearing is indeed locked in place by factory divots around the pulley housing. It looks like it's trued to spec.

I did notice the wide part of the compressor shaft (the part that has the groove for the snap ring) is a bit chewed up; possibly from the abuse from the old bearing seizing and grinding all the time?? Before I even removed the old pulley, it was already wobbling a lot. I don't know if the snap ring groove has been widened or something, but there's definitely play.

Just curious how you knocked the pulley in without removing the compressor. There wasn't much room to work with down there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've replaced the AC clutch assy on two of my other cars, the clutch plates take a real beating and get warped with heat and use so I've always replaced the entire clutch/bearing assembly and not just the bearing? I never had to use a puller to get the old assy off and never had to force the new one on, not sure what is going on with yours? Now to be fare I've never done it to an Insight, maybe their specs for the shaft to bearing fit are tighter?
gilbert, I couldn't remove the pulley without a puller either. I don't know if the specs are tight since there's play when the pulley is in. I think it might be more a problem of heat warping of the shaft, if that's even possible. The backend of the shaft (side towards the compressor) is loose, but as you slide the pulley towards the front side of the shaft to remove it, it gets tighter.

I'm starting to think the compressor shaft may just be damaged from the heat generated by the old bearings grinding on it all the time.

I'm gonna try and get a video of it to show what is happening
 

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Randomfire:
I removed the right front wheel and the vertical splash shield and that gave good access to the end of the shaft (first jack the car as high as possible). I drilled a hole in a 2x4 block so that the shaft would slide into the hole and used this to drive home the pulley by tapping in the center of the block.
From the damage you describe, it sounds like the bearing spun on the shaft.
It doesn't seem that would cause the clutch gap to be more on one side and less on the other though. Could you manage to rotate the compressor (clockwise only) to see if the small part of the shaft is straight? With little room to work the puller, The possibility of a bent shaft due to an off-center puller placement shouldn't be discounted. However, if the new pulley wobbles once fully seated and snap ring in place, this would seem to me to be wear on the big part of the shaft due to the spun bearing, or possibly a pulley that got bent during installation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rudyred,

you're right on with your comments. I took the pulley off again and double checked the big part of the shaft and the bottom half was worn flat (at least 3mm deep) due to the seized bearing grinding on it. I was dragging the pulley and the bearing against the shaft this whole time.

This explains why my pulley had a lot of play when I fiddled with it and gilbertguy said his was snug. The clutch plate rubbing was because the pulley wobbled as it spun off-axis on the worn shaft.

After spending $1000 on a new compressor and repair fees, the car purrs again. No more grinding or high pitched noises and I even noticed a significant power increase now that I'm not dragging the pulley.

This is the second time I had a bearing go out. First time was the idle pulley. Inspect your bearings before the repairs get expensive. :(


Randomfire:
I removed the right front wheel and the vertical splash shield and that gave good access to the end of the shaft (first jack the car as high as possible). I drilled a hole in a 2x4 block so that the shaft would slide into the hole and used this to drive home the pulley by tapping in the center of the block.
From the damage you describe, it sounds like the bearing spun on the shaft.
It doesn't seem that would cause the clutch gap to be more on one side and less on the other though. Could you manage to rotate the compressor (clockwise only) to see if the small part of the shaft is straight? With little room to work the puller, The possibility of a bent shaft due to an off-center puller placement shouldn't be discounted. However, if the new pulley wobbles once fully seated and snap ring in place, this would seem to me to be wear on the big part of the shaft due to the spun bearing, or possibly a pulley that got bent during installation.
 

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Replacing AC clutch

I had the same pulley noise described on other threads. Upon removal of the AC belt, it was obvious the bearing was smooth but with considerable wobble.
I replaced only the bearing and re-used the original pulley and clutch. This eliminated the pulley wobble and now the chattering when compressor is engaged is gone except for a little when compressor first starts.
Two observations: The spindley compressor shaft looks like it could be bent if great care was not taken to keep the puller centered when removing pulley. And: The fit between the inner bearing race and the compressor shaft was tight enough that the clutch had to be driven on with a hammer and block of wood. This tight fit leaves no room for pulley wobble (which you seem to be getting, judging by the continued chatter.)
If the shaft is not bent, or the pulley was not bent during re-installation, could it be possible you do not have the correct replacement part?
The bearing I used is available at Autozone, and you can have the old bearing removed and replaced at a machine shop. However, the new bearing should be locked in by punching divots around the pulley housing, somewhat similar to how the old bearing was held in.
I know this is old issue. i am looking to just replace the bearing. Can you provide a part number from Auto Zone for the bearing of the AC pulley? or guide as to how to request the part from Auto Zone? Do you recall if it is a standard part - like for a Civic?
 

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I found the part from Auto Zone for the Bearing AC Clutch Santech MT2021 @ $22. Fits many vehicles.
MT2021 Santech

 

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Here's one on ebay for under $20 https://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-Compres...:Honda&hash=item4b193a0990:g:aLEAAOxyY7FRDrCc, but I bet you can go to a bearing supply in your home town and get it cheaper. I need to do the same, but the shaft is pretty worn. I'm going to build it up with JB Weld as an experiment.

One thing for sure, we should keep an eye on the AC compressor for noise or wobble. I had and HCH and now an Insight with chewed up shaft because of letting the bearing get bad. Both cars were near 200K miles. I won't let it go that long again.
 

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I recently replaced my bad compressor clutch assembly (worn out bearing) and the pulley and the clutch plate don't seem to be lining up correctly. One side of the clutch plate is rubbing the pulley while the other end has a big gap. The problem seems more pronounced with the belt tightened on. Driving around produces the same high pitched metallic noise before I replaced the old pulley, minus the grinding noise.

The whole clutch assembly is brand new and when I put the two plates against each other there doesn't seem to be any warping. I did notice there is a lot of "play" when the pulley is inserted on the compressor unit. You can jiggle it easily by hand. I know someone else has posted about this on another thread, but not sure the problem or solution was ever identified.

Maybe the whole compressor needs to be replaced? Maybe the belt is too tight? How do I determine the correct belt tension without buying the special tool the service manual suggests?

Any ideas?
I had the same problem. And I found out the problem are the shims.
you have to center them because they are usually bigger than the shaft.
I did the next to find out. Tighten the nut. Then I look for the side that is less space between pulley and plate and I rotate the plate and put it on upper side.
Than I loose the nut and tighten again. When I checked again for the place where is less space between tha pulley and the plate. It was not on the upper side, it was now on the lower side of the plate.
shimms move downwards and that way the plate is not level when you tighten the nut.
Hope these helps other when having the same problem.
 
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