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Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:45 am
by philmeup1
Hello folks,

Recently I've been having issues with my '93 L300 when starting it up. Every now and then it would make a terrible screatching sound as though something was seizing up in the engine compartment. My mechanically declined fix for this was to immediately shut off the engine, wait a few seconds and then try it again.

Well that worked for a while, up until yesterday. When I went to fire up my van after work it was making that terrible noise and it just wouldn't go away. I was just about to call CAA and get it towed to my VW mechanic who's been kind enough to wrench on it, when I decided to pop the seat back and have a quick look at the motor when I start it up. Turns out the AC Compressor was not moving. After looking at it for a few minutes (with the engine off) I decided I could cut the belt to the compressor and most likely go on my merry way.

So I cut it off and voila, I was able to get moving again!! I should mention that this is the first time in the 6 plus years I've owned my van that I've been unable to drive it from a breakdown. It's been a great vehicle, and this has been an excellent community for sharing of great info.

Long story short, I'm hoping i didn't screw anything up by cutting off that belt. And i guess at some point, like as in 9 months from now when spring returns to Southern Ontario, I'll need to deal with this compressor.

So my question is, do I purchase a new compressor? And if so, does anyone know where a good place to find one might be? Or is it possible to have the original one rebuilt? Also the belt I cut off. Does anyone have a part number for this? It was pretty worn when i removed it.

Always appreciating any and all help.



Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:59 am
by sk66
Belt Napa 25-9365 or any that cross references.
Cutting the belt should be no issue. But I'm thinking the problem was more likely that the belt tension was too loose. If not, and the AC wasn't on then it's most likely the clutch, which you can probably have replaced... but IDK, might cost as much as a new compressor.

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:50 pm
by philmeup1
I know the belt tension was alright, It's just the compressor that wouldn't move. Steven from Rising Sun Auto sent me an excellent quote on all the replacement parts, which is what I'll end up doing after Christmas. The van is 25 years old now, and its been the best used car I've ever owned. Steven's prices are great, and he's happy to ship to Ontario.

I don't think I'll need to worry about the need for AC for a few months yet. We've already had plenty of winter in Southern Ontario and its only Dec 1st.

Thanks for your advice Steven and the part number for that belt. Just fir the heck of it, I'm going outside to see if there is any free play on that compressor pulley now that the belt has been removed.

Cheers, Phil

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:08 pm
by ChuckBlack
You might run into the problem of who will service your ac system. Those old van uses R-12 and no ones want to deal with nor has the right connections to fill them. And in 2019 there will be a new mandatory product where R1234yf will be require. Plain simple make sure who ever services you system know what they are doing. This might be expensive for you...

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:58 pm
by philmeup1
That's a good point Chuck. My mechanic friend asked me what was in it for refrigerant, but I wasn't sure. I'm wondering if I can put this new stuff in my old system when I go to fix it? It will all be new parts, compressor, evaporator etc.

I don't know anything about this stuff. I rarely used the AC in the past, but I always thought the cool box was a novel thing. Lately our summers have been short and not overly hot in Southern Ontario. Regardless of what I end up doing, we probably have a good 6 months left of winter before spring arrives. I need a drink now....

Anyway, thanks for this. It will definitely be a consideration as to what happens next.

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:49 pm
by ChuckBlack
You'll need a entire new system if you swap it including hoses, ... $$$ pretty pricy! Regardless of what your friend mechanic tells you, always refer to a professional HVAC shop to properly guide you through this process. I've seen client spent $1000+ and be left out with a system still not working. In the end...

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:03 am
by helibrian
Was your a/c button out? I had the same problem only the engine would make a horrible sound with the a/c button in. The system low pressure shutoff would prevent the compressor from running without freon. I had to take my Delica to Anglo air conditioning in Vancouver and it was around 800$ for everything( no compressor needed) it’s been running great ever since (8 years ago)

Seized AC Compressor

Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:21 pm
by philmeup1
Yes the A/C button was out and the A/C was off. The compressor was totally seized and I was unable to move the pulley once I cut the belt off. It's fine now that the seized compressor is outta the picture.

I'll deal with this in the spring now.