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1999 Ford Expedition A/C's gone!

8037 Views 14 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  electro
1999 Ford Expedition, 4x4, 4.6

So, my A/C wouldn't kick on this year, so took it to parts store, starting poking around, tested the relays, etc....then looked at my compressor and the A/C clutch is gone.... like it fell off or something!

I talked to the guys at the store, they hadn't heard of that before and neither had I.

As you can see in the picture - it's just gone and the pulley remains, but no clutch...thus no A/C

So my question is is can i just put a new clutch back on without replacing the pulley? This seems like wishful thinking, but it appears to only be held on by one bolt in the front and some spacers/washers.

If not just the clutch, can the pulley and clutch be replaced without replacing the entire compressor?

Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.


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You made it over here...welcome.
Sorry i had to be so short wit the answers on the other's not a very friendly place.

The clutch is behind the pulley but you should check the air gap (.015") with a feeler gauge....or just try tapping on it with the AC on, engine running. If it starts working the 'air gap' is too large. If it starts working I will post up the instructions to re-shim the clutch. I've seen a lot of these low mounted compressors wear out the clutch prematurely. I assume it's road debris/dirt causing it.

EDIT: Added picture

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As long as the pulley is not damaged you can replace the clutch. Instructions and exploded view attached. Disregard clutch coil part.


Just to be clear, Scott, is the belt still in place, and does the A/C pulley still turn with the engine? From your picture it (sorta) seems to be the case.
yeah, the belt is still in place, and when I start the engine and turn on the A/C, the blower kicks in , just no cold air
in looking at your exploded picture jim, its the piece all the way to the far left which is missing, and the pulley is still intact - is the piece on the far left of the picture the clutch or is it simple a part of the clutch? is the only piece missing.
That part is missing?? Difficult to see in your picture. In that case, you'll need a new clutch. Most auto part stores carry it. Roysses post above has the instructions for replacement. You might be able to do it w/o removing the compressor. It's really tight down there.
...So my question is is can i just put a new clutch back on without replacing the pulley? This seems like wishful thinking, but it appears to only be held on by one bolt in the front and some spacers/washers....
The answer is yes.
However, you will need to source the missing parts. The piece of the clutch that is missing is called "the shoe". I seriously doubt you will find just this piece, unless you use boneyard parts. Also, the shims are no doubt missing as is the retaining bolt. And, if the surface of the pulley is worn or mangled, you have additional issues.

IMO, the path of least resistance is to purchase a new clutch assy (as mentioned above), install the missing pieces, and check for proper operation. IIRC there is enough room to wrestle the clutch shoe in and secure it. You may need to "play" with the shims to get the right air gap. If the retaining bolt does not have a good lock washer, consider some sort of lock-tite on the threads to prevent a re-occurrence.

Don't forget to post back and give us an update.
Yeah, it's pretty crazy, ... just the the shoe fell off - seems like I would have heard it, but maybe is was on one of our off road expeditions that it happened.

Im going to check my local parts yard first to see if getting just the shoe is even an option, but i think i'll end up buying the entire clutch, and just use that one part to begin with, and the replace the entire thing if needed ..... I'll report back once i've got the part...should be another automotive adventure!!!

you guys have been awesome and way helpful - thanks a million!

talk at you in a few...hopefully with good news!
got the parts

I got the parts for putting "the shoe" on the air compressor, and it seems to slide on just fine. A quick question: in the exploded .pdf instructions, it says that the nut needs 10 ft lbs of pressure - is that correct? and how important is that number or can i just tighten it down?

thanks and i'll report back when i've gotten it on
Use a drop of locktite and snug it down by feel if you don't have a torque wrench. 10 ft lbs is not a lot of pressure.
I have never used a torque wrench to tighten that nut. :blush2: this is an all time great story

I bought the whole clutch part for approx. $90 from autozone, had to rent a torque wrench to get it the right pressure, and borrow a feeler gauge from my neighbor, and put some locktight (good suggestion) and put the new shoe on...and as I was just tightening it down, I see just near my face under the vehicle stuck in the plastic/rubber undercarriage the OLD SHOE!!!!

So, I can see the spacer washers still stuck in the shoe, so i put it on, tighten it to 10 pounds....and it worked!!!!!!

I then took out the new screw that came with the new clutch, went to autozone and got a new screw, returned the whole clutch unit, and put on the old shoe after cleaning off the face of the pulley.

It now works perfectly. The total fix cost: $2.29 for a new screw, and two weeks of waiting!!!


Well let me tell ya, you had two of the best helping you on this, Cuda, and electro my hat's off to you guys!

I am delighted that they were able to help, I am proud of both of them (although I had nothing to do with their upbringing, or building their character) They are "special" and should be proud of themselves.

I am going to mark this thread as RESOLVED, and later this week another mode will close the thread so that it does not get mucked up with a bunch of "me too"s.
Well, if the SHOE FITS, WEAR IT! :lol:
(Had to say it before Cuda did)

Glad it all worked out for you.
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