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Discussion Starter #1
'11 Crown Vic 4.6 here and it seems I've got a real squeaky a/c compressor pulley. I don't have a lot of experience with this car but the noise changes noticeably when the comp clutch kicks in and out, and a close listen seems to locate the sound right at that pulley. The sound is always there whether the a/c def is on or not.


What needs to be replaced? The entire clutch assembly, or possibly just the pulley?
 

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Stand alone pulley or part of the AC compressor?

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I believe it would be considered part of the compressor. Here's a video someone showed me on another forum that shows both the coil and pulley being pressed off and back onto the compressor housing.

 

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AC Compressor clutch pulley. (With bearing)

Replaceable. And you might want to do more than that. It should be possible to buy the pulley bearing only. The pulley with the bearing. Or an entire compressor.

It is possible to replace the pulley with bearing or just the bearing without opening the AC system and recharging. It has to be done on the car which is awkward.

Off the car can be done as well. However a 2011 car with ? mile has 8 year old parts. It would be a bummer to replace the pulley w/ bearing or bearing only to have the compressor fail in a year or so. Especially if you are going to remove the compressor to do replacements. If that is the case I would buy an entire compressor with clutch and pulley and be done with it. Two may be three hundred dollars in parts.

And if you are going to open up the system for heavens sake replace the orifice tube!!!! Then the system would be good for another 8 years or more.

Not sure where you are located (It's not in your profile) and if it cold outside (below 32f or 0c) waiting until warmer weather will assist in getting refrigerant into the system.

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. I've watched about all the videos on youtube for this and I've got a better idea how to approaching investigating the compressor clutch and components now.. measure air gap, rotate pulley with belt off, etc.

Some of the videos show parts being replaced with the compressor both on and off the vehicle. Just depends on how easily the clutch parts come off I guess. Someone suggested taking off my fan and shroud to give some more room. Just wish I could have found a video of this being done in my specific vehicle.

I went ahead and updated some of my profile info. I'm in KY btw.

Which of these parts should be bought OEM? .. clutch, pulley, bearing, coil, compressor?
 

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"Which of these parts should be bought OEM? .. clutch, pulley, bearing, coil, compressor?"

None really.
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Discussion Starter #7
Action, again big thanks. You've helped me so much I feel like I owe ya more than you know.

I'm glad to have learned a lot about my compressor components now so I'll be able to tackle those problems when they occur, but to my huge surprise this one actually turned out to be the serpentine belt. I had done such a thorough job of isolating the sound right at the compressor pulley I thought there was no doubt what was causing it. But someone else suggested I replace the belt as a precaution and lo and behold the squeak disappeared.

Lesson learned is that even when it is the belt, I suppose the belts gonna squeak at a certain stress point, which would be a pulley...giving cause for the mis-identification.

What makes a belt squeak like that anyway? I guess something that gets on it? Is there any way to clean it so the squeaking stops? Belt looks fine and not a single crack in it. Or can the squeak be caused by an internal breakdown in the belt somewhere?
 

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What makes a belt squeak like that anyway? - It ingests foreign debris or it is getting old and will fail soon

I guess something that gets on it? - yes

Is there any way to clean it so the squeaking stops? - Not really. There are belt dressing sprays and many times they will cause more issues than solving issues

Belt looks fine and not a single crack in it. Or can the squeak be caused by an internal breakdown in the belt somewhere? - That is possible. Or debris that is now imbedded into the rubber.

The other things to consider is cleaning the pulley grooves. Rubbing alcohol on a paper towel would be a good cleaner. Just make sure there isn't stuff left in the pulley grooves. It is a dirty world. Sometimes a good cleaning goes a long way.

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