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Old 07-31-2014, 07:16 PM
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Unhappy York AC clutch help

Long time no type....

I am the proud owner of an '88 Grand Wagoneer that is in pretty good shape mechanically - lots of torque with a cushy ride :-)

One thing has me baffled though with the AC compressor clutch. The compressor was replaced by the PO and the knee chiller was freezing me out - it worked incredibly well.

Driving down I-75 yesterday (at a leisurely 60mph with a 3speed), the air got warmer coming from the AC. Not wanting to pull over and troubleshoot I turned it off. When I got home I started troubleshooting and saw the clutch not staying engaged for a long period. Checked high side pressure and it looks great when the clutch is in. Checked voltage to the clutch while running and it was a steady 13.1vdc clutch engaged or not. Checked ground resistance to the battery and it's less than an ohm. I still sanded the compressor mounting bosses and bracket just for fun. I clamped a welding lead to the compressor body and to the battery with no change - I think the ground is ok.

So I bought a reman clutch. Borrowed a tool to remove the old one and installed the new (new gates belts also). Now I have the same issue except it works around town but get the truck up to 45mph and it starts acting the same. The clutch will drop out occasionally while idling long enough for the air to get really warm.

I'm stumped (not hard to do). The AC was awesome from May on until this week - it's not even that hot here - highs in the low 80's this week.

Any ideas?

The truck is stock except for aluminum intake, 4 barrel carb, HEI distributer: 360,727,np229, D44's.
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:21 PM
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Ok...I just installed a second reman clutch...same issue.

Not knowing a tremendous amount about this AC setup, what is the thermo-couple looking thing on the compressor? It goes to some sort of box. Is that an overheat sensor for the compressor? Or to cycle the system?
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:08 AM
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Good to see you back!

I think your system is low on freon. There's a pressure sensor that will shut the compressor off if the system is low, and I suspect it's working.
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I've double checked the freon - hi/low side numbers are spot on.

Where is the low pressure switch? Could it be bad?
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:09 PM
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I can't tell you exactly where, but somewhere in the piping. Just follow all the tubing until you find a switch. Usually they have two wires.

Now that I think about it, there may be two switches; one for high head pressure and one for low low-side pressure. Or maybe one switch could do both jobs; I just don't know a whole lot about AC.
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Old 08-02-2014, 12:21 AM
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I'm not much on automotive AC either.

The air worked pretty good this afternoon. One thing that was odd though - when I parked it and shut it off there was no condensate dripping on the ground. In the past it would almost pour water out after running for just a few minutes. I wonder if there is a level switch somewhere that sees water in a drip pan like a fridge?

I guess I need to dig up a manual.
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:23 AM
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I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Plenty of times I've seen and heard of the drain hole getting plugged with muffus and soaking the carpet at the passenger's feet. If the AC was working but not making water your humidity must have been way down. It was 22% here a few days ago, and 30% yesterday morning. That's very low for this time of year here.
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Old 08-02-2014, 07:06 PM
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Makes sense...that would be too good to keep the pan from over flowing on the carpet.

I need to dig up a recording voltmeter and hook it up in a couple of places and drive the truck around and see if something is interrupting clutch voltage when it shouldn't.
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Old 08-03-2014, 11:24 AM
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That would work, but it might be easier to run a wire from the hot wire at the clutch to the oil pressure switch wire. That will light the O.P. warning light when the clutch is not powered. The O.P. light will work too, but you won't know which you lost - compressor clutch or oil pressure. I think. Won't take long to figure out which, though.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:31 PM
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how about the switch inside the cab? don't forget they are a little complicated because often the A/C will engauge with the defrost setting.
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