Sunday, June 4, 2017

De-Bugging the AC in Subie.

No AC in Subie getting you down?
There is nothing like a 95+ degree day to remind you how nice it would be to fix the AC in the car.   Subie's AC has been intermittent for the last two years.   At first I thought it was because I overfilled the AC ( which I did not....but remember, I'm an idiot)
This Gap is WAY too big.

  After finally finding the motivation to dig further and do some research, I discovered that a possible hangup is a small spacer in the clutch assembly.  It looked easy enough to at least take a look at.   And wouldn't AC feel nice on my new daily commute to Iowa City for Pearson?

Lets remove this Clutch.
After removing the covers,  I learned that the clutch could easily be removed with a set of three 5mm bolts.   I threaded them in and "pop!"  Off she came. I can not possibly convey how simple that was.   I would have been very unhappy trying to pull that clutch off any other way.  Simply astounding!

That was easy!  Almost Too Easy...
With the clutch off, I was able to give it a closer look.  I see that the gap between the clutch and pulley was enough to allow a spider to set up shop near the screw mount.    Not shown ( because I forgot to take a picture) was me measuring the gap.   I learned that Subaru has a tolerance of .45 mm to .15 mm gap between clutch and pulley.   Mine was definitely larger than .45mm!  on to the next phase.
I have BUGS in my AC!

Remove  small Spacer from center post.
I took out the small spacer ( looks like a really thin washer) and pressed the clutch back into place.   I got really lucky on this one.   Not only did I guess right on the 5mm bolts,  But I also accidentally purchased 8 mm bolts  that I ended up using to push the clutch back on.  And here I was thinking I messed up buying extra bolts for nothing.
Clean up the clutch back  Note uneven wear

I cleaned up the clutch a bit and noted that there is a bit of uneven wear on one side.  I'm not sure how big of a deal this is,  but it beats purchasing a new compressor. ( $600!)    I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind if it acts up again.

Let's Fill 'Er Up!
Middle of the Zone.
But does it work?   Yes!   Cold air comes out generously now;  with the clutch engaging and disengaging when I push the button.  I should also note that I checked the gap with the shims and found that the new space between the pulley and clutch is perfectly between .15 and .45 mm. Next step is to top off the coolant.  Fairly easy.  Infact, I still had some refrigerant from two years ago.   I finally get a chance to use it up.
Cold enough for Ice Cream now.

So now I get to drive a Subaru that can double as an Ice Cream Truck!  Just kidding.   It is not that cold...but Cheryl did mentioning taking him out for Ice Cream later. Hopefully the AC will provide enough chill so we can enjoy the Ice Cream before it completely melts.

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