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FS6 AC compressor teardown

Discussion in 'IDI Tech Article' started by chillman88, Jun 2, 2019.

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  1. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Alright folks, I know there's not a lot out there regarding tearing down the AC compressor. I'm missing a couple pics but if you are handy enough to try this job you'll be able to figure it out.

    First off the usual disclaimer, if you break your junk it's not my fault. This is how I did it but this information is free and should be treated as such. You usually get what you pay for LOL

    First unbolt the compressor from the truck and get it on your workbench.

    There's a nut in the center of the clutch. You'll need to hold the center of the clutch to get it off. I used an oil filter wrench but a strap wrench is probably the best tool. Might be able to hold it with gloves if you're using an impact to get the nut off.

    The rest of the clutch is held on by snap rings pull off the first one and half the clutch will come off. Then is the other snap ring. You can barely see it in this picture. I'm sorry, this was before I cleaned it off.

    IMG_20190528_163504209.jpg

    Once that is off you'll need to get the rest of the clutch off. I found a socket that fit on that aluminum stub that's showing but had a hole big enough for the shaft to poke through. Then I set it upside down on the bench and gently tap tap tapped off the clutch with a rubber mallet. I had to reposition it on the socket several times but it eventually came off. MAKE SURE YOU ALTERNATE SIDES! If you don't go around it will just angle and bind.

    If you have a large enough gear puller it would make short work if it, just be careful! If you use a gear puller you still want to use the socket. You don't want to press against the shaft, just that round part of the housing AROUND the shaft.

    If it's binding you're doing something wrong, this is a slip fit and is only snug because of light corrosion. From what I saw of mine it might slide right off if it was a new one and still clean.

    Congratulations, you got the clutch off. Clean the housing off really good and place it in a bucket. It's going to leak a fair amount of oil.

    Pull out the 6 bolts holding the case together and you'll be here:
    IMG_20190602_120636031.jpg


    STOP HERE IF YOU ARE ONLY REPLACING THE FRONT SEAL!!!!!

    ;Pissed:rtfm

    If you are only replacing the front seal skip ahead to removal of the front plate. If you break the seal on any of the other sections you will likely have to replace ALL the seals.


    Flip it upside down and oil will start to drain out of the bolt holes. Hold the back plate firmly while lifting slightly and gently tap tap tappy on the lugs on the back plate, alternating sides. You're just tapping to break the seal, be gentle. Once it loosens a little bit you can wiggle it off the rest of the way. Here's what you'll see... Hopefully minus all the rust and corrosion.

    This compressor turned out to be in pretty rough shape.

    IMG_20190602_120846867.jpg

    CAUTION! There are two little alignment pins at 10:00 and 4:00 in the picture in the rear plate. Don't lose these! You can pull them out and set them aside now to be safe.

    It's possible that the plate shown in the bottom of the picture is stuck to the rear cover. If that's the case you'll have to very gently pry it off. Be careful because you don't want to ding it or scratch it up. I have a screwdriver with a 45 degree bend near the end I was able to get in there and push it up with.

    Pull out the o-ring and start cleaning the rear cover up. Might want to let it soak in the parts washer if you have one.
     
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  2. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If that plate wasn't stuck to the rear cover, take it off and clean it up. There's a metal shim piece that is on the other side of it. Clean that up too and set it aside.

    Now we're here: The top piece in this picture is the plate and shim I already told you to clean up and set aside.
    IMG_20190602_120943749.jpg

    Tip this upside down and let it drain.


    FRONT COVER REMOVAL:

    :bail

    Welcome back to the people who are just replacing the front shaft seal.

    Removing the front cover is the same as the rear cover but if you skipped ahead like I warned you to then you didn't read that and now I have to retype it...

    :frustrate

    Hold the front cover firmly while lifting slightly and gently tap tap tappy on the lugs on the front cover, alternating sides. You're just tapping to break the seal, be gentle. Once it loosens a little bit you can wiggle it off the rest of the way. Here's what you'll see... Hopefully minus all the rust and corrosion.

    IMG_20190602_121218861.jpg

    I really should have just done the front cover first but... That would have been too easy. :dunno So I'll just keep copying and changing what I already typed.

    CAUTION! There are two little alignment pins at 11:00 and 5:00 in the picture in the center housing. Don't lose these! You can pull them out and set them aside now to be safe.

    It's possible that the plate is stuck to the front cover as my picture shows. If that's the case you'll have to very gently pry it off. Be careful because you don't want to ding it or scratch it up. I have a screwdriver with a 45 degree bend near the end I was able to get in there and push it up with.

    IMG_20190602_140231176.jpg

    Once you get that apart, clean the plate and the little shim plate up and set them aside.

    This picture shows the shim plate removed from the other plate just so you can see what I'm talking about:

    IMG_20190602_121301793.jpg

    Pull out the o-ring and start cleaning the front cover up. You'll need to pull out the front shaft seal. Mine just popped out when I pushed my finger into it. There's also a rubber seal on the outside that you will want to take out. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DIRECTION THE SEAL IS FACING SO YOU CAN REINSTALL IT CORRECTLY!!

    IMG_20190602_140253903.jpg

    The shaft seal is the bottom one, the top one is that rubber dust seal.

    Might want to let the front cover soak in the partswasher if you have one.

    If you're just resealing the front, skip to the end where the front starts going back together. I'm going to continue tearing this down in the meantime.
     
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  3. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Spray the heck out of the center section with brakleen or something similar, unless you have a parts washer you want to soak it in instead. Once you have it cleaned up pretty good, gently place a flat screwdriver between the discharge or suction ports and carefully pry just enough to break the center seal. Place it on the bench with the shaft up and pull on the top half of the housing while pressing against the shaft with your thumb. When it separates you'll have this:

    IMG_20190602_134232793.jpg

    I saw a tutorial that said not to take this apart because it's awful to get back together. When I saw how bad my compressor was I decided I needed to anyway. I didn't have any trouble getting mine back together.

    Pay attention to which side is front or back so you can reassemble it correctly.

    Wiggle the rotating assembly out and disassemble it paying attention to how it went together. On the both sides of the shaft are thrust bearings. You'll want to clean them up really good and lubricate them before you reassemble it.

    IMG_20190602_133253294.jpg

    I personally packed mine with petroleum jelly. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS simply because I don't know how it reacts with the oil in an AC system. It's standard procedure with transmissions and transfer cases but ATF is different than refrigerant oil so it may or may not be ok.

    YOUR SAFEST BET is to soak them in whichever oil you are going to use with your refrigerant.

    You are going to want to do the same thing with the needle bearings on each end of the center housing halves.

    The pistons ride on balls and cups. Clean these up really good and oil them up. Again I used petroleum jelly (Vaseline) but I don't recommend it because I don't know for sure it's compatible with the oil.

    Lightly coat the insides of the pistons with refrigerant oil. I would just dip your CLEAN finger in the oil and spread some in the bores.

    Place the back half of the center housing on the CLEAN workbench and/or a shop towel/clean rag.

    Assemble the balls/cups on the pistons and slide them over the "wobble plate" as shown:

    IMG_20190602_133715061.jpg

    Repeat for the other two pistons. Hold them with both hands and guide the assembly into the back section of the housing. You will need to wiggle stuff around until the pistons slide into their bores and the shaft into it's hole. You should be back to here:

    IMG_20190602_134232793.jpg

    Replace the o-ring that's in the front half, make sure you've oiled the front needle bearings, and slide the front half down over the rotating assembly.
     
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  4. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    At this point you're basically just putting everything back together. As old man Chilton says, "Assembly is reverse of removal"

    CAUTION!!!

    I don't wear gloves for ANYTHING but I have been told DO NOT GET FINGERPRINTS ON THE SHAFT SEAL! So even I who never wear gloves would wear them when installing the front shaft seal. I hope you paid attention to how it came out because... I didn't lol. I didn't use the new seal because I decided to buy a compressor that wasn't full of rust.

    You'll want to remember that rubber "dust seal" that goes under the clutch before you put the housing back together.

    You will need to clean the old seals off of the thicker "plates". I didn't because my compressor was so rough and my kit only had one of the two I needed anyway. Place the new seals into the end covers before placing the thicker plates in. Don't forget those alignment dowels I told you not to lose!

    The thicker plates are marked F and R for front and rear. Everything lines up only one way. The "shim" plates go towards the center of the compressor. Don't forget to put new o-rings in before you reassemble the housing!

    IMG_20190602_135759930.jpg

    Those little yellow washers are bolt seals. Slide them on your bolts, put a drop or two of oil on the threads, and put the bolts in. Tighten them down in a star pattern so everything torques up evenly.

    DO NOT USE THE BOLTS TO PULL IT TOGETHER! If it doesn't slide right together something is binding. Pull it back apart and see what isn't lining up!

    Don't forget to dump a bunch of oil in the compressor before you reinstall it! Good luck! I hope this helps someone out!!
     
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  5. chillman88

    chillman88 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    This kit is correct IF YOU ARE ONLY REPLACING THE FRONT SEAL!!

    It doesn't have the rest of the gaskets for the center or rear of the housing.

    IMG_20190602_135805678.jpg IMG_20190602_135759930.jpg

    Still... It's like $15 on RockAuto so it's worth it if that's what you need. Just don't break the seal on the center or rear!
     
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