Monday, May 07, 2007

Broken Jeep...Part II

Alright...The Jeep is back in business. As promised I took some photos of the old parts and will post the details of the replacement process. First off here is the broken A/C Compressor still installed in the Jeep. You can see the bad pulley on the front of the Compressor which is facing the fan shroud.














To remove the compressor I had to first remove the bolt attaching the A/C hoses. Here is where you need to be ready, because any A/C gases (which are now Ozone friendly) that are in the system will rush out. In my case this wasn't too bad since the Jeep is eight years old and the A/C hasn't been very cool for the last year or two. Next I had to simply remove the four bolts at each corner or the compressor and disconnect the power connector (a simple clip at the rear of the unit). The unit then lifts right out.

The new compressor goes back in the same way the old one came out. Here is a picture of the new unit installed (nice and shiny). I also installed a new serpentine belt since I was still running on the original.

The only thing left is to check the system for leaks and refill the A/C. As I haven't used the A/C that often and prefer to have the windows down I have opted to leave the power connector disconnected and may never have the system recharged.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Broken Jeep...Part I

I have a 1999 Jeep Cherokee that has served me very well (has about 150,000 miles). About two weeks ago the serpentine belt began to make a very loud noise and a small amount of smoke would come out from under the hood. This was a problem that I could not ignore and the thought of looking for another car made my stomach turn. I had borrowed my wife's car to get back and forth to work and that was not going to work for much longer as she needs transportation too.

So after a few minutes of tinkering with it I discovered that the pulley attached to the A/C Compressor was shot. The pulley was dragging and grinding when you tried to move it by hand and obviously needed to be replaced. Off to the local auto-parts store I went to get a replacement pulley. No luck...the pulley is not sold separately, you have to buy the entire A/C Compressor with the pulley and clutch attached. Total cost = $260.00! So before I go replacing it I needed a second opinion. A friend of mine does some auto work and offered to take a look at it and confirmed my findings, the pulley was shot.

The friend mentioned looking at some local junkyards to see if I could find another compressor which should cost much less. I called around to 2 or 3 places and no luck. I next decided to look online and see if anyone had a remanufactured compressor for sale...no luck. However, I did stumble across another interesting item: an A/C Bypass Pulley. Basically this is a pulley attached to a bracket that fits exactly in the space that the A/C compressor lives. You remove your existing compressor and put this in place and bam problem fixed. You won't have any A/C anymore but the car will still run all the same (I don't like the A/C anyway). Only one problem with this...nobody had a bypass pulley listed for my year of Jeep.

So it's off to the auto-parts store again, this time knowing that I have to buy the compressor if I want to get the Jeep fixed before I have to go back to work on Monday. I will try to take photos of the replacement process and post them after the work is all done...