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Discussion Starter #1
Been running around borrowing different cir-clip pliers to remove the cir-clip holding the A/C compressor clutch to the shaft. This is all being done so I don't have to evacuate the A/C system and disconnect the compressor. But all this work will be useless if a puller is required to remove the bearing/clutch from the shaft.

So my question is, can anyone tell me who has removed the clutch from the compressor if a pulley remover is required to do this?
 

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squirreljuice
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I personally have no idea. Do you have access to one of the new beetle repair manuals? I think thats something covered in there. I would look it up, but I don't have mine with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The Bentley says to use a puller but also states the clutch can be serviced on the car. The instructions for the replacement a/c clutch I bought said you 'might' not need one. I also read another thread that said another member replaced it while on the car, though he did not specify if he needed one or not.


http://newbeetle.org/forums/2-0-liter-gas/46229-c-clutch-noise-squeal.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update on this, so far removed both cir clips (one holding the a/c clutch pulley and the 2nd holding the a/c magnetic ring). My problem was the cir clips were rotated in such a way that I had a hard timing removing them, so I ended up prying them out with a small flathead screwdriver. This distorted one, so I may have to go to Ace hardware to get a replacemnt.

For future reference, the 1st circlip is 32mm and the 2nd is 42mm.

My next problem is removing the phillips head screw that secures the pigtail to the compressor body. Its rusted and stripped when I tried to remove it so I need to drill it out this week. After that everything was straightforward, I hope to have the a/c clutch replaced by this weekend!
 

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Good luck with attempting to replace the AC clutch while unit is still on the car. I have not tried this, yet, hope I do not need to?

Hopefully you can be successful?? I am guessing you will need some sort of puller as well? Keep in mind I replaced my alternator pulley while the alternator was still IN the car, I did have to remove the alternator from the engine and rotate it to get proper access to the pulley, but I did not go the extra mile to remove the unit from being caged inside the body and intake.

Maybe if you have to remove the compressor from the mounting but leave the lines in tact, that may be an option to help with access?

I know from replacing the timing belt, removing the right intercooler piping and the plastic under belly shield is not so hard, it does give some access to things. Removing the intercooler may be needed and/or possibly lowering the engine a bit as well may be required?

Good luck, sounds like a PITA job, but likely worth the effort in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay I got this done!

I originally meant to do this with the compressor mounted, but I ended up unbolting it (but left the hoses connected). Its near impossible to do it mounted to the bracket.

For anyone who plans to do this in the future, here's my tips:

- REMOVE the passenger side headlight, the headlight bracket, throttle body, serpentine belt tensioner, and alternator to gain easier access to the A/C clutch
- DISCONNECT upper radiator hose (connected to thermostat) so you can lift A/C compressor for easier access

ALTERNATOR/COMPRESSOR REMOVAL AND INSTALL TIPS
You need to pry out the alternator and A/C compressor from their mounts, this is why you should remove the throttle body so you can use a prybar on them. Once they are removed, you should use a socket and the mounting bolt on the reverse side of each bushing to make it easier to re-install them once you are done (they are almost impossible to reinstall without doing this)

A/C CLUTCH REMOVE AND REPLACE TIPS
Very carefully lift the A/C compressor up as high as the hoses will allow. This should give you very good access to the A/C compressor clutch. I then used a wire to hold the compressor at this location while I worked on the clutch.

1) I used an A/C clutch removal tool to hold the clutch plate while I removed the 13mm nut.
2) Below the upper plate is a shim which maintains a minimum distance between the clutch plate and the clutch pulley. SEE BELOW.
3) The clutch pulley is held on by a internal retaining clip that can be removed with flat head screwdrivers, but I recommend getting internal circlip pliers. Once you remove the retaining clip, the clutch pulley can be removed by pulling with your hand or gently prying with screwdrivers (BE CAREFUL, beneath the clutch pulley is the electromagnet which is a separate piece, do not pry on the electromagnet)
4) The clutch electromagnet is held on by another internal retaining clip. Its wire is held in 2 locations, the closest location has a tab that can be bent back with a flat head screwdriver. The second one needs to be removed with a Phillip head, but mine was corroded and so tight I had to drill it out, and zip tie the wire to the compressor body.

NOTE ABOUT SHIMS: Between the clutch plate and the clutch pulley, you need to install shims which maintains a distance between the clutch plate and the clutch pulley. If you do not use enough shims, the compressor will be engaged all the time, and you will burn something out. Once you install the clutch plate, try spinning the pulley, if you hear/feel any resistance, you need more shims. The flipside is that if you use too many shims, you reduce the life of the clutch material.
 

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No NB Yellow Trifecta :(
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Nice maintenance notes, however I believe that the compressor can drop down below the grille, with the hoses still attached; if the car is then raised, you should be able to get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Did you mean disconnect the power steering pump then lower the compressor and access it from underneath?

I tried doing this by removing the intercooler and its mounting bracket, but it was still very difficult to install the retaining clips since I didn't have a good angle on the shaft.
 

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Hi all,
I've had a hell of a time - details in another thread to follow or at TDIClub. At this point, I'm down to the AC clutch elctro-magnet is open, so I'm gonna replace that and hope the rest of the clutch (217k) is fine before moving to the desert. If this doesn't hold I'm getting a rebuilt compressor as it is only slightly more than an entire clutch rebuild.

Good write up, however, BOTH Flip240 and D2Beetle are correct. On the ALH (TDI) engine the compressor is at the bottom and therefore lifting the car and dropping the still connected compressor is the "easier" method to the intercooler removal. On the Gas engines (AEG, APH, etc) the AC comp is in the middle with the alternator on top and the power steering pump at the bottom.

The last arrangement (gas) is the same as the Passat Wagon TDIs we have. As such when I did this years ago to one of them, I moved the alternator to the side and then tipped up the compressor to work on it. This time however, it will be from the bottom.

Wish me luck!
 

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Well, Yes, indeed it can be lowered to replace the EM-coil (or the whole clutch assembly if you like). AC is nice and frosty now.

Note: I was able to use the coil I had on hand from the Passat change out. It was an exact fit, including the detentes and exit-location of the wires.

Details: 98 New Beetle TDI (A4 platform) and 96 Passat wagon TDI (B4, or previous generation platform).

So apparently, the compressor clutch design is identical between those generations. I can only imagine this would include the other A4s (Jetta, Golf, TT) and likely the A3s (Jetta, Golf).
 
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