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Old 08-09-2005, 08:00 AM   #1
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One of our other vehicles (99 Jeep Cherokee) has an AC problem. I would appreciate any suggestions or steering me to an appropriate web site....
After working for awhile the compressor clutch disengages although 12 volt power continues to be sent to the clutch magnet. I changed the magnet (replaced with a used one)to no avail. It disengages after about 15-20 minutes when everything has gotten hot under the hood. After about 15 minutes of not working the clutch will engage and run again for awhile. High & low pressure switches seem to be OK cause unplugging them stops the electric cooling fan at radiator. Why would the clutch disengage when it still gets 13-14-volts (measured at wire just before magnet). Also the electric radiator cooling fan continues to run when the compressor shuts off as if it is unaware the clutch has malfunctioned. Anytime the compressor is working it cools really well.

I am baffled because once I discovered I was not loosing 12 volt to the clutch I just knew it was the clutch magnet gone bad. Help???
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:00 AM   #2
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One of our other vehicles (99 Jeep Cherokee) has an AC problem. I would appreciate any suggestions or steering me to an appropriate web site....
After working for awhile the compressor clutch disengages although 12 volt power continues to be sent to the clutch magnet. I changed the magnet (replaced with a used one)to no avail. It disengages after about 15-20 minutes when everything has gotten hot under the hood. After about 15 minutes of not working the clutch will engage and run again for awhile. High & low pressure switches seem to be OK cause unplugging them stops the electric cooling fan at radiator. Why would the clutch disengage when it still gets 13-14-volts (measured at wire just before magnet). Also the electric radiator cooling fan continues to run when the compressor shuts off as if it is unaware the clutch has malfunctioned. Anytime the compressor is working it cools really well.

I am baffled because once I discovered I was not loosing 12 volt to the clutch I just knew it was the clutch magnet gone bad. Help???
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:55 AM   #3
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Robert,

I know this response may look pretty stupid on the surface, but does the connector for the compressor clutch have one or two wires? The reason I'm asking is that around 1999 is when DaimlerChrysler became fascinated with switching grounds on and off and supplying devices with a constant 12VDC source.

I know that most A/C clutches ground themselves, but I'm just checking....

Rusty
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:17 AM   #4
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Rusty, Not a stupid at all, but no it has a switched positive and it grounds to the block. When I put the dash selector to fan only(vent) the 12+ on the wire goes away as it should. I'm going to remove a shim washer tonight and reduce the air gap on the clutch plate. Someone told me that might do it. They said that cold, the air gap is less but grows as the metals heat up, causing the clutch to unlock when warm, as mine seems to be doing. This particular compressor clutch cannot be bought separate from the compressor at auto supply stores, so I got one at salvage and swapped the clutches. I'm trying to fix this thing without breaking open the freon lines and changing compressors. If I do that I have to get a new drier, freon, pump it down...all that stuff.
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:02 AM   #5
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One thing that I have learned over the years is that with a digital volt meter you can see a voltage but the circuit will not push a load. It can drive you nuts. I do not how ever think this is the problem here as it does work for a period of time before disengaging. How clean is the condenser coil on the front of the Jeep? Could the high pressure switch be opening enough to disengage but possibly still show a voltage to the clutch? Just some things to think about and try bypassing to diagnose.
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Old 08-14-2005, 06:06 AM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Two Bit:
After working for awhile the compressor clutch disengages although 12 volt power continues to be sent to the clutch magnet. I changed the magnet (replaced with a used one)to no avail. It disengages after about 15-20 minutes when everything has gotten hot under the hood. After about 15 minutes of not working the clutch will engage and run again for awhile. High & low pressure switches seem to be OK cause unplugging them stops the electric cooling fan at radiator. Why would the clutch disengage when it still gets 13-14-volts (measured at wire just before magnet). </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your voltmeter can fool you. I had a similar problem last spring with my new truck when I ran my battery dead by leaving the brake controller connected while the truck sat for a few weeks. Turns out the battery had been run dead several times before I bought it and this was the final straw for it. I jumped it and for a few days it would sometimes start and sometimes not. The other thing I noticed at the same time was the A/C was barely keeping up and the outside temps were only 77-78 degrees. After the battery was replaced under warranty, the A/C resumed blowing ice cold air even when 95+ degrees out.

You most likely have either a) poor connection somewhere, b) a marginal battery that is consuming too much of the alternator's output or c) an alternator that is starting to die. One characteristic of alternators starting to go out is that output when hot falls dramatically. And when output drops, the electrical system is mechanized to shed the A/C before it does the cooling fan.
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Old 08-15-2005, 04:47 AM   #7
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Well I removed the shim spacer on the clutch and have been testing it the last few days. So far, so good....it is working for now. I ordered some gauges and will check the flow and pressures for good measure, but it looks like it was the clutch gap.
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