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A/C compressor clutch assembly smoking, Please help

 
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:00 PM
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Icon5 A/C compressor clutch assembly smoking, Please help

Been a few years since I've posted here, browsed multiple links to similar issues with no resolve. So I'm here to ask the pro's of the Prelude..

The history of the problem at hand:
I have a 94 H23a1, and the A/C compressor has been bypassed with a shorter belt until a solution has been determined.
So, it first started about 3 months ago when I noticed my original A/C compressor clutch was intermittently grabbing with the A/C button OFF. I got home and proceeded to remove the power steering pump, and alternator, to bring the A/C compressor up to a more accessible working area. I noticed the clutch, and pulley were loose. So, unknowingly, I just tightened the nut on the outside of the clutch with an impact and put everything back together and it worked fine for about 3 months. Till the other day..

The main problem at hand:
I was driving to work, and noticed smoke coming from my engine. I actually stalled when putting the car into neutral momentarily (5spd) to take a corner. Got to work, popped the hood to see smoke coming from the A/C compressor pulley area between the pulley and compressor to be exact. Luckily I keep tools in my car, managed to throw on a bypass belt before driving it home. I ordered a new A/C clutch assembly off ebay, including the electromagnetic coil, new pulley with bearings pressed in, and the clutch. Upon removal of the old assembly, the pulley bearings were shot, and the electromagnetic coil was burnt up. I proceeded to install the new assembly and when finished, the pulley would still wobble like the new bearings weren't seated on the shaft properly, and yes, I carefully removed and reinstalled the spacer between the pulley and clutch. So fingers crossed that it would just work anyway.. I turned the A/C on and it was blowing nice and cold, left it running for about a minute and I start to pick up a burning smell, and around minute 2, it started smoking again. Shut it off, and ended up throwing the bypass belt back on..

Possible suspects so far:
1. Loose pulley not seated properly creating friction heat melting the bearings and electromagnetic coil..
2. Faulty wiring/ground leading to electromagnetic coil burning out.

I'm at the point where I'd rather throw in a new A/C compressor kit, but if there's faulty wiring somewhere, I'm hesitant due to the fact it may just burn up the new compressor.

Sorry, I'm notorious for long posts to include most detail possibly needed.
I really hope to get this situation resolved with my Prelude family, as driving around in FL with no A/C during summer is not fun. Thank you, everyone!

~TheLudeDude
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:03 PM
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Re: A/C compressor clutch assembly smoking, Please help

Don't know the answer but to agree about being hesitant about installing a new unit before ruling out the wiring is the culprit.

I have never ruled out taking a car to an expert at times I cannot solve it myself. Often they'll charge a diagnosis fee and if you opt to pay them to fix it will drop the diagnosis fee.

I've ended up being money ahead a bunch of times versus swapping parts in hopes to solve the issue. But that's just me. Others may not be so quick to put their baby in the hands of a stranger.
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Old 10-09-2018, 08:24 PM
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Re: A/C compressor clutch assembly smoking, Please help

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Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
Don't know the answer but to agree about being hesitant about installing a new unit before ruling out the wiring is the culprit.

I have never ruled out taking a car to an expert at times I cannot solve it myself. Often they'll charge a diagnosis fee and if you opt to pay them to fix it will drop the diagnosis fee.

I've ended up being money ahead a bunch of times versus swapping parts in hopes to solve the issue. But that's just me. Others may not be so quick to put their baby in the hands of a stranger.
I appreciate your feedback, nonetheless. I've never been one to take my car to a mechanic, as I believe I'm more than capable with the proper knowledge. But if I'm unable to find any insight, I may take it somewhere to have it diagnosed at least. It could save me to have them check the wiring at least, before I end up throwing in all the new A/C components.

Thank you, I'll be sure to post my solution for future reference.
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1st: (93 Prelude) F22a1 to H23a JDM Blue Top - STOLEN
2nd: (95 Prelude) F20b - SOLD
3rd: (99 Civic, what a mistake) D16y8 - SOLD
4th: (94 Prelude) H23a1 to ?????? - CURRENT
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:17 PM
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Re: A/C compressor clutch assembly smoking, Please help

Quick update,

I checked continuity on the compressor with a multi meter by touching one lead to the housing of the compressor(since the housing is grounded by being bolted to the block), and the other to the ground screw located on top of the compressor while on ohms, and read 0.00. So, ground seems to be okay.

Then I checked the power supply wire to the compressor with the engine running and it was reading 13.30DCV, then checked the battery itself which read only 12.80DCV.
Is this normal for the supply wire to be higher since it's maybe being amped up by the alternator?

Could someone perhaps use a multi meter to check the voltage to the supply wire for the compressor and then their battery alone to see if they're reading different like mine is, or just explain if you know why.. lol..

Thank you!
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1st: (93 Prelude) F22a1 to H23a JDM Blue Top - STOLEN
2nd: (95 Prelude) F20b - SOLD
3rd: (99 Civic, what a mistake) D16y8 - SOLD
4th: (94 Prelude) H23a1 to ?????? - CURRENT
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a/c, a/c smoking, ac failure, compressor clutch, compressor pulley


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