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Forums > > AC clutch seems to engage too rough ('98 Frontier)
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Frontier Nissan Frontier/HB/Truck Discussion Forum

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Old 06-28-2017, 06:45 AM
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JRJoe JRJoe is offline
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Originally Posted by Cusser View Post
I'm wary of such low-priced specials. The real way to check for leaks is to pull out the refrigerant and weigh it, then to automatically add the correct amount. The way to check for performance is basically if the driver and passenger(s) are comfortable, and I wouldn't touch a system that was operating OK.

I've read about Frontier owners with automatic transmissions (even with V6 engines) say that switching on their AC is like "adding the brake". Is yours automatic? Mine are 4-cylinder, 5-speeds so I don't experience this.
Hey Cusser,

I've had good luck with Firestone in the past. I took advantage of their 40 $ AC checkup when I had the '93 Hardbody 4 cylinder,, after I had tried to add some coolant and was unable to, useing one of WalMart's 134a kit's. Firestone checked it out,, added a little bit of coolant and for 40 $'s, it was worth every penny to me. So I checked what Firestone was offering now,, that might help Thomas. I've had good luck with Firestone in the Past with other issue's as well.

Thomas is concerned with his Compressor, so I thought that Firestone might be able to help him, since they've helped me in the past. If I thought that Firestone was trying to Rip someone off, I wouldn't have recommended them. If they have to correct something, then I would expect it to cost more than 10 $'s. While they were checking thing's out,, Thomas could mention about the compressor, and get their opinion.

I haven't noticed any affect of performance with the AC coming on with my '13 SVV6 AT KC 2WD. When I had the '93 I4 AT KC 2WD I didn't notice any affect in Performance with the AC coming on either. I'm sure that the AC coming on,, affect's the Performance,, but I didn't notice the Affect.

In the past, I've had AC service at Nissan, a professional AC Install/Repair Shop, Firestone, etc. and I don't think that they evacuated the system's and then weighed the Coolant's. I'm sure that some do, but I would expect that procedure to cost more.
2013 SVV6 KC AT 2WD Frontier, '93 4Cyl, AT, KC Hardbody(Original Owner-Sold 2013)
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:16 AM
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Cusser Cusser is offline
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Keep doing what works for you.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:58 PM
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Well, I donít know how to explain it but AC clutch seems to be working better now.

All I did was wash the small air gap in the AC clutch with brake fluid.

But I have no explanation as to why this might have softened the previously hard clutch engagement. I have now driven the truck a dozen 20mile trips (80ís-90ís ambient temperature) and the belt is no longer slipping after the brake fluid wash. I have not driven it long distance in really hot weather though. I can sometimes feel a small very quick deceleration when the clutch engages while driving, but not always. Otherwise the AC works fine. Itís the original í98 system I have never serviced it. I have a 4WD Frontier with the 4cyl 2.4 engine.

I did capture the brake cleaner liquid dripping off the clutch as I washed it to see if it perhaps contained a lot of debris etc. but I did not see much. The liquid washing was just a little grey but nothing gritty came out that would justify a rough clutch engagement. The clutch always looked rather clean on the outside.

I also made sure that the belt was tightened to spec, but it was already so. Got a fish scale and applied 10kg deflection force on the belt mid way through the pulleys using a small hammer to pull. Indeed belt deflection was about 12mm (10-12mm is spec with 16mm limit). I was never quite sure about this spec because the shop manual has an arrow where you are supposed to measure the deflection, and the arrow is not mid way between the pulleys as shown in the diagram. But perhaps itís just a printing inaccuracy, perhaps they do mean measure it mid way between the pulleys.

I never understood how this clutch works. Is it just by slipping for a fraction of a second, or does it have springs that absorb a few revolutions while the compressor starts spinning? What do those springs on the outside of the disk do? Without pulling out the clutch I cannot tell.

Will post if anything changes.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:33 AM
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Here's a YouTube vid on A/C clutch operation, if you are interested:


Essentially, the springs on the outer hub absorb the impact when the clutch engages, which it does when power is sent to the electromagnetic coil, which pulls the outer clutch hub in to engage the clutch and allow the belt to turn the compressor.
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clutch, engage, frontier, rough

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