GERALD´S CADILLACS


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A6 AC COMPRESSOR REPAIR - BAD BEARING ON THE 1974

When I bought my 74 the seller informed me that the AC compressor was bad and that it was disconnected due to a bad clutch or another problem. So I ordered a new rebuilt AC compressor with the car.
Due to all the other projects I never managed to get the AC back in fully working order until now.
Unfortunately the rebuilt AC compressor came with the clutch coil terminals in the wrong position. They are available with the terminals at the correct 10 o clock position or the 2 o clock position, which is correct for other years.
If the terminals are in the wrong position you cant connect the original wires to them as they are too short. With the high shipping costs it was no option to send the incorrect compressor back.

As it turned out the cars original compressor had a bad bearing and that was the reason why it was disconnected.

My friends Lucky and Steve were here to help me with the compressor project and so I took both of my compressors to Lucky´s workshop, as he has all the necessary tools and experience with these compressors from his own cars.
Originally I just wanted to turn the clutch coil on the rebuilt compressor into the correct position, but then we decided to rebuild the original compressor instead, because it still has the original decal, which is not available as a correct reproduction. All the available compressor reproduction decals are TOTALLY incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The 1974 reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproductions for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

We still disassembled the rebuilt compressor to "borrow" its pulley bearing to replace the bad one on the original compressor.
The procedure to be able to replace the bearing and to turn the clutch coil is not too difficult - but you need some special tools. Without those you cant do it. You´ll need a basic clutch puller / installer set for this job and some long nose snap ring pliers to get the retaining rings out.
First remove the shaft nut and the snap ring ( the rebuilt compressors always seem to come without this snap ring) and then pull the clutch with the special puller. Pull off the pulley and take the bearing out and replace it with a new one.
To be able to turn the clutch coil you´ll have to remove another snap ring. This snap ring was the biggest challenge for us. The shop manual lists a special tool for this which we of course did not have… It could be done with a very long nose plier as well, but we did not have these either. So it took us quite a long time to get it out with screwdrivers and self made hooks… You can then simply turn the coil into the correct position.
Putting it back together is pretty straightforward as well, but again you need a special installer tool to get the clutch back on and to adjust it properly.

I will now have to buy a new bearing so that I can put the rebuilt compressor back together and have it as a spare.
I have attached some pics from the shop manual which show how to remove the various parts of the compressor to remove the pulley and the clutch coil.

As always you can find ALL the pictures in my restoration gallery!


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You need some special tools to disassemble the A6 AC compressor.
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On the 74´s original AC compressor clutch the bearing was bad.
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The compressor clutch removed. You can see the bad bearing inside which is normally sealed. Some balls were already missing.
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The clutch with some remains of the bearings.
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The clutch and pulley removed on the original compressor.
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My friends Steve and Lucky at work. We also replaced all the O - rings.
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Removing the pulley
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Removing the pulley from the rebuilt compressor.
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There is this one snap ring we just did not have the right tool for. The shop manual lists a special plier for this. After a lot of fiddling we got it out eventually…
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The magnetic coils on the rebuilt and the original compressor
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Lucky in action
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Once the snap ring is out you can turn the coils terminals to the 11o´clock position or the 1 o clock position. On the 74 it has to be at the 10 o clock position, otherwise the connecting wires are too short.
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Getting this snap ring out was the hardest part on this job, due to not having the right tool for it.
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The terminal at the incorrect position at the rebuilt compressor.
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We turned the terminal to the correct position.
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We sandblasted the pulley while it was out of the car so that I can repaint it now. Note the original decal! All the available reproduction decals are totally incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproduction decals for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

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