MVS Contributor coflynn comes up with a brilliant and different approach and fix for the AC clutch gap problem, which is commonly fixed with the classic AC bread clip fix. See images from Volvo that show the AC clutch. He came up with an AC clutch gap magnetic fix.
My A/C has been dead for a while, and it was clearly the gap problem. I don’t use the A/C enough to “properly” fix it, and never had luck getting the breadclip fixes to last very long. I couldn’t get zip-ties in as was too lazy to pull back the inner wheel well too.
I finally tried another method to fix it. It’s a bit of a hack which can easily burn out the magnetic clutch, but honestly I’m never going to properly fix the A/C, so would rather have done this, and if it breaks again will give up.
I used a DC-DC converter to increase the voltage being fed into the magnetic clutch. This will increase the strength of the electromagnetic pull-in. I used the following specific device: DROK 150W DC Boost Converter on Amazon. It’s available on Amazon.ca as well.
If you have time you can order from Aliexpress for $4, but I wanted prime shipping so paid the extra fee. The device isn’t really designed for automotive use so it seems likely to burn out from heat. I’d check it occasionally and watch for the capacitors to buldge out, keep an extra 1 or 2 of them on-hand to replace.
Once you’ve got this, it’s a simple process:
- In the front fuse box, find the grey wire. Cut the wire – the part coming from the relay goes to the “IN+”, do not connect the “OUT+” yet!
- Connect the ground wire (“IN-“) to a grounding point near the fuse box. I couldn’t find an easy ground in the box.
- Power up the system, and turn on the A/C. The green light should come on. Measure the output voltage and adjust it down to about 15V.
- Turn everything off, then connect the “OUT+” to the grey wire going out.
- Replace the input fuse on the board with something smaller (default is 15A), I’d go for about 5A-8A and see if it doesn’t burn out.
BE CAREFUL WITH VOLTAGE ADJUSTMENT I set mine around 15-16V, which seems to be the level required for my clutch to not drop out once it warms up. This is about 15%-25% higher than normal, meaning you’ll get 15-25% more current through the electromagnet, and more heating as well. This may burn out the coil too since it’s not designed to run at higher currents. If you set the voltage too high it WILL burn out the electromagnet.
I measured quickly and it seemed the normal current draw on the clutch was about 3A (at regular car voltage).