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Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

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Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by ketchup3821 »

Hey guys,

2001 V70 2.4T with 193k on the clock.

Background: car has no functional AC because some well-meaning guy in a pickup truck destroyed my condenser and radiator last winter trying to pull me back onto the road. I had the radiator replaced but didn't realize the condenser was killed until this summer when I tried to run the AC. So that's fun.

This weekend, my serpentine belt broke. I replaced it. It broke again. Something on that side of the engine appears to be louder than it should be.

I replaced the belt again, and took it to the shop next to my office. They say it's the AC compressor locking up and shredding the belt. They also say I need to replace the AC compressor in order to fix this. As the car already doesn't have AC, this feels dumb since it would cost a grand (or $2300 to do both that and the condenser). I don't have the space to replace a compressor myself.

Is there any other way to get this car going again? I can't find anything about bypassing the AC pulley but that would be ideal.

It seems like the compressor clutch is engaging at idle even when AC is off. Could that be all that's doing it? Can I pull the fuse/relay and make that stop? I'm at my wit's end here. I don't care about the AC ever working again, I just want to be able to drive the car without shredding a belt.

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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by db130 »

On previous 5 cyl cars (94-98), it was possible to bypass the compressor with a shorter belt.

With the 99+ later cars, I don't think you can:


There is a thread on swedespeed on bypassing the compressor but it involves removing the AC compressor and replacing it with what appears to be a idler:

https://forums.swedespeed.com/showthrea ... ost1772697
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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by darrylrobert »

There is a compressor relay in the engine bay. Remove it and the compressor will not operate
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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by oragex »

Most times it will be the compressor pulley bearing that's seizing - not much we can do about it because it has to spin for the belt to run. Bering replacement is not that hard and the compressor lines don't need be disconnected, but it takes a special puller with three bolts, important to buy a good brand of bearing, not a cheapo chinese one that lasts 2-3months.
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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by RickHaleParker »

From what I can see in Vida you should be able to short belt it. It is just a matter of figuring out the new routeing and the length of the short belt. Keep in mind some of the Alternators are suppose to turn one way only. Short belting as shown below may result in the belt slipping on the Alternator, less belt to pulley contact. On the other hand it may work just fine.

Red is the change in routeing.
V70_Short_Belt.jpg (89.94 KiB) Viewed 296 times

The official way is to remove the A/C compressor and replace it with a idler. #9 - 11 below.
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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by SuperHerman »

Have you looked into buying used parts and correcting the problem?

When your condenser was compromised it opened the system so you most likely don't have any charge in the system. This makes repair fairly easy as it is just unbolt parts and replace. Then bring it in for a full evac and charge and flush if you don't do that portion.

One can just replace the compressor pulley/bearing portion - again a used part is an option and drive without air, but a used condenser is not hard to replace and will not cost too much. The biggest hurdle in your repair is having to discharge the system, which for most of us legal types, requires a shop. The only reason one would not just swap in a used a/c unit is it requires opening up the system. You don't have this issue. Once you pull the radiator and condenser you will have plenty of space to tackle the a/c (buy a used unit and some new o-rings) - the serp belt is already off.

Fixing it right is a solid option.
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Re: Way to bypass AC compressor pulley?

Post by oragex »

The problem with such bypass is the belt will not wrap properly around the alternator pulley or around the tensioner
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