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So a couple of weeks ago the AC stopped working in my 2008 RRSC. Upon investigation I could see the three aluminum pins that connect the clutch to the plate that drives the compressor shaft had sheared off. As I understand it, this is supposed to be a safety feature to prevent a seized compressor from burning up your belt. So I ordered a new Sanden compressor from Rock Auto, $317, plus a new filter/drier, $14.
I pretty much followed the service manual to install the new compressor but here are a few comments.
  • You need to get under the car to remove 3 bolts, 2 from the compressor and 1 from the mounting bracket. I drove the car onto a pair of ramps I have. Don’t think off-road height is high enough.
  • Take some photos of the placement of the serpentine belt from the top and from underneath the car. We had a devil of a time figuring out where it was supposed to go after installing the new compressor. Try to move it as little as possible.
  • The service manual does not tell you to remove the belt tensioner even though there is a line drawing that shows it removed. I would definitely recommend removing the tensioner as this gives more room to move the compressor and mounting bracket forwards and out.
  • You can only loosen the top front bolt on the compressor and remove it part way as the fender well is in the way. You can fully remove the other two bolts and the rear bolt attaching the mounting bracket.
  • The manual shows a second bolt in the center of the mounting bracket but this was not installed on my car. It seems redundant since the front compressor bolt goes through the mounting bracket and into the block. I did not try to install this bolt.
  • With three bolts removed and the top front bolt backed out all the way you should be able to move the compressor and mounting bracket forwards so that the top front bolt can be removed completely. When installing the new compressor you have to mate the compressor with the mounting bracket and then install this top front bolt. Hold the two pieces together and with them in the proper position you start the top front bolt. Once this is started the whole assembly kind of pivots on it. You then hold the two pieces in the correct position while someone else installs the rear mounting bracket bolt from underneath.
  • After the rear mounting bracket bolt is tight you can tighten the top front bolt and install the remaining two compressor bolts. All the bolts are 10mm except for tensioner which is 15mm.Bolts were very tight.
I took the old compressor completely apart and could find nothing wrong with it. Not a speck of metal dust inside. Seems the shear pins just failed from old age? Sure is a complex unit inside. I would not like to try and rebuild one.
As I mentioned, I bought a new filter/drier but my car does not have anything like shown in the manual. The manual shows a vertical tube on one side of the radiator with a removable plug at the top. Nothing like this on my car and I could not really see a filter/drier anywhere. There is a bulge in the low pressure line where it runs along the top of the engine which perhaps contains a non-removable filter/drier? Anyone know?
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