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Thread: A/C Compressor Pulley Bearing Replacement

  1. #1
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    Default A/C Compressor Pulley Bearing Replacement

    I recently developed a noisy bearing in the A/C compressor on my 2000 TJ 4.0. With the A/C switched on, it got quieter-a dead give-a-way of the source.

    Beside the fact that NO shop (including a local independent Jeep specialty shop) would change just the bearing (every one wanted to replace the compressor for about $1000+ an A/C recharge), I had much trouble finding the correct bearing. No auto parts store obtained the correct one (we sent several back).

    Jeep sells only the entire pulley w/ the bearing already pressed in it for just over $200. They say the bearing is not available as a separate part.

    It took many many inquiries, but I finally found the right bearing from a Koyo distributor (OEM supplier) in Memphis for $14.45 plus shipping. Apparently Koyo is the ONLY bearing company who offers this size, at least in the USA.

    The old one came out with a few taps, and the new one went in as easily, so DO NOT let a dealer/shop talk you into a more expensive solution.

    BTW, you do have to pull the radiator to get at it (no big deal since I was replacing mine at the same time anyway because of the plastic-to-aluminum leak), but after that it's a piece of cake. You don't touch the compressor itself, and no recharge is necessary, of course.

    It goes w/o saying that you should probably change the tensioner and idler bearings, and maybe the serpentine belt at the same time (about $15 each as well). If you have pver 100K mi, the water pump is a good idea as well.

    Bob

  2. #2

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    Thats good news. Keep us posted how it works out. The trouble you had finding the part is why they wouldn't change out just the bearings. I run into the same thing in my electrical business. Sometimes its not worth my time to run down a part just to save a hundred bucks or whatever. Especially when you aren't going to get paid for that time! " Yes mam, that will be $123 for that socket, $2 for the socket plus $120 driving time".
    98 TJ 4cyl 5 sp, Insta-trunk, RE BB, OME shocks, Olympic bumpers, BFG ATs 31x10.50.

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    I understand your point for shops (time is money), but I did my hunting on my "free" time, and probably spent 4 hours doing it (and maybe a gallon of gas). Saving $180 for 4 hours work paid me $45/hour, which is more than most folks make on their "day-jobs," so for me as an individual it was a win-win. As a shop it's a loser, especially if there is a problem later as well.

    If I calculated my savings based on a $600 compressor (disregarding the shop labor charge), my 4 hours saved me $580 (plus $150 for having the system evacuated and refilled w/ R134A), or a full $182.50 per hour, not taking into account the amount of extra labor to pull the compressor and replace it if I had done it that way. Leaving the compressor in-place with the system still sealed was a big "plus" for me. This presupposes that the old compressor will function as long as I have the vehicle, vs. having a new compressor in there, but you get the point.

    Perhaps for most people who have no time to work on their own Jeeps, paying an extra $1300 is worth it, but for me the savings were well worth the 4 hours of parts searching (computer search plus trip to town) plus the 4 hours of actual wrenching (that included replacement of all belt bearings and radiator w/ hoses).

    For the average American family w/ a monthly pre-tax income of $3291. ($39,500/yr), and a disposable income of about $160/mo. after expenses, that $1300 represents 8 months of no dinners out, no entertainment, or no IRA contributions. Today it is also 450 gallons of gas!!

    I'd be glad to share the sourcing if anyone needs one (or wants to do preventative surgery) so no one needs to repeat my research. It's a shame the dealer doesn't stock the bearing, especially since the only wear-part in their $200 pulley is the $14 bearing itself! I do understand their perspective; selling $200 parts makes much more than $14 ones, and makes the shelf space more productive.

    As far as how it works out, it's a done deal, with everything buttoned up and absolutely silent, good as new. I have no reason to believe the pulley itself shouldn't last the life of the vehicle. Of course, if you have a bad compressor clutch to start with, an entire new clutch assembly would be in order.

    Thank you for sharing the perspective of the shop. It's a valid one.

    Bob


    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky05
    Thats good news. Keep us posted how it works out. The trouble you had finding the part is why they wouldn't change out just the bearings. I run into the same thing in my electrical business. Sometimes its not worth my time to run down a part just to save a hundred bucks or whatever. Especially when you aren't going to get paid for that time! " Yes mam, that will be $123 for that socket, $2 for the socket plus $120 driving time".

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    Good info man! That's good to know. Got a link to this site and part number?

    I have always been leary of compressors and statements from people.
    they are not cheap at all.

  5. #5

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    I had the same problem late last year. Compressor worked fine, but the bearing would squeal real bad when compressor clutch was disengaged. I found a replacement through bearinsdirect.com They've got a whole list of automotive bearings. Just need to know the size your looking for.
    98 TJ
    94 XJ

  6. #6

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    ya, to bad my 2000 year jeep compressor is leaking. little under a $1000 for everything. Im just going to wait till i cant stand it anymore to get it done.

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    I didn't try that site, but struck out at about a half dozen online distributors. I finally found the bearing through the GOOD folks at:

    Purvis Bearing Company at (972) 937-7722, www.purvisbearing.com

    They were the ONLY company that took the time to research a Koyo distributor and order the bearing.

    The size for my 2000 TJ 4.0 was 30mmX52mmX22mm. I'' try to remember to find the part # and post it on this message tomorrow.

    Bob



    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepguy214
    I had the same problem late last year. Compressor worked fine, but the bearing would squeal real bad when compressor clutch was disengaged. I found a replacement through bearingsdirect.com They've got a whole list of automotive bearings. Just need to know the size your looking for.

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    Check www.rockauto.com for parts. They have the best prices for most (not all) things.

    Consider swapping the compressor yourself, then take it to a shop to evacuate the system and refill w/ R-134a. I think you can get a new or rebuilt compressor for about $350 exchange.

    If nothing else, you might use a printout of Rock Auto's prices to get a better deal from your shop (If you are brave.).

    Bob


    Quote Originally Posted by Nickb1907
    ya, to bad my 2000 year jeep compressor is leaking. little under a $1000 for everything. Im just going to wait till i cant stand it anymore to get it done.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobinyelm
    I didn't try that site, but struck out at about a half dozen online distributors. I finally found the bearing through the GOOD folks at:

    Purvis Bearing Company at (972) 937-7722, www.purvisbearing.com

    They were the ONLY company that took the time to research a Koyo distributor and order the bearing.

    The size for my 2000 TJ 4.0 was 30mmX52mmX22mm. I'' try to remember to find the part # and post it on this message tomorrow.

    Bob
    30BG05S2G-2DS - $25.66
    DIM ID:30mm x OD:52mm x W:22mm More Info
    Thats from bearingsdirect, but looks like you get the better price. I had the same problem as you initially. Looked everywhere during my free time to find just the bearing. Finally found it on the site I posted, and looked no further. I was pretty happy at $25, as opposed to replacing the complete compressor.
    98 TJ
    94 XJ

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    With shipping I actually paid $28, so we both save a bunch of money. Thanks for the bearingsdirect site. That's one I didn't turn up, but will consult in the future.

    I understand that shops have to make a living, but it's great that we can save so much money by doing our homework and some wrenching.

    Life is expensive enough without spending what's left on things we are perfectly capable of doing ourselves.

    Forums like this are GREAT bcause we can help each other find the good deals (and the bad ones to avoid).

    Bob

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeepguy214
    Thats from bearingsdirect, but looks like you get the better price. I had the same problem as you initially. Looked everywhere during my free time to find just the bearing. Finally found it on the site I posted, and looked no further. I was pretty happy at $25, as opposed to replacing the complete compressor.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobinyelm
    I understand your point for shops (time is money), but I did my hunting on my "free" time, and probably spent 4 hours doing it (and maybe a gallon of gas). Saving $180 for 4 hours work paid me $45/hour, which is more than most folks make on their "day-jobs," so for me as an individual it was a win-win. As a shop it's a loser, especially if there is a problem later as well.

    If I calculated my savings based on a $600 compressor (disregarding the shop labor charge), my 4 hours saved me $580 (plus $150 for having the system evacuated and refilled w/ R134A), or a full $182.50 per hour, not taking into account the amount of extra labor to pull the compressor and replace it if I had done it that way. Leaving the compressor in-place with the system still sealed was a big "plus" for me. This presupposes that the old compressor will function as long as I have the vehicle, vs. having a new compressor in there, but you get the point.

    Perhaps for most people who have no time to work on their own Jeeps, paying an extra $1300 is worth it, but for me the savings were well worth the 4 hours of parts searching (computer search plus trip to town) plus the 4 hours of actual wrenching (that included replacement of all belt bearings and radiator w/ hoses).

    For the average American family w/ a monthly pre-tax income of $3291. ($39,500/yr), and a disposable income of about $160/mo. after expenses, that $1300 represents 8 months of no dinners out, no entertainment, or no IRA contributions. Today it is also 450 gallons of gas!!

    I'd be glad to share the sourcing if anyone needs one (or wants to do preventative surgery) so no one needs to repeat my research. It's a shame the dealer doesn't stock the bearing, especially since the only wear-part in their $200 pulley is the $14 bearing itself! I do understand their perspective; selling $200 parts makes much more than $14 ones, and makes the shelf space more productive.

    As far as how it works out, it's a done deal, with everything buttoned up and absolutely silent, good as new. I have no reason to believe the pulley itself shouldn't last the life of the vehicle. Of course, if you have a bad compressor clutch to start with, an entire new clutch assembly would be in order.

    Thank you for sharing the perspective of the shop. It's a valid one.

    Bob
    I think you misunderstood me, I meant to explain why THE SHOP wouldn't want to just change out the bearing, not why you shouldn't. I was speaking from the shop's perspective, not yours. What you did is exactly what I would do. But I do hear on these forums a lot of repair shop bashing( not you). But the bashers sometimes forget they are in the business to make money, not just help you out. That said, I despise a lot of repair places too. Many,if not most, just can't keep themselves honest enough to level with the customer. The temptation to be parts changers is just too great for them.
    98 TJ 4cyl 5 sp, Insta-trunk, RE BB, OME shocks, Olympic bumpers, BFG ATs 31x10.50.

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    Nope. I understood you perfectly, and agree with your point completely. The shop and the customer have different goals, to an extent.

    The shop wants to maximize their ability to make money (which they cannot do if they have to spend hours sourcing a part) while minimizing the chances of a come-back if the repair doesn't "stick" (If the new compressor causes a problem, their labor time to replace it is covered by warranty).

    The customer (most of they type here on the forum at least) wants his vehicle back in operation at the minimum cost, and he can afford to spend his "free time" doing what the shop cannot. In addition, he is willing to do the job over, if necessary, if it means saving a great deal of money.

    I am not bashing the shops. They make more money if they sell/install complete easy-to-install assemblies rather than disassembling repairing them. They can do this with less expensive labor, as well, if they have some lesser experienced techs on staff to do the "grunt" work. Many shops I know have one ASE "master tech" and several "robot techs" who are essentially apprentising. The master tech oversees the others and only does what they cannot. Productivity is the name of the game, and profit on expensive parts is as important as profit on labor.

    As you pointed out, they would also have a hard time charging the customer $75/hour for making the calls/internet search I did to locate the part, because most customers would freak and see it as unfair.

    Even if they did source the part, charging several hours labor to change a $14 bearing (removing and replacing parts in the way to get at it) looks "fishy" compared to the same labor charge to change a $600 compressor.

    Bob

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky05
    I think you misunderstood me, I meant to explain why THE SHOP wouldn't want to just change out the bearing, not why you shouldn't. I was speaking from the shop's perspective, not yours. What you did is exactly what I would do. But I do hear on these forums a lot of repair shop bashing( not you). But the bashers sometimes forget they are in the business to make money, not just help you out. That said, I despise a lot of repair places too. Many,if not most, just can't keep themselves honest enough to level with the customer. The temptation to be parts changers is just too great for them.

  13. #13

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    I'm just glad I learned how to fix things at an early age. I've only had to pay a repairman at my home once in 16 years, and that was for a bad AC compressor. I've saved thousands. Cars are a lot harder, as without a good lift, sometimes its not practical to fix a lot of things on them. Plus the tools can get expensive. But I tackle most all of the maintenance and the repairs I think I can handle. I was going to tackle the clutch I know I'll be needing soon. But with a business to run, a wife , and three small kids, I can find better things to do with a whole day off than crawling under my TJ. If I had a lift built into my garage like my neighbor, I'd be all over that job!
    98 TJ 4cyl 5 sp, Insta-trunk, RE BB, OME shocks, Olympic bumpers, BFG ATs 31x10.50.

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