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Old 08-05-2013, 02:32 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 236915
Join Date: Jan 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
2008 WRX STi

Impreza WRX STi 2008 Impreza STi A/C Clutch and Pulley Repair

Driving home a very loud squeal was coming from my engine bay. Once i got home and looked under the hood. I immediately see a pulley with broken/bent parts on it. After a little research i find out this is the A/C Clutch Spring and that this is a common failure with the A/C Compressor in the 50,000 mile range. I find the part to replace it and order it. Excited that this was certainly the part making all the noise I pulled the part off the A/C Compressor. I started the car to see if that solved the noise prfoblem only to find out that was not it. I cut the belt to the A/C Compressor and tried again. I successfully got rid of the noise. Now i know the exact cause of the trouble was the bearing to the A/C Clutch Pulley.

Pictures: All pictures taken during repair

Vehicle: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Parts listed will work for: 2008-2011 Subaru Impreza (all models) and 2008-2011 Forester (all models)
Compressor model: Valeo DKV10R

Before starting DISCONNECT GROUND TERMINAL from your battery.
This article is for anyone whose a/c clutch and a/c clutch bearing has failed.
This repair is only intended if your a/c compressor is still good and functioning.

Reference Videos:
(Moved to bottom of post)

http://bearingsdirect.com/32BG04S3G-...-32x47x18.html (A/C Clutch Ball Bearing)
http://pages.videotron.com/atcaron/ (A/C Clutch Spring)
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...0074&ppt=C0007 (A/C Stretch Fit Belt)
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...&keyword=belts (ALT/PS Serpentine Belt)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/130952607008...84.m1497.l2649 (Gates Stretch Fit Belt Installation Tool)

<broken a/c clutch>

Cut the belt to the A/C Compressor. This is a stretch fit belt and can not be reused.

Remove the A/C Clutch: This is a single bolt hold this in place. You will need a special tool to keep the clutch from spinning. There are 3 washers on the shaft behind the A/C Clutch. Be careful not to lose these.
(there is already a how-to for this repair) http://www.iwsti.com/forums/how-inst...-2008-sti.html

<repaired A/C clutch spring>

Remove the alternator: This is 3 bolts and will allow you to access all the bolts to the A/C Compressor. I replaced this belt as well since it had to be removed.

Remove the bolts to the A/C Compressor: There are 5 of these and they are a pain to deal with. 1 is under the intake manifold. Once these are removed you only need to lift the compressor to be able to pull the pulley.

Remove the pulley: There is a snap ring you will want to remove before you can remove the pulley. After removing the snap ring use a pulley puller to remove the pulley.
This takes alot of turning and is easier if you have extra hands to hold the A/C compressor.

<enginebay / pulley puller>

Push the bearing out of the pulley: Use a hydrolic press to push the bearing out of the pulley. I used a socket that matched the ID (inner diameter) of the bearing.
The bearing is staked in the pulley, but do not prevent you from pressing the bearing out.

<bad bearing>

Push new bearing into the pulley: Same method as removal. Re-stake the bearing into place. The video says you can use lock-tight.

<new bearing>

Reinstall the pulley; this will require helping hands. You will need to hammer the pulley back into place. Refer to the video (a/c compressor part 2).
You will need to make the back of the pulley flush with the back of the coil. You'll know if it needs to go further back if the snap ring wont go back into the groove.

<-- half way there.

Reinstall A/C clutch. Dont forget the washers.

You can now put all the bolts back in for the compressor. Reinstall the alternator leaving it lowered for the belt. Install the a/c stretch fit belt and then the drive belt.

Enjoy your a/c again.

(a/c compressor part 1)
(a/c compressor part 2)
(alternator / belt removal)
(a/c stretch fit belt installation)

Edited for format, videos first seemed distracting from actual post.
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Last edited by Discovery; 08-18-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 211402
Join Date: May 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Fairfax, VA
2008 WRX STI


Thanks for the great write up!

How well has the AC been running after the bearing change? What size pulley puller did you use? Is it a 4in or 6in, and where did you buy it?

My AC crapped out a few days ago when it was 95+ outside. When I went home to investigate the issue, I noticed the clutch spring was cracked and ordered a replacement. After removing the spring I noticed the compressor wasn't spinning smoothly. The car was making a chattering noise, so I figured it was the bearing. After cutting the AC belt, the noise went away. I'm attempting to replace the bearing later this week to see if this will fix it. I'm surprised at the short lifespan, since I only have 58k miles on my 2008.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 236915
Join Date: Jan 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
2008 WRX STi


The bearing i used almost made it a year before it crapped out. up until that point it worked flawlessly. The bearing i linked to is not the bearing i ordered do to availability. I ended up rolling the dice on ebay for a bearing. The bearing i received was made in china and ended up failing.
The reason the bearings keep failing is because of the tension. Since we cant control the amount of tension I can't guarantee that a bearing made in USA wouldn't fail. I still feel that i would have had better luck with a different bearing though.

As for the puller i used something like this CLICK ME. Not sure how large the one i used was since it was just something i had access to at a local shop.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:01 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 400691
Join Date: Sep 2014
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
'09 Impreza STi


this post was immensely useful to me. the bearing on the a/c compressor of my '09 sti was getting loud, then last night i stalled in a snow rut, and when i started back up again the bearing was making a very loud grinding noise. my springs didn't break, but i tried twice to push the a/c button in the car, and both times it blew the a/c fuse.

with the help of your tutorial i was able to get the belt, clutch, and pulley off the compressor. my plan was to replace the bearing and reinstall, but i think i've come across another problem.

i didn't have to hold the clutch in place to remove the bolt that holds it on. and after removing the belt and pulley i slipped the clutch back onto the compressor shaft and tried to turn it by hand, i couldn't. does this mean that my compressor is seized? and while i'm getting things figured out, is it alright to drive the car without the a/c stretch belt?
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:29 AM   #5
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 236915
Join Date: Jan 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
2008 WRX STi


Yea, you can drive without the a/c belt, the only thing it's good for is the a/c. It sounds like your compressor is seized. Sadly with our cars you will need a new condenser if you replace the compressor. Normally you would only need to replace the dryer, but the condenser has the dryer built into it. You might be able to get away with just changing the compressor but you're rolling the dice and nobody that I've found will warranty the work on the compressor without a new dryer.

Here's a link on replacing the compressor that might be useful if you want to do it yourself.
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