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AC Clutch Adjustment

new 7/09/04, Updated 07/07/2007






  1. Measure air gap between A/C clutch and A/C clutch
  2. pulley mating surfaces at three equally spaced locations with a feeler gauge. Record the measurements.
  3. If each of the three measurements taken is not within 0.35-0.85 mm (0.014-0.033 inch) , remove the A/C clutch.
  4. Remove and measure the A/C clutch hub spacer. Select the appropriate thickness A/C clutch hub spacer to place the air gap within specified limits.
  5. Install A/C clutch hub spacer and A/C clutch. Recheck air gap measurement.




  1. Check air gap between A/C clutch and A/C clutch pulley mating surfaces in three equally spaced locations with a feeler gauge. Record air gap measurements.
  2. Rotate A/C clutch pulley one-half turn (180°) and again check air gap in three equally spaced locations. Record air gap measurements.
  3. The smallest air gap measurement must be within specified limits for air gap. Add, remove or replace shims between A/C clutch and compressor shaft end as necessary until smallest air gap is within 0.4-0.7 mm (0.016-0.027 Inch) .


Hmmm…. That wasn’t as helpful as I thought it would be.



Paul L Fisher


-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Kennedy [mailto:matt.kennedy@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 10:07 PM
To: v8sho@v8sho.com
Subject: AC clutch help


New to the list... thanks in advance for listening.


My AC works for a while then suddenly gets humid, then full hot.  I've done all my research and am fairly certain the problem is the air gap maintenance on the AC compressor clutch (let me know if I'm wrong).


I've found plenty of direction out there for fixing this problem on a Gen 1 & 2 SHO and some for a Gen 3, but not nearly as helpful as the 1 or 2.  I'm sure the gap adjustment is exactly the same, but am curious if anyone has any tips or tricks on how to get in there since there's less than one inch of space in which to work?


My procedure so far:

- remove the PS fluid and radiator fluid reservoirs.

- loosen the belt tensioner

- remove the belt


now I'm stuck.  there's not enough room to work.


I'd like to loosen the appropriate nuts on the AC clutch while the belt is still on so you don't have to worry about turning the compressor, but still... no room to work.


once I get some input, I believe the fix is easy.  unless of course, you have to pull the engine.



Matt Kennedy

'96, black, welded

UPDATED 07/07/2007

 I pull the radiator air deflector and drain coolant to empty the overflow tank. I remove the appearance cover, so it won't get scratched, and the overflow tank. I hold the clutch plate with the spanner in the small holes on it's face. I slip the socket over the nut and break it loose. With the socket still in place, I rotate the clutch plate clockwise using the spanner to push on the large rivet heads. Two long shank flat blade screw drivers placed near the 3:00 and 9:00 points on the plate will gently pry it off. I pull the spacer using the hooked end of a scribe. I reverse assembly, making sure the spline gap on the plate aligns on the shaft, and use a little cloth material in the bottom of the socket well to push the nut against the shaft to start thread engagement for installation.



That helps a little.  brings up another question, though - where do I get the spacers?  are they in a clutch kit available from, say, advance auto parts?

Getting back to the original intent of the email, does anyone who's actually performed this service have any advice on how to go about it since there is little or no room to work between the pulley and the chassis?


  I just pulled the wheel, then iirc, the splash guard.  The compressor is right there to the front.  The belt tensioner is right there also, just takes a 3/8 extension to fit it.  I removed the small shim and then put it back together.  It may be only a temp fix, but it has worked for two years now.

   k mier

I would still be sure the LPS is working properly before I did anything to the compressor.

Paul Nimz

new 5/25/05

Since the recommendation of googling the v8sho site and the write up on the site is pretty much non-helpful, Here's a quick write up of what I did,

#1 remove wheel
#2 remove wheel well splash guard.
#3 remove serp belt, I didn't need to remove the SARC to get serp off
#4 remove coolant reservoir
#5 remove cover under front bumper of car "allows access to bottom of A/C compressor and radiator
#6 remove lower rad hose and pull back toward drivers side of vehicle "This allows access to everything you need to get to under the front of the car.
#7 remove 3 mounting bolts from compressor from underneath the car. I had a hard time getting these out, a universal joint on the ratchet would have been helpful since it's very tight without removing the radiator..
#8 with a helper holding compressor where needed, I removed the bolt from compressor for clutch removal
#9 remove shim #10 recheck clearances #11 reassemble

It was very very tight to get the bolt for the clutch out. I had to first put the socket on the bolt then slip the ratchet into the socket. It barely fit. Just a FYI, but it is possible. Good luck, any more questions, just ask, I'll help if I can since I only did it a few weeks ago and it's still pretty fresh in my memory.

I think I remembered every step.........

Scott J. Wolke '96 Ebony


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