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  #31  
Old 05-26-2017, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
So clutch is working and compressor is turning when it's not cooling ? Maybe the variable displacement valve is sticking. I think you are going to need someone to check this for you.
I was under the impression that variable valve compressors were clutchless. Since the valve varies the displacement of the compressor, there is no need for a clutch. The compressor is always turning, but if ac cooling is not required, the valve varies the displacement to almost zero, so there isn't any drag on the engine. When ac is required, the valve increases the displacement of the compressor so that refrigerant is pumped from the low side to the high side thus providing the cooling effect requested.
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  #32  
Old 05-26-2017, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
^I just replaced a compressor in my mom's FX35 Infiniti for exactly the symptoms you are describing. It used to cool intermittently and continued to get worse and worse until finally no cooling at all. Low side was reading too high and high side was reading too low. Not sure what in the compressor failed... but it cools great now after replacement (along with Xpansion valve and receiver dryer).

How any miles are on your X? Original compressor?
Some of the old compressors uses reed valves which over time after many cycles they just fail.
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  #33  
Old 05-26-2017, 07:01 AM
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What missing after 4 pages on this problems beside the pic of the "Hot Wife" is the low and high side readings of the system. Unless the OP can provide us with this info, my advice is to take it into a AC specialist. Better than just throwing parts at the problem and hoping that will fix it.
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  #34  
Old 05-26-2017, 10:16 AM
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That's not a lot of miles and would definitely be an early compressor failure.

Even if your fan was to blame the aircon would still be cool at highway speeds. So I'd be leaning away from the fan itself as the cause for no cooling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
What missing after 4 pages on this problems beside the pic of the "Hot Wife" is the low and high side readings of the system. Unless the OP can provide us with this info, my advice is to take it into a AC specialist. Better than just throwing parts at the problem and hoping that will fix it.
^What he said. The line pressures are going to fill in many of the blanks here.
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  #35  
Old 05-26-2017, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
I was under the impression that variable valve compressors were clutchless. Since the valve varies the displacement of the compressor, there is no need for a clutch. The compressor is always turning, but if ac cooling is not required, the valve varies the displacement to almost zero, so there isn't any drag on the engine. When ac is required, the valve increases the displacement of the compressor so that refrigerant is pumped from the low side to the high side thus providing the cooling effect requested.
This would explain the AC pulley always spinning in its entirety for me then. I don't mean to hijack the thread, but me and OP are having the same issue.
If it's a variable​ valve that always spins, does that mean there would be no shim to ad or remove to adjust the air gap as that's a clutch related part?
I'm probably going to tear into mine today if there's a possibility of me being able to fix it like that, otherwise I'll probably have to bite the bullet and get a new compressor. I know my aux fan and hvac panel are fine and not the problem.
Is therr anyway to clean out the valves in the compressor, like if they're getting stuck and that's why they intermittently work?
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  #36  
Old 05-26-2017, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phathom View Post
This would explain the AC pulley always spinning in its entirety for me then. I don't mean to hijack the thread, but me and OP are having the same issue.
If it's a variable​ valve that always spins, does that mean there would be no shim to ad or remove to adjust the air gap as that's a clutch related part?
I'm probably going to tear into mine today if there's a possibility of me being able to fix it like that, otherwise I'll probably have to bite the bullet and get a new compressor. I know my aux fan and hvac panel are fine and not the problem.
Is therr anyway to clean out the valves in the compressor, like if they're getting stuck and that's why they intermittently work?
On some variable valve compressor, the valve can be replaced. I believe the valve in a BMW with the variable compressor can be replaced. But the refrigerant in the system will have to be recovered before replacing the valve. Unless you have the equipment and knowledge to recover refrigerant from a close system, best to take it into an AC shop.
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  #37  
Old 05-26-2017, 01:01 PM
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Ok, a little update. I checked and it is a variable displacement compressor, but it has a clutch. It's an internally regulated, aka by pressure and not by electronics. I also checked and contrary to what I believed, the clutch was not spinning when the ac was off, but it does engage and spin up each time with the ac on. It looked like it, but I put my hand down there and it does engage/disengage.
Still no cold AC though.
My aux fan does come on if I disconnect the pressure, but doesn't always come on when I have the ac on, only if it's working. Could this possibly be a bad pressure sensor for the fan?
I also read that some people have experienced if you rev the engine over 4k it kicks on and starts working. I'm in the car in my driveway as I'm typing this. Right now I reved the engine over 4k and almost instantly it went icy cold and the aux fan kicked on.
So what is going on?
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  #38  
Old 05-26-2017, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phathom View Post
Ok, a little update. I checked and it is a variable displacement compressor, but it has a clutch. It's an internally regulated, aka by pressure and not by electronics. I also checked and contrary to what I believed, the clutch was not spinning when the ac was off, but it does engage and spin up each time with the ac on. It looked like it, but I put my hand down there and it does engage/disengage.
Still no cold AC though.
My aux fan does come on if I disconnect the pressure, but doesn't always come on when I have the ac on, only if it's working. Could this possibly be a bad pressure sensor for the fan?
I also read that some people have experienced if you rev the engine over 4k it kicks on and starts working. I'm in the car in my driveway as I'm typing this. Right now I reved the engine over 4k and almost instantly it went icy cold and the aux fan kicked on.
So what is going on?
Without the line pressures we are only guessing.

But I'd be apt to replace the compressor if all else seems good. Same with the expansion valve and receiver dryer. At the mileages these things are getting to I replace all sorts of stuff whether it's broken or not since parts (in at least some cases) will start to fail.
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  #39  
Old 05-26-2017, 02:08 PM
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So I did some searching and found that the kicking on at 4k rpms symptom was likely due to low pressure in the system. Our variable displacement compressors use the refrigerant pressure to regulate the displacement of the compressor. This makes sense then. Low pressure would make it not adjust to the right displacement to cool. Revving the engine to 4k would spin the pulley and clutch faster and increase pressure enough for it to work.
So I went to the store and bought another can of r134a. When I started filling it up, the aux fan revved up really high like if I pulled the plug. I filled it up to about 43psi and it seems happier like this in terms of kicking on, but it still isn't really cold like I'm used to, that seems to come and go. Perhaps it needs to be fully purged and then fly charged to spec with both high and low side gauges instead of just using a low side gauge/filler combo. I'm going to see about renting a set of gauges from Auto zone to get it really tuned in, but I think the problem here was definitely the pressure of the system since the clutch was engaging with the ac on and the aux fan was working.
I'll update, but this may be our problem, possibly because we're not used to working with variable displacement internally regulated compressors. Older cars had a fixed displacement compressor, which was much simpler and as long as the clutch engaged it would pump. These require a set pressure to determine the displacement and how much to pump on top of it.

Edit: drove it a bit. It seems to be doing better, especially while moving. I checked the pressure again. When filling it, it was shaky and would go between 43 and 55 as the compressor cycled. After driving and checking it again it's sitting solid at 37psi. I'll see how it acts after it sits for a few hours. That seems to be when it's had problems kicking on.
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Last edited by phathom; 05-26-2017 at 02:35 PM.
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  #40  
Old 05-26-2017, 04:08 PM
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At idle a variable displacement compressor is hardly pumping any refrigerant (AKA Freon) so there is less load on the engine. When the engine is revved up or at high rpm the the variable displacement compressor knows this so it increase the displacement in the compressor by varying the angle of the rotor that is used to move the pistons. This increase in displacement allows more refrigerant to be pumped through the system which in turns create a greater cooling effect (AKA Air Conditioning).
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