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Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch

Q. Hello again Vincent, well I had my truck checked out, Dodge Ram A/C Blows Hot And Cold, and I was told the A/C clutch was not engaging, and they would gladly fix it for the low price of $325.00. I am thinking I may be able to save myself a little cash, and do it myself. So my question to you is, is it easy or difficult to replace an A/C clutch on my truck?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch

A. The A/C compressor clutch is not too difficult to replace. I don't know what your skill level is but here is the procedure. If you feel you are up to the challenge, go for it. There are some special tools involved, but I think if you are careful, you can substitute tools that are more readily available or available at the tool rental store.

The refrigerant system can remain fully-charged during compressor clutch, pulley, or coil replacement. The compressor clutch can be serviced in the vehicle.


  1. Disconnect and isolate the battery negative cable.
  2. Unplug the compressor clutch coil wire harness connector.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Insert the two pins of the spanner wrench (Special Tool 6462 in Kit 6460) into the holes of the clutch plate. Hold the clutch plate stationary and remove the hex nut.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Remove the external front housing snap ring with snap ring pliers.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Install the lip of the rotor puller (Special Tool C-6141-1 in Kit 6460) into the snap ring groove exposed in Step 6, and install the shaft protector (Special Tool C-6141-2 in Kit 6460).
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Install the puller through-bolts (Special Tool C-6461) through the puller flange and into the jaws of the rotor puller and tighten. Then the puller center bolt clockwise until the rotor pulley is free.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Remove the screw and retainer from the clutch coil lead wire harness on the compressor front housing.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Remove the snap ring from the compressor hub and remove the clutch field coil. Slide the clutch field coil off of the compressor hub.

Examine the friction surfaces of the clutch pulley and the front plate for wear. The pulley and front plate should be replaced if there is excessive wear or scoring.

If the friction surfaces are oily, inspect the shaft and nose area of the compressor for oil. Remove the felt from the front cover. If the felt is saturated with oil, the shaft seal is leaking and the compressor must be replaced.

Check the clutch pulley bearing for roughness or excessive leakage of grease. Replace the bearing, if required.


  1. Install the clutch field coil and snap ring.
  2. Install the clutch coil lead wire harness retaining clip on the compressor front housing and tighten the retaining screw.
  3. Align the rotor assembly squarely on the front compressor housing hub.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Thread the handle (Special Tool 6464 in Kit 6460) into the driver (Special Tool 6143 in Kit 6460).
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Place the driver tool assembly into the bearing cavity on the rotor. Make certain the outer edge of the tool rests firmly on the rotor bearing inner race.
  2. Tap the end of the driver while guiding the rotor to prevent binding. Tap until the rotor bottoms against the compressor front housing hub. Listen for a distinct change of sound during the tapping process, to indicate the bottoming of the rotor.
  3. Install the external front rotor snap ring with snap ring pliers. The bevel side of the snap ring must be facing outward. Press the snap ring to make sure it is properly seated in the groove.
CAUTION: If the snap ring is not fully seated in the groove it will vibrate out, resulting in a clutch failure and severe damage to the front housing of the compressor.
  1. Install the original clutch shims on the compressor shaft.
  2. Replace the compressor shaft hex nut. Tighten the nut to 10.5 foot pounds.
Dodge Ram A/C Compressor Clutch
  1. Check the clutch air gap with a feeler gauge. If the air gap does not meet the specification, add or subtract shims as required. The air gap specification is 0.41 to 0.79 millimeter (0.016 to 0.031 inch) . If the air gap is not consistent around the circumference of the clutch, lightly pry up at the minimum variations. Lightly tap down at the points of maximum variation.
NOTE: The air gap is determined by the spacer shims. When installing an original, or a new clutch assembly, try the original shims first. When installing a new clutch onto a compressor that previously did not have a clutch, use 1.0, 0.50, and 0.13 millimeter (0.040, 0.020, and 0.005 inch) shims from the clutch hardware package that is provided with the new clutch.
  1. Reverse the remaining removal procedures to complete the installation.

Clutch Break-in:
After a new compressor clutch has been installed, cycle the compressor clutch approximately twenty times (five seconds on, then five seconds off). During this procedure, set the HVAC control to the recirculation mode (Max-A/C), the blower motor switch in the highest speed position, and the engine speed at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm. This procedure (burnishing) will seat the opposing friction surfaces and provide a higher compressor clutch torque capability.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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