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2004 FXT 5MT
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238 Posts
Hi Wayne, having just done this on my 2004 (very similar design to your 2005), I will try to help as well.
Do you know the method they used to try and separate the clutch from the compressor? My clutch was also "stuck" to the compressor and I had to very slowly, very patiently, use the 3 bolt method to get it to loosen enough that it would separate. My 2004 is similar mileage to yours + northern climate. I would inquire about what method they used, as a start.


Hope that helps.
 

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cre8value: No they didn't explain anything but that they were concerned about breaking the compressor, and didn't show me anything. What they want me to do is leave it with them until they experience the problem, so they can see what's happening on the spot. My mechanics are good, and they have seen this problem with another car but not a Subaru. I offered to drive them around for 20-30 minutes, because that's what it takes for the AC to go out, but no dice. And, I'm just not handy at all with cars. I may drive by there to ask the mechanic how they tried to take it off. That would be a good idea. Thanks!
 

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2014 Forester XT
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99 Posts
Still an awesome thread. Fixed mine. 2014 2.5i Premium. Same problems at about 120,000 miles. Took to dealership, they charged it with new refrigerant and dye and it worked great for few weeks. Then same issue, it would turn off the compressor randomly if really hot outside and/or pushed the ac hard for about 20 min. Turn forester off, let cool, and it would work again for another 20 min or so. No dye leaks and pressure on system still good. (Low pressure can cause exact same AC issues, check that first) Dealership acted like you must replace both clutch and compressor at this point. Then I found this thread......

Measured gap between clutch plate and pulley. Gap too wide. Read gap should be between 0.3 - 0.6 mm on the newer Foresters. (2014+) Different on older ones. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The newer Foresters are much easier to remove the shims. No bolts needed. There is no threading for them on the clutch plate, just holes to fit an ac clutch holding tool. Get one or make something to fit the holes to hold clutch in place and simply remove the center bolt. The plate comes right off by hand after removing the bolt unlike the earlier models. The shims are underneath the plate. Start by removing the thinnest one. (I've read people have different numbers of shims present, likely due to variations from the factory. Each comes out slightly different and needs different number of shims.) Reassembly and check the gap. Fire it up!

So far, so good. It's holding up in the humid Oklahoma summer heat.

Cost = free (loan a clutch holder from auto store or make one, borrow a feeler gauge from a buddy or under $10 for a cheap one)

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread!

@JeremyJ Do you have the Valeo compressor?
 

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2004 2.0 XT
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1 Posts
I've been having no cold air from a/c after 10 mins. for the last few years.lt never really bothered me until this summer! I read nearly every post here and decided this must be my problem. Switch off a/c and then it won't switch back on. Tapped clutch with a wooden block and it came back on so thought it must be the same problem. Tried to remove clutch with the three bolt method and one bolt sheared off!! Had to resort to the screwdriver method. Slowly and surely it moved micromillimeter by micromillimeter. When I had enough clearance I managed to tap in some long tee hinges and it moved a bit easier. Screwdrivers will work but the clutch flexes so you need to get some leverage at the centre of the clutch where the resistance is. I ended up using a pair of bolsters and it came off fine. I did screw a longer centre bolt to stop the clutch falling off so that I didn't miss the shims. Removed the thicker of the two and put it all back together. The gap still looked larger than the 0.0018 (18 thou) but it works fine and have had cold air all afternoon. Thanks to Mark the shark and everyone else who contributed to this - you've saved us all an empty wallet.
 

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2005 Forester 2.5L 5spd
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2 Posts
Worked great for my 05. Was bending the bracing bolts so picked up the clutch holder from AutoZone, but beyond that the instructions worked to the letter! Thanks!
 

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Thanks to all of you for the useful info.

I've been able to get the clutch off, but I can't get it back on properly. Way too large a gap and I don't want to break off the center bolt by tightening too hard.

In other words, when I put the clutch back on the spline, it has an enormous gap and tightening it down with the bolt and washers only moves it about halfway back. I've tried twice. I wonder if the one shim I left in there (the thinner of the two that were there) is not seated properly. Or maybe I'm not using the bolt and washers properly.

Any suggestions?
 

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2006 XT Auto
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7 Posts
Success! Worked like a charm for me. I was dreading bent or broken bolts but that did not happen so yay! Used home depot bs bolts and some anti-seize on threads. There were two shims(looked the same to me) so i removed one and so far so good. Gap before fix .025, and after .018
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
Is it safe to use a little penetrating fluid like pb blaster, to help remove the clutch plate, along with the bolts or remover tools?

Of course everything would need some brake cleaner afterwards, but I’m a bit wary. Is it safe?
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i
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3 Posts
Hi All,


My 2015 Subaru Forester has the same general symptoms. The AC blows cold for around 10 minutes and then starts blowing warm. I took it for a test drive a couple of days ago and I noticed that when it is blowing warm the clutch plate is no longer moving and thus not powering the compressor. When it is working the AC is nice and cold though so I guess this means that it is not a compressor problem.

I was about to try this procedure however I notice that my clutch does not have threaded bolt holes. I assume this is because it is a newer model as mentioned in post # 141 by JeremyT. I am thinking that I am going to have to buy a clutch removal tool and give that a try.

Thanks,
Ken.

 

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2015 2.0XT Touring
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1 Posts
Hi Ken,

I too have a 2015 Forester. The cold air blows intermittently for anywhere between 10 mins to 30 mins depending on traffic conditions. After taking it to my local Subaru Mech, they came to the conclusion that it was the AC compressor clutch. That is what lead me to this thread. Rather than removing a shim to bring it closer together I spent $50 and bought a new AC compressor clutch from eBay. I am going to visit Autozone this weekend and rent the clutch removal tool. If you beat me to it, let me know how it goes and I will do the same.

Good Luck,
Joe.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i
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3 Posts
Joe,


It turns out that this is much easier for a 2015 Forester. I borrowed a clutch removal tool from Napa which made it much simpler to remove the center bolt and once that was off, the clutch plate came off the spline quite easily by hand. I found three shims two of which were quite thin and the last one was thicker (thicker than the other two combined). I did not have a feeler gauge handy so I just removed one of the shims (the thickest of the two thin ones) and cleaned up the surfaces with brake cleaner and put it back together. My AC has now been working again without problems for a couple of weeks. I now have a feeler gauge so I am going to go test the gap when I get around to it and see if any adjustments are necessary. I will upload a few photos assuming that this forum lets me do that. Good luck.


Ken.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i
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I got around to testing the gap this morning and it was about .38 mm. From what I have read it should be in the range 0.3 - 0.6 so it could not have worked out any better than that. Thanks to all the contributors to this thread... the information saved me $800 since my mechanic had tested everything else was suggesting that the problem must be with the compressor.
 

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2007 Forester
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2 Posts
Had to sign up and post as a word of warning to anyone reading this.

When down the 6mx40 bolt as the final step, DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. The bolt can bottom out, and cranking on it is only going to result in one thing: a snapped off bolt buried deep in your compressor.

Don't be like me. Stop when you get close and switch from the bolt with a stack of washers to a the bolt that was designed for it.

sigggghhhhh. $600 lesson learned.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
Thank you Kevin. That’s very honest and humble of you to admit. Can you use penetrating oil and anti seize on the bolts and clutch plate first? Did this hack solve your ac issues at least? I had my 2015 compressor replaced after showing the dealership the tsb and Subaru was kind enough to absorb the cost. Thanks
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring
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189 Posts
Still an awesome thread. Fixed mine. 2014 2.5i Premium. Same problems at about 120,000 miles. Took to dealership, they charged it with new refrigerant and dye and it worked great for few weeks. Then same issue, it would turn off the compressor randomly if really hot outside and/or pushed the ac hard for about 20 min. Turn forester off, let cool, and it would work again for another 20 min or so. No dye leaks and pressure on system still good. (Low pressure can cause exact same AC issues, check that first) Dealership acted like you must replace both clutch and compressor at this point. Then I found this thread......

Measured gap between clutch plate and pulley. Gap too wide. Read gap should be between 0.3 - 0.6 mm on the newer Foresters. (2014+) Different on older ones. Correct me if I'm wrong.

The newer Foresters are much easier to remove the shims. No bolts needed. There is no threading for them on the clutch plate, just holes to fit an ac clutch holding tool. Get one or make something to fit the holes to hold clutch in place and simply remove the center bolt. The plate comes right off by hand after removing the bolt unlike the earlier models. The shims are underneath the plate. Start by removing the thinnest one. (I've read people have different numbers of shims present, likely due to variations from the factory. Each comes out slightly different and needs different number of shims.) Reassembly and check the gap. Fire it up!

So far, so good. It's holding up in the humid Oklahoma summer heat.

Cost = free (loan a clutch holder from auto store or make one, borrow a feeler gauge from a buddy or under $10 for a cheap one)

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread!
I read through all 11 pages looking for exactly your post...

- with the spec for starters..
- then the fact that my 2015 Forester doesnt even HAVE bolt holes in front..

I am not convinced this is my issue since there is a TSB 10-84-16R on the A/C issue, but I suppose its worth a try..

@JeremyJ Do you have the Valeo compressor?
I have the Valeo with this issue.

Valeo
73111FJ040
HFC-134a

and since the first digit of the part number is not a "5", this is one compressor effected by the TSB.. 10-84-16R

in the TSB they replace the whole compressor and re-charge, at a cost of almost $1000... it would be pretty cool if this is the real fix..

Update - Made my own video on 2014-up today:

 

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2014 Forester CVT
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8 Posts
A/C clutch replacement 2014 forester 2.5l

I experienced a the dreaded intermittent cooling and after a little hunting found a replacement clutch / coil .

Sorry! Something went wrong!

The product above is what I used, at first I was going to just swap in the coil but they are of a different size so wound up
Installing the pulley & clutch also.

I used a small 2 jaw gear puller to remove existing pully with compressor attached, was tight fit and main screw head was resting on fan shroud but it worked.

I removed 2 shims form original clutch BUT the new unit came with NO shims. Also the nose shaft on the newer clutch was shorter buy ~ 5/32 as best as I could measure it.

Trip to NAPA produced laughter from counter guy about finding AC parts, but they did have some copper crush washers.

Copper crush washer is ~3/32” thick x ~7/16” ID x ~ 3/4” OD.

I needed to file open the ID, I just rolled up some 120 grit sandpaper , took less than a minute or 2 to remove enough material so it slipped onto the compressor shaft.

I was worried about the soft copper so I sandwiched it between the steel shims but had to remove 1 , the thinnest I had to
reach to top limit of the air gap required. 0.3mm - 0.6 mm. I felt it was just a little wider than called for so swapped in the old clutch with the slightly longer nose shaft and tried to crush the washer a little more.

It worked, air gap is at the top of the range, but the AC is working well. 100 degrees here in NJ today and just did an 80 mile UBER run to the airport , everything working as it should.

I had to buy the clutch removal tool at autozone , the replacement clutch doesn’t have the holes to locate the tool but a large pair of channel locks works well.

Another note is the replacement coil doesn’t have a Subaru electoral connector, I cut it off the old unit and spliced it onto the new unit..

Grand total of less than $100 for tool clutch and washers plus a new serpentine belt & idler pully
Car has 102k miles on it.

Hope this helps someone. It’s an easy fix.


Bob.

Url didn’t show, unit is made by ECCP & purchased off of Amazon.

A/C compressor with clutch , CO 29104C
fits 2011 - 2014 forester Impreza XV & Crosstrek
My cars build date was in 2013, OE compressor is a Valeo DKV - 10Z
Purchased off of Amazon.
 
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