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2007 Forester auto
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77 Posts
Another success story. I did cheat and used a $32 puller kit from Amazon. It might have been easier to do it the OP's way. Not much room to work! My plate gap was .74mm before and .40mm after. I'll make my test run tomorrow, but it worked from my backyard to the driveway!
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
Awesome information here. I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their experiences and images. I just went to look at my GFs 2003 Forester XS and it appears to have the through holes on the Zexel comp clutch, but they don’t look threaded. Just through holes that only go to the front of the clutch plate.

I suppose I can use a clutch holder and press it off the center bolt and the I’ll have to check the gap with my thickness gage tomorrow. The gap doesn’t appear that wide, so I may just have the system recharged first.

Do some older model Zexel compressors not have threaded holes? Will the clutch plate press off with the center bolt only? Any dangers? Thanks
 

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2007 Forester Automatic
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19 Posts
I used this video and my ac is working great! I had to completely remove the shim because my air gap was way too big. I plan to do the compressor in the winter sometime

 

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2010 Forester
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2 Posts
I just did this on my 2010 and after one mishap (took all three shims out!), we reinserted the heaviest shim and left the two thin ones out, and...IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!

THE AC IS BLOWING ICE COLD AND IS NOT DISENGAGING!

The whole job took 15 minutes!

Thanks!
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
I tried to remove the clutch plate from an 03 Forester XS and when torquing on the 3 m5 bolts, it got very difficult. I didn’t want to push too hard so I aborted.

Is it possible to remove the clutch plate using the center m6 bolt hole? I know Autozone loans a few removal tools. I see there is a plate with large double bolts. ??

Also, is it safe to use penetrating oil on the clutch plate? I was going to add some to the center spline m6 threaded hole next time. I don’t want to damage the compressor under the clutch.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
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?
Check for a bent shaft or burrs on the splines, both sides. Make sure that the thread shaft hole is clean and rust free. You may have to run an m6 tap to clean the threads and a small diamond file to clean any burrs on the splines.
 

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2006 Forester X
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11 Posts
Great thread. I was only able to find 8.8 bolts, so I took it slowly and used anti-seize, including on the tips of the bolts, and the clutch came off fairly easy.

However, I really screwed up and over-torqued the 6x40mm bolt with washers while pressing the clutch back on, and snapped the bolt! Got the clutch back off, but now I have the broken bolt stuck in the compressor shaft. Any ideas on this? I can quite easily get a grip on the broken bolt, but have no way to stop the compressor from rotating. I'm a bit hesitant to get too creative, as I really do not want to mess up the splines on the compressor shaft.

Any ideas?
 

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2010 FORESTER LIMITED
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3 Posts
Another success story. I did cheat and used a $32 puller kit from Amazon. It might have been easier to do it the OP's way. Not much room to work! My plate gap was .74mm before and .40mm after. I'll make my test run tomorrow, but it worked from my backyard to the driveway!
Do you have the part number from Amazon? Which model and year of your Forester? Thanks!
 

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'17 Impreza Hatchback CVT
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786 Posts
However, I really screwed up and over-torqued the 6x40mm bolt with washers while pressing the clutch back on, and snapped the bolt! Got the clutch back off, but now I have the broken bolt stuck in the compressor shaft. Any ideas on this? I can quite easily get a grip on the broken bolt, but have no way to stop the compressor from rotating. I'm a bit hesitant to get too creative, as I really do not want to mess up the splines on the compressor shaft.
First, take a deep breath. Been there, done something similar. Don't be hard on yourself.

Without torque on that snapped bolt, you might find it will back out (since you can grip it) fairly easily now that there is no tension on it. You can thread in those bolts you used to pull the clutch to try to hold it. The fellow in post #165 had a nice tool in his video to keep the clutch from rotating that you might use that inserted into the three holes.

Good luck and tell us how it goes. Once you get the snapped bolt out, check the splines carefully to see why it didn't go on more easily before trying to get it back on, and if you can get a hardened replacement.
 

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2006 Forester X
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11 Posts
@LuvMySubaru2 Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately, while the snapped bolt is long enough to easily get a grip on without the clutch in place, it is not long enough to protrude when the clutch is on. I need to somehow immobilize the compressor shaft without the clutch.

Is it possible that the splines on the shaft are some standard pattern and that I might be able to find some other, shallower part that could fit on them? Or a wrench intended for that pattern/size?
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
@LuvMySubaru2 Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately, while the snapped bolt is long enough to easily get a grip on without the clutch in place, it is not long enough to protrude when the clutch is on. I need to somehow immobilize the compressor shaft without the clutch.

Is it possible that the splines on the shaft are some standard pattern and that I might be able to find some other, shallower part that could fit on them? Or a wrench intended for that pattern/size?
You can try a rubber strap wrench to hold the part without damage. Drilling the broken bolt out may be a good idea.
 

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1 Posts
Thank you for the post.
I have a 2015 Outback with the same noise issues and there are no screws on the front.
Do i freeze the pulley and remove the center nut?


522917
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
Thank you for the post.
I have a 2015 Outback with the same noise issues and there are no screws on the front.
Do i freeze the pulley and remove the center nut?


View attachment 522917
I've never seen a clutch like that on a Subaru. You can try a rubber strap wrench to hold the clutch in place.
A fabric strap wrench will also work well. Rigid Tools makes them.
 

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2006 Forester 5-speed manual
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137 Posts
Originally posted by tnewcomb
A different fault - My 2005 Baja has 232,000+ miles on it. For the last couple of years - yes, YEARS - my AC has only worked intermittently. I drive it up and down the interstate an hour each way during the work week. When I used the AC, I'd get about 15-20 miles out of it and then it would just stop working. It would also blow air out of the vents that was warmer than the outside air.

I took it to a couple shops that could never find anything wrong and could never spend the time to replicate the fault. Yeah, I heard the "you need to add coolant" comments or "remove a shim" like above, but that wasn't the problem.

The problem ended up NOT being the air conditioning system. It was the RADIATOR. After 232,000 miles, the engine temp gauge started climbing when I'd run the AC on a hot day. So, I decided to that since I only flushed the radiator once so far during the car's lifetime, that I'd just replace it.

Voila. AC fixed. Nothing else done to the car. Having that evaporator almost connected to the radiator was not the best engineering decision in the world. Having the fans blowing the extreme heat from the overworked radiator right at the evaporator was error # 2.

No, the temp gauge on the dash never budged from its normal spot until recently. Even on super hot days, the radiator did a fine job cooling the engine even though it was pretty clogged up.

It's been 3 days since I replaced the radiator and the AC is brutally cold - colder than when I bought the car used with 20,000 miles on it - and it hasn't quit at all.
I have to say that I don't really understand this...

The radiator is behind the condensor, I think that's pretty normal in about 98% or cars on the road. Or is it 100%?

I'm thinking that something else happened when the radiator was changed. Maybe a fan had been failing due to a dirty contact or something?
 

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2006 Forester 5-speed manual
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137 Posts
I've started on my particular version of this job...

After reading this thread I had a couple of concerns, so I wanted to take care of them. I have the luxury, also, of having a compressor out of a car that I can play with prior to doing the job on the car.

So the first thing I noticed with the other compressor was it looks like the clutch is NEW:



So that's a bonus for me, I think. I will undoubtedly use this clutch in the vehicle.

]


Then, having seen how so many bent bolts, I wanted to avoid this. Also, I was keen to avoid the ends of the threads being damaged so the bolts were still able to come out without ruining the thread in the plate. So I drilled and tapped a piece of scrap angle iron and mounted that in the vise, screwed in each bolt in turn and got the angle grinder out.

The disc on the angle grinder is a cutting disc and I was grinding on the side of that because it's less aggressive than a grinding disc and it gave me greater control on this little job. The idea was to hold the angle grinder with the disc flat, the angle at which the bolt protruded was the angle I'd grind as a taper on the end of the bolt.

I figured that with a smaller surface area the bolt would be less likely to walk around, but another issue is that none of the photos posted on this thread actually show with any clarity where the bolts bear once they're screwed in.



It all worked well, a couple of turns in the thing went 'pop' and it all went easily from there. Two of the bolts were in good shape and the other had some damage. So why was that?



The area onto which the bolts screwed down is not meant for this purpose at all! It's alloy, very narrow and has a taper machined off it so it will generally direct the bolts off to the side. There they find a good surface if they're on the wider parts of the circlip on which they now bear.



This narrower section, however, is the one the damaged bolt found.

If I had some decent and a bit of workshop gear here I would do it very differently. I would make up a central pressure piece (for want of a better term) which I could slip into the central bolt hole and make a puller which pulled on the three 5mm threaded holes and pushed on the central bolt area.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
The compressor clutch removal kits have a bearing plate to push the clutch plate off. OTC sells a complete removal kit. A really seized plate requires the right tools and possibly the removal of the compressor itself.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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511 Posts
Tooltopia.com has the OTC and Roninair kits. Search ac compressor service tools. The kit has a bearing plate that holds three bolts with a special center bolt to press off the clutch. If the center bolt is hardened steel, it can pull the clutch. The threads need to be strong since that is where the forces are.

If you have a lathe, you can make these tools but for $75, it may be worth it just to buy one of the sets. OTC kit looks good. Robinair may be comparable.

I’m considering pulling my new compressor clutch just to put some anti seize on the splines for future ease of removal. It’s brand new, so I’m afraid to touch it.
 
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