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1999 Dodge 1500 Laramie 318. I'm getting a weird whistle or whine at lower speeds, and when I removed the belt, the only pulley that sounded bad was the a/c one (the tensioner pulley didn't spring back to position very fast, so I replaced it with one from a junkyard this morning), When I try to remove the nut with a 14mm socket, the front plate moves along with it. Is there a special tool, or a trick, that I need to use to remove this part?
 

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Yes, there is a band wrench like a filter wrench that grabs the pulley. I think I took the bolts from the gear puller for the pulley and screwed them in, then wrenched them against the center nut to loosen it.
 

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1999 Dodge 1500 Laramie 318. I'm getting a weird whistle or whine at lower speeds, and when I removed the belt, the only pulley that sounded bad was the a/c one (the tensioner pulley didn't spring back to position very fast, so I replaced it with one from a junkyard this morning), When I try to remove the nut with a 14mm socket, the front plate moves along with it. Is there a special tool, or a trick, that I need to use to remove this part?
Once you get the nut off the clutch, there is a special bolt that can be bought at your local parts store that backs out the clutch. A gear puller would risk damage to the clutch pulley.
 

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Thanks, I'll look into the band wrench and the bolt. It's snowing here today, so I'll probably do more shopping than repairing.
 

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Once you get the nut off the clutch, there is a special bolt that can be bought at your local parts store that backs out the clutch. A gear puller would risk damage to the clutch pulley.
No, it won't. It doesn't have jaws that grip the outside. It's a center bolt through a plate, that fits against the end of the shaft and pushes off it, while the the outer bolts screw into the pulley and yank it forward (not from its edges). It's specifically made for this purpose.
 

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It's a center bolt through a plate, that fits against the end of the shaft and pushes off it, while the the outer bolts screw into the pulley and yank it forward (not from its edges). It's specifically made for this purpose.
"Specifically made" might be the operating phrase here. I was in a parts store earlier today, and I asked the guy behind the counter, who also owns a Ram. He said there's a specific tool to remove the plate, which he doesn't stock. When I went to Harbor Freight yesterday, they had some pulley removal tool kits, but only for Chevy and Ford applications. Anyway, when he looked up the a/c clutch, he found that it's not listed, which told him that I can't buy it separately, that I have to buy the whole compressor. And he's the second guy locally to say so. And from what I've so far researched, it looks like replacing one will be simpler than tracking down the right tools to replace the clutch & pulley. So I'll try to make another junkyard run this week.

The question then becomes, what other vehicles and their model years was the compressor in my truck used in? I saw one in a Dakota with a 3.9 engine that looks similar, but one in a full-sized van with a 318 had a smaller pulley. I didn't look in any Jeeps; I don't know when they started using Mopar engines.
 

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If you replace the compressor, you will have to evacuate and recharge the system. If you don't have the tools and education for this, you will need to hire a pro, and it will be expensive. But you don't need to open the system to replace the pulley or even the clutch. Buying the correct tool and the clutch is FAR cheaper and easier than opening the system. RockAuto sells A/C clutches and, I think, that's where I got the tool.
 

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Actually, I did buy the entire compressor, and scavenged its clutch and pulley, and replaced the old ones without opening the system. Still cheaper and easier than changing out the compressor. You can get a Denso compressor for your truck for $128.
 

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If you replace the compressor, you will have to evacuate and recharge the system. If you don't have the tools and education for this, you will need to hire a pro, and it will be expensive. But you don't need to open the system to replace the pulley or even the clutch.
OK, an important point to consider. I have a hose to add R12, but it's at home. Can it be used for R134? If so, it would also mean taking a chance that the one currently on this truck can last another 1400 miles. Its a/c hasn't worked since I bought it (the blower works, but the air doesn't cool), so I'm guessing that it currently has no refrigerant left.

And I agree that I'd rather just replace the clutch (and pulley, if that's needed). So where in metro Detroit, preferably the west side, can I buy the tool? I think it's some sort of spanner wrench. Chain parts stores include Napa, O'Reilly, AutoZone, and Advance; the one I went to yesterday was an independent connected with Auto Value. Harbor Freight was a fail, and there are no more Sears stores. I don't have a credit card, so on-line purchases don't work for me (and it might not arrive before I return home, anyway). Or can I jerry-rig something that will work? It looks like 3 holes in the plate, maybe a small fraction longer than an inch apart, will take inserts, and I might need to use just 2 of them. I've seen videos of people using a screwdriver on different makes, but I couldn't make that work on the Dodge trucks of this vintage in the junkyard.
 

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R134a connections are intentionally not the same as R12. You’d need new hoses, and of course a proper set of gauges and a vacuum pump if you open and need to recharge the system.
 

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You’d need new hoses, and of course a proper set of gauges and a vacuum pump if you open and need to recharge the system.
More than one hose? And more than one gauge? Progress is too complicated.

Harbor Freight had a brake bleeder with a vacuum gauge discounted. Can this also be used as a vacuum pump for a/c, or is it a completely different tool? Years ago, after buying the Dakota I no longer own, I bought a kit to depressurize the fuel lines in fuel injected systems. Can THIS be used, or is it also a different tool?
 

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More than one hose? And more than one gauge? Progress is too complicated.

Harbor Freight had a brake bleeder with a vacuum gauge discounted. Can this also be used as a vacuum pump for a/c, or is it a completely different tool? Years ago, after buying the Dakota I no longer own, I bought a kit to depressurize the fuel lines in fuel injected systems. Can THIS be used, or is it also a different tool?
Nothing has changed but the end of the hose. You should have always had a set of gauges to work with R12. Same with a vacuum for R12- any time an A/C system is opened to air.

At the compressor end, I don’t remember there being the quick connect fittings, but I believe they are used at the firewall end. If you pull any lines off the compressor when swapping I’d strongly consider new gaskets or O rings as appropriate when reattaching.
 

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Don't try to use a hand vacuum pump. I tried that on one car, pumped over 500 times until my hand was raw, and still didn't attain better than 26 inches of vacuum. You need to pull at least 29.5 inches of vacuum for an hour to evacuate properly.
 
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Miller makes the special tools for Chrysler compressors. I positioned the compressor on my sister's Liberty after moving the friction plate so I could get a straight shot at the pulley and made a puller using a steering wheel puller, split-cup bearing puller and hose clamps. I believe that the compressor was made by Sanden.
If the clutch plate and hub are rubbing together and weren't before, something has changed like shaft or bearing play/wear. If that is the case, then it may need more than a replacement clutch:

KJ_compreesor.jpeg
 

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Thanks for all of the replies. So far, I've not seen a Youtube video that details the clutch plate removal, so I've yet to remove it on my truck to see whether that's scraping, or the pulley. However, after I replaced the tensioner pulley, the noise hasn't occurred as frequently while driving.

I picked up a garage-door opener that someone had left by the curb for scrap. While taking it apart, I noticed a few metal bars with holes in them might work as sort of a make-shift spanner wrench to remove the central nut. The holes don't line up exactly right, so some drilling will be necessary.

If the clutch plate and hub are rubbing together and weren't before, something has changed like shaft or bearing play/wear.
I just noticed the noise last week, but while driving, I usually have the stereo on, so I don't know how long it's been like this.
 

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I should add that there's been a slight chirp while the engine is in park or idling since I bought the truck. I thought that, if it became worse, it would have to be addressed early on, but it's pretty much stayed the same, even after I replaced the belt. I don't know where it's coming from.
 
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