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Engine stalls when turning on AC

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Engine stalls when turning on AC

Old 03-06-2019, 01:58 PM
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Default Engine stalls when turning on AC

Hi guys,

I'd like to document a very strange problem I encountered a few years ago and how I solved it. At the time, I was supercharged with the SOS kit running the 12psi pulley. It was a hot California summer, and one day while stopped at a stoplight with my AC on, my engine stalled. I didn't hear any strange sounds, but it definitely seemed like there was some resistance to the engine turning. The problem gradually began to worsen, to the point at which I had to turn off my AC while idling to avoid stalling. There was no check engine light and no error codes.

For those that that don't know, the AC compressor operates using an armature plate, pulley, and magnetic clutch. When the AC is off, the pulley spins freely with a small distance between the armature plate and the pulley. When the AC is switched on, the magnetic clutch pulls the armature plate (sitting on the pulley) towards the pulley and engages the compressor. Suspecting the compressor, I checked out the service manual and found out that there are shims between the armature plate and pulley. As it turns out, that little gap is quite important! After checking the gap with a feeler gauge, I realized I was way out of spec.

There is a special tool to hold the armature plate in place while you remove the center nut, much like the crank pulley. As usual Honda charges an ass-load of money for this specialty tool, so I made my own out of polycarbonate and 3 screws. Upon removing the armature plate, I noticed that the back of it was all scratched up, as well as the front of the compressor pulley. After buying a new shim set from Honda and making sure the gap was within spec, the problem was solved! Seems like my problem was due to my shims being ground down to nothing combined with the parasitic drag of the supercharger.

Hope this helps someone!
T da B is offline  
Old 03-06-2019, 04:19 PM
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Thanks, for this post! I suspected seized compressor, by your description of the problem.

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Old 03-06-2019, 04:58 PM
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This just happened to my buddy s2k. It was so bad that smoke was coming out from the compressor. The car died and wouldn’t turn back on. Removed the drive belt and the compressor is compeletly seized.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:11 PM
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Holy shit--that's crazy to hear! Hope you guys get it sorted out.
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