Originally Posted by SunCr
It's a challenge on the '92 and up because the main hoses are routed right in front of it. Service Manual says to discharge and remove the hoses - but the dealerships always like to do it the easy way! Before you start, make sure the compressor hasn't seized. The outer hub (engine off of course) should spin with minimal resistance when you turn it by hand). If that's ok, grasp the hub with some oil filter wrench pliers (or a strap wrench) and remove the 10 mm nut. Hold your hand underneath it and gently pry it off. Some shims should fall into your hand, but check to make sure that none are sitting on the shaft. Inside are some snap rings holding on the pulley and then the coil. Wedge some snap ring pliers between the hoses and remove the pulley first; coil second. Installation is the reverse. Shim the outer hub until there's .020 clearance between it and the pulley (count on taking it back off at least once to get it right). Torque the retaining bolt to 10 ft/lbs - don't go ape on it as you'll crush the shims or wipe out the shaft seal.
If you have ice on the lines, there's something else going on. If the ice is on the low pressure or bigger line, it probably needs a new low pressure switch. That switch cuts power to the compressor when the refrigerant drops to 32 degrees (about 22.5 to 25 psi depending on gas). If it isn't working, the compressor keeps turning and the juice freezes any moisture that's around it.
If the ice is on the high pressure or smaller line, it's plugged up. Time to take it all apart and rebuild it.
I just did thid on Sunday on my 92 LT1 and it is fairly easy, just follow the steps above.
I might add the following:
1 The AC clutch from NAPA ( part no 274152) comes with instructions for a Ford FX and Toyota and does not even mention the Vette but it is the correct one. I mention this as the compressor is used by several other car manufacturers and you may be able to buy it from Ford or Toyots or Mazda cheaper than you can buy it for the Corvette.
2 The extra shims that come with the new compressor are too big around to fit inside the hole that the shaft fits into. You can size the outside circumfrence with a file. You can also adjust the thickness of the shims with a flat file if no combination of shime gives yoy the proper gap of 20 thou. The instruction with the new NAPA one says to set it 18 to 30 thou.
3. You need to buy a heavy duty snap ring plyers with the longest nose you can find as the snaprings are deep inside the pulley. You can take them off with a small screwdriver but you must have the snap ring pliers to reinstall them.
4. You can change the clutch without moving the AC hosed, there is plenty of room as the clutch comes off in three pieces.
5. Everything comes off in this order. 10mm bolt, slide off front part of clutch ( you can pry off the old one or there are threads inside the hole that the 10mm bolt goes through as that you can screw in a bigger bolt and back it off this way), Remoce snapring and remove armature by sliding it off, remove second snapring and slide off electromagnet.
Installation is the reverse of above. You may need a filter wrench to take off and install the 10mm bolt but mine was easy to come off and the torque reading is low so I was able to tighten it by holding it by hand.
Hope this helps.