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Old 10-02-2010, 12:37   #1 (permalink)
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Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

Recently purchased a 2003 P71, I'm the 3rd owner, car has 116K . First was the PD, then someone bought it and started to restore it. He lost interest, and I'm going to take up where he left off. I drove P71s for years, but was never responsible for the repairs. Now, I'm retired and am responsible, so I'm trying to learn. The car has had a lot of work done to it, but still has some issues. The most frustrating one is with the A/C. I know here in Virginia the season is almost over, but still need it working properly. Here is the issue: The A/C works well, blows cold and thru the proper openings; when it feels like it. When I turn the A/C on, (doesn't matter if its Max or just A/C), I get air thru the vents, but the compressor doesn't start. At some point in between 3-15 minutes, it'll take off and blow nice cold air. The car cools nicely and stays that way till I shut it off. Then the cycle repeats, nothing for a few minutes, then it works well. Anyone ever heard of this, experienced it? Any ideas on what it might be?
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:59   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

Turn it on and carefuly push the front clutch toward the pulley and see if it engages. There might be too much clearance between the clutch and pulley. Also, one of the pressure switches could be sticking but not as likely.
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Old 10-02-2010, 16:44   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

Burt, You are the man. I so appreciate your quick response. I can see that you help everyone on the site with solid advice.

I'm guessing you mean with the engine not running, but key in on position? That compressor is on the very bottom of the motor on the passenger side. Not sure I'm brave enough to put my hand plus a "clutch mover" that close to moving belts. Is the compressor clutch adjustable, or is it replaceable, or worst case scenerio, have to replace the whole compressor? Thanks again for you assistance.
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Old 10-02-2010, 17:05   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

I don't remember if the 2003 will put power to the clutch without it running. You can try first and if not then use a broom handle or something like it with it running and see if it connects. If it does, you can take the center bolt out and see what size shim washers are in the part. They can fall out so watch for them falling on the ground. The clearance between the outer piece and the pulley part should be .010 to .015".
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Old 10-04-2010, 13:00   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

Again I appreciate your assistance. I will try the broom stick when I can get a spare minute. Thanks again. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-11-2010, 16:00   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

Bert,
Tried pushing the clutch towards the pulley with A/C turned on, car running and shut off. No joy, it won't engage no matter what I do. It continues to self engage (when A/C turned on) after 5-15 minutes of driving though. Any thoughts? If I take this to my repair guy, is there diagnosics that can pinpoint the problem, or can he do some checks that will locate the issue without spending all day hunting for an elusive fault? Thanks again!
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Old 10-11-2010, 16:20   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Crown Vic P71 A/C Question

It's possible a switch is hanging but I'd have to be there to know what to say.
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