05 jimmy ac compressor clutch grinding


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Aug 3, 2020
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Hello all, I have been making a road trip in the 30 degree weather for the past couple weeks. Needless to say, air conditioning has been a blessing. The other day, though, a grinding noise started up when I first started my engine, then would fade after a couple minutes. After some troubleshooting I determined it was the compressor clutch making the grinding noise. Here are the symptoms:
Grinding starts when engine starts if ac is not on, and sometimes when it is on. When ac clutch engages, the sound stops, but periodically the clutch disengages, sometimes making loud grinding, sometimes not. It seems like it sometimes has trouble engaging again after it has stopped (while a.c. is still on).
It seems like when the ac is on full blast, it disengages less frequently.
When the engine is off, the clutch does not spin freely (although when force is used it does move around), has a slight wobble, and the air gap seems too small.

I have looked into solutions that will not cost me an arm and a leg, such as creating a larger air gap with special clutch plate removal tool; replacing clutch; and 2 variations of bypassing compressor with a shorter belt, one involving removing idler pulley, and one involving adding a pulley to the mount below the ac compressor.

Does anyone have some advice? I am hoping to be on the road again soon, but I feel like i shouldn't drive to far while this grinding is occuring, even intermittently while ac is on.