How to Replace the AC Compressor in a 1989 Chevy Truck

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When replacing the air compressor in a 1989 Chevrolet truck, including the S10, you must discharge the Freon. Since you cannot discharge it into the atmosphere, you must take the vehicle to a shop with a certified recovery system. When you replace the compressor, you should also replace the drier -- or accumulator, depending on which model truck you have -- and the orifice tube. You may void the warranty on the compressor if you do not change them.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of sockets
  • Clean shop rag
  • Torque wrench
  • Drive the vehicle to a facility licensed in air conditioning and have them evacuate the system.

  • Unplug the wiring harness connector for the air compressor. Rotate the accessory belt tensioner toward the engine to loosen the belt. Lift it off the air compressor pulley, but leave it on the rest of the pulleys.

  • Remove the compressor brace, if your truck is equipped with one, using the appropriate socket. Remove the bolt from the center of the manifold on the back of the compressor. The manifold holds the high- and low-pressure lines onto the compressor. Pull the manifold and lines away from the compressor. Block the lines with a clean shop rag.

  • Remove the compressor mounting bolts, then lift the compressor out of the engine compartment. Most auto-parts stores charge a "core fee" for air compressors. If you return the old compressor, your core fee will be refunded. Remove the drier or accumulator and the orifice tube and replace both with new parts.

  • Pour the proper amount of oil into the air compressor. The instructions with your brand compressor will tell you how much oil to add. Put the plug back into the compressor and set the compressor up on its pulley for 20 minutes, to allow the oil to thoroughly soak the seals.

  • Install the air compressor and tighten the retaining bolts to 37 foot-pounds of torque. Remove the rags from the lines and the plugs from the compressor openings. Install the manifold and lines onto the back of the compressor. Tighten the manifold bolt to 24 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the compressor brace. Plug in the compressor wiring harness connector.

  • Rotate the serpentine belt pulley toward the center of the engine and slide the belt over the air compressor pulley. Allow the tensioner to rotate gently back in place. Take the vehicle to a certified air conditioning shop and have them charge the system.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is illegal to discharge Freon into the atmosphere. You must take the vehicle to a certified shop to properly evacuate the system prior to replacing the compressor or any other part of the air conditioning system.

References

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