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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just over 220k miles on this engine, and for the last 20k miles or so there has been a "rattle" sound coming from the engine. Nothing seems to be affected, and it doesn't get worse, but I looked through threads here and decided I'd pick your experienced brains.

When idling, there is a muted rattle from the engine that sound like a bad bearing. It is worst when idling in drive, with the brake on, and almost goes away when idling in neutral. (When waiting in drive-thru lanes I will shift to neutral when not moving) I had a flex plate fail in a previous vehicle and this is not the clanging rattle of a flex plate. Some forums have mentioned timing chain (this one has never been changed, afaik) and piston ring wear causing slap. I am hoping to avoid the engine internals, as I am ready to donate this van to someone that needs a way to get to work. I just want to be sure its not going to throw a rod right after she starts driving it.

Also, I have been losing about a quart of antifreeze every two weeks, and the heater refuses to blow cold air consistently. After the engine has warmed up I can turn the heat on full blast, set to highest temperature (automatic temperature control option), and it might blow hot for a minute, then goes right back to cold air, until I turn it off and wait a couple of minutes. I have never seen a sign of leakage anywhere on the engine or driveway. Right after I have topped the radiator off I can smell a faint antifreeze odor if I idle for an extended period (like a crowded restaurant drive-thru). I replaced the radiator after a deer hit me, which actually made the heater work great again, but 20,000 miles later its back.

Because of the above suspicion about the coolant, I assumed the water pump had gone out again (it was replaced about 100k miles ago) and that it was bad, causing the rattles as well as some coolant leakage. Today I pulled the water pump off and it looks and sounds perfect. I cranked the motor with the serp-belt completely off and there is no rattle sound! After this realization, I wiggled the AC compressor pulley and it definitely has a miniscule bit of a wobble and squeak, so it was my rattle culprit! (The AC has always worked fine, and makes no noise when turned on)

After all that, here's my question: How difficult is it to replace the bearing in the AC clutch, and will this help or does it sound like a waste of time? I managed to pull the water pump with the minimum of cursing, but looking at that compressor I'm ready to just accept the rattles as a feature. As far as the coolant loss goes, I am going to see about a pressure test on the system and locate a leak, hoping its not the head gasket.
 

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I have a coolant leak like that too, and can smell it but not see it in the summer. Now in the cold of winter, I can see wetness running down the side tank of the radiator right below the upper hose. It's either the spring clamp not keeping enough pressure to seal, or the side tank seal isn't crimped enough on the radiator.
 
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I'm just over 220k miles on this engine, and for the last 20k miles or so there has been a "rattle" sound coming from the engine. Nothing seems to be affected, and it doesn't get worse, but I looked through threads here and decided I'd pick your experienced brains.

When idling, there is a muted rattle from the engine that sound like a bad bearing. It is worst when idling in drive, with the brake on, and almost goes away when idling in neutral. (When waiting in drive-thru lanes I will shift to neutral when not moving) I had a flex plate fail in a previous vehicle and this is not the clanging rattle of a flex plate. Some forums have mentioned timing chain (this one has never been changed, afaik) and piston ring wear causing slap. I am hoping to avoid the engine internals, as I am ready to donate this van to someone that needs a way to get to work. I just want to be sure its not going to throw a rod right after she starts driving it.

Also, I have been losing about a quart of antifreeze every two weeks, and the heater refuses to blow cold air consistently. After the engine has warmed up I can turn the heat on full blast, set to highest temperature (automatic temperature control option), and it might blow hot for a minute, then goes right back to cold air, until I turn it off and wait a couple of minutes. I have never seen a sign of leakage anywhere on the engine or driveway. Right after I have topped the radiator off I can smell a faint antifreeze odor if I idle for an extended period (like a crowded restaurant drive-thru). I replaced the radiator after a deer hit me, which actually made the heater work great again, but 20,000 miles later its back.

Because of the above suspicion about the coolant, I assumed the water pump had gone out again (it was replaced about 100k miles ago) and that it was bad, causing the rattles as well as some coolant leakage. Today I pulled the water pump off and it looks and sounds perfect. I cranked the motor with the serp-belt completely off and there is no rattle sound! After this realization, I wiggled the AC compressor pulley and it definitely has a miniscule bit of a wobble and squeak, so it was my rattle culprit! (The AC has always worked fine, and makes no noise when turned on)

After all that, here's my question: How difficult is it to replace the bearing in the AC clutch, and will this help or does it sound like a waste of time? I managed to pull the water pump with the minimum of cursing, but looking at that compressor I'm ready to just accept the rattles as a feature. As far as the coolant loss goes, I am going to see about a pressure test on the system and locate a leak, hoping its not the head gasket.
Replacing the clutch bearing is probably not an option, it's difficult, requires special tools, and is easy to screw up. The solution is to either replace the clutch unit or the whole A/C compressor.
 

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Yes, you can replace the bearing. Do some testing first.

If compressor is engaged and noise still there, then problem is not the bearing. That bearing only makes noise when compressor is not engaged.






Also make sure noise is not from the ADP (alternator pulley).

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, you can replace the bearing. Do some testing first.

This is awesome, thanks!

I know there is a difference between simply spinning the pulley with my fingers and it spinning under idle, but between the two the ac pulley is definitely making noise with just my fingers, the alternator pulley is not.

So I most likely need to replace the ac pulley bearing. If I can do it without pulling the engine apart - or out - then I'll do that. I just don't want to waste another hour only to find I've fixed the wrong thing.
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If compressor is engaged and noise still there, then problem is not the bearing. That bearing only makes noise when compressor is not engaged.






Also make sure noise is not from the ADP (alternator pulley).

 

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Seriously? How's he supposed to replace that bearing without a press and a set of sleeves? Just getting the clutch apart is a pain. More bad advice? Much easier to just replace the compressor as a unit. MUCH easier.
 

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The clutch bearings on these units are not normally serviced. Alldata doesn't even have a procedure. Replacing the clutch assembly requires heavy-duty right angle snap ring pliers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The clutch bearings on these units are not normally serviced. Alldata doesn't even have a procedure. Replacing the clutch assembly requires heavy-duty right angle snap ring pliers.
Maybe I just need to replace the clutch. Still... is it a relatively easy process? I'm less interested in saving money than I am in saving time and knuckles.
 

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Maybe I just need to replace the clutch. Still... is it a relatively easy process? I'm less interested in saving money than I am in saving time and knuckles.
It depends what tools you have, or are willing to buy. If your a/c compressor is working fine, then maybe just doing the clutch makes sense, but you'll need a really solid right angle snap ring pliers to get the snap rings out. Whether you can get them out with the compressor in place, is another matter.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Seriously? How's he supposed to replace that bearing without a press and a set of sleeves? Just getting the clutch apart is a pain. More bad advice? Much easier to just replace the compressor as a unit. MUCH easier.
I hate to pull the compressor and deal with discharging and recharging the Freon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE: So I mistakenly identified the AC compressor. I was in a hurry. Its actually the power steering pump that has a wobbly pulley. I freaked out at trying to get to it, then was reminded that by taking out the windshield wiper tray you can "easily" access the backside of the engine. Still, as I am about to donate this vehicle I am not going to bother. The steering still works fine, and the noise from the PS pulley is no worse than the valve clatter. At 221000 miles I'm ready to move on. My wife and I have had it since new, and I'm ready for a newer Pacifica.
 
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