AC Compressor Question

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Jan 31, 2010
Nashville, TN
I've got a 96 LX450 and the AC compressor is making a loud noise (I think it's trying to lock up and making the belt slip). My air isn't blowing cold anymore so I had it re-charged last year but it only lasted a few days and started blowing hot again. I had a mechanic put some dye in the system recently to try and detect a leak and all there is, is a slight dusting of dye on the compressor. What do I do from here? Does it sound like I need to replace the compressor? If so, where do you suggest I buy it?

Thanks for any help
If the compressor is making noise, you will need to replace it. In a "worst case" scenario, you'll spend about $500 in parts (new Denso compressor, drier, expansion block, condenser and o-rings). You may not need the condenser if yours can be flushed, saving $165.

As far as where to buy (cue the shameless self promotion), I hope that you'll consider us @ Coolstream. If you go to our website, at the top, you'll see "Landcruiser Parts" and if you click on that, it will take you to the special pricing we have for MUD members. Since this forum has been of great benefit to me, it's something I can do to give back.

Thanks and good luck,
when you say it's making a noise, please describe a little more. I have a high revving noise when I accelerate that doesn't sound when I have the AC belt off. I haven't figured out if its just an idler bearing or what, so am curious if you have the same problem...
I think we have the same noise. I had a mechanic add some dye to see if the system had a leak and there was dye all over the compressor. I think it's the compresor locking up. I'm going to replace it and I'll let you know if that solves the problem.
Could it just be the front seal leaking? The noise could be from the pulley bearing in the adjuster that also can be replaced (on my 93 at least).
compressor clutch

Check your the glass site gauge in your a/c system. I believe it's green or blue. Either way I can't see colors well. If you got color your system has a charge. If your leak is around a line it could be just a dollar or so a/c oring. If you dont have refrigerant the pressure sensors on the lines may not be completing the circuit to turn the compressor on.

As for your removal question make sure you evac your system before pulling lines off. Also when the lines are off make sure you keep everything clean and covered or you may have to change it again.

Before you spend the big bucks on a compressor check if its turning on and off. Your compressor clutch may be cycling on and off causing noise. If that's the case your compressor may not be running long enough to cool off your engine.

Clean your compressor with some soap and water. Drive it to a different shop and see if it leaks. Who knows the first mechanic could have spilled some dye on his finger and ran it all over your compressor.

But if you trust the guy and he said it was bad maybe it's bad
compressor clutch

forgot something

if it is your compressor clutch making the noise you you should be able to change it with the compressor still mounted leaving the lines attached.

Oh yeah if you must spend the big bucks compressor toy part #88320-60580 dont shave off a few dollars either go ahead and put new orings on the lines
Your compressor clutch may be cycling on and off causing noise. If that's the case your compressor may not be running long enough to cool off your CAB.
I am replacing my compressor this week. My Lx blows hot and it won't kick on. My mechanic looked at and thinks one of the seals cracked and something is blocking (I think) the return. One of the sides was showing a really high pressure reading on his gauge. I think this is a pretty common issue after all it's 13 years old
I had an issue where the AC stopped working and was blowing hot. Thought it was either the compressor or the clutch.

Turned out the pully at the bottom that moves to adjust the belt had fallen off and so there wasn't any tension on the belt. Simple fix.

Doubt thats your problem, but it's easy to check out. The belt not being tight would be what to look fo.
Thanks for all the imput. Maybe I'll luck out and it will be something simple. I'll post more once I dig into it a little deeper.

Thanks again
Replaced the compressor and dryer today on the LX. Both came with the O-rings adn I put a new ac belt on. The vent temp is 38 and I am thrilled with how easy it was. I had my buddy that owns an off road shop here in Tucson do the re charge of the new system it was $330 and I got a Denso compressor. The only thing i bought but didn't change was the Evap block. Couldn't find it. My buddy says it is behind the heater core in the dash.

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