Noisy air conditioning compressor


#1

I have a 1981 280ZX Datsun. Had it since it was new, have taken excellent care of it. It’s beautiful. The air conditioning works fine, but it is very noisy. Is it doing any harm to keep using it?? I don’t want to spend a lot of money for a new compressor.


#2

Any idea where the noise is coming from? If it’s from the compressor area, it’s possible that the compressor is about to seize up (die). Or, you could just have a slipping belt (worn, glazed, or too loose) – tighten to spec, but do not overtighten or you might end up ruining the compressor. If the noise is in the passenger cabin, is it the air circulation fan? If so, do you get similar noise with the heater or just fresh-air ventilation using the fan? A fan would be a lot cheaper to replace than a compressor!


#3

If the compressor is making noise it could be wearing out. It IS pretty old, you know. If it’s going, using it will just hasten its demise. Not using it seems foolish. Why not just get it fixed?


#4

If you’re sure the compressor is the source of the noise adding a bit of refreigerant oil may quieten it down, depending.

If the compressor is noisy, it won’t be noisy for long. Eventually, it’s going to give up or blow up.

I used to convert a number of those Z cars to use another compressor other than the high priced Hitachi units.
The compressors I used were for early 80s era Subarus and were of the SD-508 variety.

The compressors were about 1/4 the cost of the Hitachi, readily adapted by cutting off about 1/2" of the rear of the block mounting bracket (memory is fuzzy here, it’s been a while), and the existing A/C hoses screwed right on with no modifications at all.

Every one I did worked very well and dramatically cut the cost involved.
If you’re mechanically inclined it’s not that hard to look at and figure out.
Also used to do a number of Chevy Delco alternator conversions since the Delcos can be bought dirt cheap. This also was easy to do and worked well.
Just a thought anyway.