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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my 94 LS back from the shop after one month....

4 days later (today) as I'm driving to work, the A/C suddenly quits working and I notice a lot of smoke billowing from the passenger side from under the hood and into the cabin when at a stop light.

I pull into a parking lot and turn the car off and pop the hood. Smoke billowing and a crackling sound coming from the lower pass area. I pour water on it for a few minutes and the smoke stops...thought I was having an engine fire.

Is it possible that a belt broke and ended up getting caught up on something and was being melted/burned...thus the smoke? Or does this sound like something more serious?

I had the car towed to my mechanic to be on the safe side.
 

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My 91L did this. AC compressor pulley seized to the shaft, probably as a result of compressor failure. This stops the compressor from rotating and the smoke is the drive belt burning itself up on the now stationary pulley. You will probably find you need the entire compressor complete with pulley and clutch assembly. Possibly just the pulley and clutch failed but on mine the whole kit and kaboodle failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If that's the case....then I guess I will go without A/C for a while.

It will not continue to burn if I don't activate the A/C, right? Meaning I can get by driving without doing anything.
 

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Depends, if the pulley is seized then you will have to remove the drive belt or it will continue to smoke until the belt breaks. On my 91 that belt also drives the alternator. To bypass the AC pulley you need to find and fit a shorter belt to drive just the alternator, if I recall correctly. I don't know if the 94LS is the same.
 

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Could just be the tensioner pulley locked up. New pulley and belt and your on your way. Let's hope the compressor is fine.
Charles
 

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Just cut the AC belt off. You will be replacing it no matter.
You can't do that! That one serpentine belt needed to drive all accessories including engine water pump.

If belt smoked with a/c off then chances are compressor clutch bearing seized. If belt seized with a/c on then chances are compressor threw a rod and locked up and then smoked clutch bearing and then belt.

On 24v it is remotely possible serpentine belt tensioner bearing or one of the two belt idler pulley bearing seized but usually it is a/c compressor clutch bearing.

Belt also operates alternator and power steering pump on 24v models.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay guys....so financially speaking...what is the best/worst case scenario? Doesn't seem that difficult to replace these belts/pulleys...if that's the case.
 

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You can't run one of these cars without a good A/C Compressor clutch bearing, since the belt runs the compressor (and water pump) and then the Alternator is run off of compressor with another belt. You can run a bad compressor as long as the clutch bearing is good and you never run the A/C (disconnect the wiring). Worse case, you need a new compressor (~$800 for the part new), and new belt, + freon and labor. It is not a cheap issue most likely. It happened years ago to mine as well. Compressor locked up, belt smoked, alt stopped charging and water pump stopped. My dad owned it at the time and he spent a good deal getting it fixed. Fortunately no other (known) engine damage resulted. Best case, you need a new tensioner bearing and a belt.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Talked to my mechanic and he said the car started fine but he hadn't really gotten into it yet so I'm hoping its a bad compressor...although on a day like today (100 degrees downtown Detroit) it may be a sweaty ride. Thanks.
 

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If you need a compressor...They got a Valeo Compressor at RockAuto for your LS for $417, it a little cheaper. Here is the link: 1994 ALFA ROMEO 164 LS A/C Compressor

I am not sure what they charge at International or DiFatta, but I usually find some better deals here.Then there is the labor like Charles said. Once I was able to locate the manufacturer and bought an original equipment one for a little over 200 bucks, I am going to search and see if I can dig up the receipt...maybe I'll find it.
 

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I just can't remember the name of the manufacturer of the one I have got, all they sold was compressors, then again, this was back in 05 I think, so it was a little while ago. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 275 for mine, I have to think hard, I bet if they are still out there you can get this one even cheaper. I will let you know if I come up with something.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just can't remember the name of the manufacturer of the one I have got, all they sold was compressors, then again, this was back in 05 I think, so it was a little while ago. I think I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of 275 for mine, I have to think hard, I bet if they are still out there you can get this one even cheaper. I will let you know if I come up with something.
If it does come to mind that would be awesome
 

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You can't do that! That one serpentine belt needed to drive all accessories including engine water pump..
Doh! Yes, Steve is correct as always. Too many different cars at home, I start to confuse them.

Make sure the RockAuto or other compressor is correct. Different pulley on the later 164's. A lot of stuff in the catalogs will show same part for all years even though incorrect.
 

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This should be the type you need, if broken (also the type in my Q4).

164
3.0
24V
93->97
60601071
13006
Sanden SD7H15 7835 120 Ø V7

I found this link: http://www.transteksystem.it/comp_pdf/alfa_romeo.pdf

I think someone mentioned that the same belt is running the water pump, that can't be true. It's running the compressor, alternator and power steering pump on the 24V.

I had the aircon pulley go bad on my Lancia, fortunately, it has a separate belt only, so no other damage than a burning smell - and of course replacing the compressor.

PS: Found this link where there is more detail on the 24V compressor by some well known contributors:
http://www.digest.net/alfa/FAQ/164/forum2/DCForumID2/3955.html
 

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The compressor at Rock Auto is listed for the LS only, they do not have the compressor for the 12 valve engine available. I am not sure who mentioned it, but in the 12 valve engine the belt does run the water pump also, then again, you can't really get far without alternator. Unless you find a belt short enough to actually be able to tension successfully between the PS pump, Alternator and the crank pulley, I doubt that you could get far enough.

P.S. that link gave me a bit of nostalgia, I miss the digest a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Verdict was indeed a burned out compressor. It got so hot it started melting the plastic cover which created smoke. The A/C has been disconnected...looks like a hot summer for me...looks like a new compressor will have to wait till a further date.
 
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