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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-18-2017, 04:03 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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AC Problem - Where is my compressor clutch?

I have been reading all of the posts on e60 air conditioning problems and compressor issues. As recommended I checked to see if my clutch was engaging when the cold button was pushed, but I couldn't identify the clutch at all. Either that or the clutch is continually engaged.

Does my version even have a clutch? Is the clutch there and always engaged? Did the clutch fly off somehow? These are my questions.

So I have attached photos of the clutch pully while the motor is running and while the motor is shut off. Would someone please help me identify my problem.

Additional info... When I went to charge the freon, the immediate gauge pressure was 100 psi. I found out that this indicates that the compressor is not engaged. In my case, if my clutch is missing, then of course it will never engage, so I aborted the freon recharge process before adding any freon.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Motor and AC turned off


Motor and AC turned on

Last edited by BeamerLuvr; 03-18-2017 at 04:32 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2017, 07:41 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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That's the drive pulley. The actual clutch is behind the pulley which rotates regardless of the AC being on or off. The hex shaft sticking out of pulley is the compressor shaft.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2017, 08:32 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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So if the air conditioner is off, that shaft should not be spinning, correct? And why do you say the clutch would be spinning at all times? shouldn't it only spin when it's engaged to turn the compressor shaft?

Also, can you see the clutch from this photo on top? Thanks for your reply.
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2017, 10:55 PM
twh twh is online now
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Ok, your mileage may vary, but here's my 2 cents...I don't have your year, but it looks to me that the clutch is there. No, if the a/c is off, that bolt should not be spinning. Another test you can do is with the engine off, take off the a/c belt. You should be able to spin the belt pulley with your hand and the clutch and that center bolt should not spin. If they spin together, then the clutch is locked up somehow. The clutch is electro-magnetic. When the a/c calls for cooling, the electro-magnet pulls the clutch towards the compressor engaging it with the pulley and thereby spinning the shaft of the compressor.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2017, 11:47 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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TWH,

Are you seeing the clutch also on the inside of the pulley like dharmabmw mentioned above? I thought the clutch would be on the outer side ( toward the fan) and not the inside of the pulley.

I will check this out again very closely with the air conditioner on and off to see if that center shaft is moving when the air conditioner is turned on and not moving with the air conditioner is turned off.

If it appears to be moving at all times, then I will take your advice and pull the belt off and see if everything is seized together.

I appreciate everyone's comments.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-2017, 05:03 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeamerLuvr View Post
So if the air conditioner is off, that shaft should not be spinning, correct? And why do you say the clutch would be spinning at all times? shouldn't it only spin when it's engaged to turn the compressor shaft?

Also, can you see the clutch from this photo on top? Thanks for your reply.
Like Twh said, it's an electromagnetic clutch. The pulley always spins because it's part of the serpentine belt path.

The shaft should not spin if the AC is off.

The clutch is not visible because it is inside the pulley.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2017, 06:44 AM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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There is no clutch on the A/C compressor on any e60. This is not a Clutch Cycling TX Valve System. The e60 uses a variable displacement compressor that is continuously engaged and turning whenever the engine is running. The system is controlled by a computer in the IHKA, that controls a solenoid valve, mounted on the compressor, that changes the output capacity of the compressor based on demand requirements. There's nothing symple about the hvac system in our cars.


The A/C compressor in the E60 is identical to the clutchless design introduced on the E65/E66

Last edited by Jtbgonesailing; 03-19-2017 at 07:53 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2017, 09:08 AM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtbgonesailing View Post
There is no clutch on the A/C compressor on any e60. This is not a Clutch Cycling TX Valve System. The e60 uses a variable displacement compressor that is continuously engaged and turning whenever the engine is running. The system is controlled by a computer in the IHKA, that controls a solenoid valve, mounted on the compressor, that changes the output capacity of the compressor based on demand requirements. There's nothing symple about the hvac system in our cars.


The A/C compressor in the E60 is identical to the clutchless design introduced on the E65/E66
That makes total sense! I have watched the videos showing the Electromagnetic clutch and mine looked nothing like that.

Moving on... when I went to recharge the freon, the initial psi was showing right around 100 psi with the car running and ther AC on MAX cold. This baffled me, as the can showed not to overfill past 35-40 psi based on the garage temperature of 70 degrees.

After further investigation online, I understood that this would be the case if the compressor was not engaged. That is when I started checking to see if the clutch was engaged or not.

BOTTOM LINE
Given all info learned so far, can anyone suggest why it is showing 100 psi on my gauge and how should I proceed (other than throwing in the towel and taking it to an HVAC guy).

Thanks again everyone.
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2017, 09:25 AM
pshovest pshovest is online now
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Three possibilities:
1) IHKA is not signalling compressor to change displacement,
2) Compressor control valve is not responding to IHKA signal.
3) Compressor is defective.

Does outside temp display work?
Check connection on compressor.
Need to read IHKA codes with INPA or Rheingold.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2017, 10:17 AM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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What was the problem before you started working on it? No cooling or slow to cool?
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  #11  
Old 03-19-2017, 11:53 AM
twh twh is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtbgonesailing View Post
There is no clutch on the A/C compressor on any e60. This is not a Clutch Cycling TX Valve System. The e60 uses a variable displacement compressor that is continuously engaged and turning whenever the engine is running. The system is controlled by a computer in the IHKA, that controls a solenoid valve, mounted on the compressor, that changes the output capacity of the compressor based on demand requirements. There's nothing symple about the hvac system in our cars.

The A/C compressor in the E60 is identical to the clutchless design introduced on the E65/E66
Realoem shows the 2004 M54 using a magnetic clutch. Could be later years did something more.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=64_1669
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:13 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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Zero cooling. Never got cold. In fact it's colder with snow flake off on cool days.
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:21 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
Realoem shows the 2004 M54 using a magnetic clutch. Could be later years did something more.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=64_1669
Hmmm. Sort of looks like mine, except the clutch disc (for lack of a better word) does not seem to be on mine. If it is, it's much thinner. When the clutch is engaged does it somehow go inside the pulley or is it just flush up against the pulley? mine doesn't look like it has that piece on it. If it does, then it's kind of already been inserted inside the pulley. But I don't think the clutch is actually supposed to fit inside the pulley. I think it's just supposed to butt flat up against the pulley and you would see that thicker edge on the clutch piece.

For that reason, I think HtWgone fishing is correct, that mine does not have that clutch piece.
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2017, 12:38 PM
Jtbgonesailing Jtbgonesailing is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
Realoem shows the 2004 M54 using a magnetic clutch. Could be later years did something more.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=64_1669
I see the banner at the top of the page enclude clutch, but I can assure you there is no clutch. The same verbiage and parts numbers are used in REALOEM for my 1/05 530i.
The diagram of the compressor, if you enlarge it, you will see the electric connector that leads to the aft end of the compressor and the control solenoid. The last 5 series to use a clutch on the compressor was the e39.

The below information is taken from a BMW training document entitled E60 Climate Contril
Initial Print Date: 08/03 Revision Date: 09/03

E60 Automatic Heating and Air Conditioning System Purpose of the System
The E60 IHKA system is designed using the same criteria as the E65. There are techno- logical improvements as well as new or modified functions. As with E65, the design objec- tives were to meet the requirements of customers worldwide for heating and cooling capacity.
New System Components and Features
Condensation Sensor (Mist Sensor) - The Condensation sensor evaluates the humidity level of the windshield area and implements control measures to reduce windshield fogging.
New Bus System - The Local Interconnect Network (LIN Bus) connects all 9 step per motors and the blower controller.
Modified Control Concept (As compared to E39) - Similar to E65, there is a reduc- tion in the number of primary controls. The temperature and air volume are contr- olled by rotary knobs. Extended air conditioning functions such as air stratification are selected and activated by means of the controller in the CID.

Additional System Features
Modified Display Concept - The Scope of display elements for the extended AC functions in the CID are similar to those in the E65. The required fan and tempera- ture settings are not shown in the CID. The set values for temperature and air vol- ume can be read from scale rings on the IHKA panel. Air distribution is set by means of the controller in the CID.
Elimination of LCD Display - The LCD display from the E39 has been eliminated.
No Bowden Cables - All flap positions are set by stepper motors which are con- trolled via the LIN bus.
Separate Footwell Flaps for Left and Right
Separate Ventilation Flaps for Left and Right
New Suction Action Blower arrangement - The new blower arrangement allows for a more compact IHKA housing. The blower is arranged behind the evaporator. The heat exchanger for the heating system is positioned at right angles with respect to the evaporator and is arranged over the blower. The blower motor and blower motor housing can be removed without removal of the complete dashboard assembly.
Clutchless A/C Compressor - The clutchless compressor is externally actuated and output regulated. The component and operation are carried over from the E65.
AUC-2 Sensor - The AUC sensor is carried over from the E65.
Solar Sensor - The solar sensor is located in the center of the dashboard and is also carried over from the E65/E66.

Last edited by Jtbgonesailing; 03-19-2017 at 01:27 PM.
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2017, 12:01 PM
BeamerLuvr BeamerLuvr is offline
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Here is the update. Thanks everyone for weighing in by the way. So I threw in the towel and took it to a mechanic. He charged me $35 to diagnose it as a bad compressor. No leaks found and the system seemed to have good pressure, just no cooling due to the worn out compressor. Here is how I proceeded...

1) Found a reputable AC parts exchange store in Garden Grove, CA (AC Exchange).
Paid $275 for the compressor and dryer, after getting my $50 core money back.

2) While at the compressor store, I had them vacuum out the old freon for $25.

3) Paid my friend and mechanic of 40 years to replace the compressor. This took a while.
Required accessing it from the top and bottom of the car.
Hard to reach and difficult to remove the compressor and the lines, but doable.
We had to remove the electric fan assembly as well, by the way.

4) Once the two lines were removed from the compressor we poured rubbing alcohol into
the tubes and blew them out with a compressor. Amazingly, the system was pretty clean,
but the dryer (filter) was filthy dirty.

5) Once the lines were cleaned out with alcohol, we replaced the dryer and installed the compressor.


6) Once the car was all back together, the next step was to vacuum the lines out to remove any trapped air bubbles.
I purchased a pneumatic freon pump from Harbor Freight for $20. Cheap, but finally did the trick, taking the high and low
pressure lines down below zero PSI. This was done with a high pressure compressor attached to the pump. Took an hour!

7) Then lastly, just added a can and a half of freon (35 to 40 PSI) and it was done. Blows super cold air now!!

I figured the cost was around $450 once all was said and done, but the original mechanic wanted $700+, so it was worth spending my Saturday working on it.

I hope this helps anyone that decides to take this on with a DIY effort. Thanks again for all of your input.

Last edited by BeamerLuvr; 05-10-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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  #16  
Old 05-10-2017, 06:57 PM
chamilun chamilun is offline
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if it is working after 10 minutes. you have a bad *somethign* i forget the name. search for my post for the part that needs to be replaced. otherwise just R&R the compressor. its not too hard a job
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