hey guys! I fixed it! I found the loose wire and spliced it!!!
==== Short version ends, long version begins
Other than a couple hopeless attempts here and there, this final try began when I gave in on Saturday and decided to get a compressor clutch from Autozone. I found a deal for a remanufactured clutch for just $47.99. However, with this clutch in my hand, I could then repeat the coil resistance measurement, just for a baseline on what a good one should be like. I started by measuring just in between the two terminals. The numbers were ridiculous. They kept jumping around erratically, all the way from the hundreds, down to 13 or 14 ohms. I finally realized that one of the terminals was in fact grounded on the installed clutch (I did some voltage measurements to verify this again). So again I measured from terminal 1 to ground, and it came out to be 4.5ohms. Good, right? Well, the one I have measures just the same. So again, it's not the clutch. So a little depressed as I was, I realized that I have a good clutch, and from previous testing, the AC magnetic relay is actually getting energized.
So my next test was to check for continuity. Honestly, at this point I just figured a wire was fried. It was fried and I'd have to rip it out from the harness, and then replace it and tidy the harness back up.
The first part of this testing was to measure the resistance between the harness coming into the clutch and pin 3 of the AC magnetic relay. This was fine even without the relay in, because that part of the circuit should be continuous. No reading on the multimeter. So obviously, now I have to find some kind of midpoint. So what was that harness to harness connector called, EC1? I looked it up in the manual, it was an 8-pin dark-gray connector sitting somewhere between the battery and the relay block. I had to dig for it a little, especially as it was SO tight in there with all the thick harnesses around it.
I finally found it, and what did I see? There were three wires going into the female connector, but NONE coming out the male!!! OMG!!! I had all kinds of thoughts going through my head at this point. Someone had to have just harvested that connector and replaced it with this empty mess. What to do?
Anyhoo, I still did the test. There was continuity from the female connector to the clutch terminal. YAY! It was SUCH a relief to not have to worry about that part of the circuit anymore!
But now at this point, I'm thinking I'll have to just run a tacky little wire from the relay to the connector. Didn't matter if it was just hanging loose in the engine, so long as the AC was working, right? Nah... it wouldn't have felt right
So I decided to look underneath the relay block, anyway, just to see how the wires get connected to stuff from there. What I saw was discouraging. THICK and thouroughly covered harnesses with no room for games. But wait a minute, what was that teenie, TINY little black and white wire I was seeing? Yep, you guessed it. The wire that was supposed to go into the male connector had come loose. I eventually also figured out that the other two wires were actually for the ABS system, with which my car is not equipped, so basically those wires were just open circuits.
But guys, this wire is TINY. It fit in the second smallest space in a crimper I bought. .8mm, or something -- (should translate to 20 gauge but I still feel it was smaller!) There's just NOTHING that small in the vicinity. It could easily have broken when someone tugged at the other harness a little too hard. Or heck, when someone simply moved or changed the battery. I'm not sure what could be the purpose of making this wire so small!
The exposed wire had broken off from an equally
small metal terminal, meaning it couldn't be pried open in order to stick some wire back in. I had to go find this connector, which I discovered only the dealer carries. The guy who helped me had one, that already had a 16 gauge wire connected to it, meaning I'd have to splice it with the tiny wire!! Again, the wire was SO small that it wouldn't even get spliced. It slid right out of the butt connector which I'd already crimped. Went back to the my regular parts store and the guy told me to double the wire over in order to make it thicker and then splice it. Did. Turned on the AC. Worked.