Probably a shorted winding and time for a new compressor. There's life after compressor failure, you don't need to scrap the whole A/C. Continuing to fiddle with it runs the risk of a more catastrophic failure and a shower of debris through the refrigerant lines which would complicate replacement, so don't do it.
Originally Posted by HowieE
Before he tries this please explain to me how swapping the leads on a 120 AC motor will cause it to run in the other direction.
The locked rotor current should be well in excess of 30 amps so I doubt if the reversing trick will help. However, for posterity, and the edification of all present, I offer herewith an explanation of why it does what it does.
A rigorous explanation requires calculus. In a capacitive circuit, current flow is proportional to the derivative (over time) of the voltage. Since the applied voltage is sinusoidal, the current flow through a capacitively coupled winding will lag by pi/2. Details become murky and require more calculus to illustrate rigorously because the circuit isn't purely capacitive, and in an inductor the current is proportional to the integral of the voltage, but that's the simple version.
Anyway, the delay, produced by the capacitive nature of the circuit, is what produces the twist in the magnetic field produced by the stator. Reversing the start and run windings delivers the delayed current to the run rather than the start so the twist goes the other way.