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Old 09-24-2007, 05:01 PM
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adding air

Just a quick question. I've got a complete air conditioning setup along with the heating, and its for a big block chevy. Will this work on a small block 350? Thanks in advance. by the way, the donor is off an 86 silverado and the one its' going on is an 85 silverado.

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Last edited by wrangler; 09-24-2007 at 05:02 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:11 PM
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you'll just need a new mounting bracket. unless they're universal brackets to.
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:36 PM
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As long as your truck came with factory AC, there will be very few differences. AC trucks have a completely different AC/heater housing than non-AC trucks and it would be very hard to add factory AC to a non-AC truck. The heater core mounts inside the truck and the AC parts mount under the hood (including the evaporator).

The main difference from SBC to big block should be the bracket to mount the R4 compressor. If you don't have the right one, there are plenty in the junkyard.

Bruce
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:03 PM
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the truck didn't have a/c from factory, but the setup that I got is complete. The a/c heater box, all duct work, evaporator, controls, blower motor, a complete setup. The bracket in question, would I use a small block bracket, because I have a small block or would I use a big block bracket, because the compressor is from a big block. The question may sound dumb, but I've really got no Idea and any help would be welcomed.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:09 PM
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The compressor is the same for both engines, you need a bracket for a small block. That's the only change necessary.



Larry
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Old 09-24-2007, 07:44 PM
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As far as I know, the firewall cutouts are significantly different for an AC-equipped truck of this vintage. If you have a donor vehicle to work from as a pattern, you can probably make the cutouts, but its not the easiest job. I think it still probably worth it to make the switch, but plan to spend quite a bit of time fitting it all together.

I took all the AC & heater components out of my '75 when I cleaned out all the junk that had built up over the years. One of the nuts that hold the heater box in place is very hard to reach on the engine side, and I had to remove the inner fender to get access. Everything else just unbolts and pulls out.

Bruce
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:01 PM
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just curious if my existing radiator will still work. I think that the older style incorporated the rad somehow? and also if anybody has any pics of where and how the compressor is mounted, that would be super.

Last edited by wrangler; 09-29-2007 at 09:57 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:42 PM
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The A/C equipped SBC vehicles had a 3 row heavy duty radiator, and some big blocks had a 4 row radiator. I think Non-AC SBC trucks had a 2 row standard and 3 row optional. The 3 row is a very common item from any parts store.

I don't think there were any other radiator differences when A/C was added to a 350 vehicle. Some earlier trucks had the heater core return/output routed to a fitting on the radiator, while a few later ones routed it to a fitting on the water pump. Both methods will work.

I think the big blocks have a different coolant bypass setup than the 350's, but I don't know how its routed or connected.

Bruce
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:49 PM
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If someone here has an 85 or 86 gm with the compressor on the drivers side, I'd love to see some pics of the way its mounted. Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:24 AM
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You might need to make a trip to a Pick and Pull yard to get the parts and look at the mounting. Just find the same vintage truck and pull all the brackets.

You could also buy one of the 1986 GMC shop manuals that is listed on Ebay. The one advertised is an original GM manual, not a Haynes or Chiltons. The Ebay listing is #300157707680. In the long run you will probably be very happy that you bought a real GM manual.

The only bad part is that the vendor has it priced very high ($87). I only paid about $25 for the repair manual for my 1975 GMC.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler
If someone here has an 85 or 86 gm with the compressor on the drivers side, I'd love to see some pics of the way its mounted. Thanks.
This is from my 85 El Camino shop manual, 305 engine.....Doug

Last edited by artsman; 10-06-2007 at 11:22 PM. Reason: add engine size
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:52 PM
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here's another question, which side of the radiator does the condenser mount? There will probably be quite a few more questions like this in the coming days and weeks, maybe months! By the way thanks for all the help!
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:06 PM
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The condenser mounts in front of the radiator. You have to remove the grill and unbolt the center support that runs in the middle behind the grill. If you have a transmission cooler, you will have to unbolt it also and move it out of the way.

Bruce
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:44 PM
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OK, i've got the compressor mounted, new pulley on the power steering pump, and the condenser mounted. Now I've got a factory repair manual and it shows a vacuum tank above the blower assembly and that is where the Grey vacuum line from the dash control goes. I've never seen one in all the setups that i've seen. Can anyone shine some light on this, is there a way around this or do I need to get one of these tanks. Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:25 PM
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They are pretty common in the wrecking yard. Actually I have one in my garage (just checked) if your interested (cheap, plus shipping). However it is off of a 76. It has 2 hose nipples. I have a buddy with an 85 k5 Blazer that I can compare it too if interested. Most of the AC system (under hood) hardware for Chevy/GMC trucks (mid-70's to 87) are very similar if not the same. I have an extra complete system for a 76.

I think those tanks may be located on the driver side on later years. I think.

I know I have see one larger than mine on the driver side, it may have been for cruise control or possibly both.
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