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Old 07-13-2005, 02:51 PM
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Aftermarket AC units

I have had three different aftermarket AC units in different cars. All of them have performed in the same manner.........lousy. My current unit is in my 72 chev pickup and is the worst of the bunch. It is an "Old Air" unit. It's performance is very poor....very little airflow, and what does come out of the vents in not very cold. I got 54 degrees out of the vent on a day when the ambient temp was only 81. Forget it when it gets over ninety. It has been installed correctly and is fully charged.
Does anyone have ideas or suggestions for a better unit. I am willing to throw this one away and start over again if can be sure that something out there works.
Thanks,
Chuck

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Old 07-15-2005, 12:14 PM
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Go to www.vintageair.com and try www.southernrods.com. Both have good universal units. You need to have an evaporator and condenser sized to your vehicle. I can't see why you have problems with a pickup truck though! My 63 Rambler wagon, yes, a LOT of area to cool, but a truck cab??
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Old 07-15-2005, 03:23 PM
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My thoughts exactly. You'd think a truck cab would be easy to cool. I even put foil backed insulation in the doors and behind the firewall and sound deadener insulation under the carpet. Still hot in the cab. The condenser and the compressor came with the kit so I assume it is sized correctly. I didn't install the system as I bought the truck recently and the previous owner did the work, but it all looks correct and it is fully charged. As I said, it puts out cool air, not cold air and certainly not enough air.
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:45 AM
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Well, I don't think "Old Air" makes them anymore -- quit in the late 70s or early 80s at the latest. Sounds like the whole system is just undersized for where you're at. I had the same problem with an aftermarket system in my 63 Rambler wagon, but I was in Gulfport MS -- on the gulf coast! It was better than nothing in August and July, but as long as I was driving down the road it was just about as cool to roll the windows down. Vintage and Southern Air does a better job, I've never heard complaints about thier units. But if you don't want to try a completely different unit yet, you can try a larger parallel flow condensor. I pulled one from an 89 or so Chrysler Concorde for my Rambler. Parallel flow is supposed to work much better with R-134a than the old "snake" type. You'll have to recharge the system, of course. If that doesn't work the next step is to get a bigger condenser/fan unit for inside. The compressor shouldn't be a problem at all.

Have an AC shop look at it. If it uses an orifice tube replace it! The tube has a fine screen which is also a filter. They get clogged up. The AC shop might recommend changing the orifice size also. You'll have to pull the old one to see what size it is. Expansion valves can have the same problem, but usually last much longer. An expansion valve will be a brass/copper assembly where one of the hoses go into the unit. From the top of the assembly will be a "wire" (actually a small metal tube) that extends to a bulb stuck in the condensor fins. If it doesn't have this, it uses an orifice tube in one of the lines -- the high side going in, I think.
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Old 07-20-2005, 01:58 PM
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I'm not at all familiar with these units, but if they simply sit in the old vent path and attempt to cool the incoming air, I doubt they're going to do a decent job when it gets really hot.

If it doesn't already, you might want to devise a way for the system to recirculate the inside air through the cooling system.

Just an idea.

As a bonus, a recirculating system will pull a lot of the humidity out of the cabin air, making it even more comfortable.
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