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Old 06-23-2011, 06:28 PM
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Junk Yard A/C System?

Has anyone found a good original equipment A/C system from say a junk yard that worked well in their Hot Rod? If so what kind of car was it? Instead of buying a after market A/C system.

I've had a few expensive after market systems that frankly didn't work that well.

Thanks.

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Old 06-23-2011, 10:11 PM
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I have a Vintage Air Generation II Mini in my 32 Ford 3W coupe. This past Sunday when the temperature outside was 95 plus here in the hot, humid South ... My Vintage Air was blowing 37 degrees out the vents.



I have friends with similar vehicles and they are getting similar results with Vintage Air units. Some other folks have other brands and they are not as happy with theirs.

Disclaimer :
I am not affiliated with or have any financial connections with Vintage Air.


Just a satisfied customer

If you add up the cost of all the salvage yard parts ... you might be surprised how close to are to a Vintage Air unit.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:20 PM
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On something like AC.. Do yourself a big favor and go with a Vintage Air unit... In the long run you will save not only time,But also money..
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:24 AM
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Only thing that would look good as an add on would be an old under dash setup, and all of that will be setup for R12 and the compressors won't work well for 134A, and the system's were built for R12/ conversions never blow as cold as they should.. You could maby find an under dash unit, and peice tother the compressor, evaporator and condensor from Vintage air, but making it all work right would take some thinking and probably more $$$ than the kit
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:27 AM
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There are a LOT of all-in-one factory HVAC modules that can be installed in hot rods for a fraction of the cost of an aftermarket unit. Two that I've looked at in detail are the 88-91 Honda Civic and the 85-90ish GM N-body cars (Grand Am, Cutlass Calais, etc.).

The Civic unit is a compact cable operated system that has about the same size and shape as most aftermarket units. The blower motor is integrated into the under-dash package, so you don't need to have anything on the engine side of the firewall. Use the stock control head and it connects easily. There is a cable operated in-line heater control valve that goes on the engine side of the firewall.

The N-body unit is a module that occupies the center of the firewall in the passenger compartment. It fits well behind a console, for example. Unfortunately, the blower motor is still on the engine side of the firewall, but this actually works perfectly for my application, a 1962 Olds F-85. I can use the stock blower and duct on the firewall but use the N-body HVAC module with evaporator and heater core inside the passenger compartment. This unit is cable/vacuum operated.

The 1994-98 Chevy pickups also have a self-contained HVAC module under the dash, but it's pretty large. It uses electric motors to control the functions. The control head is simply variable resistors that can be adapted to early model control heads. I have not looked at this unit in detail because of the size, but again, it completely mounts under the dash.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:32 PM
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I put this in one of my cars with good results-- http://www.luckysrodandkustom.com/coolonly550.htm

Not real "pretty", but worked fine. My Vintage Air in the other car is nicer for sure...but alot more money.
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
There are a LOT of all-in-one factory HVAC modules that can be installed in hot rods for a fraction of the cost of an aftermarket unit. Two that I've looked at in detail are the 88-91 Honda Civic and the 85-90ish GM N-body cars (Grand Am, Cutlass Calais, etc.).

The Civic unit is a compact cable operated system that has about the same size and shape as most aftermarket units. The blower motor is integrated into the under-dash package, so you don't need to have anything on the engine side of the firewall. Use the stock control head and it connects easily. There is a cable operated in-line heater control valve that goes on the engine side of the firewall.

The N-body unit is a module that occupies the center of the firewall in the passenger compartment. It fits well behind a console, for example. Unfortunately, the blower motor is still on the engine side of the firewall, but this actually works perfectly for my application, a 1962 Olds F-85. I can use the stock blower and duct on the firewall but use the N-body HVAC module with evaporator and heater core inside the passenger compartment. This unit is cable/vacuum operated.

The 1994-98 Chevy pickups also have a self-contained HVAC module under the dash, but it's pretty large. It uses electric motors to control the functions. The control head is simply variable resistors that can be adapted to early model control heads. I have not looked at this unit in detail because of the size, but again, it completely mounts under the dash.
Joe- thank you for the info. Exactly what I was looking for. GM factory A/C works really well. I will do some research to see what I can come up with. Thanks again.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motochris
I put this in one of my cars with good results-- http://www.luckysrodandkustom.com/coolonly550.htm

Not real "pretty", but worked fine. My Vintage Air in the other car is nicer for sure...but alot more money.

Joe super info thanks I just send the info to my brother.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:24 PM
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This thread is almost a year old, but partially addresses my questions.
The Heater/AC unit that was in my '95 Roadmaster donor car is way too large to fit in my '37 Roadmaster.
Joe Padavano gave some good examples of all-in-one factory HVAC modules (88-91 Honda Civic and the 85-90ish GM N-body cars (Grand Am, Cutlass Calais, etc.).
1) I'll check these out, but does anyone have any other leads of factory units they have used with success?
2) Will the compressor that is on my '95 LT1 work with all units, or is there sizing criteria?
Thanks
Mutt
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick
This thread is almost a year old, but partially addresses my questions.
The Heater/AC unit that was in my '95 Roadmaster donor car is way too large to fit in my '37 Roadmaster.
Joe Padavano gave some good examples of all-in-one factory HVAC modules (88-91 Honda Civic and the 85-90ish GM N-body cars (Grand Am, Cutlass Calais, etc.).
1) I'll check these out, but does anyone have any other leads of factory units they have used with success?
2) Will the compressor that is on my '95 LT1 work with all units, or is there sizing criteria?
Thanks
Mutt
The compressor you have will pump plenty.Most of them are capable of handling dual evaporators.
The evaporator assemblys suggested are a good option.
Better than that would be an older evap/blower that hangs under the center of the dash.Even an old one like a mark IV or something similar ( not a lincoln Mark IV)
Even if it was used for R 12 it can be flushed and there are a wide selection of expansion valves to choose a replacement for. The expansion valve doesnt need to be changed but is a good idea, as any valve froma R12 system will be pretty old and may fail, but also a newer valve will be calibrated for r 134 and will operate at pressures that are better for compressor life and thermodynamic efficiency.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:15 PM
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leaks

Most of my air conditioners start to leak after 10 or so years. Need recharging every year, I would spend the bucks and install a new kit,
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:33 AM
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Thanks for the help and leads.
1) I think that the '85 -90 N-body AC may not work well because it is set up for fwd cars and the blower motor would stick through the firewall behind the engine making it difficult to service.
2) Does anyone know size of '88 to 96's Buick Regal (Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix) or Buick Century AC units? These were narrower cars than the '95 Roadmaster, but still offered with a bench seat so AC would have to be up in the dash.
Thanks
Mutt

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:33 PM
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look at what it will take to make the lines for your junkyard system
before you go too far into the project
most oem ac systems have proprietary connection
you may have more in converting a system than you want
a 10 yr old evaporator (underdash unit) will probably leak
as will a 10 yr old condenser
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:44 PM
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I agree with Ogre, having lines made up can run into money, and in the end you may end up with a system that looks "junky"
Best to buy a new kit. Leave junkyard AC parts where they lie.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LATECH
I agree with Ogre, having lines made up can run into money, and in the end you may end up with a system that looks "junky"
Best to buy a new kit. Leave junkyard AC parts where they lie.
I tend to agree with these sentiments.

I *was* thinking Chevy Asto Van or GMC Safari, as they are likely small and completely under-dash.

Vintage Air *does* make a nice-looking kit for my application, though.
I am almost convinced that it's the way to go.
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