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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-19-2007, 05:04 PM
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Who has added A/C to their vehicle?

I am interested to see who has added an air conditioning system to their car. What brand did you buy, what was the install like? I want to pick up a 53 or 54 chevrolet club coupe and i would love to daily drive it.
Do they have aftermarket Heating systems as well?

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Old 08-19-2007, 07:34 PM
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Does takng the ac off count


after market heater....... mojave heater (summit or jegs sells it ) http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/mojave-heater.html

Shane
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Old 08-19-2007, 07:59 PM
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Vintage Air makes some excellent kits. For cars of the 50's the kits are actually far superior to the factory installed A/C units. The are very well engineered as far as installation and functionality. You can buy an A/C only or an A/C + heat, or an A/C + heat + defrost. Their latest units are all electronic, no cables and no vacuum to mess with. As far as mounting the compressor they have any bracket system you need. Give them a call and I am sure they can put you on the right tract.

Vince
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:13 PM
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i have a vintage air supercooler in my 59 chevy wagon and it works great. got a kit from classic auto air in tampa florida for my freinds vette and it works great too, also it was cheaper and easier then repairing the factory a/c
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:19 PM
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Vintage Air in the Avatar car.

'Cause they are in San Antonio---------and so am I

I am pretty content with it, however I may not be a suitable judge, as the Elky has a pretty small cabin compared to most of the toys here.

Bryan
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:16 AM
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A/C install

I have installed a lot of units from Class Auto Air. They have a shop in both Tampa FL and Texas. I have also helped install a unit made by Vintage air. Both worked fine but I did seem to like the overall fit and ease of install of the Classic Auto Air. I believe it gets down to preference. Some units will have cable operated servos and some are electronic. Depending on the car, some will hook up better to your existing heater control unit and some will require you to replace your heater control unit with a new type of unit. The big deal is to get a A/C box that runs different coils for the A/C and heater. I can speak from a friends experience that he busted the heater coil from the A/C coil running through the same set of coils. His A/C dropped to around 20 degrees F and this caused his heater coil to freeze and bust thus pumping antifreeze all over the front carpet. I do mean a real mess as there was what appeared to be his entire radiator and engine antifreeze all over his carpet. Anyway, I have mainly install units in 55, 56, 57 Chevy's, and 65 thru 70 mustangs. When it gets down to refrigerant though stay away from 134a if you can. Freeze 12 or ES-12a will make you much happier. Have fun.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:29 AM
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Vintage Air
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:23 PM
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134a works fine in a properly designed system.
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Old 08-22-2007, 04:53 PM
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I've had Vintage Air in 3 of my vehicles so far. My 66 Chevelle was a non-A/C car. I bought the AC/het/defrost kit. I works off the original heater controls. That system is fine. I put one in my 71 Chevy PU that was an AC truck, but the system was not working when I bought the truck. It's a big block truck and the factory system made changing plugs a real pain. The smooth firewall and a new 134 system works fine. My first experience was with my 56 Studebaker wagon. I called every AC company I could find, and when I told them station wagon, they all said their system wouldn't cool a wagon, except for Vintage Air. I installed that system and it would get so cold my wife would open her window to warm it up a bit. I'm sold on them. In fact, I have their system still in the boxes for my 47 Chevy, and I'll definitely get there system for my 56 210 2 door sedan.
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:57 PM
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Vintage Air

I added Vintage Air to my '53 Chev Pick up. I ordered the Sure Fit condenser kit. It didn't fit. The brackets that mount the condenser did not line up with the radiator support and measured 16.25 inches between holes instead of 17". The condenser hit the drain on the radiator and the hard lines were too high.

Tech support said they did not know what the problem was or how to fix it, but offered to make me hard lines if I sent a pattern.

Their cad artist does not know the meaning of hidden lines, which made the drawings confusing.

I made my own brackets using theirs as a guide, but with the holes in the correct position. I ran hoses to the condenser instead of the hard lines. Some of the problems could have been my radiator, but the brackets did not fit the stock radiator support.

I haven't fired it up yet, but even though the Sure -Fit didn't fit I still think it is probably a good choice and I like that it is all electric without vacuum or cable controls. Tech support was responsive but stumped.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:54 AM
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My Classic Auto Air unit has kept my 36 Ford really cool on these hot Texas days we've been having, 100% home built/134a. Bill
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:34 AM
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Riot,
the early chevy's do have plenty of engine compartment room for a (relatively) big condensor compared to cabin volume so it should work pretty well

but....

just like building a motor there are lots of simple inexpensive "tips and tricks" that do help a AC system make colder air and run the comp less

alot of them are posted on this board
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:39 PM
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I have used Vintage Air and Classic Auto Air. Both systems worked well.
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:44 AM
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If you buy a system that was designed for R134a, it should work fine. If you try to retrofit/upgrade an older system, it gets complicated and will require some "tuning."

To improve an older system many folks also switch to a new parallel flow condenser (like a small aluminum radiator), and they may use a newer compressor that is more efficient.

When I upgraded the system on my pickup, I switched both condenser and compressor (got rid of the heavy A6), put a smaller Ford orifice in (works better with R134a), and switched to R134a. The AC shop said that I should first try using the same amount of R134a as the original R-12 charge (3 lbs, 12 oz), since the new condenser was very large and very efficient. With that 100% charge the AC could only get to about 55 degrees in 85 degree weather. Then I asked them to evacuate and recharge to only about 75% , which calculated as 3 lbs of R-134a. That charge level seemed to be the sweet spot, since vent temps went down to 35 degrees. As far as I can tell, 35 degrees is where the OEM temp sensor cuts off the compressor, since I can get that temp even if its 95 degrees outside.

Most AC shops are not "tuners." They just want to set the charge machine and let it go. If you want best AC with a R134a conversion, you need to experiment a little, which means you need an AC shop that will work with you. I assume that Vintage Air and Classic Air already know the best charge level for their systems, and that's why they work better.

Bruce
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:20 AM
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Bruce,
do agree 134 does need to be "tuned" to work well even on a "stock" 134 system
ex:
wife's Buick Century had (no shrouds on the electric fans) and only 3 sides baffled to direct flow thru the condensor....typical "best" vent temp was about 48*....
just added a baffle across the bottem for 100% directed air =38*....
I quit after 10 minutes sitting in park to see how long to get back to 48* due to no shrouds on the fans....from memory it was about 42* at 10 minutes plus

cost: $1 for a piece of alum scrap from a alum porch shop

comment:
become a billioniare...invent a "forgiving 134" like R12 always was
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