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Reserecting defunct A/C

Posted By D2Denny Sunday, August 05, 2018 10:13 AM
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D2Denny
 Posted Sunday, August 05, 2018 10:13 AM
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When I purchased my 87 A-Car the entire A/C system had been stripped out. Searching for an original evaporator was fruitless and frankly what was left of the heater system was pretty well trashed. Cables stiff/frozen, plastic housings and ductwork broken, wiring chewed up, etc. I decided on replacing the entire system with a Vintage Air Slimline heater, A/C, and defrost unit. It mounted under the dash pretty much replacing the under dash vent system original to the A-Car. It eliminated the need for all cables as the controls are vacuum driven. To provide vacuum I purchased Dorman 90's Ford F-250 Power stroke vacuum pump and wired into the ignition on circuit. The Vintage Air system came complete with a heater temp control valve, duct hose, and vent adapters for the defrost. I was able to adapt the vent adapters to my original defroster vent plenum. I purchase a Sanyo compressor with a pulley compatible with my belt arrangement and built a mounting bracket for in in the original location of the long gone compressor. I found a condenser that would mount under my Air to Air in front of the radiator. ( A Red Dot or Kysor catalog is invaluable for locating components as they list all sizes and dimensions.) Vintage Air also has a "make it your self" extra long hose kit including a dryer that was quite reasonable. I only had to purchase 1 #6 elbow and 1 more foot of #6 hose to complete the hosing. A local A/C shop crimped on the hose ends after I had cut and marked them. I also had to wire in a Trinary switch and install an air selonide to control the fan air clutch. My neighbor, a retired HVAC guy, came over and pulled a vacuum on it and charged it with R134A. The system fired up and all functions worked flawlessly. I now have a completely new HVAC system that should provide years of trouble free service and my total expense was slightly under $1000.

Dennis
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Geoff Weeks
 Posted Sunday, August 05, 2018 11:39 AM
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IIRC Autocar, along with many other brands used a Red Dot unit, both the heater core and evaporator slide in like cassettes. My complaint with aftermarket units is most don't draw in outside air, it can make things "stuffy". I built a few of my own, but always try and re-use the air plenum so outside can be drawn in to the system.
A/C work can be expensive, and the special tools can be expensive. If you are happy with the results that is all that matters.
Wolfcreek_Steve
 Posted Sunday, August 05, 2018 4:59 PM
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Jack Chisenhall (founder of Vintage air) and I got in quite a discussion about outside air a long time ago. He, of course, said it wasn't necessary, so I asked him how I was supposed to breathe when my wife was smoking cigars in the car.
I'll never buy any Vintage Air products because of that little incident, although they do appear to be good products.

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“He, who is without oil, shall throw the first rod” Compressions 8.7:1
Steve Peterson
Central Wisconsin

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Mclean
 Posted Sunday, August 05, 2018 7:52 PM
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Who needs outside air with Windows

Looks nice
Geoff Weeks
 Posted Monday, August 06, 2018 1:55 AM
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Mclean (8/6/2018)
Who needs outside air with Windows

Looks nice
The same argument can be used to ask "who needs A/C"!
A complete but inop system in no deterrent to me, one where the previous owner has ripped it out like in this case, I think 3 times about.
If all parts where missing or damaged, an aftermarket system my be the easiest choice. some might remember Dean Ashby's Autocar, he was in a similar situation and found that a Red Dot system from a Western Star was an easy fit, with only the control panel being a give a way that it wasn't "stock".
I've had one vehicle with an aftermarket system and no fresh air intake, and will never have another, my choice, and may be not someone else's.
Mclean
 Posted Monday, August 06, 2018 7:34 AM
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Well now the window doesn't do much if it's 90+ outside..

For me, I just stay out of truck in high temps.. but for some they have to suffer on. This is when ac becomes necessary.

Trucks are no fun in the heat.. in my opinion.
D2Denny
 Posted Monday, August 06, 2018 2:33 PM
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The HVAC unit in my A-Car was not a Red Dot. I don't remember the name but it was not familiar. Any way, in tracking it down this company was absorbed or sold to a supplier to the OEM market. I contacted them but was told they had no records relating to this unit. I took my VIN to Volvo and they came up with a Volvo part # but this part was no longer available. I then inquired with Red Dot and Kysor with the Vovo # and the original unit part number, NADA on both accounts. I wasn't about to rely on a make fit part or 30 plus year old junkyard AC parts. Its a complete system with modern technology and installed looks close to stock. As to stuffiness. I have ridden in a few close loop AC system vehicles and frankly haven't noticed it. As long as its cool and quiet with the windows up so I can hear my Frankie Lane CD I'm a happy camper.

Dennis
Wolfcreek_Steve
 Posted Monday, August 06, 2018 3:38 PM
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Wintertime is when I need outside air. Ones breath contains a lot of moisture and if you can't vent it out of the cab, you will end up with hoarfrost on the inside of all your windows. I hate scraping frost off my windows while driving. Chisenhall said to just run both the AC and heat, but then you end up with a froze up drain hose and a puddle on the floor.

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“He, who is without oil, shall throw the first rod” Compressions 8.7:1
Steve Peterson
Central Wisconsin

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Geoff Weeks
 Posted Tuesday, August 07, 2018 2:35 AM
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Dean said the Western Star Red Dot was n easy fit, I never saw it in person but from the pic's it looked good.
Kysor-Cadillac was a another Mfg. Bergstrom a 3rd.
I have an older Saab, and it is common for someone to rip the A/C stuff off for some reason then they wonder why I walk away from their "fine" car when they are trying to sell. An in-op a/c with all the parts is not a problem to fix, to track down all the little stuff can be an impossible task. Fortunately trucks use very little preparatory stuff, a compressor mount for 3406 cat will be the same regardless, my Marmon Red dot unit is very similar to one in a KW or other make.
Stephen massat
 Posted Sunday, June 23, 2019 12:30 PM
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Geoff, I'm in process on rebuilding my a/c in a 89 marmon 57p. Any lead on where to find an evaporator and condenser for it. Red dot catalog doesnt come up with a match Am I gonna have to make something fit? Any help is appreciated.

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