"Vintage Air" vs Factory Air - Chevelle Tech

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 10, 8:17 PM Thread Starter
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Terry
 
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"Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

I'm looking for opinions on whats best to do. I already think I know the answer, but want to see what you think. I have a '67 factory a/c Chevelle. Its missing the compressor. Down the road I want to get the A/C going one way or another. Should I try to get the factory set-up working, or replace it with a Vintage air setup? Its not a matching, factory correct car, so being authentic really doesn't mean much.
I'm guessing I would spend quite a few bucks either way, but think Id be better off with the Vintage.
I am in the middle of restoring this thing, and was wondering if I should rip out all the old AC stuff now, while its exposed.
Does the Vintage Air replace all of the factory components? Anyone have any pics of how the Vintage Air setup looks under the hood ? On a scale of 10, how hard is it to install?
Im guessing it would outperform the factory air also. Thanks for your thoughts!
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 10, 11:15 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Just my opinion but I would spend my money on getting the factory A/C going. R12, although allot more expensive, is better at cooling than R134A. If you don't have any leaks it should last for years. If your car was a non A/C it would be a no brainer, I'd go with the Vintage. Probably when all said and done I bet it would cost the same either way you go, except the factory would be faster to do. The R12 blows ice-cubes and the R134A blows cool air.

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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 12:09 AM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

I'd go with factory and R-12 too. You said "restoring"...that leaves out an aftermarket kit. Those factory engineered systems worked excellent back in the day and still do. You could get some good advice here
http://www.autoacforum.com/categories.cfm?catid=2
as well as source parts, equipment, etc.

My $0.02
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 1:14 AM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

I'd go with the Classic Air replacement unit. Works great here in Arizona. Your not looking for factory original. Easy to install. They have a great tech support team. I've installed 9 units in Chevelles here in Az with the help of other car owners.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 1:38 AM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Restore your factory air. I can't speak for Classic Air, but I have Vintage Air and, for the money, am very dissappointed with it.

-- The microswitches are junk, almost impossible to reach, and a huge hassle to replace.
-- The hoses terminate under the dash -- not at the firewall like factory -- and are a huge hassle to replace.
-- The heater core is tiny compared to the factory and takes much longer to heat up the car.
-- The circuit is closed, meaning that no fresh air enters the system. It's all recirculated air, and it makes defogging difficult. When I was talking to the Vintage Air techline about the defogging problem, their fix -- for a system that cost more than $1000 -- was "just roll down the window". Real high-tech stuff going on there.

If you only drive your car in the summer, and need it to do nothing more than cool down the interior on a hot day, then none of the above applies. As A/C, it's acceptable. It will cool the car down. It's just that a factory system will also do that, as well as all of the above.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 5:58 AM Thread Starter
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Terry
 
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Thanks guys. First of all I should of said aftermarket air, not specifically Vintage air. My concern is, are the factory parts still available, and how do I know if any of the stuff I have now is any good, since the AC is not working? I never messed with AC components, and have no knowledge of it, so thats why Im asking. Thanks
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 9:35 AM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

My '69 has factory air. I did a Sanden R134 conversion. Classic Auto Air will service and convert your factory AC to R134. You send them the evaporator, POA valve,etc. everything is cleaned, tested and repaired as necessary. Conversion kit comes with Sanden compressor and Alan Grove brackets. Other than having the hose ends cripmed local, it's a bolt in deal. I chose the Sanden R134 route for the clean undehood look, significant front end weight savings and ability of the Sanden to operate at much higher RPM with less drag. Original factory A6 compressors/ R12 systems are no doubt, very good. Just need to decide what you want to do. R134 conversion utilizes the factory AC evap. housing, fan, etc.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 12:27 PM
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Smile Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerryAT View Post
Thanks guys. First of all I should of said aftermarket air, not specifically Vintage air. My concern is, are the factory parts still available, and how do I know if any of the stuff I have now is any good, since the AC is not working? I never messed with AC components, and have no knowledge of it, so thats why Im asking. Thanks
All your questions would be answered in just about as much detail as you are capable of assimilating....good guys...http://www.autoacforum.com/categories.cfm?catid=2

Good luck
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 2:21 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

I am a backyard wrench turner, Converting to 134 is a job done at home, JUST drain the 12 oil out and flush the system. THEN re-oil everything to specs with the 134 oil.
I sent my P.O.A. valve to the air guys in Tampa, Fla. Cost $15.00 to set the press for 134.( Talk to Curtis)
Yes I know, You need a gillizion dollars to convert to 134. Thats B.S.
My factory A/C works just fine with 134. If you want it to be perfect get a NEW STYLE condenser for your Vell. 134 needs a lot of air flow over the Condenser.
NOTE: Everything on my factory A/C equipped 70 SS 454 Sta. Wgn. Is still on the car and working including the 40 year old A/C hoses & Re adjusted P.O.A. valve. I did install a rebuilt Comp. from Advance Auto Parts. Works fine and no problems, And I did this 7 years ago or 33000 miles ago.
Both of my 70s have Fac. A/C. My one owner is R-12... My driver is 134. I was going to try and re-invent the wheel, But I went with the org. A/C.
Both of my cars are set up just like the factory........ On a Very hot day with the Air on, The Mech. gauge will not go above 205.
It worked 40 years ago with no problems. If it set up in the correct manor, It should work well today,,,, And it does.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 5:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Sounds like the verdict is in for the original set-up. Thanks for the link JJ . I'll have to check it out and take it from there. When I posted this, I thought most would say get rid of the old. Glad I asked before I removed anything. Thanks for you responses!
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 6:53 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
I am a backyard wrench turner, Converting to 134 is a job done at home, JUST drain the 12 oil out and flush the system. THEN re-oil everything to specs with the 134 oil.
I sent my P.O.A. valve to the air guys in Tampa, Fla. Cost $15.00 to set the press for 134.( Talk to Curtis)
Yes I know, You need a gillizion dollars to convert to 134. Thats B.S.
My factory A/C works just fine with 134. If you want it to be perfect get a NEW STYLE condenser for your Vell. 134 needs a lot of air flow over the Condenser.
NOTE: Everything on my factory A/C equipped 70 SS 454 Sta. Wgn. Is still on the car and working including the 40 year old A/C hoses & Re adjusted P.O.A. valve. I did install a rebuilt Comp. from Advance Auto Parts. Works fine and no problems, And I did this 7 years ago or 33000 miles ago.
Both of my 70s have Fac. A/C. My one owner is R-12... My driver is 134. I was going to try and re-invent the wheel, But I went with the org. A/C.
Both of my cars are set up just like the factory........ On a Very hot day with the Air on, The Mech. gauge will not go above 205.
It worked 40 years ago with no problems. If it set up in the correct manor, It should work well today,,,, And it does.
Bob
Seems like you did exactly what I did. My condensor had seen better days, so I did replace it, along with new lines.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 8:41 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

I'm facing the same decision. My car needs a compressor and condensor. It still has the factory evaporator and I've never even seen it due to it's location. Will this need changing or should I tie into it and don't worry about it?

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old Sep 21st, 10, 11:01 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Terry

Keep the factory set up.
Have your original "stuff" rebuilt here. www.classicautoair.com
Get the new Saden Compressor.

Thats what I did. Rebuilt heater box with new core. rebuilt evaporator. blower fan etc.
Looks nice.

I have the front clip off the car, easy to install everything while it's off.

I didn't buy the Saden Comp yet or the condenser to save money for now. I can continue with getting the front clip installed however.

Factory air is Cool!

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Last edited by 65 SS; Sep 21st, 10 at 11:18 PM. Reason: edit
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 10, 9:19 PM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

On my 71 camino with stock factory ac,I bought the seal/oring kit for 134a,disassembled the various componnents,flushed lines-condensor-evaporator with alcohol and compressed air,turned the screw in the poa valve 1/8 turn ccw,added the pag oil to the compressor,put it all back together,pulled a vacuum,charged it,on an 85 degree day I've got 45 degrees at the outlet.And most important, it all looks original because it is!DBULL
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 10, 3:14 AM
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Re: "Vintage Air" vs Factory Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by 658Chevy View Post
-- The circuit is closed, meaning that no fresh air enters the system. It's all recirculated air, and it makes defogging difficult. When I was talking to the Vintage Air techline about the defogging problem, their fix -- for a system that cost more than $1000 -- was "just roll down the window". Real high-tech stuff going on there.

.
I have classic air I think (don't recall off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure) and have the same concern. When I called to ask how to make it so I could let in fresh air they asked me why I would want to do that, and acted like I was the only person in the world who might want to let in cool air without putting the windows down. I asked him where he lived that it never rained on an otherwise comfortable day. Having gone through through the process of adding aftermarket a/c to a non-a/c car, I think next time I'll try digging up old stock parts.
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