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Discussion Starter #1
What all do i need to change to convert a heated car to a/c? ive seen pictures of a/c dashes and do i have to get a new one or can i cut the suqare holes in it myself or can they be left alone? do i need new kick panels? and do i need to cut the firewall?
 

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I would stongly suggest you check into Vintage Air Sure fit series for your car. Did my 69 with a minimum amout of mods to the car. People are going to think I sell thses things, cause I recommend them to everyone who asks about A/C conversions. But I have this reoccurring nightmare of being stuck in race traffic in the heat of summer, stuck to my black vinyl seats and the Astro vents blowing out 120 degree air.
Don't want anyone else to suffer like that. Now I cruise in comfort.


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TC #364
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Discussion Starter #3
How much does one of those systems cost? and are they the units that go inside the car or do they look stock? Also if i got a factory setup from a different car would it be a straight bolt-on?
 

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the a/c conversion would require a donor car; the firewall is different along with a lot of brackets, dash, ducting... definitely get a aftermarket a/c, unless you have unlimited resources
 

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I probably spent 1,500. on mine when it was all said and done. You remove the unit from under the dash and install the new unit. You have to cut the vent out of the kick panel to run the hoses out thru the firewall. I removed the fan motor itself and left the steel box on the firewall, couldn't stomach the look of the plastic filler they give you. From inside the car you reuse the existing controls and the air blows thru the Astro Vents and I cut in a factory center A/C grille, again didn't like the looks of the cheesy one they provide. Under the hood I have the hoses run up under the fender in front of the radiator support to the compressor. A very clean installation. I paid to have someone make up the final hoses connections and to hook up those damn controls. I also sprung for the polished compressor so that added a couple hundred. As far as installing a factory unit from another car... Rotsa Ruck. Wouldn't even consider myself.
 

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You still have heat as well as A/C. vintageair.com

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TC #364
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[This message has been edited by Daytona Jeff (edited 05-03-2001).]
 

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I used the Vintage Air unit on my 64 (2 door wagon) and have just about the same exact feelings that Jeff has.

The only fault is with the air vents that they provide. I don't blame them! In order to keep the kit at a reasonable price, they can't afford to manufacture "reproduction" vents that would be a perfect match for every year kit they sell.

As for cost, it's right about a grand (unless you get things like the polished compressor). The only additional things you may need is a new fan belt and also the R134.

If you route the hoses as intended, they are already made up and provided with the kit. Much like Jeff, I didn't and had to have a local shop make them up. It takes a special crimper!!

If you go to the "technical reference" section of this site, there is a page on the installation.

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Wes. Vann
Technical Reference section
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I have done the reload with stock parts. You really do not need a full donor firewall. Anyone who says you do is flat out wrong. I did my car using a small section of the donor car firewall and I defy anyone to tell it was swapped in. I defy anyone except of course the numbers match original air in the tires, gotta have the original oil in the engine boobs but you don't care about them anyway since your even considering this.

Matter of fact I did it without any welding. With a little creativity you can use the heater box inside the car and the evaporator box outside the firewall to hold the section of donor car firewall in place on the outside of the firewall. A little carefull cutting and shaping and your done with the hardest part.

Having said that I will also say if I had it to do today I likely would use VA stuff. It was not avail for my car when I went and did the stock parts conversion. Resons I would use VA. 1. You likely are gonna have to replace the condensor, heater core and the evaporator on from any donor car you get, That is not gonna be cheap. 2. Then you gotta consider what refridgerant you want. I am not sure about conversions to 134 that leave ya with "converted" R-12 pieces . Might work well might not. You don' have that worry with VA. Just go with 134 and your home free. 3. You gotta get a donor car. Might be easy might not. Brackets and all that B.S. are hard to get if your car is a BB. Smalll block stuff more or less abounds. 4. All the little relays and gizzmose here there and everywhere in the stock system are gonna be old. Some are avail. , some are not. When I did my system I replaced all that stuff with new pieces and got some new spares before the stuff became unobtainable.

The actual swap using stock parts is NOT HARD. It really is not if you have 8 fingers and 2 thumbs rather than 10 thumbs. Likely it is about the same effort as VA: different effort to do different things but the total work load is about the same.
 
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