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I am going to convert my 70 SS non air car to factory air. I have a Vintage Air unit on it but lets not go there.
I have another 70 SS with factory air so I have a go by but a couple of questions. First has anyone out there ever done one of these in a 70 SS? What are the pit falls and things to know. I have found a 70 Malibu with a working air system in it and the fellow wants to remove it. Is there any difference in a 70 Malibu system from 70 SS other than big block mounts, pulleys etc? I will search in the archives for previous Tech reports but would appreciate any info any of you might have. Can anybody refer me to a "how to" article perhaps in previous ACES or NCOA magazine. Thanks in advance for your help
 

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Although it is a project it isn't too bad,
when converting to A/C, may have to change pulleys, I'm not sure which on a big block.
On a small block you will have to change the crankshaft pulley, and P/S pulley.
The fire walls are different though, the hole where the heater core and evaperator core come through are different for a car with A/C. The best way is to block off your original hole, and cut a new hole for the A/C.
Make a template from the car you are getting the A/C from it should work fine. You also will need both kick panels and the vacuum pod for the right kick panel, and the vacuum pod that goes in the cowl next to the right wiper. You will also need to make a hole for the harness near the distributor.
Oh yeah, don't forget to block off the round vents in the cowl behind the dash, you won't need those anymore.
try to get everything you can from the other car that is A/C related you'll need it.
There is also a pair of lap coolers below the dash, they'll bolt right on to your dash.
I went through this on my 80 pickup, what a project, but it was well worth it.

Good luck!


Jeff Litka
72 Chevelle SS
72 MonteCarlo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Jeff, great pointers to think about. I had someone who has parts to sell tell me to think twice about the conversion but I think the hardest part maybe the firewall opening issue. I will photograph everything and make templates just to be sure. Is seems like if you get all the parts, they should fit. I am concerned about the wiring harness issues and wonder if I should consider switching to the four core radiator. My car currently has the 3 core since it is non A/C.
I think I have read somewhere that the front springs for an A/C car may be different to carry the extra weight. If anyone knows about this let me know.

Thanks
 

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Chuck,
I am currently installing a Vintage Air system in my 70 SS. You sound none too happy about having it. Please enlighten me to any negatives you have about yours'.
Thanks,





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Steve - Member #464
70 Chevelle SS454/450 4spd.
Texas
Steve's "7T 454"
 

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Can you get the dash panel (sometimes called the firewall) from the a/c car? I have seen this conversion done by swaping the entire passender side a/c dash panel into the non a/c car.



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DG
Springfield, Ohio
70 Chevelle Malibu

www.genxspeed.com/dg/chevy.htm
[email protected]
TEAM Chevelle Member #0086
Genx member (Founder 4 Ohio)
eBay username: dg98adams
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Falcon70:
Chuck,
I am currently installing a Vintage Air system in my 70 SS. You sound none too happy about having it. Please enlighten me to any negatives you have about yours'.
Thanks,


Steve, my Vintage Air was installed by dealer in Alabama who restored the car. Just got the car a week ago and took the dash panel off today to see why I was not getting cold air to upper vents over radio. The dealer used regular duct tape to connect the plastic ducts to the air vents at the top of the dash and lower dash vents and it has all come loose in just a couple of weeks. I don't have the installation instructions so I am going to call Vintage and discuss the proper way to do it. The two vents over the radio supplied by Vintage do not fit in the opening correctly, they are slightly too big. I am sure the opening could be enlarged but if I keep the Vintage unit I will find a factory A/C top dash vent unit, install it and connect the Vintage hoses. Also I can't tell if the controls are hooked up correctly. The AIR control wire from the original dash control is laying loose and not connected to anything anymore and I think it is supposed to be. My frustration is with a very sloppy installation, not with the unit except for the center vents. I have a bunch of money tied up in the new Vintage Unit but I think I have decided to find a factory unit and install it. There may be a Vintage Unit for sale soon in the parts section of team chevelle.


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

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I have done this install / conversion on a 1972 Monte Carlo. I will only address the firewall issues in this post. Big Block versus Small Block differences are bracket and pulley realted.

Remove both the passender campartment and the underhood evaporator components from the donor. You gotta have ALL the stuff under the hood and under the dash. Now cut the firewall out of the donor. Cut a BIG section out of the firewall well back from around the hole between the engine comp. and the passengers comp. If you can excavate all the metal from the firewall all the better.

Almost all the bolts that hold the non A/C components to the pass. side of the firewall are in the same location as the bolts for the A/C passenger side components. The blower motor is also in the same position on NON A/C and A/C equipped cars. The only differences are in the area of the hole in the F'wall.

Place the pass. comp. unit into the car. You will see that all the studs pass from the passenger comp into the engine comp thru the same holes.

Take the old donor car firewall section and place it against the engine compartment evaporator housing. Cut the donor firewall to exactly match the shape of the evaporator housing. You can keep the donor firewall section all the way out to the blower motor mounting area OR cut the donor firewall to exactily match only the area behind the evap cover. You make the call on this. I think that I matched the entire evap. cover and blower mounting section but htat was years ago...can't remember.

Now all you have to do is load the under dash unit into the car, place the donor car firewall (after cutting and shaping) against the exterior of the firewall and load in the evaporator housing. Once everything is at this point you should be able to see what remains to be done. You might need a couple of longer bolts from inside the pass comp. to the engine comp. and you will need to drill one or two holes in the area where the highest most point in the evaporator housing overlays the original firewall. Use some kind of sealer like silicone between the donor firewall section and the original firewall section.

I did this entire deal without any welding and as I recall little if any cutting on the recipient car firewall. You could even go back to non A/C at some time in the future if you ever wanted originality. If you are careful in cutting the donor firewall section to the exact contour of the evaporator housing no one will ever notice. That is of course except the concourse, numbers matching, original air in the tires crazies. If your car is being modified like this you don't car what they think anyway. People who look at my car have to be told it is a conversion and they have to be shown the area where the "graft" was done between the donor firewall and the recipient firewall.
 
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