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Vintage Air Retrofit

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Post by dynchel on Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:30 pm

77mali wrote:Dude I need help on my trucks A/C....I'll bring Sam Adams or Guinness Very Happy
Replacing parts on a OE a/c system (especially a truck ) is pretty straight foward. Now a custom retrofit...that's a whole different story, major props to Mark. cheers    A chevy trucks "common" fail parts would be a compressor & condensor, both pretty simple replacements.
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:48 pm

After driving 5500 miles in two weeks, I've decided to upgrade my Vintage Gen II Super system with the Gen IV unit you installed in yours. Mine kept me pretty cool, but I think it could be better.
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Post by driveit on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:52 pm

Keep us posted on how that goes if you decide to go through with it.
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Post by thatfnthing on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:56 pm

dynchel wrote:
77mali wrote:Dude I need help on my trucks A/C....I'll bring Sam Adams or Guinness Very Happy
Replacing parts on a OE a/c system (especially a truck ) is pretty straight foward. Now a custom retrofit...that's a whole different story, major props to Mark. cheers    A chevy trucks "common" fail parts would be a compressor & condensor, both pretty simple replacements.

Thanks, John -- it's always great to be appreciated by your peers! Paul, I'll take the Sam or a nice IPA. Guinness is too much like motor oil for me. Smile

But I'm not working on stock A/C stuff -- the reason I went aftermarket in the first place was that the hairy mess from the factory filled me with dread. Smile
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Post by thatfnthing on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:05 pm

74Malibu383 wrote:After driving 5500 miles in two weeks, I've decided to upgrade my Vintage Gen II Super system with the Gen IV unit you installed in yours. Mine kept me pretty cool, but I think it could be better.

I'm gonna guess you probably went for the largest condenser, and the compressor and drier are the same for II and IV, so in theory I'm guessing you only need to change the evaporator. The biggest issues I faced with the IV evap:

• the evap's size conflicted with the downward slope of the cowl near the right side, so the choices are 1) cut the cowl, or 2) lose a lot of foot room.

• the expansion valve points downward, when outward (i.e. toward the passenger side) would have been a hell of a lot better for hose routing.

Lemme know if I can assist in any way.
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Post by 77mali on Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:06 pm

thatfnthing wrote: Paul, I'll take the Sam or a nice IPA.  Guinness is too much like motor oil for me. Smile

But I'm not working on stock A/C stuff -- the reason I went aftermarket in the first place was that the hairy mess from the factory filled me with dread. Smile

Guinness is wicked yummy.  It's one of those things that the more you drink it, the more you like it.  I wish I could get up near Buffalo sometime.  Thinking about going to Sandusky OH again in a year or two with the family to Cedar Point.  Maybe by then I can actually drive my Malibu & we can cross the falls into Canada and peel some rubber.  I hate GM compressors btw, they seem to have a habit of shorting out or the stupid clutch fails.  Had to order a new High-side service port for $10.00 that Advanced ordered for me.  I guess I should be happy I found the leak. Laughing 

http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/acdelco-a-c-fitting-15-5438/18053248-P?searchTerm=a%2Fc+hose#fragment-1
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:48 pm

thatfnthing wrote:
74Malibu383 wrote:After driving 5500 miles in two weeks, I've decided to upgrade my Vintage Gen II Super system with the Gen IV unit you installed in yours. Mine kept me pretty cool, but I think it could be better.

I'm gonna guess you probably went for the largest condenser, and the compressor and drier are the same for II and IV, so in theory I'm guessing you only need to change the evaporator.  The biggest issues I faced with the IV evap:

• the evap's size conflicted with the downward slope of the cowl near the right side, so the choices are 1) cut the cowl, or 2) lose a lot of foot room.

• the expansion valve points downward, when outward (i.e. toward the passenger side) would have been a hell of a lot better for hose routing.

Lemme know if I can assist in any way.


Correct.
I know it's going to be a tight fit. One thing I am concerned about is the loss of the glove box in your photos. I already used up that space to mount all my electronics. Did you have to mount it that far to the passenger side? My Gen II unit fits further towards the middle of the dash, not all the way to the right in your case. Maybe the Monte's are a little different than the Malibu's?
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Post by thatfnthing on Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:00 pm

74Malibu383 wrote:Correct.
I know it's going to be a tight fit. One thing I am concerned about is the loss of the glove box in your photos. I already used up that space to mount all my electronics. Did you have to mount it that far to the passenger side? My Gen II unit fits further towards the middle of the dash, not all the way to the right in your case. Maybe the Monte's are a little different than the Malibu's?

It really is a large unit.  The position it's in right now, I actually still have an inch or two clear to the right of the blower, and the plenum outlets for the duct hoses are just to the left of the center of the trans tunnel.  Any more left and I would have had to make significant mods to my center console.  

Unless the Malibu is a lot wider, some additional inches could be gained by shifting it left, but you'll never get enough to gain significant glovebox room back.  Maybe if you could go higher, but that would require cutting away a lot more cowl and the servos will smack right into the wiper transmission.  I have about two inches or so from the glovebox door to the evap case.  However, there is significant room in the dash above the unit, especially once I trimmed the stock ducts, and I have my ABS computer mounted up there with room to spare.  Maybe you could shift some stuff around?  I suppose you could mount the evap lower, which would also obviate the need to cut the cowl.  But it's not all that pretty to look at, and your passengers will need either short legs or small feet. Smile

Tell you what: if you're really interested in trying it, I'm no longer using the mockup unit.  I can scrounge up the front and back mounting brackets and ship the thing to you to test with before spending $700.00 on the Gen-IV evap.  I don't expect to need it anytime soon, and my wife would be happy to have one less thing cluttering up the basement.  I just might need you to ship it back to me at some point if I can convince my wife she really needs the Cutlass ragtop she's been eyeing. Smile
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:57 am

That's very generous! I'll take you up on it, but I probably won't need it for a few months. How about a rain check?
Thanks again!
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Post by thatfnthing on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:02 pm

77mali wrote:Guinness is wicked yummy.  It's one of those things that the more you drink it, the more you like it.
I tried it, but I never acquired a taste for it. However, it's better than the Beck's crap my brother used to drink. That stuff's so thick, it's got sand and weeds and sh*t in it.

77mali wrote:I wish I could get up near Buffalo sometime.  Thinking about going to Sandusky OH again in a year or two with the family to Cedar Point.  Maybe by then I can actually drive my Malibu & we can cross the falls into Canada and peel some rubber.

That would be fun -- I can show you what chicken wings are supposed to taste like. Having peeled rubber in Canada already, I can tell you that for some reason the local cops are not impressed. Go figure. Maybe we'll go to the ballet instead. But you'll want to leave the family at the hotel. Smile
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Post by thatfnthing on Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:04 pm

74Malibu383 wrote:That's very generous! I'll take you up on it, but I probably won't need it for a few months. How about a rain check?
Thanks again!

Certainly. Just say when.
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Post by 77mali on Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:48 pm

thatfnthing wrote:
77mali wrote:Guinness is wicked yummy.  It's one of those things that the more you drink it, the more you like it.
I tried it, but I never acquired a taste for it.  However, it's better than the Beck's crap my brother used to drink.  That stuff's so thick, it's got sand and weeds and sh*t in it.

77mali wrote:I wish I could get up near Buffalo sometime.  Thinking about going to Sandusky OH again in a year or two with the family to Cedar Point.  Maybe by then I can actually drive my Malibu & we can cross the falls into Canada and peel some rubber.

That would be fun -- I can show you what chicken wings are supposed to taste like.  Having peeled rubber in Canada already, I can tell you that for some reason the local cops are not impressed.  Go figure.  Maybe we'll go to the ballet instead.  But you'll want to leave the family at the hotel. Smile

If by Ballet you mean what I think you are implying, I'm all in.  On the wings, we'll have to see.  We have delicious wings here (not in Boston but at an awesome place in Cambridge).  They're so good I eat them cold out of the fridge the next day...same w/ their 'tater skins ... sometimes on a Saturday morning for breakfast with a Guinness instead of coffee. Very Happy
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Post by Biomedtech on Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:20 am

Heheh, Ballet... Haven't heard it called that since my days in the Army.  Thumbs up 
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Post by 73GA on Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:34 pm

Came across this thread while looking for info on anyone who had done a VA swap into a 73-77 A-body. This is super helpful as I'm now eyeball deep in putting a Magnum IV unit in my 73 Grand Am. As described in this thread, ... not simple, and a lot of fabrication is needed. My question revolves around your shortening of the hot water tubes. You cut them and then "re-beaded" them. How did you do that??? I'm trying to come up with a method and getting nowhere. Any and all help is appreciated, thanks.

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Post by g3chevy on Sun Dec 06, 2020 10:27 pm

There are several different types of "beading" tools out there that I've come across. Here is one that is available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Tube-Beading-Tool-Small-Heavy/dp/B06XQBZ2BX?dchild=1
Vintage Air Retrofit - Page 4 Beadin10
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Post by 73GA on Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:47 am

Thanks for this G3chevy. Didn't know these even existed. The one in the link says for 1/4"-5/16" tubing but after a quick online search I see that there is a version that will do up to 5/8". I'm guessing it has larger dies. I'm in Canada and with exchange it's going to run about $250 to my door. Ouch. Thanks so much again for the excellent lead.

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