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adding a.c to a flathead

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by merc49, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. merc49
    Joined: Jun 14, 2009
    Posts: 106

    from illinois

    i have a 49 merc with a mild flathead and want to add a/c, im still using a generator and want to keep it and the stock carb.does anyone know how to adapt an a/c compressor to the gen. of this done would be a ironworker and making or modifying brackets is no problem just dont want to buy a compressor to find out it will or will not work.the small jap units look like they will fit just need some real advice from real people,not a/c salesmen.
  2. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 8,634

    from Burton, MI

    Keep the windows down.
  3. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 8,244

    from Quincy, IL

    I added A/C comp to a flathead Merc ('49-'53) I built for my '47 Ford. However I used a 12 volt alternator as the multiple electrical loads, just for the A/C alone, would stress even a 12 generator.

    What I did was build a bracket that bolted on the manifold like the generator would and the a/c comp and Alt were mounted to that, with the alt to the pass side, comp to drivers side in order to take advantage of the different crank pulley diameters, using the maller sheave for the a/c, the larger dia sheave for the alt. The belt driven fan was deleted in favor of an electric puller fan.

    The bracket consisted of a piece of rectangular tubing, wide side hoirizontal, on top of the manifold, a 1/2" or 5/8" plate (i don't remember which) welded to the tube and fitting to the manifold in place of the gen/fan mounts. I also added a bracket to the rear of the tube, bolted to the manifold/block with the manifold bolts, for stability.

    I used universal compressor mounting plates from Vintage air to fabricate the comp & alt mounts. I had to alter the thermostat housing outlets to cant reward a bit to allow the hose to clear the comp.

    If your are interested in more detail, I think I have some pics I can send......just PM me.

  4. sponge
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 215

    from Austin tx

    in last months streetrodder in the new products section, they had a bracket for this..
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  5. buster6972
    Joined: Apr 3, 2007
    Posts: 158

    from Iowa

    a little unrelated, but what model of air conditioner are you using for your flathead?
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 21,309


    I can't answer for everyone Pete but I have been dragging my wife of 41 years around in hot rods and customs without AC and sometimes w/o heat since we went to the Street Rod Nationals in Tusla two years before you were born in 100 degree heat. It's time she got to be comfortable on road trips in the next rod we have. We could do it when we were in out 20's but now that we are in our 60's driving with the windows down for three or four days at a time on a cross country run wears us out.
  7. merc49
    Joined: Jun 14, 2009
    Posts: 106

    from illinois

    i havent decided yet since the guys that sell them said i cant put it on that engine but a friend has an under dash unit he bought for his 69 chevelle years ago and never installed it.he will sell it to me for 150 bucks with everything i need except the compressor.and hoses.
  8. merc49
    Joined: Jun 14, 2009
    Posts: 106

    from illinois

    im with you,i didnt know what a/c/was until a couple years ago and being 50 and having a heart attack at 45 the 100 degree slow rollin in a leather interior,dark gray exterior,leadsled is getting a little old and i feel ive worked long enough and hard enough to deserve to drive in comfort.after i get off work from burnin steel all day i want to be comfortable on the ride home.the guys at work cant understand why i dont drive it to work more often in the summer,until one hot day i said heres the keys take the merc to pick up lunch,he opened the door and said nah thats ok ill skip lunch today.
  9. strombergs97
    Joined: May 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,890

    from California

    Hello, first you'll need a alternator for the compressor. I put one on my flathead and it worked great. The flathead has good torque so when the a/c comes on you don't feel a drag on the motor..I know you can buy the bracket for the a/c someplace. You can also get a stock looking genny with the alternator inside..
  10. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,455


    Do yourself a favor and call Vintage Air. They will fix you up with everything you need and it will work first time out of the box. Tech support is outstanding if you ever need it.
  11. RAY With
    Joined: Mar 15, 2009
    Posts: 3,132

    RAY With

    I did a vintage air on my 52 and had to go the alternator rout and also used one offset T stat neck to clear the Alt.

    Attached Files:

  12. big bad john
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 4,728

    big bad john

    Hello......Went with Vintage air......they had all the stuff you need and the a 12 volt gen.,but had to watch the volt meter a great....Big Bad John
  13. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,520

    from Inman, SC

    Another vote for Vintage Air good folks to deal with.
  14. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,855

    from Ok

    It seems like it was Speedway that now has the a/c/alt mount. Check with them. I have a friend who recently made his own and then mentioned that someone had began making them again.

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