Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Air conditioning

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fabulous50's, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

    If this is OT, please feel free to remove it.

    I'm once again looking to be able to enjoy my 59 with my family. When it's really hot I always think about an A/C retrofit.

    What have your guys used and are you happy with it? I'm looking at Vintage Air Mark IV under dash unit. I can sort out the compressor, condenser, erc.
     
    partssaloon and dana barlow like this.
  2. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 986

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

    I put that same system in a Hobby Members '57 retractable. Best one you could choose. Used the 3 lever panel and the under dash full louver assembly. Installed a 17 inch clutch fan and fabricated my own fan shroud. If I can find pics I'll post them, but it was 4 years ago. Car had been upgraded to an 100 amp alternator.
     
    Fabulous50's likes this.
  3. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,557

    AHotRod
    Member

    Fabulous50's likes this.
  4. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,044

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Fabulous50's and mgtstumpy like this.

  5. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 986

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

  6. You can beat the price of Vintage Air but you sure won't get the quality.

    Go ahead and purchase the Vintage Air. HRP
     
  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,008

    jimmy six
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Different year but Vintage Air hit my radio and if I cut it I would not be able to remove it so I went with a Old Air Products Hurricane which is shorter. Both have good reviews and electronic blend controls. VA has a better floor heat if that matters to you. It works great both AC and heat. FA84BEFA-350A-4A24-B022-385C12063A7B.jpeg
     
    1959Nomad, Blues4U, RAK and 2 others like this.
  8. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,566

    gene-koning
    Member

    I'd like to add AC to my new pickup project, but there is no space between the radiator and the grill/nose piece. I can not move the radiator at all, it needs to stay where it is.

    Is there a viable 2nd location for the AC condenser instead of in front of the radiator? Everything under the hood is pretty tight. I do have ground clearance, but I don't know if there would be enough air flow under the truck for the AC to be effective.

    Any thoughts? Gene
     
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,942

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Although I have [Hidden] Vintage Air in my 46 Olds with demist etc, I like the old style under dash 'Hang on' air with a modern compressor. I've hidden my compressor and mounted it down low out of sight. FE or Y-block power will determine bracket availability and supplier.
    https://www.vintageair.com/how-to-air-condition-your-hot-rod/
    upload_2021-4-6_11-9-30.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  10. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,813

    greybeard360
    Member

    My brother added air to his model A. The condenser is mounted under the rear of the car with 2 small fans on it. Works real well.
     
    rod1 likes this.
  11. AngleDrive
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 986

    AngleDrive
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Florida

    I put ac in a model a and installed condenser with its own electric fan behind rear axle. They are available from a few vendors.
     
  12. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 700

    Bob Lowry

    Here's nice sanitary install a fellow Hamber did about a year ago in his pickup...new old unit with newer
    components under the hood.... ac02.jpg
     
    Elcohaulic, i.rant, nochop and 10 others like this.
  13. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

  14. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

    I have plenty of room in front of the Alumitech 20200817_201624.jpg radiator for the condenser. I have a 90amp alternator mounted out of sight.
    Dual Spal electric fans already installed.

    FE power, but I have only one 3/8 pully on the crank. I'm thinking the bolt on power steering pully would work on the front of the crank pully, or I'll have to find a double groove harmonic damper.

    I can fabricate a bracket for the compressor. I may end up using a GM Harrison radial, as they are very short compared to the standard Sanden that everyone uses.

    Sanden Screenshot_20210406-083219_eBay.jpg


    GM Radial Screenshot_20210406-083132_Chrome.jpg
     
    Bob Lowry likes this.
  15. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

  16. charlesmajor
    Joined: Jan 15, 2010
    Posts: 27

    charlesmajor
    Member
    from tx

    What is that unit? It is super cool
     
  17. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 700

    Bob Lowry

    The Hamber, Squirrel, did this one a while ago, and posted a picture of it. He should be able to tell you.
    I agree, one of the nicest ones I have seen. Bob
     
  18. Besalynus
    Joined: Aug 20, 2021
    Posts: 1

    Besalynus

    I would not recommend installing an air conditioner on a car of such years. I also have a 62' Cadillac, and it's impossible to drive it in the heat, but I don't want to put an air conditioner in this car because then all the guilt will disappear. After all, in my car, all the details are my own, and I can not, put new models of air conditioners there, and so on. When it's too hot in my city, I transfer to a newer model car for a while. Well, or if I want to ride on my Cadillac, then I open the windows and do not experience any problems :) Do not forget that if the air conditioner breaks down in such cars, it will leak, or the radiator will clog, and it will be challenging to get to it.
    ______________________________
    marvellous.sg
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  19. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 863

    v8flat44

    I have 2 "air conditioners" that take up no space & require no power. They are called "vent windows"
    O K I'm bee'n stupid....keep smile'n
     
    hemihotrod66 and 325w like this.
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,956

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    #1, you need lot's of air movement, and you need it to hit you in the face and arms. The air doesn't really even have to be chilled that much as long as there is plenty of movement, enough to hit you in the face and upper body. Cooling down your knees is nice, but it's not going to make you feel cool on a hot day. These old cars have a lot of cubic inches of windows, letting a lot of sunshine in, and a lot of heat. With all the windows closed it gets hot inside. You need a lot of air moving to keep it comfortable.

    I have the Vintage Air Gen II system in my 47, and on hot days it barely keeps up, really just not enough air movement. The system chills the air properly, down to 50* in the vents, it just doesn't get the air up to your face and arms very well, and you don't feel cool unless it does. Plus, when they installed the unit under the dash they blocked off the cowl vent, so there is no air movement under the dash to your feet & legs unless I turn on the A/C and turn on the heater/floor vents. So after 45 minutes or so on a hot day you have to split the air flow between the floor vents and the dash vents, which reduces the amount of air coming out of the dash, adding to the problem. Plus it leaks condensation onto the carpeting (or onto my wife's feet, which I then have to hear about).

    It's nice to have A/C, but these are some things to be aware of if you're going to install a system.
     
  21. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,250

    jnaki





    upload_2021-8-21_5-0-15.png

    Hello,


    In our 2nd 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, it was our first car/hot rod/surf vehicle that had A/C. It was the best for those So Cal hot summer days. It also helped arrive anywhere/anytime with a “cool” attitude and persona. My wife said that was the first thing that swayed her into buying the sedan delivery, despite the troubles we had at the beginning with the drivability problems.

    But the A/C allowed my wife to drive the sedan delivery by herself and arrive looking fresh as a daisy. The cool A/C kept the flow of hot rods going for her and me. I had to take photos at my brother-in-law’s wedding and it was inland OC, where it was going to be super hot in the summer heat.

    With all of our photo gear in the back cave, we arrived in style with the A/C air blowing on us to keep cool. Wedding photography was hectic enough, but to start off sweating was not going to do it for us. Luckily, the using the A/C was an excellent way to arrive. We have had A/C in all of the following cars that we have owned.

    Jnaki

    The one thing that kept bugging me was the York upright compressor. The main unit under the dash, looked like a Mark IV, but it is a fleeting memory as to the exact name. No Vintage Air Company back then. We have to give the former owner kudos for a clean A/C installation on the 327 motor and interior.
    upload_2021-8-21_5-2-11.png
    We had problems with the York unit. We had an A/C expert look at it and his reply was to rebuilt the whole thing or get a new one. So, we bought a new one. It cooled well, but within a couple of years, it started acting up and losing the cool air. Despite the checking of all hoses, connections and the unit under the dash, there were no leaks or problems. The compressor just did not have it, running almost every time we got into the sedan delivery. The York was what most factory cars had for a compressor at the time.

    The new style horizontal compressor units allow for better power, colder air and can be less intrusive on the motor installation. The old York style vertical units were good, but were in the older Freon category, too. Most of the current crop of compressors are the horizontal style units, that are better and more efficient. YRMV

    P.S. For all practical purposes, those extra belts did rob a lot of horsepower on the motors. That was something we could not have in our high performance teenage cars back then. So, the term, "up sails and down sails" was used quite often to lower the windows for “real” air conditioning in the hardtop cars. But, as we got older, comfort became the main factor versus losing a few horsepower from the additional belts.



     
    lemondana and Fabulous50's like this.
  22. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,751

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I just put a Vintage Air Mark IV under the dashboard of my Falcon. I have put them in numerous other cars. Their systems/parts work very well, and you are unlikely to beat the quality.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,869

    squirrel
    Member

    That was me. I wasn't really happy with how it worked...I guess since I've been spoiled by real HVAC in modern cars the past 20 years, the old underdash systems with their lack of a blend door, just aren't so comfy any more.

    I also installed a VA unit in my 59 truck, after I sold that Suburban. It works, but I'm not really happy with it, either. I think I've only used it once this summer.

    If I lived in Maine, I doubt I'd put AC in an old car.
     
    fauj and Fabulous50's like this.
  24. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 700

    Bob Lowry

    Yep, totally get what you are saying. I'm an AZ native, so I understand what "heat" REALLY means. I thought
    that you did a great installation, Jim! Living in Colo. now, forget A/C, bring on the heat, haha. Bob
     
    Fabulous50's likes this.
  25. Hmmmm....very interesting. I was going to just buy a new York compressor, new evaporator from eBay, flush the lines, charge to 75% with R134a and be done with it...but reading Jnaki's post, might have to rethink this....
     
    jnaki and Fabulous50's like this.
  26. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,077

    57JoeFoMoPar
    Member

    The Mark IV is really the gold standard in knee-knocker units. It looks appropriate, works great and isn't a fortune. It will also blow directly on you, which is a key element to an AC system feeling like it is working. You can't go wrong with it.

    I will echo jnaki's comments about having A/C. My 56 Olds has good working air from a knee-knocker unit, an old Sears-Roebuck unit as opposed to the much nicer Mark IV. But it works well, and has allowed us to use the car for trips that otherwise wouldn't have been enjoyable, or we just wouldn't have taken at all due to excessive heat. It's miserable arriving places drenched in sweat and wilting from the heat. Why deal with it if you don't have to?
     
  27. Fabulous50's
    Joined: Nov 18, 2017
    Posts: 344

    Fabulous50's
    Member
    from Maine

    Here in Maine, it's been 90+ every day for 3 weeks. Humidity is in the 85% range and it's not at all comfortable to have the windows down. I hate not driving my 59 and taking the OT car just to get some relief.
     
  28. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,325

    derbydad276
    Member

    I wish someone re-popped the old swamp coolers that hung in the window
    NOS ones are big bucks on flebay
     
    1959Nomad likes this.
  29. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,250

    jnaki





    upload_2021-8-29_4-18-16.png

    Hello,

    As cool as those "swamp coolers" were for the old cars in looks and 50s style, they were not air conditioning. They were “air wetters” if there is such a word. Our dad put one on his new 1949 big Buick 4 door sedan. Our mom was always telling him that the Buick was hot. (And not in a cool way.) She always turned the wind wing inward to get a blast of air to cool the inside where she was sitting. But, did not like the abundance of what ever came through the open window at her.
    upload_2021-8-29_4-19-42.png We were in the big back seat and had our windows rolled down without a care in the world. The wind was blasting us and it was like riding around in an open air car. For us, that was just a fun way to hear, see and feel the world.

    Then a friend of my dad’s got a big tube cooler for the 49 Buick sedan. It was a huge cannon sticking outside of my mom’s window. The first time we all went for a ride, the inside of the big Buick felt wet. But, it was cooler than the outside. It looked like a rocket motor attached to the big Buick sedan.
    upload_2021-8-29_4-23-16.png photo by @squirrel

    My dad had a cooler on his big, black, 49 Buick Roadmaster. He had it for a month or so and my mom told him to get rid of it. It was mounted on her window and always dripped water on her door. It also brought in moisture that hit her first. She did not like that thing and my dad had to get rid of it.
    On hot days, it did cool somewhat, but after all, it was only water with the wind blowing over it. Once my dad did put ice chunks inside and that got a lot cooler, but it leaked all over the car. When we stuck our heads out of the back window on that side, we always got water drops on our faces.

    Jnaki

    A/C had to start somewhere...


    Previous post:

    Hello,

    In 1949, my dad was tired of having two boys messing around in the back of the 49 Buick Roadmaster with the windows rolled down. He was also tired of my mom saying how hot it was driving around. So, he like many others at the time decided to put these giant window coolers on the outside of the car to cool down the cabin while driving around.

    I can’t remember the brand name, but it was filled with water and shot the cool mist inside the car as you were driving along. It worked for a while, but then everything inside of the car got a little moist if you ran it a long time. Also, every time you stopped, the water dripped outside of the car.

    Being the fanatic that my dad was about his cars, he got rid of the cooler and went back to the open windows for cooling. He did not get air conditioning until several model years later.

    Thanks,

    Jnaki
    upload_2021-8-29_4-26-45.png
     
    i.rant likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.