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Need advice on air conditioning in old cars, what brand?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Crazy Legs, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Crazy Legs
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 266

    Crazy Legs

    Hey everyone,
    Still working on getting my 54 Ford going and I'm planning on putting A/C & heat in it and wondered what you guys suggest for who to look up.

    Of course Vintage Air is out there but I'd think there are other places with better prices these days?
    I've checked out "oldaircompany" and "Southern Rods" but so far I like "Classic Auto Air" but they just shot back a quote of $1400.00 - Is that a common price for an entire system including the condenser? I was a little shocked I guess.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,477


    LOL...better prices...??? Sure...Chinese made stuff is always "better priced" you buy on price...or quality...???

    Vintage Air is the BEST...and it's American made...!!! Nuff said.

  3. Southern Air gets a bad rap by a lot of Hambers but that's what I have in the '54 Ford Ranch Wagon and haven't experienced any problems. HRP
  4. brokenspoke
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 2,932


    Vintage Air...the Gen IV are great...hands down

  5. I believe Vintage Air is top of the line. HRP
  6. Stu D Baker
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,700

    Stu D Baker
    from Illinois

    I've got Vintage Air in my 37 Ford and no problems for the past 23 years. Oh, about 7-8 years ago I switched it over to R134. Far as I'm concerned, they are about the best in quality and customer service. Stu
  7. edwardlloyd
    Joined: Aug 2, 2003
    Posts: 2,067

    from Germany

    Opening windows are cheaper.
  8. Here lately all we need is heat!:D HRP
  9. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 9,126

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  10. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,259


    If anyone thinks there isn't Chinese parts in Vintage Air units you've got another guess coming. That said, I'm partial to Classic Air and Old Air as their coils are larger then Vintage. They may also have Chinese parts as well. What electronically controlled device doesn't have Chinese parts?
  11. dan griffin
    Joined: Dec 25, 2009
    Posts: 495

    dan griffin

    Whatever system you install charge it with Freeze-12. A lot colder than 134A.
  12. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,668


    Whatever you do, stay away from Old Air Products in Fort Worth
  13. 409ina49
    Joined: Mar 21, 2013
    Posts: 49

    from Ohio

    Vintage Air has been around for quite some time. I have had good and bad experiences with them. Their customer service is top notch but their service techs can be a little hard to deal with. Like I said, just my past experiences. I have heard some good things about Hot Rod Air though.
  14. Atomic Kustom
    Joined: Feb 5, 2010
    Posts: 235

    Atomic Kustom

    What dont you like about Old Air?
  15. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,294


    I used their heat/AC/defrost unit in my 36 p/u years ago and loved it!They were nice to deal with,and had a great product for a great price compared to the others back then.(1991 or so)

    they even swapped out some fittings I bought from a different vender at the NSRA nats for some they said would work better for my charge
  16. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 555

    from N.E. PA

    I'd like to know the answer to that question as well. That's what I bought for my car. I'm not finished hooking it up yet, but so far the parts quality seems very good and the customer service has been great.:confused:
  17. dontlifttoshift
    Joined: Sep 17, 2005
    Posts: 652


    Is Hot Rod Air still a business? Pretty sure they went under about 3 years ago.

    I had an issue with a Southern Air unit last spring. Southern Air could not supply a wiring print or any troubleshooting help at all.

    Air conditioning works like this. You have a plastic box with a coil in it and a fan attached. It comes down to controls and service, that's where Vintage Air wins. The tech department always calls back and they actually know what they are talking about. I have been to their facility and it is top notch. They are ISO certified, the GenIV unit mentioned earlier was engineered for the Ford GT. They give back to the hobby through support of the 29below program with NSRA and sponsorship of various events. They also have a very large dealer network which ensures that in the rare event you encounter a problem with installation or out on the road there is someone near by to help you out. If that is not enough, Vintage Air is owned, operated, and employs Hot Rodders......lots of them.

    I am a little biased but there are very few aftermarket products I believe in as strongly as Vintage Air.
  18. Jamoke
    Joined: Sep 1, 2011
    Posts: 703


    Southern Air heater control valve is a joke .Customer service is a joke also when you have a problem the blame is put on the installer even though I have installed 5 units in 4 cars . Yes because I had to return 1 unit with there new so called high tech heater control valve . Dont buy from them
  19. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,727


    I paid $1100 complete heat and air, installed, but it's an under dash unit.
  20. ol'chevy
    Joined: Nov 1, 2005
    Posts: 1,283


    I have an old air hidden setup in my truck. It works OK. I have installed 2 southern air, one in an AD truck, one in a 62 unibody. They have strange fittings and setups, service is crap, never again, though the 62 does blow COLD. Installed several Vintage air, the only ones I will use again. Anyone want to help in a Pantera install???
  21. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,475

    from Ok

    Had early [98?] Southern Air in my 46, not too impressive. Vintage Air in my 53 F100 is so good I put the same in my 40. You won't see me buying anything else.
  22. Crazy Legs
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 266

    Crazy Legs

    Wow great response guys! Thanks, I will call up Vintage air and have them send me a quote on a complete system and we'll go from there.

    I'm guessing any A/C companies these days have got Chinese crap inside but thats how it goes I guess. BTW, I heard that Vintage Air box or enclosure is sonic welded or 1 piece so if you ever have any issues with it you have to send in the entire unit, is that right?

    I kinda scratched out Old air ride & Southern Air before I posted this but now reading your thoughts, they are out for sure.

    Thanks again :)
  23. donzzilla
    Joined: Oct 15, 2006
    Posts: 142


    I put a Southern Air unit in a '56 Buick Gasser I did. What a pile of $%^&*. When I called with questions, the person on the phone was not helpful at all. All he kept saying was this unit was plug and play. I'd ask another question and the same thing. He then asked if I knew what I was doing? Very poor product and very poor service after the sale.
  24. Vintage Air for me-like riding in a meat locker
  25. Crazy Legs
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 266

    Crazy Legs

    Not good donzzilla!

    Asphalt Angel thats what i'm looking for :)
  26. We had a few different customers bring other brands into my shop for installs - Old Air, Southern Air, Classic Air and used them all ~ after all that when a customer ask's for a recommendation, we ALWAYS revert back to Vintage Air, the quality is most definitely better in fit and finish, instructions, hardware and components.
  27. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,516


    Vintage Air only for me--have installed 9 units in 40's and 4 in trifive's with no issues and their tech help is great.
  28. doliak
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 166


    I've installed around 20-30 vintage air units never had a problem with em so why switch what's not broken.

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  29. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,693


    'You get what you pays for' - I always buy the best components I can so it is Vintage Air for me all the way. I won't even look at anything else and can find no compelling reason why I should. Now time to get back to that VA installation on the '40 Ford....
  30. 3340
    Joined: Jun 4, 2010
    Posts: 578


    Vintage Air, Good Quality, Priced Rite, Great People, American Made!

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