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Technical Tips for Vintage Air install in 49 Buick

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BJR, May 18, 2020.

  1. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    I am installing a Vintage Air Gen II compact in my 49 Buick which is powered by a 472 Cad. Anyone who has installed one of these units please post up some tips and things to watch out for. Pictures would be helpful also. Vent placement pictures would be great in in a 49 also.
     
  2. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,423

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    Here is the dash in my 48 Olds 98. Not exactly like your Buick, but this placement should work for you as well. 69894ACD-E78A-40DE-8108-46EA1C5A8A0A.jpeg
     
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  3. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Do you believe a Compact will keep that big car cool in the summer? I'm going to put a Super in mine.
     
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  4. larry k
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 320

    larry k
    Member

    Don't put under the dash ,,, put in the trunk , right under the package shelf . Run your hoses under the floor or running boards. Vents on the shelf towards the front . It will cool great ...
     
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  5. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    It should kept it cool, the car is well insulated and I live in St Paul Minnesota. It rarely gets to 100 here.
     
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  6. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
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    Good insulation is a must! Good luck! I don't think that unit would cut it down here in the South!
     
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  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,253

    Gman0046
    Member

    WgL%60TCSLCkfNFFjNkKNQ.jpg In my 60 Pontiac I bought the largestVintage Air unit that would fit under the dash confines. One of many VA units I've installed over the years. No complaints with any of them. Great customer support.
    I also built a lower dash panel that houses the A/C controls, vents and aftermarket engine gauges.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
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  8. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    Does anyone have pictures of where they put the vents in a 49 Buick?
     
  9. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,217

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    Here's that unit (Gen II Compac) in my 46 Olds. I fabricated a frame (Cradle) that bolts to each side cowl panel where handbrake handle attaches (Symmetrical mounts), there are small four (4) feet that spread the load against the firewall. AC box attaches via locating tabs etc. Those support feet are secured through firewall via small button head bolts on engine side. The under dash brake pedal assembly was slightly modified to put the brake pedal to the right of the column. Without AC the pedal assembly would be mounted differently The entire cradle, as seen, can easily be removed as a complete unit if necessary as can individual components.
    20120929_151857.jpg
    Hydro2.jpg
    upload_2020-5-20_11-41-22.png
    upload_2020-5-20_11-41-47.png
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  10. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
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    After studying mine, vent placement options are limited. I wanted to use the two panels at each end of the dash but that surface is curved and none of the vents will look right installed there. That leaves under the dash as the only acceptable option for me. I'm going to use round vents since all the gauge pods are round and probably fabricate a custom panel for the center that includes the controls and a vent on each side, since I have 4 vents. The end vents will either use the standard under dash Vintage Air pods or I may fabricate two custom ones. I don't see many other options.

    What have you come up with?
     
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  11. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    I was basically thinking about doing the same thing. Put two under dash vents in the center and one on each side. I thought about round vents in the ends of the dash but haven't checked it out yet.
     
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  12. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,621

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    I just installed one of their systems using the EZ Clip parts. One benefit is that the refer hoses (#6 #8 #10) are smaller OD than standard hoses.
    That fact allowed me hide the interior plumbing behind the passenger kick panel going up to the unit behind and high on the pass side in a 32 That includes standard 5/8" heater hoses and the drain hose.
    Routing and bends also benefit in the engine compartment.
     
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  13. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
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    Brian, whatever you do, don't try to blow A.C. air through the speaker grill. I've bought 2 cars that others built and thought that was a "cool" idea. It is not. It will severely restrict your air flow and that is primary in an A.C. system.
     
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  14. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 2,028

    RMONTY
    Member

    I was talking to a Vintage Air dealer that has a rod shop about how to get A/C in my Sedan Delivery. He showed me a couple of trucks that they were doing, and I liked what I saw. A panel below the dash is very neat and clean. At least in my car there is plenty of room to put the drop down on the bottom of the dash.



    Vintage Air 1.jpg



    Vintage air 2.jpg
     
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  15. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
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    The problem with the panel below the dash in the 49 Buick is the bottom edge is not straight.
     
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  16. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,217

    mgtstumpy
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  17. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    My firewall is all smoothed and painted and I don't want any fasteners showing. I was thinking of using panel bond to glue mounting brackets to the inside of the firewall for the evaporator. Does anyone see any problems with this? Do I need to grind down to bare metal where the brackets will be glued? Can this be done without clamps when gluing?
     
  18. patsurf
    Joined: Jan 18, 2018
    Posts: 403

    patsurf

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  19. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 487

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've got the Moal vents as the outside side vents in my 55 bird. You need to account for the area needed to fold/extend the hose. They're a standard round vent so you can use different round replacement vents if needed to match. Nice, because you can hide them when not needed. I often only use the drivers side down when I'm alone in the car. Pricey, but you could fabricate something similar for your application.
     
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  20. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,241

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    DSCF2026.JPG
    Vent on each end and double vent in the middle
     
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  21. You should grind down to bare metal and yes they should be clamped. These adhesives have micro spheres in them to allow for the right amount of adhesive between surfaces for best performance and clamping is usually required to get that accomplished.
     
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  22. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,621

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    Is there any structure or points that you could bracket off of behind the dash, under the cowl top or backside of the firewall? I would rather see you use brackets bolted to the body/dash to support the evaporator?
    They are fairly heavy especially with all plumbing/fittings fitted.
     
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  23. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    Unfortunately there is nothing on the inside of the firewall to bolt anything to without drilling through the firewall. The dash side maybe, but it needs support from the firewall side also. It was bad planning on my part, but if the panel bond works I should be ok.
     
  24. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
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    Nice job, Walt! How did you ge those vents to fit those curved end panels?
     
  25. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,621

    john worden
    Member
    from iowa

    If you do use an adhesive I recommend 3M Impact Resistant Structural Adhesive 07333 used according to directions.
     
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  26. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,520

    BJR
    Member

    Fat47 that is what I was looking for. Looks good, have you used it yet to see how it flows air and cools? Or is the car still a work in progress?
     
  27. Not the same car by a long shot but I used the Gen II in my sedan and we made some panel under the dash to hold the vents.

    Since the dash in a 32 Ford is small and I didn't have room for the vents we made a panel below the dash and used the vents someone earlier posted and they are close able.


    [​IMG]
     
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  28. The unit I installed in the wagon was similar to the GEN II and is completely hidden in the dash, since I had the dash out I filled in the heater controls to smooth the lower part of the dash where I could install round outlets.

    I wanted to make them look like it could have been done at the factory and keep the vents looking symmetrical, in the concave area;s I spent a lot of time with a hammer making that area;s aknist flat, I think it turned out good,

    Just use your imagination. HRP

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In the following photo you cab see where I filled in the original heater controls which were eliminated .

    [​IMG]

    The finished dash. HRP

    [​IMG]
     
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  29. Fat47
    Joined: Nov 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,241

    Fat47
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    BJR Yes, the car is still a work in progress. Moving and building a new shop has slowed the 49 time substantially. It is together, finally wired and ready to fire. But, I haven't tried the AC. I don't think there will be any flow problems as the duct hoses are not crimped anywhere.

    Rockable I traced out the hole pattern from the vent, cut the hole and then inserted to vent to see where the gaps would be on the curved end of the dash. I then took a piece of, I believe, 1/8" rod I had in the scrap pile, formed it to the contour of the vent and ground it down in the middle so it would fit under the vent yet fill the gaps at the ends of the vent. Tacked it in place, grind, fit, grind, STICH weld all around, then body filler the smooth out the lip. I think there may be pictures on my build thread here on HAMB. I made the center dual vent housing using some 16 or 18 gauge I had. Pictures of this are on the build thread.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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  30. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,018

    rockable
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Here is how I ended up doing it. I used round vents. Have to re order the end vents to get double vane.
    The VA pod that uses 2 round vents and houses the control panel was 1/4" too long and sat at the wrong angle, so I made my own.

    0530201155_HDR.jpg 0530201027.jpg
     
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