VINTAGE AC ARE THEY HARD TO INSTALL

CHU1264

Member
Jun 3, 2021
54
Alabama
Lots of great tips and details concerning the install of the units.
Use the “search forums” tab and you’ll find plenty of material concerning the mentioned topic. YouTube also has videos, one that has been mentioned on this site is:
YouTube: Vintage Air Install ( Klowny 1969).

 

fbody_mike

Veteran Member
Mar 24, 2009
1,044
San Gabriel Valley, California
Not hard, but budget about 30 hours for tear down and rough install, then maybe another 10 to 15 to tidy things up depending on how clean you want it to be.
I did one last year and the kit is well thought out and the instructions are very good.

Stuff you will need that many do not think about.
Correct pulleys if your car does not have AC ones already. new AC belt.
Upper radiator hose for AC compressor clearance.
New coolant to replace the old stuff you drain out when moving the radiator to install the condenser.
Plenty of 5/8" heater hose, like 15 feet.
A 5/8 heater hose nipple to replace the 3/4" that is no longer used.
An AC hose line crimper if you decide to get the custom length AC lines (not needed for the factory style).
A tube of seam sealer to seal up the firewall.

If you want to charge the system yourself, you will need a gauge set, a good vacuum pump (power kind used in AC), the can tap adapter for your gauges, and a good weight scale to keep track of the refrigerant you put in.
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
31,904
Bloomington, MN
And a bottle of Advil.
Unless you're a contortionist... You are going to feel some pain after spending a couple of days working under the dash.

I was able to source the parts (and R12 refrigerant) to replace my entire factory system, under the hood.
(I kept the wiring, dash components and I had the proper brackets for the compressor.)
If your car never had A/C... That's not really an option.
 

PThomas

Member
Apr 2, 2018
57
I'm considering replacing my factory unit with one of those systems. I've had the car for several years now and I've never been able to get mine to perform like it should. I'm sick of fooling with it, honestly. Would like to know if you decide to tackle this on your own so I'll see the difficulty level. Also have to put one in my 81 Vette (the Z always comes first). Keep in touch.
 

accelo

Member
Jan 12, 2015
59
washington
I didn't find the work very difficult. The new units do not have cables but use servo motors with wiring to actuate the doors.
Cleaning up the install was the hardest part. For instance the wires go right to the battery (mega fuse recommended) and hiding the wires is a pain.
My friend's 68 Camaro came with correctly crimped hoses. The truck install has them crimped only only one end. Also lost the use of my glovebox on my C10.
Good luck
 

PThomas

Member
Apr 2, 2018
57
I didn't find the work very difficult. The new units do not have cables but use servo motors with wiring to actuate the doors.
Cleaning up the install was the hardest part. For instance the wires go right to the battery (mega fuse recommended) and hiding the wires is a pain.
My friend's 68 Camaro came with correctly crimped hoses. The truck install has them crimped only only one end. Also lost the use of my glovebox on my C10.
Good luck
Yeah, I'm sure I can do it. I imagine it's one of those jobs that requires me to be motivated to do it first, and then work slow and steady on it. No shortcuts. Try not to get in a rush. Keep work area organized and as clean as I possibly can, and keep focus.
It could be one of the most rewarding things I've done to a car, or I could get off track and have a nervous breakdown.
Thinking very hard about ordering the kit this weekend.
 

Green hornet

Veteran Member
Oct 11, 2015
2,148
North Bay, CA
Yeah, I'm sure I can do it. I imagine it's one of those jobs that requires me to be motivated to do it first, and then work slow and steady on it. No shortcuts. Try not to get in a rush. Keep work area organized and as clean as I possibly can, and keep focus.
It could be one of the most rewarding things I've done to a car, or I could get off track and have a nervous breakdown.
Thinking very hard about ordering the kit this weekend.
Sounds like you have thing’s sorted out if you tackle this. As others have said, have everything on hand before you start, tools and material. Nothing worse than having to round something up in the middle of the project. Stay focused and when things get a little rough, step back for a moment and collect yourself. It will be worth it in the end. Good luck.
 

Fbird

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2011
6,511
atlanta, ga
:lush::lush::lush: I have seen a couple installs, Shouldn't be too bad but under the dash ....sux, This project is way down on the list for me...but I did prepare when I did the smooth firewall fill plate by welding in a 1 1/4" long 1/4-20 bolt in the XXXX hole to hang the "new" fan assembly inside...
 




Latest posts

Top