VINTAGE AC ARE THEY HARD TO INSTALL

Jimmiee

New Member
Jun 1, 2015
4
Reno, NV
I just installed the VA last winter along with the firewall plate and a new 454 and a 700R4 transmission. The install was a nice fit. The compressor is on the passenger side so the hoses are very well hidden in the fender.
I used the Billet Specialities pulley kit so I had to use their Sanden polished compressor. This was a major PITA as they take apart the compressor to polish it. I went through 3 compressors before I got one that the clutch works. So a wasted 2 recharges of Freon.
Make sure to buy quality heater hose as it will be a major job fo replace in the future.
The nice thing about the VA system is the fan is on a rheostat so the speed is variable. And no vacuum hoses!
You do lose your fresh air ventilation however.
 

bygblok

Veteran Member
Nov 28, 2010
780
Pensacola Florida
I’m in the midst of doing mine right now. I didn’t like the VA firewall cover so I bought a DSE piece instead. Will probably stab the dash back in it tonight and it has to be ready for power tour in a few weeks.
 

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pnauert

New Member
Apr 28, 2015
1
Forestburg,Texas
Vintage AC system has anyone installed them are they hard to install? How much are they to have installed?
I have installed a lot of Vintage Air, Old Air & Classic Air, and a couple other brands. They are all about the same, but one thing I do personally is I route the freon & heater hoses through the fresh air opening down by the right kick panel, that way you're not cutting unnecessary holes it the firewall. I also usually try to make a custom firewall covering plate or plates because the ones they usually sell are cheap & they look cheap. One thing that is great to have around & to use is "Gaffers" tape, it's really thick black tape & holds really well & stays put. The accessory brackets "a/c compressor, alternator, power steering, etc...are usually from "Alan Groves" & he usually has some good info on his website if needed. I would just say read through all of the installation paperwork first. The most friendly technical staff is at Classic Air in Coppell, Texas, the times I've needed to call the other two manufacturers they act like they're doing me a favor by answering the phone.
Also the different brands all say either " perfect fit or exact fit or whatever, believe me, they aren't.!!! I've always had to do some kind of modification or something. The labor usually runs somewhere from 15 hours for the real easy ones, which are far & few between up to 40 hours for the ones that you end up doing a lot of modifications to or custom fitting a system to something it really wasn't made for, kind of like I installed a system in a right hand drive Morris Minor, the compressor was about half the size of the engine & ALL of the brackets I had to customer make. I hope this helps. Paul @ Paul's Old/Classic/Vintage Auto Repair in Texas.
 

Roadkingbill

New Member
May 5, 2018
13
I found one surprise in the installation instructions. You no longer have the ability to have fresh incoming air through the vents. It’s either roll down the windows or run the AC. The Astro vents have been repurposed.
 

need-for-speed

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2003
1,302
Conroe, TX
I have installed a lot of Vintage Air, Old Air & Classic Air, and a couple other brands. They are all about the same, but one thing I do personally is I route the freon & heater hoses through the fresh air opening down by the right kick panel, that way you're not cutting unnecessary holes it the firewall. I also usually try to make a custom firewall covering plate or plates because the ones they usually sell are cheap & they look cheap. One thing that is great to have around & to use is "Gaffers" tape, it's really thick black tape & holds really well & stays put. The accessory brackets "a/c compressor, alternator, power steering, etc...are usually from "Alan Groves" & he usually has some good info on his website if needed. I would just say read through all of the installation paperwork first. The most friendly technical staff is at Classic Air in Coppell, Texas, the times I've needed to call the other two manufacturers they act like they're doing me a favor by answering the phone.
Also the different brands all say either " perfect fit or exact fit or whatever, believe me, they aren't.!!! I've always had to do some kind of modification or something. The labor usually runs somewhere from 15 hours for the real easy ones, which are far & few between up to 40 hours for the ones that you end up doing a lot of modifications to or custom fitting a system to something it really wasn't made for, kind of like I installed a system in a right hand drive Morris Minor, the compressor was about half the size of the engine & ALL of the brackets I had to customer make. I hope this helps. Paul @ Paul's Old/Classic/Vintage Auto Repair in Texas.
Thanks for the good info. Have you ever installed a VA Surefit series in a Gen 2 Camaro?
 

need-for-speed

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2003
1,302
Conroe, TX
A couple of things that I don't like about the VA is running the hoses from the unit all the way out to the engine and RD can. Looping through the grommets sucks. Also it requires a very low location for the one hose. Picture shows how I got around both conditions. I'll plug the old hole before I'm done. Thus adds cost on the fittings but is a much cleaner installation in my opinion. I've used Southern Air and VA is a much better product.
What’s “RD can” ?
 




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