VINTAGE AC ARE THEY HARD TO INSTALL

bygblok

Veteran Member
Nov 28, 2010
780
Pensacola Florida
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.
the factory plate for the firewall was garbage which is why I ordered the DSE plate. I used flat sidewalk screws to go through the plate so it doesn’t have big bolt heads sticking out. I used a bulkhead fitting and made holes in the cowl because I have the fiberglass kick panels with 6.5” speakers where the vents were and didn’t want to lose them. Just my option was all. Also bought a crimping tool because I’ll be building the system for my 66 Buick soon.
 

need-for-speed

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2003
1,302
Conroe, TX
the factory plate for the firewall was garbage which is why I ordered the DSE plate. I used flat sidewalk screws to go through the plate so it doesn’t have big bolt heads sticking out. I used a bulkhead fitting and made holes in the cowl because I have the fiberglass kick panels with 6.5” speakers where the vents were and didn’t want to lose them. Just my option was all. Also bought a crimping tool because I’ll be building the system for my 66 Buick soon.
thanks for the info. Do you have any pics of your engine bay showing the DSE plate and bulkhead fittings?
 

bygblok

Veteran Member
Nov 28, 2010
780
Pensacola Florida
thanks for the info. Do you have any pics of your engine bay showing the DSE plate and bulkhead fittings?
1652199526935.png

this is the best I have right now. I ended up moving the hose barbs to one being at the top location and the other staying on the outside. Kinda of a bitch running the hoses since I wanted to keep my whole kick panel in place but after some "creative" work inside the cowl area I got everything to work. Used some 5/8' heater hose inside that was already molded with a 90 degree bend in one end. That helped quite a bit when I hooked everything up.
 

hullj21

Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 12, 2012
85
Brownsburg, In
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.
Humm, that’s a different setup, I don’t have a bulkhead there. Mine goes straight through and loops up immediately after exiting the grommets. Also them grommets are meant to fit tight. If you dip them in silicone lube prior to installing them and pulling your hoses then the hoses glide right through like butter. It’s a little messy sure, but wipe it down with wax and grease remover when your done and all is well. The only trouble I had at all was determining where to locate the mounting holes since I filled and smoothed my firewall causing me to lose the factory datum point for the main mounting bracket. Aside from that it really is super simple. Most guys don’t want to pull the dash which makes it a little more difficult IMO but its still very well lined out for you in the instructions. I definitely made it out to be far more difficult in my head then it actually was to complete. Same as the wiring. It was so easy I had to laugh at myself. Spent many days “putting on paper” to better understand what went where. When all it took was some patients and common sense. I did a LS swap with a AAW classic update harness and also a custom wiring harness for the VA and TR6060 trans. But I fully understand why some feel it’s more difficult. Everyone has different comfort levels when building cars. For example the bodywork worries the heck out of me but all the fabrication work was actually fun and relaxing mentally. I have enjoyed most all of the work up til the fitment of aftermarket body panels.
 

need-for-speed

Veteran Member
Feb 7, 2003
1,302
Conroe, TX
Well I just ordered my VA kit. Vintage Air had a 15 week wait. Summit was August. I called affordable street rods out of KS. They have the compressor and hoses in stock. The rest will ship in July. Great place. If they meet their July date, then I will HIGHLY recommend them. So far, so good! They are very helpful and know these systems well.
 

bygblok

Veteran Member
Nov 28, 2010
780
Pensacola Florida
I finished my VA install about three weeks before we long hauled power tour. The install only sucked because on my 70 the WHOLE dash has to come out to really do it right. The underhood was cake other than removal of the right inner fender. I didn't like the cheap look of the VA firewall plate either so I bought a firewall plate from Detroit Speed and bolted it through with stainless firewall bolts for a clean look, then painted or undercoated the whole thing. I also used a bulkhead block for my hoses instead of the cheap plastic piece to go through the firewall where the blower motor was at originally. Made lots of changes but I had cold air for my whole trip on power tour and it's a true game-changer for driving enjoyment in the deep south.
 

Attachments

  • camaro dash.jpg
    camaro dash.jpg
    221.1 KB · Views: 30
  • firewall bulkhead.jpg
    firewall bulkhead.jpg
    175.6 KB · Views: 32
  • firewall plate.jpg
    firewall plate.jpg
    260.1 KB · Views: 38
  • inside firewall bulkhead.jpg
    inside firewall bulkhead.jpg
    190.8 KB · Views: 33

giggity

Veteran Member
Mar 18, 2013
1,731
Pearland, texas
installed complete setup on my 70. Wasn't terrible, worst part was routing vent hoses, you run out of space real quick. squeezing my arse under the dash, and into tight spots was interesting. I also didnt measure cutting vent hoses correctly, my center vents are a little tight. I have steps peppered in my project thread.

Im going to try to put everything together at some point and do a install video.
 




Latest posts

Top