Factory air removal - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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I am installing a new motor in my 69. While I have it apart I am concidering removeng the factory air which is all there but does not work. I live is Flordia so having air is almost a must. I am beginning to care less and less about the "factory look" and more about how well things work. My question is this. Is it worth fixing the factoy air (which means converting it to A134) or removing it and installing a Vintage A/C unit? I am trying to clean up the cluttered look under the hood and that non-working A/C looks like a good place to start, however if it is worth fixing I may keep it. Thanks for your feedback.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 06:17 AM
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I removed the stock a/c on my 69 and replaced it with the Vintage Air set-up. I have a big block and there's NO room on the passenger side with that box on the firewall.

I'm happy with the way it turned out; cleared up a lot of room, gets ice cold, and looks much cleaner. Allow a couple of days for the changeover though and don't get in a hurry.

Jody
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 07:49 AM
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I went the other way, and converted a factory small block A/C to big block A/C, with all the correct parts. I put correct evaporator and box, correct compressor brackets, correct hoses, even correct smog tubes. By the time the dust settles, I will have spent almost $1500 on A/C related parts. And the engine bay is very, very crowded. (took me 45 minutes to install #8 spark plug!)
After all the money and hassle, Vintage air has a lot of appeal. However I'm looking for the "correct" look, so I'd probably do it again.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 09:33 AM
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It also depends on how much money you will have to spend to get your factory A/C unit working again. If you have a lot of parts that need to be repaired or replaced, it could get very expensive. It is going to cost me around $500 or so to get my A/C unit back into working condition. So, I am leaning toward the Vintage A/C unit myself. It will clean up my firewall area and I don't care much for the cluttered factory look either.

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Ricky
68/RS on Blocks...
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 09:34 AM
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Rdcmro69, you answered your own question..If you don't care about the factory look, want it uncluttered, but want air...rip out the factory A/C system and sell it to someone who wants the factory look..quite simple!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 04:10 PM
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I have a 69 factory air. I bought just the body, so I didnt have any of the original parts. I put a vintage air on it. I havent charged it up yet because I am not quite ready yet, so I cant tell you how it works. It was a little more trouble to install than I expected, but it does clean up the firewall area. Also if you have a r/s, the passenger side head light door wont open all the way because some of the components mount to the radiator and they get in the way.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Cavemate, your right. After that post I went right into my garage and took it out.

camcojb, what did you use to cover the holes in the firewall?
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 05:52 PM
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The vintage air comes with a plate that fits into the factory air hole. All the hoses
route from the unit under the dash,through the plate, to the compressor/condenser in the engine comp.. I think the only holes you will need to plug are the original heater hose holes. I had a couple of rubber grommets that I used to plug them. Make sure when you order your Vintage Air kit, that you order it for a factory air car. I know you were asking someone else this question, but I hope my input helps too. good luck.




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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 01, 08:20 PM
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i have been thinking about this lately. i might have a junkyard ac swap that might need a litle bit of work, but would clean up the firewall area just like a big $$$ vintage air setup. how about the heater/ac unit from an 80's ford mustang? it is compact, fits under the dash, and is all cable operated. mount the box, run some lines to a compressor and condensor, and maybe use the factory controls either from the stang or even the controls in your car.
these cars are all over the boneyards,or can be bought for a couple hundred bucks running- and you can junk it when you take off what you need. maybe fords are good for something?

------------------
1971 Nova(looks like 69 camaro from underneath!)
355sb, vortec heads, HOT cam,T-10 tranny, 3.70 gears 16" IROC wheels
see pics here http://community.webshots.com/user/novaderrik
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 01, 07:32 AM
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The clean look is in and I took an interesting approach at doing the smoothed firewall and hid all the hoses from the Vintage air unit (I didn't like the plastic box that they provide) until they popped out at the front fender location just under the battery.

First, it's a 69 convertible but that doesn't make any difference. I bought the Vintage air unit for the application. I then decided to make a template for the firewall. The template will cover the entire firewall including the heater box hole (I actually pounded the lips on the heater box hole in) except the well for the distributor, and does not cover the holes for the brake booster. I made the template (which I still have and would be willing to knock off and send someone) and then made the smoothed firewall facia from 22 gauge aluminum and then made sure all the dents and dings were out of it and powder coated it black. It is held on at the outer edges by the hood hinges and I used a couple of hidden screw in the middle that are not seen. You can put silicone on the firewall to help glue and keep it from vibrating as well.

I then took all the hoses, including the air and heater hoses and cut a hole in the upper front/side/corner of the interior wall that interfaces with the old heater fresh air feed plenum. By breaking thru this wall above the fresh air vent and kick panels, I can use the round plastic cap for the heater motor blower hole (far passenger side inside the fender) and cut 4 appropriate holes in it and bring all the hoses thru that piece and run them in between the inner fenders and outter fender (there's plenty of room...even for the airconditioning hi/lo switch, and let them all exit at the side of the battery location in front. It's a real neat and clean way of hiding all the hoses and I have gotten so many questions as to how it was done I thought that I would pass it along.

If any of you want a picture of the firewall engine compartment just email me and I will send you one!


------------------
STEVE JACK
ConceptOne Pulleys and Brackets
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 01, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, what a neat idea to make a template for the fire wall. I just went to the garage to scope it out and it seems like it would not be very hard to make. Hiding the a/c lines behind the inner fender is a great way to go. I noticed you moved your alt to the driver side of the car. Does the Vintage air kit dictate this change or did you just make the switch so you could keep everything on the passenger side of the car?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 24th, 01, 09:11 AM
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I did it for several reasons. The pulleys and brackets kit (CONCEPTONE) that is on the car dictates this moreover, but the AC idea was the reason too. I don't have the picture posted anywhere to put it up here for others to see, but it looks as clean as it gets.

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STEVE JACK
ConceptOne Pulleys and Brackets
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 26th, 01, 07:35 PM
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After reading the posts in this topic I now know why ORIGINAL Camaros with working factory A/C are so rare. Mine has the factory A/C converted to R134, blows super cold and my car stays 100% original. I have 3 classic cars and ALL 3 have ice cold factory A/C. This is a huge and valuable part of my restorations.
Why are Camaros canabalized more than any other model of classic cars?
Happy New Year
JA

------------------
John P. Allen
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68 RS, 327 w- A/C, 70 Buick GS455 Convertible
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 27th, 01, 11:39 AM
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I understand keeping the factory air if you have all the parts and you dont have to find everything. I went with vintage air because, for me, it was better than trying to locate factory parts. I am not building an original car, but I have not cut, or modified anything to use the vintage air unit. I think keeping your Camaro original is great, but sometimes we have to compromise to keep any Camaro on the road. I guess everybody has their own opinions when it comes to original or modified. I like them all!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Dec 27th, 01, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ditto,Yogi!!!!!!!!!!!!
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