Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 11, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
Jason
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Temecula, CA
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Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

We are wondering what you guys think, and I am leaning towards: "Restore it!", but is it worth putting the overly cumbersome original A/C back together, or just purchasing the Vintage Air kit? Seems like the parts that we have left of the A/C most likely will need replacing anyhow, and there are a lot of parts, so wondering what you guys think the better choice is, thanks.

- Jason

- 1968 RS/SS 396 Conv., w/ factory A/C, TH400


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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 11, 02:01 AM
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Location: Garden Ridge Tx. USA
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Either way isn’t cheap but I think I’m going to go with mostly original. There’s
a place in Florida that deals with rebuilding original parts and upgrading the old system. I plan on using - .
New style compressors are more efficient, smaller and lighter. I don’t like the way the Vintage air parts look on the interior and I can’t imagine putting the evaporator under the already cramped dash, and they say to use their system it’s all or none.

Ron
The
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An exercise in interchangeability on a Well optioned 67 SS 350 vert.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 11, 05:51 AM
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Bruce
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

If you plan on keeping your car original, go with the original. The original compressor can be built to 134 specs as can the rest of the system as well. I installed the VA in an "nothing original" car and it get very hot inside when not using the AC as the water hoses are inside the car under the dash. Converting to a BB, I could'nt find BB parts, now I have a complete original AC system in boxes!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 11, 07:29 AM
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Mark
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Camaro Guy View Post
If you plan on keeping your car original, go with the original. The original compressor can be built to 134 specs as can the rest of the system as well. I installed the VA in an "nothing original" car and it get very hot inside when not using the AC as the water hoses are inside the car under the dash. Converting to a BB, I could'nt find BB parts, now I have a complete original AC system in boxes!
How is it getting hot in the car from the heater hoses if the valve shuts off water flow before it comes into the car?
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 11, 07:40 AM
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

I have vintage air in a non air car.....the sytem is built cheap and looks like crap on the fire wall. For the money they charge a few extra dollars spent on design could make the sytem better. The fire wall plate is cheap plastic and is complete garbage. The case that goes into the car is held in my flimsy brackets and will never withstand any years of service.

I wish i had found an orginal or bought repop firwall section and converted to original A/C. The other option would be using a compete underdash unit....but the space factor is an issue there.

BTW Vintage Airs customer service really sucks when it comes to getting some parts and other things. I needed a new fire wall plastic plate because mine was damaged when attempting to make a copy of it from sheet metal. I thought wow that should be easy to get and it's just blow formed ABS plastic and done cheaply at that.

I was told the part is $175.00 and that I would have to wait about 3 months to get one since they don't normaly sell them out of the kits. As you can tell not very happy with VA....the compressor and it's bracket mounting is a nice part.

"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
-Mark Donahue
My 67 Camaro Time Line
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 11, 06:28 AM
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Michael
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Clean/restore your original system and incorporate a compressor upgrade (usually Sanden).

Get a big manifold type (not tube and fin) condenser, replace all your hoses with the new barrier type and turn out the POA screw to allow for R134a.

Mine works/looks great. Nothing beats factory form or function.

Joe's right, the aftermarket stuff doesn't look as good as factory and if you already have AC, stick with it.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 11, 12:06 PM
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Don
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Harrison View Post
I have vintage air in a non air car.....the sytem is built cheap and looks like crap on the fire wall. For the money they charge a few extra dollars spent on design could make the sytem better. The fire wall plate is cheap plastic and is complete garbage. The case that goes into the car is held in my flimsy brackets and will never withstand any years of service.

I wish i had found an orginal or bought repop firwall section and converted to original A/C. The other option would be using a compete underdash unit....but the space factor is an issue there.

BTW Vintage Airs customer service really sucks when it comes to getting some parts and other things. I needed a new fire wall plastic plate because mine was damaged when attempting to make a copy of it from sheet metal. I thought wow that should be easy to get and it's just blow formed ABS plastic and done cheaply at that.

I was told the part is $175.00 and that I would have to wait about 3 months to get one since they don't normaly sell them out of the kits. As you can tell not very happy with VA....the compressor and it's bracket mounting is a nice part.
Shoulda been around me when I declined the factor bulk head they sent me with 4 holes in it in square fashion. I called the San Antonio store and they gave me the blank bulkhead and I put my holes where I wanted them. Not sure what I did with the old one.

Don
TC # 349
Zdld17:69 Z/RS,306, NOR141111, 9N554XXX, 12A, X3G, 59/59,723, AFR 195,CCC282/290HR, TKO 600, BU1122B1E Owner since Dec 1968

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 11, 08:08 PM
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terry
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Year and half to two years ago I called frank at prodigy customs to buy a vintage air system. He told me if I would pay with a check he would make me a great deal. He said he would send a ups envelope to put the check in. I had seen his post on this and many more sites and he seemed like a good fellow that along with me being a D A I sent him a check. Two weeks later when I called to check on it, he said vintage air made each system as they were ordered. The next week when I called he said the company had shut down a week for inventory. The next week he put me through to a woman who said it would be shipped to me from vintage air but they were behind from inventory. My next call was to vintage air, when I told the them that I was starting to worry if they were that far behind when I might get it. The man I was talking to said I needed to talk to his boss. I found out they have plenty of units waiting to ship and they did not shut down a week and they did not have a order to ship anything to me. The man I talked to told me he would do some checking and not to worry if had been cheated out of money vintage air would send me what I had paid for. Within a week I had the unit. All that to say, I don't know which way would be the best but if you go aftermarket, vintage air treated me more than fair.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 11, 07:28 AM
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Michael
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

I don't think there are many sad stories (see above) at Classic Auto Air in Tampa.

I used them to create my hybrid factory AC converted to R134a w/Sanden compressor. Looks good, runs good, no issues.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 11, 01:26 PM
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67 Camaros Rock
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkz69camaro View Post
Year and half to two years ago I called frank at prodigy customs to buy a vintage air system. He told me if I would pay with a check he would make me a great deal. He said he would send a ups envelope to put the check in. I had seen his post on this and many more sites and he seemed like a good fellow that along with me being a D A I sent him a check. Two weeks later when I called to check on it, he said vintage air made each system as they were ordered. The next week when I called he said the company had shut down a week for inventory. The next week he put me through to a woman who said it would be shipped to me from vintage air but they were behind from inventory. My next call was to vintage air, when I told the them that I was starting to worry if they were that far behind when I might get it. The man I was talking to said I needed to talk to his boss. I found out they have plenty of units waiting to ship and they did not shut down a week and they did not have a order to ship anything to me. The man I talked to told me he would do some checking and not to worry if had been cheated out of money vintage air would send me what I had paid for. Within a week I had the unit. All that to say, I don't know which way would be the best but if you go aftermarket, vintage air treated me more than fair.
This is good to hear.....I had hoped they were not always like they were when I called. It just takes one person on the phone to have bad experiance and one to have good one. Good to know they have treated other people well. I sent a letter and never had a responce back???

"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
-Mark Donahue
My 67 Camaro Time Line
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 11, 11:01 AM
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Joe
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

I put a Vintage Air setup in my 68 & it works fine, and fit under the dash ok. Had to give up a roomy glove box for a real small one. The engine bay looks a lot cleaner than with the factory unit. If I were restoring a car & trying to keep it looking original, I would spend the bucks on a factory setup. My car is not numbers matching, etc, so the VA worked fine for me. p.s.= I don't get any warm air from the VA in "in car" stuff when the air is off.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 11, 04:17 PM
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

This is the direction I have gone with non A/C firewall and vintage air unit. I like it more than what vintage air sends you but it's still going to look a little funky.

I would rather have a little funky that some ugly plastic blob on mt firewall though. I should have invested in a stock A/C firewall section to replace mine but it's too late now. Heater hoses are coming out the blower motor area now.

Tell me honestly what you all think....your not going to hurt my feelings....it is what it is now. I was not going to pay $175.00 for piece of plastic to vintage air the replace the one that was broken. Well if you guys really hammer maybe I should have..








"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
-Mark Donahue
My 67 Camaro Time Line
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 11, 07:59 PM
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

It looks ok, shouldn't be too noticeable when the fender is on. Do you still have a fan to defog the window?

Ron
The
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 11, 08:11 PM
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
It looks ok, shouldn't be too noticeable when the fender is on. Do you still have a fan to defog the window?
Vintage air unit has the fan built into it, no need for the factory fan anymore with this type of vintage air unit.

"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
-Mark Donahue
My 67 Camaro Time Line
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Sep 16th, 11, 11:22 PM
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John
 
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Re: Restore original a/c, or go Vintage Air?

Looks alright. Good job. I would insulate that return line though. Lots of heat transfer from the headers. Just a recommendation.
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