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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.
 

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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 ½- ½.
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.
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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???
 

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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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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..l:)







 

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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.
 

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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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Looks alright. Good job. I would insulate that return line though. Lots of heat transfer from the headers. Just a recommendation.
It's in the same location as it would have been from vintage air. I asked them this same question and they say it will not be an issue.

This is just another reason to go with a factory type A/C system.

Do you think this will deminish the A/C ability to cool?

Any suggestions insulating it? Material?
 

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My 68 was a non-a/c car so I went with Vintage air. I was impressed by how it fit and installed. It went smooth and everything fit great. It does fit up under the dash and you give up some glove box space. My block off plate for the firewall was sheet metal and I pop riveted it in. It is 100++ here all summer and it works good. My only complaints are the new glove box didn't fit great and I had to mess with it to make it work and the center dash vent is cheap looking plastic. If you have an a/c car you could probably use the original. This is what the firewall looks like (excuse the dust I was still fitting all the hoses, etc.)
 

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It's in the same location as it would have been from vintage air. I asked them this same question and they say it will not be an issue.

This is just another reason to go with a factory type A/C system.

Do you think this will deminish the A/C ability to cool?

Any suggestions insulating it? Material?
Look in McMaster-Carr catalog. # 4463K127, yes in theory it helps. I'm not sure how much And it helps to keep your refrigerant line from degrading sooner.
 

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My 68 was a non-a/c car so I went with Vintage air. I was impressed by how it fit and installed. It went smooth and everything fit great. It does fit up under the dash and you give up some glove box space. My block off plate for the firewall was sheet metal and I pop riveted it in. It is 100++ here all summer and it works good. My only complaints are the new glove box didn't fit great and I had to mess with it to make it work and the center dash vent is cheap looking plastic. If you have an a/c car you could probably use the original. This is what the firewall looks like (excuse the dust I was still fitting all the hoses, etc.)
This looks nothing like what they sent me or others I have seen. Is this the new Gen IV system? If so it appears they have changed a few things including moving the hoses closer to the body. Maybe there is something they found to keeping them away from heat like they had them before?
 

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It depends if you don't mind the big box, and large compressor in the engine compartment. (factory air)
Or.. the cheezy under dash plastic housing, vents, and what I feel is crummy looking compressor brackets. (aftermarket ac) I also feel their condenser and mounts are not great, esp. with 134a.

Either system will work fine.

My daily driver 68 camaro has factory ac, is very cold and reliable (I live in Phoenix az). I have driven it 120,000 miles. Only thing, if I have to rebuild the system, that I would change is going to a high efficiency condenser.

My 71 has factory ac, but is running 134a,a r4 compressor, high efficeincy condenser and electric cooling fans, so it is a hybrid. I do wish I didn't have the ac suitcase in the engine compt., though. It also works great.
 
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