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Early Nailhead AC bracket


buick5563
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I have been working on coming up with a solution for adding AC to 264 and 322 nailheads. There are big clunky brackets available for 401 engines. I have made a couple based on the original 55 AC bracket so that we can fit Sanden style compressors. My goal is to make it a straight bolt-on project.

I hope to get a run of them made soon.

Here is the prototype next to the original.

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Here is the bracket in place:

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And with the compressor. There will be a rear brace that will duplicate the original A-5, attaching to the top of the intake manifold.

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Good luck with your project Mike.

I think that you will have no trouble selling a good A/C mount kit particularly if you can include the pulleys. I don't claim to be an expert but have successfully fabricated a compressor mount and installed A/C in my 56 322 and have a couple of suggestions from my experience.

I would make the bracket so that it attaches to both water distribution manifold bolts (not just the top one). I would also query whether you can successfully operate a Sanden compressor at an angle............I may be wrong but I believe that they should be mounted either flat or turned 90 degrees.

My experience is that one drive belt is not sufficient as mine had slippage when it was working hard, changed to dual belts and no problem.

Anyway, you are on to a good project and I wish you best of luck with it.

Koala

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Excellent points Koala. That is why I posted. To see if anybody saw things I didn't. I agree with the two water manifold bolt theory. At first, I wanted to make it as easy as possible to mount without having to do any unnecessary draining of fluids, etc. I am looking for a stud now so that whoever bought the "kit" wouldn't have to buy anything else. Since only original AC equipped cars came with the lower studded bolt, I figured I would bypass that as a necessity. That is, until I mounted it and realized it was be much more secure with a third mounting point. I hadn't thought about the angle of the compressor. I do know it can be mounted up to 90 degrees, but will find out if it can be at 45 degrees. Regarding the single belt, I have only one on my wagon, and I wish it had two, but haven't had issues...yet.

More experimentation will follow. Keep your ideas coming. Thanks.

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Oh yeah. I just realized that the universal mounting plate is slotted like a generator bracket. I imagine that means the compressor can be rotated. Also, for this car (a Special) I am having to change to a harmonic balancer with extra pulleys anyway. I bought these changeover parts from Russ Martin in California.

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Excellent points Koala. That is why I posted. To see if anybody saw things I didn't. I agree with the two water manifold bolt theory. At first, I wanted to make it as easy as possible to mount without having to do any unnecessary draining of fluids, etc. I am looking for a stud now so that whoever bought the "kit" wouldn't have to buy anything else. Since only original AC equipped cars came with the lower studded bolt, I figured I would bypass that as a necessity. That is, until I mounted it and realized it was be much more secure with a third mounting point. I hadn't thought about the angle of the compressor. I do know it can be mounted up to 90 degrees, but will find out if it can be at 45 degrees. Regarding the single belt, I have only one on my wagon, and I wish it had two, but haven't had issues...yet.

More experimentation will follow. Keep your ideas coming. Thanks.

This is most interesting.

Very Nice work!

My car has the studded bolt for A/C. But, it has never had A/C.

Mine does

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Don't forget to check out the OTHER backs available for those Sanden compressors, including the one that takes later-model GM a/c fittings. OR the GM A-6 look-alike compressor with Sanden-style guts (and similar power consumption characteristics).

When I was researching a/c compressor replacement options for my '77 Camaro (with the A-6 compressor), I was reminded that the A-6 was a 10cubic inch compressor with about 45K btu capacity, whereas the Sandens are 8cid compressors with less total BTU capacity . . . but everything's now using the 8cid compressors and doing just fine. In the mean time, though, the R-134a systems are using a "mass flow" condenser rather than the prior "serpentine" condensers, which is one reason things work as good as they can.

Another "maybe" option is the GM V-series compressor used on many later 1990s+ GM vehicles. Quite compact and variable displacement in nature. Easy to change from R-12 to R-134a (and probably the later R-134a replacement) just by changing the "back" on the compressor. Always starts at "low displacement" and then adjusts capacity as needed. Just needs an orifice tube, a low-charge switch, and power to the clutch to work. Another GM better idea that few people seem to know about!

Great project, Mike! Please keep us posted on your progress!

NTX5467

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Doug;

The main reason I am coming up with this solution is for folks who don't have a bracket. The original A5 bracket can have the holes expanded slightly. When I installed a Vintage Air unit in Bill's 64 Riv, I drilled the original holes to fit the Sanden. I realized after the fact, that it may be possible to use the same size bolts for his A6, but use a bushing inside the Sanden mounting holes. I am being vague, because I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet :)

What I'm trying to say is that the original bolts are maybe 5/16 and the Sanden uses 3/8". (Something like that)

Willis PM'ed me and reminded me that the back of the compressor needs to be supported. That was what I was trying to say about using the original style brace attaching to the intake manifold bolt. I will post pics as I move forward. I know what I did with my wagon has worked so far after a few thousand miles. On my wagon I used a 63 Wildcat AC bracket which I expanded the head bolt hole to make work.

Ok. Coffee time...

Edited by buick5563
Grammar issue (see edit history)
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Oh yeah. I just realized that the universal mounting plate is slotted like a generator bracket. I imagine that means the compressor can be rotated. Also, for this car (a Special) I am having to change to a harmonic balancer with extra pulleys anyway. I bought these changeover parts from Russ Martin in California.

Here is another problem, Mikey! (I love arguing with myself)

Installing two belt pulleys and trying to have a belt tensioner for a single belt generator.

Whoops. One step forward... (and all that)

May have to see about that slotted universal bracket, after all.

One other goal I have is to make this a one piece unit, i.e. no welds. Welds look rigged to me.

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Here is another problem, Mikey! (I love arguing with myself)

Installing two belt pulleys and trying to have a belt tensioner for a single belt generator.

Whoops. One step forward... (and all that)

May have to see about that slotted universal bracket, after all.

One other goal I have is to make this a one piece unit, i.e. no welds. Welds look rigged to me.

What about a dual groove pulley on the gennie?

Say from a sixties alternating current generator? (Hows that for using correct terminoligy, got up way too early today)

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What about a dual groove pulley on the gennie?

I successfully run dual belts crankshaft, water pump, A/C and generator and use the original generator belt tensioner. Recently I have changed to a alternator as the car spends a lot of time idling when I do weddings and I still use the dual belts with original belt tensioner and generator mount. Dual pulleys are readily available new for the generator/alternator.

Koala

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