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Installing Air Condtioner in a 1949 Roadmaster


Dan O
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Has anyone here had experience with an A/C on a 320 straight-eight? I have seen an after-market A/C installed in at least one Roadmaster before but have never heard how it worked. I would think it would be a heavy load on the motor and might not cool very well while overheating the engine. There is room for it under the hood apparently. I live in Houston and the A/C is much needed.

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I imagine the biggest pain would be coming up with a compressor mount. Also, if you have not changed over to 12 volts, that'd be the first thing to do. I run AC on both generator and alternator cars, so I don't buy into the "You have to run an alternator" argument.

A rebuilt radiator with a decent core has always cooled the car enough for me.

Granted, I have not air conditioned a 40's car, but they cool well enough if your weatherstripping and insulation are decent.

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You have to build the mount so it holds the A/C COMPRESSOR AND Alternator. A GM one wire alternator works will. But then, as Mike says, you are running 12 volts which means every light bulb in the car changes.

You can bolt the mount to the two bolts that holds you generator and run one belt for all of it. Problem I find is with heat gain under the dash you have to control or the A/C won't help much. You will also need to make sure your cooling system is up to snuff and you put a fan in front.

I drove my 47 around Houston for 10 years and while uncomfortable in mid summer it was bearable.

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