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DV8

'65 Replacement AC Condenser

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Does anyone have any first hand experience with finding a new AC condenser that is a direct fit?

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David, you stated in the previous thread you had tried two different ones off ebay without success. This is the guy I bought one for my 63 from. It looked right and it fit. This has been a few years ago, but it did look and fit right. May be the same guy you tried, but it worked for me.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/ccsautoparts

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The guy I was dealing with is Davis Cabrera and called his business Obsolete Air. He claimed he's sold hundreds without an issue but he sent me two and niether fit. He also said the other business on Ebay selling them is his brother whom he recently split from.

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You didn't say why you needed it. If yours just has a hole have you looked at getting it welded? Call a local welding shop and see if they can weld the hole closed. It would require you getting the system evacuated and removing the condenser from the car probably

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There has always been the option to repair the one I have but I decided to go with finding a new one for increased efficiency and to avoid any problems with potential contaminants.

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                  When you say it doesn't fit........what is specifically the problem?

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The first one he sent me was built off of the shop's specs for a '63 - '64 even though I clearly ordered the '65 model.  The major differences were the mounting 'L' brackets are at a slight diagonal to the edge of the core and the hight placement of the mounting brackets were too high which made the core sit too low hitting the bottom of the inside of the bumper before the mounting brackets could line up to the radiator crossbar.

 

The second one he sent me was closer but the core was about 1/4" shorter in width than the original one and the spacing between the 'L' bracket holes was 3/4" too short.

 

The problem, which I just discovered, is that the workshop is working off diagrams and not using the actual original pieces as models to reproduce.

Edited by DV8 (see edit history)

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I have yet to find an actual vendor, I keep finding 'new' condensers on Ebay but they are around $240.  I can get the Vintage Air replacement (not direct fit) for half that.  No other website carries them and many of them just send me to 'spam sites' that want me to give them info and they will contact me or suddenly dont have listings for a 65 Riv

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I had two rebuilt for my project 65 and still have one laying around if you're interested. 

 

in any event, find a used one and have it rebuilt...don't buy new

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Carl, who rebuilt yours?  depending on cost I might do that rather than convert to the VA one

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The ones on Ebay are two or three distributors that all have them built at the same shop. In California. I finally got in touch with the shop directly and I am working closely with them to build me a new one that will work. They were eventially able to pull an original condenser from a '65 to use as a model.

Carl, what is your reasoning for not buying a new one?

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In regards to "rebuilding" one just do this:

1. Flush it with a flush kit

2. Get a radiator fin comb and straighten out all the fins

3. Clean it off with a hose

4. Get a can of Eastwood Radiator Black and give it a fresh coat of paint.

This was my original plan until I realized that one if the fittings was slighty damaged and wouldn't completely seal.

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Carl, who rebuilt yours?  depending on cost I might do that rather than convert to the VA one

I had a local radiator shop rebuild both of mine.Flushed them, repaired a crack on the neck of my original and then pressure tested them.

 

find a good used one...take it to a reputable rad shop and have them work it over.  

Since you asked originally i'm still trying to find my spare...maybe the wife sh*tcanned it...i throw her cooking magazines out when shes not looking and shes always looking for a way to get me back

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by the way, i initially bought a new one and compared it to my old one...it weighed about 1/3 of what the original one did.  Considering was NO sediment in my original core that weight difference is a real statement of quality.

 

Rebuild your parts...dont buy cheaper replacements if you can help it.  Especially since some of the parts on your valuable RIV have date codes and GM part numbers on them.

Edited by carlbraun (see edit history)

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I have been told by an A/C expert, whom I've known quite some time and respect his knowledge, that the newer condensers being produced today are much more efficient than the older R12 type. They have a different name/style which I can't remember right now, but are a huge benefit if converting to 134.

 

Steve

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Steve, That makes sense to me. The repros (although they have yet to build one that actually fits) are lighter because they are aluminum which will cool more efficiently and have more fins per inch which will also make it more effecient. The original condenser is obviously much tougher but a clean more efficient new piece is the way I chose to go.

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Hi Steve. They are "parallel flow" and make 134a conversions more efficient. A lot of people complain that 134a does not cool as well as R12, so the system needs all the help it can get. I converted a Mercedes I have, which was a marginal system at best, but with modern Sanden compressor and a new condenser it works reasonably well. Mind you, I haven't tried it in the Arizona desert !!

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Once, I bough  a used condenser from a local salvage yard.  No oily areas.  Took it to a known-good-quality radiator shop for testing, which it s passed.  Got it installed and it evacuated/pressured-up just right.  After about two hours of run time on the car, it leaked.  Looked like the soldered joints had failed in a few areas . . . possibly from no oil on them (internally) for too long, I suspect.  That was the end of that.

 

I found a thread on the old www.ackits.com website on converting to R-134a.  PLUS getting 40 degree vent temps just by adjusting (yes, "adjusting") the existing POA valve with only a gas and system oil change (and a little less gas charge than R-12).  PM me for that file.  With existing OEM equipment. 

 

Parallel flow does seem to work better than serpentine flow in the condenser design, with R-134a . . . so the forums claim.

 

Air flow through the condenser (and related efficiency of the condenser) can be critical to good cooling with R-134a, especially at slow speeds in traffic.

 

NTX5467

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