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Vintage Air in a 1965


Don McClair
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I am thinking about installing a Vintage Air A/C system in my 65 Riviera.  I know a number of people have installed this system in their Rivieras and neither Vintage Air or Classic Auto Air offer a specific kit to complete this task.  If someone could list the specific parts that they purchased from Vintage Air and any pitfalls to be aware of I would greatly appreciate it.  I am wanting to keep the car as stock looking as possible and use the original style compressor.  I know that Vintage air used to sell their kits without a compressor.

Thanks in advance,

Don

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This may have changed, but these after-market systems used to "control" the temperature by cycling the compressor rather than by varying the temperature of the supplied air.  That is, they were either full cold or no cooling; there was quite a bit of variation in the air from the outlets.  IOW, they could not duplicate the function of the factory STV, which permits a constant flow of air at a selected temperature.

 

It may be an old wive's tale, but I had always heard that one should avoid engaging the factory system at high speed in order to spare the compressor the sudden jolt.  If you wanted to turn on the AC, slow down first.  If there's any truth to that, a vintage A6 compressor may prove problematic.

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5 minutes ago, KongaMan said:

This may have changed, but these after-market systems used to "control" the temperature by cycling the compressor rather than by varying the temperature of the supplied air.  That is, they were either full cold or no cooling; there was quite a bit of variation in the air from the outlets.  IOW, they could not duplicate the function of the factory STV, which permits a constant flow of air at a selected temperature.

 

It may be an old wive's tale, but I had always heard that one should avoid engaging the factory system at high speed in order to spare the compressor the sudden jolt.  If you wanted to turn on the AC, slow down first.  If there's any truth to that, a vintage A6 compressor may prove problematic.

This is indeed a wive's tale........my 1979 Trans Am Firebird came from the factory with a cycling clutch system and an A6 compressor. The same compressor has been on the car since 1979 with no problems whatsoever.

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If you install a Vintage air system, everything is under the dash and none of the air box and components on the firewall in the engine compartment are needed.  I had to make a large blockoff plate for the firewall.  So, your engine compartment wouldn't look stock anyway unless you are leaving that stuff in also.  New compressor bolts in the factory front bracket and the rear bracket using a spacer.  I know if you do a search you can find an install thread on this forum.  It's been a while since I installed the system so I can't remember any part nos. off the top of my head.  When I installed mine, I think the underdash unit is the next size down from the biggest.  

 

IMG_0473.JPG

Edited by rapom
more infomation (see edit history)
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7 minutes ago, rapom said:

If you install a Vintage air system, everything is under the dash and none of the air box and components on the firewall in the engine compartment are needed.  I had to make a large blockoff plate for the firewall.

 

How does that work with the heater and defroster?

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Youll noti e tge bulkhead fitting on the firewall.  Two hoses for heat/defrost, and two for the a/c.  Other than the a/c's compressor, condenser, and dryer, and those hoses, everything else is bbehind the dash.

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I saw the hoses going through the firewall.  However, the stock setup has the blower, outside air door, evaporator door, and some ductwork inside the engine compartment.  If all that stuff is gone, how is the functionality replicated?

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The functionality is not replicated. You lose the ability to pull in outside air with the vintage air system.  Which in theory makes it more efficient.  But you still have all the defrost, heat, floor, and vent systems hooked up to the existing vents.  Console ductwork system is bypassed in my system but might be used with some creative thinking.  

95278CB7-5507-4C62-B26E-A71E3D0E783D.jpeg

Edited by rapom (see edit history)
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If you look athwart thread where Don and I installed it, you can see how to use the existing vents.  I love the Vintage Air system.  It keeps the car COLD even in the South Texas heat. Part numbers are in the thread and still available.  Go with the EZ clip system for making hoses.  Much easier.

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I put vintage air in my 64, used the gen 4 system, biggest they make, was a REALLY tight squeeze in the dash but does fit. They converted my factory ac switch panel to work their system so looks completely stock inside. They were using mine as a test to see if will work and since it does they are talking about making it an option.  I also routed the heater lines down the center like stock to hide them, the system work EXTREMELY good, heat, ac, defrost. Couldn't be happier with the system.

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Look at my thread and Bill Stoneberg's, not too hard an install. If you have a VA dealer near you use them it will make it easier to get parts and advice. I can send you photos of my install if it will help although I did it 12 years ago...

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