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65 Riv - Adding A/C?


Anviltester

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New to the forum.  Im about to purchase a long time needed example for my collection.  Car is a non-ac car from factory but down south and out west (where the car may live) no way can live without a/c.  is there anywhere to get either the factory parts to covert it or a more simple aftermarket (vintage air sure fit - which they dont make for this car)?  I have another car im looking at that is an air car but in a bit worse shape than the non air car and not that much price diff. is the air car a better purchase or do a conversion to the nicer non air car?  how hard are interior and exterior parts to get for these cars?   ill be doing the scarebird disc conversion and either building the nailhead up or pulling it and dropping a bbc into it.  Possible ride tech with accuair system.  Thanks for all the help as im sure ill have a number of questions.

 

Edited by Anviltester (see edit history)
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I strongly advice that you look for a car with factory A/C (even if it doesn't work as you then could more easily convert it to Vintage Air).

I am in the process of slowly converting my -63 that didn't have factory A/C to A/C and there are a number of parts that needs to be changed for A/C. Some of this is covered in the following:

http://forums.aaca.org/topic/275740-flowkooler-water-pump-in-none-ac-questions-on-what-more-to-replace-when-doing-timing-chain/

 

Here is a shortlist what is needed for a -63, I guess it would be similar for a -65 although it is likely to be slightly different for the AC controls. Expect >$1000 for the below parts if you can find them (+ all for vintage air):

First for under the hood

  • 401 425 Buick Nailhead Alternator & AC Brackets & AC 3 Groove Pulleys 63 - 66
  • two groove pulley for the alternator
  • Water pump for A/C (stronger on A/C cars, I bought a FlowKooler for A/C)
  • Fan shroud 
  • 20" dia fan with 5 blades
  • Fan clutch
  • "some cars like  63-64 Riviera and all 1965-66 401-425 with AC use a special head bolt that is about 1/4" longer on the front passenger side, the bolt goes through the ALT/AC compressor bracket and into the head. "
  • The 2 Radiator Bracket Lower for AC Fan Shroud.
  • The top radiator bracket mount for AC Fan Shroud
  • You probably also need another radiator( 4 Rows )

Internal:

  • AC LH Driver Side: the AC Dash Vent for this side and the Bezel
  • AC RH Side Glove Box Dash Bezel Opening for AC + the AC Dash Vent for this side.
  • Radio dash bezel AC vent + the AC Centre Vent.
  • Internal heater-defroster control panel for AC with controls.
  • The air vent knobs, the fasteners and the control cables that goes to the fresh air vents in the kick panel. This is different for AC compared to my none-AC where the vent controls are in the heater-defroster control panel.

And then all the necessary modifications to get a Vintage Air installed...

 

Good luck.

Edited by SwedeDownUnderR63 (see edit history)
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i have seen these trunk mounted systems.  do they work?  i know they were designed for much larger cars or suburbans but seems like they would work.  The air car i was looking at is way worse than described - major metal work, paint, and interior work so its not really an option at this point.

 

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13 hours ago, Anviltester said:

The air car i was looking at is way worse than described - major metal work, paint, and interior work so its not really an option at this point.

 

Not to be rude, but you might consider starting off with a better car.  A first gen with AC is not that rare, nor is a car with solid bones.  You'll end up saving both time and money if you start with something solid and with the options you want.  Rust repair, new interiors, adding options, etc. are all expensive, time-consuming, and do little other than dig a bigger financial hole in what is already a sketchy investment in the best circumstances.  IOW, buy something nice that you can drive right now instead of chewing on a project for the next X years.

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5 hours ago, KongaMan said:

 

Not to be rude, but you might consider starting off with a better car.  A first gen with AC is not that rare, nor is a car with solid bones.  You'll end up saving both time and money if you start with something solid and with the options you want.  Rust repair, new interiors, adding options, etc. are all expensive, time-consuming, and do little other than dig a bigger financial hole in what is already a sketchy investment in the best circumstances.  IOW, buy something nice that you can drive right now instead of chewing on a project for the next X years.

Mr. KongaMan, I whole heartedly agree with your suggestion regarding purchase of a collector car. I would like to add that it is imperative the buyer inspect the car his/herself or have someone you know that knows cars to inspect the vehicle. I had 3 Riv’s inspected before I purchased mine a couple of years ago. Fortunately, I purchased a solid car regarding frame, engine, transmission, originality, and very minor rust bubbles on the rear wheel wells. The car started  and I could drive the car home from the nearby Home Depot where the transporter dropped it off. I’m not sure just how little I could have spent on catching up the deferred maintaince. A new battery was the first thing I bought. I could go on for a week telling you what I’ve repaired, had repaired, and parts replaced since I’ve had the car. Without telling you what I paid for the car I can tell you I have almost as much invested in getting the vehicle the way I want it to be as I paid for it. I hope I don’t come off as complaining. If the light in the glove box is and trunk are out, I’m fixing it. If, the clock doesn’t work, I’m fixing it. If, the trunk looks rough, I’m fixing it. If the AC and heater are not working to suit me I’m fixing it.

Trust me, I’m not a perfectionist by any means, but I do enjoy having my car function as it was designed. I have enough sense not to over improve. AND, I’m still glad I DO NOT own a boat.???

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