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Hello gents,

 

   I'm writing from Columbus instead of Tampa, as I'm up north for a couple of months visiting friends and family and working for clients up here.  Columbus is a great town, and getting bigger and busier like every place else it seems.

 

   My question tonight is about Vintage Air Systems for use in the Riviera, specifically my '63.  I have seen several of these units lately in a variety of cars from a '67 C10 Pickup, to today's sighting in a '67 Healey 3000.   My questions are:   Do they work well?  Are they easy enough to install that a layman can do it? (By layman I mean a guy who has a high degree of mechanical skill and troubleshooting talent, but not a lick of AC experience).   Can the original Riv ductwork and controls be adapted?   Tampa is great from Nov. 1st to June 1st, but it's hotter than shit in June-Oct, so the AC is a must.   I would be glad to hear your stories of the Vintage Air products, and particularly which set-up is right for the Riviera.

 

   Finally, I bought yet another car today, a 1967 Chrysler Newport 2-door hardtop.  I stole the car, and it is really nice.  Some sorting will need to be done of course, but that should be fun, and, there's a Mopar section to this website so hopefully those guys will be as helpful as you chaps here in the Riv section.  Amazingly, the '67 Newport  coupe is actually longer than the '63 Riviera....The Riv is 17 feet 3 inches (correct me if that's wrong), and the Newport comes in at an even 18 feet!  It's a 2-door!  Insane.  Oh, and some research on the interweb told me that the slab-sided Chryslers were designed by a guy who left Ford after designing the '61 Continental. 

 

Cheers from Buckeye-land

 

Rich

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I installed a Vintage Air system in my 63 Riv with factory air back in 2008, it was a fairly easy install and worked very well. Others on this forum have done the same. Do a search on this forum and read the threads. If you are interested I can send you a set of photos from my install, just PM me with your e-mail.

DSCF7158.JPG

DSCF7288.JPG

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Posted (edited)

I saved this in hopes to someday do the same to my car. It hasn’t happened haha

 

Great info BTW TexRiv…thank u

 

 

Edited by RockinRiviDad (see edit history)

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On 6/15/2019 at 9:59 PM, TampaRiv said:

Hello gents,

 

   I'm writing from Columbus instead of Tampa, as I'm up north for a couple of months visiting friends and family and working for clients up here.  Columbus is a great town, and getting bigger and busier like every place else it seems.

 

   My question tonight is about Vintage Air Systems for use in the Riviera, specifically my '63.  I have seen several of these units lately in a variety of cars from a '67 C10 Pickup, to today's sighting in a '67 Healey 3000.   My questions are:   Do they work well?  Are they easy enough to install that a layman can do it? (By layman I mean a guy who has a high degree of mechanical skill and troubleshooting talent, but not a lick of AC experience).   Can the original Riv ductwork and controls be adapted?   Tampa is great from Nov. 1st to June 1st, but it's hotter than shit in June-Oct, so the AC is a must.   I would be glad to hear your stories of the Vintage Air products, and particularly which set-up is right for the Riviera.

 

   Finally, I bought yet another car today, a 1967 Chrysler Newport 2-door hardtop.  I stole the car, and it is really nice.  Some sorting will need to be done of course, but that should be fun, and, there's a Mopar section to this website so hopefully those guys will be as helpful as you chaps here in the Riv section.  Amazingly, the '67 Newport  coupe is actually longer than the '63 Riviera....The Riv is 17 feet 3 inches (correct me if that's wrong), and the Newport comes in at an even 18 feet!  It's a 2-door!  Insane.  Oh, and some research on the interweb told me that the slab-sided Chryslers were designed by a guy who left Ford after designing the '61 Continental. 

 

Cheers from Buckeye-land

 

Rich

Rich, I talked to a fellow in Ball LA that has real restoration shop. He said he put in a completely new AC system in a 68 GTO and it cost the customer $7000.00.  I’m replacing my 63 AC system with all new stock components. Replacing STV with STV bypass update. I have not a bit of AC experience ( I do now) nor strong mechanical skills, but I did 90% of the job anyway.  Your investment in tools like gauges, vacuum pump, dry nitrogen and regulator, rebuilt hoses, and all new components can get around $3000 plus.  If I had to do it over again knowing what I know now I’d replace my own. If you know how to test components for functionality it’ll save you money. But little stuff like putting on O rings the right way to putting in cans of Freon requires knowledge, not hard knowledge, but you just need to know. For instance I replaced 3 rebuilt STV valves. Once the piston sticks they are really no more good.

Replacing the evaporator box under the dash 3 times was rough as a Cobb. I mean it was real hard because the new hoses  coming out of the evaporator box were stiff as a board. You got to put the STV bypass sensor in the exact place or you’ll not get the results you want. My experience tells me you have to know how to lay out the job. Don’t use compressed air to test for leaks because the compressed air has moisture and you don’t want moisture in the system. I could go on until I put you to sleep. The job requires careful planning. Real careful.  

 

Turbinator

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If you are inexperienced at car air conditioning work and decide to take on a job the first thing you should do is make a list of all the things you don't know about it.

 

I like the looks of that Vintage Air installation. When the global warming hits my area it would rate high on my list of options.

 

Bernie

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On 6/15/2019 at 9:59 PM, TampaRiv said:

Hello gents,

 

   I'm writing from Columbus instead of Tampa, as I'm up north for a couple of months visiting friends and family and working for clients up here.  Columbus is a great town, and getting bigger and busier like every place else it seems.

 

   My question tonight is about Vintage Air Systems for use in the Riviera, specifically my '63.  I have seen several of these units lately in a variety of cars from a '67 C10 Pickup, to today's sighting in a '67 Healey 3000.   My questions are:   Do they work well?  Are they easy enough to install that a layman can do it? (By layman I mean a guy who has a high degree of mechanical skill and troubleshooting talent, but not a lick of AC experience).   Can the original Riv ductwork and controls be adapted?   Tampa is great from Nov. 1st to June 1st, but it's hotter than shit in June-Oct, so the AC is a must.   I would be glad to hear your stories of the Vintage Air products, and particularly which set-up is right for the Riviera.

 

   Finally, I bought yet another car today, a 1967 Chrysler Newport 2-door hardtop.  I stole the car, and it is really nice.  Some sorting will need to be done of course, but that should be fun, and, there's a Mopar section to this website so hopefully those guys will be as helpful as you chaps here in the Riv section.  Amazingly, the '67 Newport  coupe is actually longer than the '63 Riviera....The Riv is 17 feet 3 inches (correct me if that's wrong), and the Newport comes in at an even 18 feet!  It's a 2-door!  Insane.  Oh, and some research on the interweb told me that the slab-sided Chryslers were designed by a guy who left Ford after designing the '61 Continental. 

 

Cheers from Buckeye-land

 

Rich


Rich,

 

I live just outside of Columbus and have a vintage AC setup on my 64 which was done by the previous owner.  My car is a non-AC car originally so they mounted vents under the dash but was done very cleanly.  Additionally they used slider controls similar to the factory so it gave it a clean look.  If you are going to be up in the area for awhile I would be more than willing to show you my setup.  Please feel free to message me for details if you would like to see it in person.

 

Robert

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10 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Rich, I talked to a fellow in Ball LA that has real restoration shop. He said he put in a completely new AC system in a 68 GTO and it cost the customer $7000.00.  I’m replacing my 63 AC system with all new stock components. Replacing STV with STV bypass update. I have not a bit of AC experience ( I do now) nor strong mechanical skills, but I did 90% of the job anyway.  Your investment in tools like gauges, vacuum pump, dry nitrogen and regulator, rebuilt hoses, and all new components can get around $3000 plus.  If I had to do it over again knowing what I know now I’d replace my own. If you know how to test components for functionality it’ll save you money. But little stuff like putting on O rings the right way to putting in cans of Freon requires knowledge, not hard knowledge, but you just need to know. For instance I replaced 3 rebuilt STV valves. Once the piston sticks they are really no more good.

Replacing the evaporator box under the dash 3 times was rough as a Cobb. I mean it was real hard because the new hoses  coming out of the evaporator box were stiff as a board. You got to put the STV bypass sensor in the exact place or you’ll not get the results you want. My experience tells me you have to know how to lay out the job. Don’t use compressed air to test for leaks because the compressed air has moisture and you don’t want moisture in the system. I could go on until I put you to sleep. The job requires careful planning. Real careful.   

 

Turbinator

Hi Bob,

  I keep seeing your reference not to use compressed air to troubleshoot for leaks and I feel somewhat responsible for suggesting same to you early on in your "journey"...I suggested same for several reasons, one of which is you volunteered not having much knowledge or equipment at your disposal. Even the most minimally equipped garage has compressed air so no need for a weekend warrior to go out and purchase nitrogen and the equipment to use it. As a matter of fact, over the course of my 40 year career including United Parcel Service`s automotive function, I worked in dozens of shops and not one of those shops had or flushed AC systems with nitogen. Keep in mind our drivers were guaranteed AC in their trucks by contract so we did ALOT of AC work.

  Is it "bad" to use nitrogen to pressure test an AC system? No, the dryer the medium the better, but, in practice, as in practical, the use of nitrogen is overkill. Why? Because the nature of an AC system with a leak is that it is already laiden with moist, ambient air....think Coca Cola tumbling out of its bottle...as the coke exits it is replaced by ambient air. If your shop has a well maintained minimal air system, with tank drains and an air dryer, the compressed air is probably dryer than the air already in the system that you are servicing. To introduce minimized amounts of moisture on a temporary basis to an AC system that is by nature already full of moist air is not a game changer as long as the system is placed under a vacuum for an extended period of time to remove the moisture and when the time is right, a fresh dryer is installed.

  Just my 2 cents...good luck with your journey,

Tom Mooney

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10 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

If you are inexperienced at car air conditioning work and decide to take on a job the first thing you should do is make a list of all the things you don't know about it.

 

I like the looks of that Vintage Air installation. When the global warming hits my area it would rate high on my list of options.

 

Bernie

Lol...how does one make a list of things one does not know about when one does not know about those things? I`m confused....

Tom 

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10 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Hi Bob,

  I keep seeing your reference not to use compressed air to troubleshoot for leaks and I feel somewhat responsible for suggesting same to you early on in your "journey"...I suggested same for several reasons, one of which is you volunteered not having much knowledge or equipment at your disposal. Even the most minimally equipped garage has compressed air so no need for a weekend warrior to go out and purchase nitrogen and the equipment to use it. As a matter of fact, over the course of my 40 year career including United Parcel Service`s automotive function, I worked in dozens of shops and not one of those shops had or flushed AC systems with nitogen. Keep in mind our drivers were guaranteed AC in their trucks by contract so we did ALOT of AC work.

  Is it "bad" to use nitrogen to pressure test an AC system? No, the dryer the medium the better, but, in practice, as in practical, the use of nitrogen is overkill. Why? Because the nature of an AC system with a leak is that it is already laiden with moist, ambient air....think Coca Cola tumbling out of its bottle...as the coke exits it is replaced by ambient air. If your shop has a well maintained minimal air system, with tank drains and an air dryer, the compressed air is probably dryer than the air already in the system that you are servicing. To introduce minimized amounts of moisture on a temporary basis to an AC system that is by nature already full of moist air is not a game changer as long as the system is placed under a vacuum for an extended period of time to remove the moisture and when the time is right, a fresh dryer is installed.

  Just my 2 cents...good luck with your journey,

Tom Mooney

Tom, thank you for your consideration and efforts to help. The time you took to clarify use of compressed air to check for leaks makes plenty common sense. I wanted to make sure when I checked for leaks I didn’t contaminate the system the least little bit. I’ve heard moisture in the system is not good by a number of people. The art and the science of of mobile AC is something I’m slowly learning.

i just read one automotive AC article regarding using compressed air and dry nitrogen to test for leaks. The article said do not use compressed air or dry nitrogen, but use refridgerant to test for leaks. When I introduced the dry nitrogen in to my AC for leak testing the system had just been vacuumed fo 90 minutes. After vacuuming for 90 minutes I don’t know what was left in the system. Overkill happens when a person is trying hard to fix things and not mess things up. My friend Tom Telesco is coming to the rescue of my AC.

Tom is going to stay with me for a few days before we go to Gettysburg. You can’t beat the help you get from the ROA forum.

Thanks again for your consideration and professional assistance. 

Turbinator

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On the subject of things you know & don't know I refer you to Donald Rumsfeld.

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I know Don's quote, understand it completely, and have quoted him a number of times.

 

Highly recommend his book, Rumsfeld's Rules, and after reading it I sent a copy to my Daughter.

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8 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Tom, thank you for your consideration and efforts to help. The time you took to clarify use of compressed air to check for leaks makes plenty common sense. I wanted to make sure when I checked for leaks I didn’t contaminate the system the least little bit. I’ve heard moisture in the system is not good by a number of people. The art and the science of of mobile AC is something I’m slowly learning.

i just read one automotive AC article regarding using compressed air and dry nitrogen to test for leaks. The article said do not use compressed air or dry nitrogen, but use refridgerant to test for leaks. When I introduced the dry nitrogen in to my AC for leak testing the system had just been vacuumed fo 90 minutes. After vacuuming for 90 minutes I don’t know what was left in the system. Overkill happens when a person is trying hard to fix things and not mess things up. My friend Tom Telesco is coming to the rescue of my AC.

Tom is going to stay with me for a few days before we go to Gettysburg. You can’t beat the help you get from the ROA forum.

Thanks again for your consideration and professional assistance. 

Turbinator

Hi Bob,

  Yes, moisture in the system is not good but on a potentially momentary basis will do no harm as long as it is removed before charging.

  There are a couple of problems with using regrigerant to leak test.

  For a weekend warrior without recycling equipment intentionally wasting regrigerant can be an expensive alternative. Compressed air is free.

  Also, intentially releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere is a no-no...or at least that is stressed in the licensing testing. I`m quite sure it is illegal.

  In addition, using refrigerant will only place about 70 or 80 lbs on the system depending on ambient temp. Most shop air systems are capable of 125 lbs or more. The closer one can get to operating pressures (as high as 300lbs on the high side) the better but for a leak like yours, which wont hold a vacuum, 125-150 lbs of compressed shop air will usually reveal the source.

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Bottom line Bob.  Will you have AC when you pull into Gettysburg?

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WE ARE HOPING SO!!!!

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2 hours ago, Chasander said:

Bottom line Bob.  Will you have AC when you pull into Gettysburg?

 

2 hours ago, Chasander said:

Bottom line Bob.  Will you have AC when you pull into Gettysburg?

Chas, thank you for your concern. The AC in the Riviera is for my lovely bride, not me. You see when you are “ cool “ the cool factor stays with you 24/7 365. Since my wife is not coming to Gettysburg I won’t need the AC. If you are there I’d be happy to demonstrate the system and show you frost on the inside of the glass.

Safe travels. 

Turbinator

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I'm paying close attention to your AC journey as I will be doing this shortly(fixing AC)

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3 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Hi Bob,

  Yes, moisture in the system is not good but on a potentially momentary basis will do no harm as long as it is removed before charging.

  There are a couple of problems with using regrigerant to leak test.

  For a weekend warrior without recycling equipment intentionally wasting regrigerant can be an expensive alternative. Compressed air is free.

  Also, intentially releasing refrigerant into the atmosphere is a no-no...or at least that is stressed in the licensing testing. I`m quite sure it is illegal.

  In addition, using refrigerant will only place about 70 or 80 lbs on the system depending on ambient temp. Most shop air systems are capable of 125 lbs or more. The closer one can get to operating pressures (as high as 300lbs on the high side) the better but for a leak like yours, which wont hold a vacuum, 125-150 lbs of compressed shop air will usually reveal the source.

Tom, My Quincy 5 hp 60 gallon tank sprays out water every morning before I start. I have a filter that collects water and I drain that collection bowl often. Your analysis is tight and demonstrates tons of merit. The old saying “ There is more than I way to skin a cat.”

 

1 minute ago, Chasander said:

I'm paying close attention to your AC journey as I will be doing this shortly(fixing AC)

Chas, get out your pray heads, prayer cloth because if you have to rebuild the whole thing it is not advised for the inexperienced. I’ve crushed O rings, put too much oil in the compressor, trying to get the evaporator box back in place with rebuilt barrier hoses is nearly impossible/ for me. I could go on, but you are an old pro at this stuff.

i have had my share of bad luck on this thing,

Bob 😆

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13 hours ago, RIVNIK said:

On the subject of things you know & don't know I refer you to Donald Rumsfeld.

I happened to attend a luncheon at the National Press Club to hear Secretary Defense Donald Rumsfeld give a talk some time ago. I really can’t remember what Secretary Rumsfeld talk was about. I was there looking for business opportunities.

Turbinator

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15 minutes ago, TampaRiv said:

I got no time for the likes of Rumsfeld.

When I was working the Department of Defense I was indifferent to politics, really. What I was interested in was generating real sales for our goods and services. John Fales a blinded USMC  Viet Nam veteran was connected with the Veterans Administration. John said, “ It’s not important who you know. What is important is who knows you.” 

Turbinator

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Spent a few moments with your Bride this evening in Ocean City.  Lovely lady.  

 

She told me Tom was coming down to see if he can help with your AC.  Hope it goes well.  

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6 hours ago, Turbinator said:

Tom, My Quincy 5 hp 60 gallon tank sprays out water every morning before I start.

Is there a stopcock on the bottom of the tank?  If there is, use it.  Often.  I was once 5’ away from a 20 gallon tank that exploded from internal rust.  Damaged almost everything in the vicinity except me.  I doubt I’d be that lucky again.

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2 hours ago, KongaMan said:

Is there a stopcock on the bottom of the tank?  If there is, use it.  Often.  I was once 5’ away from a 20 gallon tank that exploded from internal rust.  Damaged almost everything in the vicinity except me.  I doubt I’d be that lucky again.

Mr. Konga Man, Thank you for the heads up. I know what a stopcock is and I use it daily. Never thought about rust just wanted to protect my pneumatic tools. Never thought about the thing blowing up. Safety first.

Thanks again. I got the “how” on this one.

Turbinator

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6 hours ago, Zimm63 said:

Spent a few moments with your Bride this evening in Ocean City.  Lovely lady.  

 

She told me Tom was coming down to see if he can help with your AC.  Hope it goes well.  

Zimm, thank you. Barbara keeps me going. The AC on my car has been a real challenge.

Bob

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