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New air condition with 1956 original generator


Sergio Santos

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Does your car have the power steering pump driven off the back of the generator? In that case you may need a heavy duty generator or, some people add an alternator in addition to the original generator and remove the brushes to disable the generator.

What kind of air conditioner, and do the makers recommend a higher powered generator? Air conditioned cars used to come with higher capacity alternators or generators but the newest air conditioning systems are so efficient it may not be necessary.

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As Rusty stated a lot will have to do with the era of the air conditioning unit you install.  Old car heater blower motors drew around 10 to 15 amps. Many of the old heater motors were wound field motors that didn't have the performance or require as much current as a permanent magnet motor.  Some permanent magnet A/C blower motors of the 70's and 80's drew as much as 30 amps in cars where 200-250 cubic feet/minute airflow was typical.   An A/C compressor clutch draws around 4-5amps.   Today, some A/C blower motors only draw 15 amps on max A/C recirc-high blower.  That would put at least some newer air conditioners in a current draw range that might be containable by the generator but the output of an alternator would more easily handle the load.

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On 7/10/2020 at 6:27 PM, Rusty_OToole said:

Does your car have the power steering pump driven off the back of the generator? In that case you may need a heavy duty generator or, some people add an alternator in addition to the original generator and remove the brushes to disable the generator.

What kind of air conditioner, and do the makers recommend a higher powered generator? Air conditioned cars used to come with higher capacity alternators or generators but the newest air conditioning systems are so efficient it may not be necessary.

chevy and chrysler had generator driven power steering pump, not cadillac or the rest of the automotive world.

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On 7/10/2020 at 2:47 PM, Sergio Santos said:

Hello I want to install a new air condition unit on my  1956 Cadillac with original 12 v generator  do I need to convert to   alternator ?

cadillacs with factory a/c would have a higher output generator than non-a/c cadillacs.

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On 7/10/2020 at 2:47 PM, Sergio Santos said:

Hello I want to install a new air condition unit on my  1956 Cadillac with original 12 v generator  do I need to convert to   alternator ?

to answer your question, no you don't need a alternator, just get a generator that cadillac used on their factory a/c cars. likely a 40-45 amp output model.

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