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Adding A/C to your car


buicksforever
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19 minutes ago, buicksforever said:

I recently acquired a 1962 Electra with no A/C and I'm thinking of buying an aftermarket kit and adding it.  Is this a complicated project and will it add or detract from the car's value?

 

The value question is really dependent on what you want from the car.  Here are some considerations and my opinion on the value question:

* are you planning to keep this car?  No change to vehicle value

* Are you planning to drive this car a lot:  No change to vehicle value

* Is the car original and going to be shown as such?   Change to vehicle value

* Are you looking to "flip" this car?  Value subject to the purchasers answers to the above questions.

 

Lets face it. It's a 1962.  Even if you found a factory AC it would be complicated to fit it retroactively into your car and parts to repair it may not be easy to source.  If you want a functioning system for a lot of future driving then an after market system is likely the way to go. 

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You can follow Stoneberg's thread for a guide of how a "factory-look" kit can be done.  Or you can do an aftermarket-for-when-the-car-was new a/c kit, which would have been an under-dash unit, which would be easier to do and usually gave good results.  Of course, you'd need the bracketry to mount the modern a/c compressor to the engine, and all related plumbing under the hood.

 

At this point in time, even a complete OEM system might be advisable if you are going to chase show car points and such, but a well-engineered/finessed after-market system that works well, with readily-available repair parts, can be a plus, too.  An after-market system might never have the full resale value of an operational/upgraded OEM system, value chart wise, BUT in the heat of summer, performance matters.

 

A couple of different ways to look at the situation,

NTX5467

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Me,  I had the OEM system in the car to begin with.  It was deteriorating to the point where it was not keeping me cool in the Texas heat.

That is why I chose to go to an aftermarket system. I care about driving the car and staying cool.  If and when I sell the car we will see what happens.

 

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3 hours ago, EmTee said:

 

3 hours ago, EmTee said:

 

 And works well.  The one in my 1950 cannot be run on full blast in TEXAS.

 

  Ben

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  • 2 weeks later...

I put a Vintage A/C system in one of my 1967 GS 400 cars and sourced a used original compressor mounting bracket and pulleys since Vintage did not make the bracket or pulleys. I then bought a new aluminum compressor that closely resembled the original A-6 compressor. I painted the compressor black and when all hooked up it looked closely like an original A/C system under the hood.

 

Chuck

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  • 2 months later...

I have  63 Buick zRiviera and had no mechanical or AC experience. The car came with AC but did not work. After many hours and attempts to diagnose the problems I decided to replace the entire system with original new. How hard could it be? There were several work arounds that took time along with several substitution parts. I had to get a couple of real mechanics in to do what I could not do. Bolt the evaporator box under the dash. Next find out why the system would not take a charge. After all was fixed I got cold air. All said and done I spent on parts, labor, R12, tools, as much or more than if I had an aftermarket system installed. I’m keeping the car and I need AC in high humidity months.

Many very sharp gents on the forum helped me through the project. Too many to mention, but those that helped all knew their business.

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