Let's discuss adding A/C to my 1st gen V8 truck that never had it to begin with..


Bird76Mojo

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Nothing on the controls just yet, which I hope doesn't bite me in the end.. I picked up the A/C dash control from the junkyard which has the wiring plug with it for the A/C on-switch, and I have part of a spare harness that has the cycling switch plug, and part of another harness that has the compressor plug. I have some nice aftermarket relays with harness/plugs from a previous project that I never used them on. 40amp relays I believe. I need to go pick up a fuse holder or two locally.

I still have to order the new evaporator, hose fittings, hose, new cycling switch, refrigerant gauge set, PAG46 oil, accumulator, orifice tube, Nylog, and charge port R134a retrofit adapter.

I also need to measure for a serpentine belt.

I plan to try the super cheap Harbor Freight compressed air powered venturi type vacuum thingamajig. It's got good reviews. It'll work my compressor pretty hard, so I plan to do it in cycles. I'll put a large fan blowing on the compressor, run it for a set amount of time, monitor the temps on the compressor heads, and give it regular breaks while shutting off the manifold gauge set valves to maintain vacuum.

There just isn't money in the budget right now to buy a nice vacuum pump. It may be a redneck plan to try this thing, but it's cheap, and I won't be adding refrigerant through it: https://www.harborfreight.com/air-vacuum-pump-with-r134a-and-r12-connectors-96677.html
 


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Bird76Mojo

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I was thinking really hard about making one of these. I have about 5 deep freezers that my father and I are recycling this week, so I've got my pick of compressors. I'd have about $5.49 in it once built.

 

Uncle Gump

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You would be further ahead to try the refrigerator compressor then one of those air operated vacuum pumps. I never had any luck with those... ever. Your results may vary...
 

Bird76Mojo

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Turns out the compressors from those deep freezers were all ruined. My father knocked the lines off of them too close to the compressor body. So I'll worry about the vacuum pump when I get that far...

I had to make a new 90 degree bracket for the drivers side of the A/C compressor that was shorter. That allowed me to swing the compressor up a good bit and made a lot more room for the manifold and fittings. I also ground off a small bit off the engine plate (can't see it in this shot but I took one corner off of it) to allow a little more clearance. If the engine moves enough for anything to hit then I've got bigger problems to worry about! Keep in mind that these fittings swivel until fully tightened up, so this isn't their final direction they'll be pointing.

I'll be buying some DEI fire sleeve to install over the hoses behind the compressor. They aren't very close to the headers at all, but it won't hurt to protect them from the radiant heat.. (They look close in this shot, but you know how pictures throw off the scale of things sometimes - the alignment and spacing of things in this picture makes things look closer than they are, but some things are farther away, and some things are closer to the camera, but you can't tell)

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The condenser also needs straightened up a little bit. The bolts were still loose in this photo, so it should straighten right up once tightened down.

thumbnail (20).jpg



That's all for today. I got rained out, and then started focusing on weeding the garden since it was wet and the weeds are 10 times easier to pull, root and all.



GB :)
 

Bird76Mojo

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Straightened up the condenser today, and after 5 trips to the local Napa I finally got the right serpentine belt..

In the middle of it the tensioner stripped out where you put the square tool to move it. I was using a 3/8" extension on it, and it rounded the corners out of the hole. I looked at the tool at Napa and it was just a standard 3/8" extension too. So I came home, pulled out some key stock and a piece of scrap steel and welded myself up a tool that fits the hole very tightly. I'll buy a new tensioner eventually..


This photo makes the compressor seem way too far forward, but it's just the angle the photo was taken at.

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thumbnail (22).jpg

thumbnail (23).jpg
 

Uncle Gump

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Your manifold fittings look like they should work well... it is pretty tight in there.

LOL... that picture sure does make it look like you have a belt alignment issue. But I see your compressor bracket has slots to get the alignment right so I'll trust your perspective.

I can't see all of the compressor bracket/mount... so I have to ask. The compressor plate is bolted to the compressor and that is welded to another plate that runs up to the pivot bolt. Is there another point where the compressor is held stationary? Seems if there isn't... that compressor is going to want to pivot when you kick the system on.
 

Bird76Mojo

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There's another 90 degree bracket that holds it stationary. Much like the one shown here: http://miatav8.blogspot.com/2014/07/ac-conversion-ford-302-passenger-side.html

Here's one on his 302 swapped Miata from that webpage, but mine should be stronger. My 90 degree bracket is thicker.



I've put full belt tension on it and then crawled underneath and hung my body weight on it trying to get it to flex, and it's solid as a rock. I've also confirmed belt alignment by using a straight edge on the front of the crank pulley, and then measuring from it to the first groove in both pulleys.


I ordered all of the rest of my parts last night. Evaporator, all hose end fittings, charge port adapter, 90ft of hose was cheaper than buying a few feet, Nylog, accumulator, orifice tube, cycling switch, PAG46 oil.

I seemed to remember reading something once that said if you measure your serpentine belt length with a string that lays down in the pullley grooves, then add 2" to your length for the correct belt. After 5 trips to the parts store finding the right belt, that seems to hold true..



GB :)
 
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Uncle Gump

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You know me by now... I just had to ask.

That bracket will do.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Here's some crazy Amazon pricing for you.

Most online A/C supply businesses charge by the foot for A/C barrier hose, and it's not cheap. Plus you'll factor in the shipping fees..

Example: https://coldhose.com/hose-by-foot/standard-barrier-hose.html

ColdHose wants $55.00 for 25ft of #6 hose - or $2.25 per foot
ColdHose wants $61.25 for 25ft of #8 hose - or $2.50 per foot
ColdHose wants $67.50 for 25ft of #10 hose - or $2.75 per foot

I would've needed at least 3feet of each, with some being closer to 6 to 7ft. Easy to see the savings here..

I ordered these on Amazon by their Four Seasons part number that I sourced from the 4Seasons online PDF catalog. They were stated to be 30ft rolls of barrier hose by Four Seasons. That's how I found them on Amazon, by Googling the Four Seasons part numbers. I was very skeptical about them actually being 30ft rolls at the following prices:

I paid:
#6 hose - $2.93 for 30ft
#8 hose - $4.56 for 30ft
#10 hose - $7.06 for 30ft
Plus $12.99 in shipping fees.
For a grand total of $27.54


I guess they finally caught their error, because they've since changed their pricing quite a bit.

#6 hose - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E0T42G?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image
#8 hose - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E0ZFLA?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image
#10 hose - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E0V4JC?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image




GB :)
 

Bird76Mojo

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Condenser mounted up and holes drilled (hole saw) for hose fitting access on the passenger side..

thumbnail (25).jpg



Cut, fiberglassed, painted, and heat shield applied to the plenum... It looks rougher in photos than it does in person.

thumbnail (26).jpg



Evaporator installed and plenum assembled. Other than a few small screws. I have to take a walk back to my parts trucks to steal a couple of those little clips that have threads in them..

It's not even remotely close to the header. It sure looks like it in this photo though. It's the angle. In reality it rides much higher than the headers do. My engine is mounted pretty low.

I may still make some more templates to apply some more heat shield material to the side of the plenum in the future.. I might also remove it all one more time to paint the passenger side of the plenum. Since the two parts don't match now. I didn't have enough paint to do it today so I just installed it anyway to make sure it all fit well. Clearance for daaaaaays.

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I still have to cut out the radiator mounts and either move them or make new ones. That's next on the list, other than having hoses made. I've got EVERYTHING in my possession now to finish up the system, except for a vacuum pump.


GB :)
 

Uncle Gump

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That looks really good... it's close now.

Have you looked at renting a vacuum pump? What about having the local shop just pull a vacuum on the system for you? Know anyone that does HVAC stuff?
 

Bird76Mojo

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Thanks Gump.

Nope. This is gonna be 100% my doing. That's how we roll here on The Ballinger Farm.. ;)

I don't mind buying (or making) my own tools because I'll always use them in the future. I just hate to pay $100 +/- for a vacuum pump from China. I've got time to figure it out though. If I happen across a scrap deep freeze, I'll make a pump. If not, I may ask a couple guys if they have a vacuum pump I can borrow. If all of that fails, I'll go with the Harbor Freight compressed air powered venturi pump thing. My compressor should handle it no problem.

I went out today and bought a nice ratcheting pvc pipe/hose cutter so I could get some nice clean 90 degree cuts on my A/C hoses.
 

Bird76Mojo

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I've been too busy on the farm lately to do much to my A/C system. Mowing, weed whacking, spraying weeds, tractor repairs, etc..

A couple days ago I was able to pull the plenum again and get it all painted to match. I think it looks much better now.

Today I got the evaporator and plenum installed for the last time, hopefully. I also installed the accumulator with the new cycling switch. I reinstalled the washer fluid tank as well.

I hope to get the truck moved tomorrow to start cutting out the lower radiator mounts and relocating them.

thumbnail (28).jpg
 

Bird76Mojo

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I moved the truck over to the shed today..

I got both lower radiator mounts cut out again (i welded those suckers in waaay to well last time, it was a nightmare to remove them - lesson learned) and after ratchet strapping the radiator snugly against the foam strips on the condenser and centering it up in the core support, I got one lower mount tack-welded back in place, but then I got rained out. By the time I put up all of my tools, and got the welder put away, the rain stopped and the sun came out strong again. I also moved the truck back in to the driveway again because the storms coming through are supposed to have high winds. I didn't figure it was worth the effort to drag it all back out, and move the truck again, so I'll wait and try again tomorrow. There's a 40% chance of rain tomorrow though...

Anyway, progress just the same..

Hopefully I'll be making a couple trips to the local Dust & Sons to have my hoses crimped early this week.
 
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Uncle Gump

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You're really close now... I can feel the cool breeze all the way up here.

I worked long days the last three running my pizza oven... I was so drained today... I was gonna cut grass and clean up my front bumper. But it started to rain... so I went and took a long nap.
 


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