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Adding Air Conditioning


coasthwy1
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I am going to add original factory AC to my 64. I have everything I need from a 63 with air...non-wood grain  What I will need is the "wood grain" center console panel.  I am seeking the wood grain panel as seen with AC vents. 

 

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Here's what is known so far..... The console side panel on an AC car is wider and is a separate, removable,  panel.

With the side panel removed, one can see the mounted evaporator/ blower housing in place.

There is a circular hole on the evaporator/ blower housing corresponding to the vent/diffuser on the removed side panel.

In my 63, these side vent/diffusers are black plastic. One each side

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I started this thread by saying that I was going to take an original, complete, all Studebaker , A/C unit and change cars with it. Now I am wondering IF - Can I retrofit an aftermarket evaporator/blower at a mere fraction of the cost? The aftermarket shown is 15 3/4" W x 13 1/2"  D x 6 5/8 H.  Read again the original size, and you can see that it will fit. It has two two function switches too. I know that I can reverse engineer the box to match up with a factory console panel. And for $80 bucks, it's cheap enough to try.

NOTE...I have been told by A/C experts that the original factory compressor is NOT conducive to R134. It is not as efficient, and thus not as cold. So, that original part may not be a swap option either. In other words, I am already having to make changes to make it work. 

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I have a work in progress "restmod" 1964 Avanti, that had factory air and I removed it for a aftermarket unit. Less expensive,and it  blows more air to keep the car cool in Southern California summers. I did have to modify the console, but I have been happy with the results. These are old photos and I did make a 3D parts to replicate the original console plate which needed to be shorter in height.

Bob Caser

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Bob...thank you for contributing!  I like how you think outside the box.  I am going to try to match up the aftermarket A/C with the original console outlets. Now that I am not robbing the 63 (I am sure the purists will thank me) I need to find an A/C console plate. Someone can name their price...Hint hint. 

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I spent many, many hours attempting to fit a aftermarket into the original console or in to the dash with no success. I modified a dashboard to direct air thru the radio opening and other brainstorms as well. What I finally wound up with is what is in my photos. The plus side is that there are four air outlets which right and left outlet are enough for the driver and passenger and the two center outlets will cool the back seat.

The rear window produces a lot of heat and cooling the rear seat helps keep the car comfortable.

This Avanti is not for the purist, it was built to be used as a everyday car so it has 4 wheel disc brakes, overdrive transmission, electric power steering, blue tooth radio , etc, etc. It had a engine transplant back  in the 1960s and has been modified over the years .

I have a purist Avanti as well and appreciate it for what it is.  A beautiful piece of design.

Bob Caser

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  • 7 months later...

I am really interested in this topic as I live in Texas and am looking to get an Avanti to actually drive, so top notch AC is essential.  Can someone answer a real basic question about installing aftermarket AC?  I understand that none of the R2's came with factory air, and I would love to know if that is a space or design constraint from the supercharger that makes adding aftermarket AC difficult or impossible as well?  I've asked this elsewhere and gotten no replies.  Related to that, does the R2 engine generate more heat to begin with?

Also, would folks here recommend the Vintage Air components?  Or are there other brands that are better for this purpose?  

Any and all advice on this is welcome!

 

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It has been done before so it is possible.

I'm doing it on my R2. I removed and blanked off the fuel pump  and placed a smaller sanden compressor in that area. There was more to it but that was the area I utilised.

I'm using the standard Avanti a/c set up.

 

pb

Edited by 1963r2
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Contact Mike Myer at Myer's Studebaker.  He's a VintageAir dealer and has installed many VintageAir units in Avantis...including the '70 I owned.  He can provide everything needed and all the advice necessary.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a leaky evaporator in my '85. I have all but the dash and about half the console removed the from the interior as part of carpet replacement/Dynamat install and have also been considering a VintageAir install. The company I work for is a VA dealer, so seeing what others have done here previously is of particular interest.

I'm not concerned with maintaining the original cable controls but want whatever mods I make to be reversible should the desire ever strike a future owner! My current thought is to use this VA control where the radio was located, and then a simple 2 3/8" deep double DIN stereo where the console vents were located. Vents would be re-located to a 3D printed plenum that fits where the dash speaker was located (and is a shallow storage area for collecting junk on my '85).

 

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/12/2020 at 6:08 AM, 1963r2 said:

It has been done before so it is possible.

I'm doing it on my R2. I removed and blanked off the fuel pump  and placed a smaller sanden compressor in that area. There was more to it but that was the area I utilised.

I'm using the standard Avanti a/c set up.

 

pb

 

On 5/12/2020 at 6:08 AM, 1963r2 said:

It has been done before so it is possible.

I'm doing it on my R2. I removed and blanked off the fuel pump  and placed a smaller sanden compressor in that area. There was more to it but that was the area I utilised.

I'm using the standard Avanti a/c set up.

 

pb

pb- can you provide more details, or photos of your compressor installation? I am attempting same. I was thinking i might be able to use a ps pulley to run the compressor, since my car doesn’t have ps. 

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