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Frankenstien A/C

tiek101 on Sun January 06, 2008 9:25 AM User is offline

Year: 1980
Make: Buick
Model: Regal
Engine Size: 350
Refrigerant Type: r134

First I would like to apologize for my ignorance, I have been going through the seemingly endless amount of information on the net and here, but I’m still a bit confused. Here’s what I’m trying to do. I am building a “custom” car and want the a/c evaporator in the trunk. I have started acquiring pieces for my strange system and the following is what I have so far:

-1998 Chevy Tahoe rear evap unit
-the A6 compressor that was originally in the car
-an on-off a/c switch from a Saab
-a fan speed switch from another car

I do not have the condenser or dryer yet. I know I still need the barrier hose and fittings.
My plan is to have simple controls, a/c on-off and fan speed. The evap does not have heat and I will be sourcing intake air from the cab through the rear package tray, so it will be re-circulated air all of the time.

My question(s) is what else do I need to complete this system?
Do I wire the on-off switch to the clutch on the compressor?
The evap has the temp sensor in it, can, should, how do I make use of that?
…am I nuts?

Thank you in advance for any help. -Keith

chris142 on Sun January 06, 2008 4:09 PM User is offline

You still need high and low pressure switches. When you have the hoses made up they should be able to add them inline if thats what you want.

tiek101 on Sun January 06, 2008 4:39 PM User is offline

Thanks for your response. Do I need those switches? My inspiration for this project came from Bob Gardner? here and I don't see where he mentioned using any. He mentions adding service ports however. Any idea how the evap temp switch works? It is wired into the wiring of the evap. Will it interupt the blower or does it need to turn off the compressor? ...the more I get into this, the more I get confused....

NickD on Sun January 06, 2008 11:47 PM User is offline

You said what you are intending to do, but never gave a why. Why? Your vehicle already has factory installed AC, why not just get that working and have cool air blowing in your face instead of at the back of your rear passenger's heads. Besides, that package tray in the rear was intended for some large loud speakers, bounces off the rear window and fills your vehicle with sound.

Did read a comment from somebody stating that some fresh intake is only necessary for heavy smokers, not quite exactly the case, a vehicle driving especially with other vehicles on the road is subject to both CO2 and CO build up, the CO2 can cause you to doze off, the CO to doze off permanently, at least 20% of the evaporator intake air should be from the outside. Whether it's fresh air can be debatable if you have someone else's exhaust pipe a few feet ahead of your fresh air intake.

tiek101 on Mon January 07, 2008 6:36 PM User is offline

If only it were that easy. The factory evap was removed prior to my purchasing the car so I decided I could live without air since this is going to be a weekend warrior. With the dash being pretty much destroyed I decided to make a custom dash and forgo the a/c vents altogether. so far as fresh air and the package tray, I don't have much choice there either. The trunk is the only feasible place to mount the evaporator so other than drawing air from the trunk (which I'm sure is an even worse option) I'll have to use the cabin air. I guess to get a mix of fresh air I can roll down a window... The speakers will be in the custom (there's that word again) console.

Back to my problem/questions, any idea what else I need and how do I wire the hi,low pressure and evap temp switches? -Thanks

iceman2555 on Tue January 08, 2008 2:16 PM User is offlineView users profile

Seems as if this installation is probably doomed from the very beginning. First, it is doubtful that the rear evap being chosen will actually cool the vehicle in question, esp when considering the air flow, inlet air temps and possible evap inlet air, ducting to introduce the chilled air into the pass compartment, secondly mixing all these different products and wiring them.....darn just seems there are much better alternative methods. The dash being custom does not seem to be a problem either. There are companies that make under dash kits that will probably work much better...install easier...and all in all present less problems, installation and of course, diagnosis problems when something goes haywire...and there will be that day.
Check with site sponsor for a underdash evap/fan assm....there are some great units available...and possibly units that have the benefit of adding additional vents (driver and passenger) using flex duct material and small air deflectors. If they do not have exactly what is being searched for....keep looking....there are some great 'UD' setups.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

tiek101 on Fri January 11, 2008 8:29 PM User is offline

I planned on having a vent in the front for the air. The run from the evap to the vent will be about 6'. I have the evap installed and with the blower on high, there seems to be enough air flow through the vents. I was concerned about whether or not the evap could cool the car but the evap (core?) is about the same size or bigger than the one in another car I have (Saturn). And with the A6 compressor I figured it should be OK. I'm going to give it a go and if it doesn't work out I guess I'll look into an under-dash unit. ...thanks for the comments, I hope I can figure out what components I need to complete the system. -Keith

tony1963 on Sun January 13, 2008 10:07 PM User is offline

I've had some interesting projects over the years but this one I would not even attempt.

You would need to run lines either under the vehicle like vans or Suburbans with rear AC or run them inside the passenger cabin. I would NEVER run refrigerant lines that were in the cabin under the carpet, etc. If one blows, you'll either have refrigerant freezing someone or hot refrigerant burning someone.

Go to a wrecking yard and get the parts from the factory that worked well. You are inviting trouble, in a big way.

Grove Automotive Group, Inc.

An Alabama Corporation

iceman2555 on Mon January 14, 2008 6:45 PM User is offlineView users profile

Can not understand the need to manufacture a evap system for this simple and probably less costly to simply purchase a under dash unit.....add extra outlets if necessary and have all parts in one location...easy to access...not pumbing air flow problems..... no wonderning if this part will work or is the "I made it" syndrome......another concern would be the possible air contamination from the exhaust during idle situations...need to have a good seal on the truck lid.......

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

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