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1979 Chevy Pickup

PatJ on Sun January 20, 2008 2:03 AM User is offline

Year: 1979
Make: Chevy
Model: K20
Engine Size: 350
Refrigerant Type: na
Ambient Temp: na
Pressure Low: na
Pressure High: na
Country of Origin: United States


I have a 79 Chevy pickup with the 350/4 speed that did not come with factory air conditioning. I would like to add air conditioning.

I also have a 75 and 87 that have working AC and a full set of factory GM manuals. I have always (not seriously) thought I would just piece together a factory system from the junkyard/local parts store using my other trucks and books as a guide. The more I look in to this, the more it looks like a pretty big job.

I saw this kit on the site for right around $900 Link

Is this kit a pretty good deal? Does it use new parts or rebuilt? What exactely does this kit come with? Does anyone know of a place I can download the manual for this kit? I am most curious how it interfaces with the factory dash and controls, and how the compressor mounts to the engine.

Does trying to piece together a system sound like a pretty bad idea? From what I am reading it seems like if I piece together the R12 system and run it with R134 it won't work all that well without modifications anyway, and I assume that the kit is made to work with R134 right off the bat? Maybe I am crazy.

I notice the description of the kit mentions that I will need to crimp my own hoses. Is this something I can do at Napa or something, or do I need a real AC shop?

Sorry for all the questions in my first post. I am going to put AC in this truck one way or the other.

Thanks in advance.


PatJ on Sun January 20, 2008 2:07 AM User is offline

Sorry, forgot to add. This truck has a winch and that might affect the size/shape of condenser that I can use. Does anyone know the size/type of the condenser used in this kit?

Again, sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance for any help.


Dougflas on Sun January 20, 2008 9:05 AM User is offline

If it were me doing this job, I'd buy the kit from ACKITS. When Tim comes along, he may be able to senda PDF of the installation manual. If you went with buying and piecing together parts from a junkyard(recycler as they are called now) , you'll still have to be concerned with R12 to R134a conversion factor. You'll still need to be concerned with 30 year old duct hoses which will most likely need to be renewed, AC hoses, etc. Buy a kit and get everything matched and new.

PatJ on Fri January 25, 2008 2:24 AM User is offline

Thanks for your reply.

Actually, if I went with the "piece it together" idea, I would likely use this site or the auto parts store for more of the "wear" items like compressor, condenser, hoses, etc. and go with the junkyard for stuff like mounting brackets, plenums, wiring/controls, etc.

One of the benefits I see of the "piece together" route is that it will be as the factory was in case it needs future parts/service. The kit may share that advantage, I am not sure. It does appear that the kit will be close in price and possibly even cheaper than trying to do it with factory stuff.

Does the kit run the AC when the defrost is on? Does it interface with, replace, or add to the stock (heat only) controls? I would love to see an installation guide or more information on the kit if it is available. Can anyone comment on the performance of the kit as compared to the stock GM installation would have been?

Thanks again for the help.


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