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Want to be Colder, '70 Vette

DFC on Sat November 15, 2014 11:57 AM User is offlineView users profile

Hi folks, I'm new here obviously. I don't know if i might be intruding on a site with a bunch of pros since I am not a pro. But a backyard wrench since I was about 12, now retired. I have a '70 Vette that I have owned for over 30 years and have driven it every year. Now its time to rebuild the whole car. It has factory all original AC, but I have never used it. It never blew cold and the system didn't seem to move much air anyway. I can rebuild a complete car but I have never paid much attention to AC. Now I want AC in this car. My question at this time is, should I rebuild the existing OEM AC or go with an aftermarket system? Or should I do a hybrid of the OEM and aftermarket components? Thanks for your help. Dave.

Dougflas on Sun November 16, 2014 12:30 AM User is offline

Keep it OEM. Corvettes were not a good candidate for conversions to R134a.

Cussboy on Sun November 16, 2014 8:45 AM User is offline

Keep it factory. Make sure the fan clutch is new/operating PERFECTLY, or consider auxiliary electric condenser fan.

mk378 on Sun November 16, 2014 11:37 AM User is offline

Possible you have mouse nests or other debris in the ducts and evaporator core reducing the airflow. Wiring must be in top shape to deliver full battery voltage to the blower motor.

DFC on Mon November 17, 2014 9:21 AM User is offlineView users profile

Thanks for chiming in. I pretty much agree with you about keeping it OEM. I really don't want to alter the car that much to fit an aftermarket unit. But I am concerned that many have said (from some other car forums) that the OEM system was never very good.
I will have to replace every major component to the system anyway since it has been openned up and just sitting there for 30 years. Some have said not to replace or rebuild the original compressor. They say to go with a more modern compressor. Do you think that would help? Dave.

20mercury on Fri April 03, 2015 4:57 PM User is offline

You can check the Corvette Forum too for input.


Cleaning out the evap suitcase and blower and ducts will help. I think R12 will give you best results, but 134a will work pretty well too. If you get your system all cleaned up, including pulling out & cleaning the condenser and evap, and charged, it will work fairly well.

I hear lots of good things about Vintage Air too, might cost 800 to 1200 and you have to pull out the dash and replace box and ducts. From talking with others, Vintage will work better than factory.

I think you have an A6 compressor originally which is a good compressor. I put in a VIR eliminator on my 76, it cycled the A6 a lot and I never could get rid of the squealing belt noise for very long. Just swapping out to a newer compressor and not doing anything else does not make much sense to me. But I am no a/c expert. I did get my 76 to cool acceptably with the VIR eliminator and the rest was all factory. If your system has been open to air, and it turns out the A6 is no good, I think the best money might be to go Vintage Air. I do not think Vintage Air will look much different to the casual observer except for the controls on the console and the compressor under the hood.

Hope this might help.

Edited: Fri April 03, 2015 at 5:07 PM by 20mercury

DFC on Sat April 04, 2015 7:34 PM User is offlineView users profile

Thanks Merc,
I'm just finishing reassembling everything from the dash pad down and the firewall to the steering wheel. I took it all apart because I needed to replace my water temp gauge and I wanted to investigate whether all the vacuum actuators for the AC and Heater/Def where working as they should. It appears that all that is proven to be good and the dash and consol are back in place. I vacuumed out the heater/AC box from the inside of the car, took the heater core out and flushed it and reassembled everything. So my heater/AC controls work but I now have no AC components in the car. I removed them all except for the evaporator core which is inside the box. So now if I want AC I will have to install everything new.
Many of the components for the OEM AC that I removed I don't even know what they are. AS an example, what is a VIR which you mentioned in your post. The OEM system looks kind of dated to me. So my question comes to what I said before, Should I rebuild it just as the OEM with all the OEM components, or is there a "hybred configuration that uses some of the OEM components and some newer types of components, or go completely new aftermarket like Vintage Air ? Thanks for your help, I appreciate the advice. Dave.

Dougflas on Sat April 04, 2015 8:50 PM User is offline

Your vehicle does not have a VIR (valves in receiver). You have a POA and TXV (pilot absolute and expansion valve). That was the best system for years. The main problem vettes had was airflow across the condenser and small condensers.

20mercury on Sun April 05, 2015 12:57 AM User is offline

Agree, VIR (valves in the receiver) and maybe EE VIR (not sure what the EE stands for, I forgot) was in 73 thru 76 Corvette, maybe some early 77's too.

The VIR eliminator kit in my 76 just eliminated the VIR and had an orifice & accumulator and cycled the A6 compressor when ever the pressure switch called for cooling. For your 70, I would not put in any of the VIR eliminator hardware, I just mentioned my case only as info.

You can go original as outlined above, your AIM will identify your hardware and details.

IMHO, if you have to buy a new compressor and more, I would consider spending a little more and put in the Vintage Air. I have a 68 and 72 with no a/c, and I will put in Vintage Air one day, no way would I go OEM. For a hybrid set up, some also put in a spacer (to get it to fit) and a C4 blower to move more air and say that is a good move. But if you have to buy all of the major pieces anyway because your system was open for a long time, I would guess you will will be close to the cost of Vintage Air.

Hope this helps, my 2 cents anyway.

Edited: Sun April 05, 2015 at 1:11 AM by 20mercury

DFC on Sun April 05, 2015 11:37 AM User is offlineView users profile

Thanks for the inputs. I think the Vintage Air system sounds like a good way to go. I have read some install articles on it for a C-3 Vette and I think is sounds like a reasonable installation. Not much different than what I just went thru to reinstall all my ducting and vacuum actuators. One of the reasons I didn't do it years ago was that I always have this phoebia that whatever aftermarket parts or systems you put in, if something goes bad down the road, would you be able to get what you need to fix it. But it seems that Vintage Air has been around quite a while now so maybe after sales support and repair components will be available if needed. Or lets just say that Vintage Air is not available down the road, here's the question... can a Vintage Air system be repaired with other aftermarket components? Dave.

20mercury on Sun April 05, 2015 12:24 PM User is offline

I think they use the Sanden compressor and you might be able to use your evap and condenser if they test good. I would call their Tech folks and discuss. There is something about the serpentine vrs parallel condenser (heat exchanger design) that others here know more than me and I think the parallel is more efficient and the old design is serpentine and less efficient so I would ask about that too.

Best of luck and keep us posted on how it turns out.

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