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1977 Corvette with partial AC system

Snookkrook on Tue October 16, 2012 5:50 PM User is offline

Year: 1977
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Corvette
Engine Size: 350
Refrigerant Type: NA
Ambient Temp: NA
Pressure Low: NA
Pressure High: NA
Country of Origin: United States

My vette had the engine built by the former owner, and to not pull HP (i am guessing) the AC system was removed in the engine area. Whats left.... everything inside the vehicle, the blower and evaporator are still there but that seems to be it. I am looking for information as to what all i need. I believe a compressor, condenser, dryer, hoses, belt and refrigerant. etc. I don't race the car and I would love to put the AC back in it. I was looking at Nastolgic air.

Any help is appreciated.

iceman2555 on Wed October 17, 2012 11:26 AM User is offlineView users profile

If this were my 'vette' I would seek out the correct parts for the factory install...but then that's just my $.02 worth. That being said, the aftermarket kits offer a more up dated compressor, more efficient condenser design and perform much better with 134a. If the car is not for show...but simply for your enjoyment go with the aftermarket parts.
You should be able to maintain your evap and controls. Be sure to flush and clean all parts. Since I seem to err on the side of extreme caution and considering the age of the evap...exposure to the atmosphere and possible corrosion, a suggestion would be to remove the evap and replace. The evap could be removed, flushed and cleaned and pressures tested....but all the trouble getting this darn thing out....and the cost of flush and pressure testing (should use refrigerant not air), the cost of a replacement evap is not much greater. It will probably require a new hose assembly...but the supplier should be able to accommodate this for you. Replace the system utilizing the correct parts. This should be an orifice tube system, however some of the very early models had a VIR system. The replacement accumulators offered today are typically the 'universal' units with a can and tube assembly. Do a bit of research and locate a later model accumulator that will fit your vehicle....once more...just my thoughts....and if you like a little 'bling' an accumulator polishes very nicely...a bit of clean coat and instant bling.
Good luck....and post some photos when you complete the good to see.

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

ice-n-tropics on Wed October 17, 2012 6:29 PM User is offline

The 12.6 cu in OEM A6 compressor and steel mounts add lots of unnecessary weight, hogs the real estate and sucks unnecessary horsepower. Heck, GM usually had to have a stronger RH suspension spring for OEM A/C verses non A/C version just to support the RH side mounted compressor. Vett was one, if not the first, GM car to replace the A6 with a aluminum Jananese Nippondenso compressor.The A6 is a poor choice for the small Vette cabin volume.
The light weight aluminum SD508 began sales in the USA in 1972, but GM had their mind set on the huge A6 for 2 to 3 tons of A/C capacity to cool all the hot outside air that their engineers thought was necessaqry to supply oxygen into the evaporator inlet and reduce recycled air.
With the OEM GM evaporator, the humid outside air (OSA) is sucked into the blower at a minimum of 30% and requires a monster compressor. Frigdare/HRD/GM believed that cigar smoke etc. necessitated gobs of outside air to clear the smoke.
The Japanese rapid cool down kicked ass w/ ZERO OSA and taught GM how to optimize A/C performance w/o wasting horsepower or reducing engine cooling w/ oversized condensers and parasitic HP draw.
After installing several Vintage Air GEN IV combo zero OSA A/C Heat/Defrost Sure Fit kits to replace OEM HVAC, I can confirm that DIYers will be cold w/o decreasing drivability. VA matches the performance capacity of major A/C components so that drivability is optimized by light weight, reasonable horsepower draw, improved relative MPG, space required, engine cooling etc.
Vehicle sale value is enhanced with the Vintage Air brand (if you read the car adds) unless your goal is a high end restoration.

Isentropic Efficiency=Ratio of Theoretical Compression Energy/Actual Energy. How To Air Condition Your Hot Rod

Edited: Thu October 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM by ice-n-tropics

Snookkrook on Thu October 18, 2012 7:13 PM User is offline

I pulled the evaporator and blower motor to get a look at them, the evaporator seems in decent shape. I also wanted to ask, my radiator has two electric fans mounted on the front, can the condenser be mounted on the inside? As far as vintage air, they stop at 76 for the corvette, so I would have to find what looks to fit the best. I have been looking at nostalgic air parts.

mk378 on Thu October 18, 2012 7:34 PM User is offline

With the evaporator out of the car, once you have the other parts, you can couple everything together outside the car and pressure test it for leaks before re-installing. Or like the others said, just replace.

Condenser on the inside won't work since it needs the coolest air possible for good performance, not air that has been preheated by the radiator. If you're not racing go back to the stock engine driven fan and shroud.

Edited: Thu October 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM by mk378

iceman2555 on Fri October 19, 2012 4:01 PM User is offlineView users profile

If the stock fan shroud is replaced and additional cooling is required....almost a necessity for Corvettes.....the 1980 L-82 had an optional electric fan assembly working in conjunction with the fan clutch. It mounted in the space between the rad and fan blade. Did give a bit more air flow.....but not sure for your vehicle.
The condenser for the 77 and 76 should be the same. I think with a bit of online research that you maybe able to reduce your cost of parts drastically for this repair. Going for a one stop shop for your parts can be quite expensive. The condenser is available thru various supplier and these are true aftermarket units that have sufficient efficiency to work with 134a and will reduce your overall cost. Also search for a company that makes a mounting bracket for the compressor type your desire to utilize, suggestion would be a Sanden SD7H15 unit configured for your application. These units are readily available in the aftermarket at a price that would be less than one of the 'one stop for a kit' sites. Hoses are often a stumbling block...but check with TRB and his guys, I bet they would be very helpful for the parts and fabrication of a hose assembly for your vehicle. Check with the ACKits guys (site sponsor) before spending your money elsewhere.

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

TRB on Fri October 19, 2012 4:06 PM User is offlineView users profile

Just to jump in here. Let's remember there are some A6 replacements out now with different internals. So no need to modify the system and take away from the OEM value. I am still a fan of keeping these vehicles R12.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

iceman2555 on Fri October 19, 2012 4:11 PM User is offlineView users profile

Found this bracket on the net....cost was reasonable....add a P/S bracket and ready to go.
Check with ACKits before laying out the cash.....get some advice and estimates for your repair.

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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