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Old 12-06-2016, 01:51 AM   #1
bmar
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Vintage Air heater 506101

I am planning on installing a Vintage Air heater 506101 into my 1957 and have been searching for pictures of how this unit has been installed by others. I have not been able to find any. Does anyone have the procedures for install into the 1955-59 trucks or maybe some pictures of how they installed the heater?
The instructions from VA is generic and show the unit installed in the middle of most vehicles. Thanks
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Last edited by bmar; 12-06-2016 at 01:54 AM. Reason: picture
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Old 12-06-2016, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I do not recall anyone using that. I got a used VA sure fit and had it in and out 3-4 times to get the fit right. Looking at the install instructions things I would look for are interference between the fan housing and wiper motor and linkage; check the defroster routing, you will probably need to get a pair of the 55-59 under dash defroster vents, they bolt right up, but are towards the front (firewall). You might think about mounting it more to the passenger side where the stock unit went.
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Old 12-06-2016, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I believe most are using the VA Gen IV for the TF trucks. Roger55's build has some great info/pics.

Cheers, Jim
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

Isn't the price of that heater almost as expensive as the a/c unit? It might be worth the extra dollars to have heat and a/c.
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:23 PM   #5
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

The heater is $229 plus I will need to buy a few more fittings.
I put a vintage Air system into my '77 Corvette and by the time I bought all of the brackets (Holley), compressor, lines, fittings etc. the price was almost 3 grand. I also bought the equipment for install the freon...The truck can be my "beater with a heater"
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Old 12-06-2016, 04:34 PM   #6
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

The truck has a fuel injected 5.3L engine, so it will also require the parts to be bought separate.
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Old 12-06-2016, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I recall seeing a build thread of one being installed in an AD. His installation was real simple. It bolted to the firewall, plumbed the coolant hoses, power, switch and done.
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Old 12-06-2016, 10:16 PM   #8
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I believe that is the same heater I installed in my '53 build, sure looks like it. The truck isn't on the road yet, but the install was very easy, and it works great. I have some pics of the install, but I don't know how to download to this site.
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Old 12-06-2016, 11:54 PM   #9
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I am also interested in how the three knobs were installed. I would like to mount the three controls on the dash and not leave them in the factory mounting.
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:00 AM   #10
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

This is why I went to the Southern Air mini max1 for my 408cid LQ9 6.0. $1029 with high mount bracket for a/c,defrost,and heat. The only extra you had to buy is heater hose. They cannot set the standard length and you can get that at autozone for about $20. VA has went beyond the price standards in my opinion. It is just blowing air hot and cold...
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I have one pre installed in my '49 truck , please see my build thread.
Maybe it helps to Gent ideas...
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #12
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

Looks like a nice compact unit...I guess not many people use it I have looked at it also but could not find much for reviews.
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Old 12-09-2016, 03:19 PM   #13
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I guess I will need to take a lot of pictures when I install this :-). I am surprised there has not been plenty of these units install. But then living in Montana really cuts down on the need for air conditioning, so just the heater will be fine with me.
Most of the installs have been in the middle of the vehicle, but there is the radio and the RainX wiper unit in my truck. So, as OrrieG said, off to the passenger side like the original heater. I can remove the controls and the plates under the knobs come off also, so I can mount them anywhere on the dash. The knobs will be the hard part. Maybe I will try something like the knobs in the picture.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:27 PM   #14
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

My install was as far right as I could go, as high as I could go, under the dash. My glovebox just fit though I may shorten it about an inch just to have sufficient space to get my hand up in there. I ran my hoses in the stock firewall holes. The trouble with the switches is the size of them (the part behind the dash hole), one of them is pretty large, I believe the on/off/speeds, so you have to have room behind the dash to mount them.
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Old 12-09-2016, 06:16 PM   #15
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I have two ash trays that I ended up with, neither of them I will be using, since I don't smoke. I could cut the back out of one of them and maybe install the knobs into the front of the ash tray. I also have two controls that came stock in the trucks, but I don't see how I could mount the knobs. If I could find some kind of potentiometers that matched the VA, and hooked them up to the sliders on the old heater controls......seems like an awful lot of work, but maybe.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:44 PM   #16
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

just purchased one for socal customs sacramento off their website looks like a compact unit for a little over $200 plus shipping. I will let you know how it goes
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Old 12-13-2016, 01:03 AM   #17
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I also just bought a kit today from Speedway Motors. I have been trying to decide how to install the controls and have settled on the old heater control panel. I have been using the same style of knobs on my dash and these are the last three that I have. I will need to line the back with something and I would still like to have the background light.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:10 AM   #18
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I have been waiting patiently for about a week for my heater to show up here in Libby. The heater has made its way to Billings from San Antonio Texas and is scheduled for a Tuesday delivery. There is just one problem.....winter in Montana. Interstate 90 from Billings to Livingston is shut down because of blizzard conditions. I live on the "warm side" (a relative term) of Montana and the winds are rare around here, but the Eastern side has plenty of wind and very cold temperatures. Even the gods conspire against me on my heater delivery.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:15 AM   #19
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

A nice day of ice fishing. Haven't been out this year as the lakes haven't frozen over enough.
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:34 PM   #20
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmar View Post
I have been waiting patiently for about a week for my heater to show up here in Libby. The heater has made its way to Billings from San Antonio Texas and is scheduled for a Tuesday delivery. There is just one problem.....winter in Montana. Interstate 90 from Billings to Livingston is shut down because of blizzard conditions. I live on the "warm side" (a relative term) of Montana and the winds are rare around here, but the Eastern side has plenty of wind and very cold temperatures. Even the gods conspire against me on my heater delivery.
I am in SLC with my daughter, we are heading back to Boise this evening to avoid the next big storm rolling in late tonight and tomorrow. Hopefully your parts are traveling today...
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Old 12-19-2016, 03:44 PM   #21
bmar
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I am from Orem, so I have made the trip up and down Interstate 15 more times then I can count. It is nice to get to travel on the interstate as I don't leave the two lane roads until I get to Missoula. The next 600 miles are nice with the divided four lanes.
There is always plenty of wind and drifting snow on interstate 84, as I am sure you know. Drive safe and have a nice trip.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:51 PM   #22
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

bmar... from Libby? Are you, or were you, a GM tech once upon a time?
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:04 AM   #23
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1project2many View Post
bmar... from Libby? Are you, or were you, a GM tech once upon a time?
No, never have worked for GM. The only person I know around here who has worked for GM is a mechanical engineer.
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:50 AM   #24
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

No problem. I sent some parts for a '56 to a gentleman out that way back when I lived in Hardin. We were both GM techs at the time.

Stay warm!
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:15 PM   #25
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Re: Vintage Air heater 506101

I have an original heater than has just been repainted and recored.
it will look 10 times better.
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