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Old 01-13-2018, 07:46 PM   #1
ryans69chevy
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Adding A/C and heat

Getting close to redo my cab. I'm going to fix all the rust and I want a clean looking firewall. I live in ND so I'm only going to drive this pickup in the spring summer and fall. I'm not sure how much I'd actually use the a/c. I actually think I might use the defog more like if it was raining or if it was a little chilly out.

My cab is a non a/c cab, only had heat. I'm wondering if it's worth adding a/c. If I would it would probably be something like what vintage air sells. I've checked out their website and it looks like they offer an additional kit for heat. Is anybody familiar with this? I'm more than willing to cut all the holes in the dash for a/c if need be.

Basically what I want is to get rid of the heater box in the engine bay. So I will do what most of you are doing which is "shaving" all the holes behind the box. Then with a VA kit I see something like 4 hoses running from engine bay into cab which looks pretty clean. Is it even possible to get a heater installed again if I shave all those holes? I don't know much about HVAC. Do a lot of people that live in my climate that have a/c actually use it?

Let me know your suggestions/advise.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

vintage air

All SureFit systems provide full OEM-style operations including air conditioning, floor or vent exit heating and a powerful dehumidified defroster. To retain a true factory look, the A/C air exits through the factory dash louvers, if originally equipped dash.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:29 PM   #3
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Originally Posted by harpo231 View Post
vintage air

All SureFit systems provide full OEM-style operations including air conditioning, floor or vent exit heating and a powerful dehumidified defroster. To retain a true factory look, the A/C air exits through the factory dash louvers, if originally equipped dash.
That to me sounds like I could close up all the holes in the firewall and install a vintage air kit and still have heat and a/c. Is that correct?

Would it be worth doing something like that? Or if I didn't get a/c could I still get an aftermarket unit that blows heat or at least blows air on the windshield of it gets fogged up?
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:39 AM   #4
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

Even with the Vintage Air firewall plate you still have four holes in the plate for heater water in and out and ac in and out. Just no external heater box.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:48 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Re: Adding A/C and heat

As stated you will still have holes in the fire wall just not as big as the ones for factory. Here is a link to show you what it will look like.Classic air group can be used also.
I installed their in my 56 Bel Air and it fit perfect no prying on the dash to install. I did the install by myself with no helper.


http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=614831


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Old 01-14-2018, 01:30 PM   #6
ryans69chevy
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

Yep I found that link before I started this thread. I know I will have 4 holes going into the cab from the engine bay which is totally okay with me. I think it looks a lot cleaner than the stock system.

What I'm really after is it actually worth the cash for that whole system based on my climate and how much I would actually be using it. Now is the time to do all of it since I'm going to be fixing up my cab. I might call the company and see how much it will actually cost for a heater system as well as a/c.
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Old 01-14-2018, 01:43 PM   #7
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

VA sure fit ..... comes with AC heat defroster........1480$
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Old 01-14-2018, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

I just went through this dilemma last week. Wanted to get that box off the firewall in the engine bay and clean up the looks. I went with old air (due to local dealers) and ordered just the inside kit, doesn’t come with anything for the ac system, but is still the same blower/under dash setup, so if I decide I want AC down the road I just need to buy the under hood stuff to complete the system.

You can order vintage air without the AC parts as well and just add them down the road if need be.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:25 PM   #9
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

That sounds like a good plan. I guess I didn't even think of that. So do you have an a/c cab? I'm wondering if I should just cut the holes in the dash for vents and then I'll be set for later if need be. Then I suppose I can have heat blow through those dash vents if I wanted. If I may ask roughly how much is that system without the underhood parts?
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Old 01-16-2018, 03:59 AM   #10
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

I installed the VA kit in my '72 GMC last summer - originally non-a/c.. While the kit was pretty user friendly it doesn't just fall right in there. I have yet to charge the a/c system since it's winter and temps don't require it. The heater/defrost portion works great though. This kit got rid of the original heater and control panel; and cleaned up the interior as well as the firewall. I replaced an old air products R-12 system. R-12 just got too expensive. My personal opinion - don't overlook the a/c. If you are going to the trouble of using an VA system for heat you might as well hook up the a/c as well.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:49 AM   #11
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

I have the same cab you have. That is, non/ac from the factory. I used the Vintage Air Sure-Fit. While I had my cab off doing metal work, I welded mounting tabs/threaded rods to hold the a/c air box inside the cab, smoothed the outside, and located plates for the computers under the dash. It went back in very smoothly, and was a little bit of a pain to hook up but everything fits and functions fine. I would do it again.

I am not sure how much money you would save by not putting in the a/c function. I would simply add it. We NEED it down here in TN. You get the added benefit of a good defroster, and although there are a lot more a/c trucks running around than came from the factory, it just makes your truck more fun to drive. Also worth more if you ever sell. I'll try to include a few pictures.

Good Luck, and have fun!
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Originally Posted by darrellyates View Post
I have the same cab you have. That is, non/ac from the factory. I used the Vintage Air Sure-Fit. While I had my cab off doing metal work, I welded mounting tabs/threaded rods to hold the a/c air box inside the cab, smoothed the outside, and located plates for the computers under the dash. It went back in very smoothly, and was a little bit of a pain to hook up but everything fits and functions fine. I would do it again.

I am not sure how much money you would save by not putting in the a/c function. I would simply add it. We NEED it down here in TN. You get the added benefit of a good defroster, and although there are a lot more a/c trucks running around than came from the factory, it just makes your truck more fun to drive. Also worth more if you ever sell. I'll try to include a few pictures.

Good Luck, and have fun!
Do you have any more pics of your computer mounting location and how you did it??
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:34 AM   #13
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Do you have any more pics of your computer mounting location and how you did it??
Well, I do. What specifically do you want to see? If you'll check out the first picture above, it actually shows both computers mounted. I just cut flat plate the size of both computers, and marked mounting hole locations. I then drilled, tapped, and welded threaded rod so the computers would slide on the mounts. I then welded the plates to the cab. Slide the computers on (E38 engine computer and TCU); tighten the bolts, plug in the harness for the LS3 and finished. In the second picture you can see the fuse block for the LS3 harness. I cut a hole in the Vintage Air glove box so you can reach all the fuses. The actual air handler for the Vintage Air is behind the fuse block for the LS Harness. Extra length of wires were coiled and zip tied to the mounts as well (I was too lazy to cut and re-length the harness). All this was test fit, including the air handler, prior to paint. Yes, it's tight but everything works.

If you need more specifics, I'll look thru my pictures and try to provide some. I had an entire thread on this subject, over in the "LSX Swaps" section. You can find it there. Lots of interesting places/ways to mount the computer (s). Search "Computer Mounting Location" on this website, you should be able to find a bunch of information.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:25 AM   #14
ryans69chevy
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

Wow all very suggestions! Thank you all.

You just have purchased the kit before your cab was painted to fit the computers?

I'm wanting to prep my cab now so I can add the heat/ac later when the funds are available so I won't be able to have the parts in my possession which isn't the ideal thing when prepping I know...

I've searched this site for adding ac to a non ac cab and found the original cabs with ac are more of an oblong type hole vs the vintage air kit which from their site looks to be a 2 1/2" hole. I've also heard of old air kits which I'm not familiar with or haven't checked them out yet. Not sure if they use a different size.

What size should I cut my dash holes to? It sounds like oem and aftermarket vary in size so I got to be sure I choose the right one. Which one is better between oem and aftermarket?

Like I said I don't the funds right now to purchase a kit. I guess you could say I'll be committing myself to an aftermarket kit sometime down the road whether it would be vintage air or old air, but as I understand it I could use either oem or aftermarket size dash louvers, which vary in size...
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:09 AM   #15
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

I installed an old air products R-12 system initially and the vent holes were smaller than those used by the VA system. I think it was about an 1/8 inch smaller. So it required a little grinder and file work to get the right and left vents to fit. Each kit does provide a template for their particular vent size.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:21 AM   #16
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

I apologize. I should have been more specific. I used the factory style louvers everywhere in the dash. I prefer that style. I found an old, un-usable round or side vent at a swap meet or pull-a-part, not sure where. I trimmed the plastic on the rear of the vent (where it connects to the hose) down so I could scribe an outer mark where the trim fit the dash flush, and then cut the hole to fit. I simply prefer the factory style vents. The factory center vent comes with a template, the side ones did not. I later found a template on this website, but don't remember where. And yes, I bought the engine, vintage air, everything while doing metal work on the cab. I have the luxury of it not being my daily driver, so it was easier for me to do it that way.

Hope it helps. You could always get the vents installed before you put the unit in. I don't think they were very expensive. And, the Vintage Air ductwork hooks right up to the factory vents. Or, likely, any vent you choose.

Again, good luck and have fun with your truck!!
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:05 PM   #17
ryans69chevy
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

Do you guys have pics of your dashes after the install? There is a bit of difference between the dash vents I believe. Just curious which style looks more appealing.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:56 PM   #18
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Do you guys have pics of your dashes after the install? There is a bit of difference between the dash vents I believe. Just curious which style looks more appealing.
Well, yes and no. I have one during assembly and before paint. I'll include it. Truck is in paint today actually (supposed to be finished about a month ago but weather has stopped everything down here during the last month). I am sure it will be turned the wrong way, as it was shot with a digital SLR and they never rotate correctly. I would fix that, if I knew how. Just not very computer savvy... Sorry...
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Old 01-21-2018, 04:13 PM   #19
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Originally Posted by ryans69chevy View Post
Getting close to redo my cab. I'm going to fix all the rust and I want a clean looking firewall. I live in ND so I'm only going to drive this pickup in the spring summer and fall. I'm not sure how much I'd actually use the a/c.
Does your daily driver have A/C. Do you use it?

Answer those questions will and you know if you will use it or not. Just because you live in ND, doesn't mean you don't have hot days in the summer.
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:00 PM   #20
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

Thanks for the pic. Nice steering wheel btw. Those vents look pretty good when they are painted the same color as the dash.

Rufas - my daily does have a/c and when I'm transporting my daughter I use it so she doesn't overheat, but when she isn't in there I always just roll my window down. That's what I like to do. I think I've decided to just belly up the money and plan to buy a unit on down the road. So I will cut holes for all that stuff now.
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Old 01-21-2018, 11:45 PM   #21
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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Does your daily driver have A/C. Do you use it?

Answer those questions will and you know if you will use it or not. Just because you live in ND, doesn't mean you don't have hot days in the summer.
My biggest concern with the VA system or the like is heater core size. I know in this part of the country, it can get COLD. What are the heater core dimensions in the Vintage Air system? I bet they are a fair bit smaller than the huge stock cores...

Which is only a problem if you can drive in the winter without getting into salt like I can I guess.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:53 AM   #22
ryans69chevy
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Re: Adding A/C and heat

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My biggest concern with the VA system or the like is heater core size. I know in this part of the country, it can get COLD. What are the heater core dimensions in the Vintage Air system? I bet they are a fair bit smaller than the huge stock cores...

Which is only a problem if you can drive in the winter without getting into salt like I can I guess.
I'm not too worried about the amount of heat it would be able to push as it will be parked during the winter months.
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