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Old 07-31-2020, 08:35 AM   #1
68bbc/20
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vintage air question

looking to order a complete system and wanted to hear some suggestions or ideas as how your installation went. would the upgrade on the dash controls be worth the extra money or was the regular control kit easy to install on the back of the original slide controls, how everything fit or any modifications you ended up doing, etc. thanks for your help!
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:49 AM   #2
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Re: vintage air question

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Originally Posted by 68bbc/20 View Post
looking to order a complete system and wanted to hear some suggestions or ideas as how your installation went. would the upgrade on the dash controls be worth the extra money or was the regular control kit easy to install on the back of the original slide controls, how everything fit or any modifications you ended up doing, etc. thanks for your help!
I'm just finishing mine up right now. Vintage Air comes with a very detailed set of instructions. So far I have been happy with them. My system is all in, I have everything done with the exception of running hot wire under the dash. I plan on getting the truck running as it has a rebuilt motor and a rebuilt 200-4R in it. want to make sure all that is good to go first. The controls were the first thing I did and were pretty simple. You have to drill a hole in the core support, best if done with battery box removed. I also need to charge the system, all after it's running with exhaust and etc.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:22 AM   #3
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Re: vintage air question

Modifying the original slide control was easy. In my opinion the original control looks way better than the modern one.
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Old 07-31-2020, 11:43 AM   #4
68bbc/20
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Re: vintage air question

thanks, looking at the instructions the control mods looked like a lot of bending and altering that could go wrong if you a not careful and precise. anyone else want to throw their opinion in is welcome and appreciated!
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Old 07-31-2020, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: vintage air question

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Modifying the original slide control was easy. In my opinion the original control looks way better than the modern one.
I agree that the original controls are better looking!

Also, I understand the VA retrofit of them renders the fan switch inoperable. The fan is controlled instead by one of the horizontal sliders....

Just FYI in case that's a deal breaker for you.

-klb
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Old 07-31-2020, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: vintage air question

Installed mine 4 or 5 years ago.
Straight forward instructions.
I modded the original controls no problem, and I don't consider myself super skilled.
System works great, very happy.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:48 AM   #7
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Re: vintage air question

Did you have to crimp your hoses? If so what did you use?
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: vintage air question

I used my brother in laws crimp tool. I think those things are quite expensive. You can make up the hoses yourself and take them to a ac shop to crimp.

I also saw that Vintage Air is selling something called a EZ crimp. I dont know all the details but the tool was 78.00, looks interesting.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:17 AM   #9
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Re: vintage air question

In the middle of the VA install now, pretty straightforward. Of course there is always some frustration, but not bad. The control panel mod is easy, and agree with everybody that staying with the original look is best. And yes, you do lose the fan speed switch function, but get it back with one of the sliders. Really like how it cleans up the engine bay firewall. Not sure what you all mean about needing to crimp hoses, the kit includes all that you need as far as I can tell. I hope I don't have to deal with that. Here are some pics of the progress so far.
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Old 08-01-2020, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: vintage air question

I did my install a few years ago, but I definitely went off of the reservation on how I did it. I completely smoothed the firewall.

I upgraded to what they call the fender well kit which adds to the length of hoses. I ran my hoses through the right kick panel vent and the far right side of the firewall. It was not an easy install, but I like the look.

I also upgraded to the EZ Clip hoses which allow you to cut and make your own hoses. The EZ Clip lines are a smaller diameter than the regular ones. You must buy an EZ Clip crimping tool.

I did the complete install then took it to one of Vintage Air's local dealer/service shop and had them evacuate and charge the system.

I also installed electric cooling fans and Vintage Air's heavy duty wiring harness.

All in all I am very pleased with the system.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:09 PM   #11
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Re: vintage air question

Wow, from the photos looks like they send out premade hoses. Mine didn't come like that.
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:22 PM   #12
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Re: vintage air question

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Did you have to crimp your hoses? If so what did you use?
I took my hoses to an automotive shop, they crimped them while I waited. Charged me $15.00

I'm getting ready to connect the violet wire to my Ignition switch as per instructions. Is it actually suppose to hook to the switch or directly to the fuse panel. HAs anyone actually done this yet?
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:11 PM   #13
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Re: vintage air question

.
You can purchase a vacuum pump, manifold gauge set and a few cans of 134a ( these systems require about 1.8 lbs ) for roughly the same price as a shop will charge you to evacuate and charge the system...about 150 bucks.

Then you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself! Which, BTW, is not difficult...

Recently had to recharge my VA system due to leaky O-ring on the condenser:

Assuming here you're using 12oz cans of 134a rather than a larger container in which case there'd have to be a meter showing how much you've put through the meter. Either that or the pressures would show you when you've reached proper charge...

1)
pull vacuum: attach manifold low/high lines to ports on your truck, attach vacuum pump to yellow charge line, open manifold valves for both high and low side and turn on vacuum pump.

Once the manifold gauges read real close to -30hg or after pump runs for 45 minutes to an hour, close the high/low valves on the manifold and turn the pump off.

2)
allow the system to sit with vacuum for at least a few hours, maybe overnight. Check that the gauges still read the same level of vacuum as above ( -30hg ). If you have vacuum loss, you've got a leak...fix leak and start over...

3)
disconnect vacuum pump, attach freon chuck and freon can, tap freon can, unscrew yellow line from manifold until freon comes out and then tighten it back up ( this purges the air out of the line ).

4)
With the engine NOT running, open the low pressure valve on the manifold -- this releases the freon into the low side of the system. You should see the gauges spike around a bit. Let this sit for a few minutes. Start the engine and turn on the A/C at full cool and fan on high.

5)
At this point and over the next few minutes, the system ~should~ suck in the entire can and your compressor ~should~ engage. You should feel the A/C blowing cooler air than ambient.

If the can doesn't want to empty fully, DO NOT turn it upside down as you DO NOT want to introduce liquid into the yellow charge line. What you can do safely is put the can into a big container of really warm water which will speed the process.

6)
To swap cans, close the manifold valve on the low side ( high side is always closed during charging ), close the can chuck, swap cans, open the can chuck ( pushing freon into the charge line ) then open the low side manifold valve.

Don't overcharge and watch the high side pressure on the manifold so that it doesn't get too high, which might indicate a problem with the install. Same with the low side...

Have a look at an automotive A/C pressure chart as a reference for pressures so you can have some idea of where they should be based on ambient temps.



Hth,

-klb
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07 335 sport turbo 6sp
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:40 PM   #14
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Re: vintage air question

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Originally Posted by old51sedan View Post
I took my hoses to an automotive shop, they crimped them while I waited. Charged me $15.00

I'm getting ready to connect the violet wire to my Ignition switch as per instructions. Is it actually suppose to hook to the switch or directly to the fuse panel. HAs anyone actually done this yet?
I have a American Auto Wire harness and fuse block. There is a fused circuit there for the A/C violet wire.
I think the original fuse block will have an A/C or accessory circuit. If so I would do it that way so it has a fuse.
On ignition switch the accessory line is brown.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:29 AM   #15
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Re: vintage air question

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I have a American Auto Wire harness and fuse block. There is a fused circuit there for the A/C violet wire.
I think the original fuse block will have an A/C or accessory circuit. If so I would do it that way so it has a fuse.
On ignition switch the accessory line is brown.
Thanks, I tend to agree with you on that. So far all the instructions from VA have been great, but I believe tomorrow I will call them telling them I would like a better description.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:51 AM   #16
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Re: vintage air question

I had good luck with their customer service. Luckily for me they are just down the road in San Antonio. I bought the wrong bracket and went there for an exchange. Nice folks.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:35 PM   #17
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Re: vintage air question

I just finished installing a VA in my 72, couple things, I did use the brown original wire for switched positive circuit, there is a red wire from the VA that goes to the battery, with a circuit breaker inline. You could hook to the switched circuit on a aftermarket wiring block. Don’t confuse the violet color wire in the VA circuit , to the violet wire from the harness, the violet wire in the new VA is for a wide open throttle switch. as that is not used , chances are. if you use the original controller. The original switch controller conversion isn’t hard , just be sure to follow the directions on setting the levers. You have to program it, once done. That is done via a supplied jumper wire. Again not hard just read instructions twice ( for me anyway) before you do the programming . It doesnt use the original fan switch, but it is still there so looks original. This is the second one I have installed ( last one in 69 camaro) with this one, the minute I hooked up the wires, it turned on, never had that happen, but once the jumper program wire was hooked up, it stopped the fan running. It says some time you have to repeat the programming process. Mine programmed the first time. I haven’t charged the system yet, but I did the last one myself, will this time too.these new VA systems on the wiring is basically plug/ play, the relay, circuit breaker etc is already wired, just run the wires and plug into the system, have to hook up 2 grounds( white wires) Be glad to answer any other question if I can.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:12 AM   #18
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Re: vintage air question

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Thanks, I tend to agree with you on that. So far all the instructions from VA have been great, but I believe tomorrow I will call them telling them I would like a better description.
Update, talked with VA yesterday. The violet wire can be either connected to the key switch to the hot wire when the key is on or it can be connected to the fuse panel as long as it has at least a 5 amp fuse and hot when the key is on. So I guess it's the installers choice.
My truck has a 30 amp alternator, I asked if this was enough, I was told it should have at least a 60 amp or if running a lot of accessories it wouldn't hurt to go with a 90 amp. Just thought I'd add that small piece of information.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:05 AM   #19
NorCalC20LWB
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Re: vintage air question

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Originally Posted by GMC72BB View Post
I just finished installing a VA in my 72, couple things, I did use the brown original wire for switched positive circuit, there is a red wire from the VA that goes to the battery, with a circuit breaker inline. You could hook to the switched circuit on a aftermarket wiring block. Donít confuse the violet color wire in the VA circuit , to the violet wire from the harness, the violet wire in the new VA is for a wide open throttle switch. as that is not used , chances are. if you use the original controller. The original switch controller conversion isnít hard , just be sure to follow the directions on setting the levers. You have to program it, once done. That is done via a supplied jumper wire. Again not hard just read instructions twice ( for me anyway) before you do the programming . It doesnt use the original fan switch, but it is still there so looks original. This is the second one I have installed ( last one in 69 camaro) with this one, the minute I hooked up the wires, it turned on, never had that happen, but once the jumper program wire was hooked up, it stopped the fan running. It says some time you have to repeat the programming process. Mine programmed the first time. I havenít charged the system yet, but I did the last one myself, will this time too.these new VA systems on the wiring is basically plug/ play, the relay, circuit breaker etc is already wired, just run the wires and plug into the system, have to hook up 2 grounds( white wires) Be glad to answer any other question if I can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by old51sedan View Post
Update, talked with VA yesterday. The violet wire can be either connected to the key switch to the hot wire when the key is on or it can be connected to the fuse panel as long as it has at least a 5 amp fuse and hot when the key is on. So I guess it's the installers choice.
My truck has a 30 amp alternator, I asked if this was enough, I was told it should have at least a 60 amp or if running a lot of accessories it wouldn't hurt to go with a 90 amp. Just thought I'd add that small piece of information.
Great info, and very timely since I'm doing this right now. SoGMC72, did you connect the purple VA wire to the brown wire from the aftermarket wiring harness? I have an AAW harness in mine that has a brown wire for Heater/AC. Also, with an aftermarket harness sounds like you can run the main red power wire to the fuse block if you want. I already ran it through the firewall grommet, so will probably do as instructed and hook it directly to the battery.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:22 PM   #20
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Re: vintage air question

I missed that ur AAW , AC wire was brown, you should have an additional Switched, unused circuit to use for the violet wire, I have added a Painless sub-panel until I change out all of the the wiring , to run, stereo amp, and my exhaust cut outs. So I had a circuit there. I did run the main red wire on the VA straight out to the battery. I have upgraded my Alternator already to a Powermaster since I knew the VA, stereo, amp, etc would require it
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:48 AM   #21
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Re: vintage air question

I put VA in my 70 GMC last year.Install was pretty easy,I kept original heater control.My only dislike is the fan is under the glove box and to my ears is noisy.I wish it could have been mounted out of cab.
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