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Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation
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matheusmike
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

I've been wanting to buy this kit as well and it is great to see all of the information shared here. Sounds like a good amount of work, but for me, that is expected from installing A/C in a vehicle without it.

I have a syncro TDI double cab with an air to water intercooler. The radiator for the intercooler is mounted in front of the existing syncro radiator and is already a pretty tight fit. I'm wondering if anybody has looked at thinner alternative radiator/fan setups for the syncro. Something that could fit all three, intercooler, A/C condenser, and engine radiator. I have an ALH TDI from a 2001 and the radiator/fan combo from the Jetta looks thinner. Anybody know if this has been done?

Thanks,
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kourt
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

There's probably room just behind the front spare tire space to mount a parallel flow condenser and fan setup. You would then not have to modify your existing radiator setup, but instead work with the space under the van between the front wheels. This may be a better alternative. I have a 2WD friend who has done this successfully, but I don't know the Syncro underbelly well enough to say confidently that it can be done.

kourt
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matheusmike
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

I thought about a remote mounted condenser/fan setup somewhere other than with the engine radiator, but was concerned about getting sufficient airflow. Unfortunately, in the syncro there is no space behind the spare tire because of the front differential. There is room along the sides, behind the front wheel well between the frame rail and the outside edge of the body. I once had the intercooler radiator with fan mounted there. It seemed to work, but gets exposed to alot of road dirt (and salt in the winter), so longevity of an AC condenser might be an issue, but perhaps the painted condensers would hold up OK.

I wonder if something like this:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/vta-037033/overview/

with two 10" fans would be sufficient. I could wire one fan as "low" speed and both fans to run together as "high" speed, controlled by the pressure switch provided with the kit.
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

I agree with some of the comments. The instructions are very lacking. With that said before I go cutting my dash for the new vents and such using the small-car front mounted plate. Can one of you who has the center stereo option\left-hand drive take a head on picture of the installed dash with the small car adapter plate for the front dash? I am trying to understand clearly where it belongs before cutting or drilling and all the pics I have seen are from the side.

Thank you in advance.
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artacoma
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Heres mine , the way SC seems to have it layed out so the vent thats right behind the shift knob is in the existing cutout for the stock controls.
Thats what I did here. The plate is right against the rear fan switch. You can see I have the stock rear fan switch still in place .
But..... my van is up on blocks right now while I get my front diff rebuilt and I'm going to eliminate the rear heater switch since it's been long gone anyways and move the cutouts toward the driver so the vent will be right next to the steering wheel shroud and I won't have to reach around the shifter as much for the stereo. Its sort of a crappy pic but you can see how things line up, I have a meatless amp that has lots of room behind it.
When clearancing the bracing under the dash I wiggled the metal back and forth to break the spot welds and ended up with a bit of crappy denting near the defog vents, take your time and snip or grind. Also it took a bit of fiddling to get the defog diffusers to fit well but it was worth it and they do work way better than stock.I didn't like the controls sticker so I just used a label maker for the switches.

Last tip .... make sure you check your wiper function for conflict with air hoses before you tighten everything down.
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

artacoma wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Heres mine , the way SC seems to have it layed out so the vent thats right behind the shift knob is in the existing cutout for the stock controls.
Thats what I did here. The plate is right against the rear fan switch. You can see I have the stock rear fan switch still in place .
But..... my van is up on blocks right now while I get my front diff rebuilt and I'm going to eliminate the rear heater switch since it's been long gone anyways and move the cutouts toward the driver so the vent will be right next to the steering wheel shroud and I won't have to reach around the shifter as much for the stereo. Its sort of a crappy pic but you can see how things line up, I have a meatless amp that has lots of room behind it.
When clearancing the bracing under the dash I wiggled the metal back and forth to break the spot welds and ended up with a bit of crappy denting near the defog vents, take your time and snip or grind. Also it took a bit of fiddling to get the defog diffusers to fit well but it was worth it and they do work way better than stock.I didn't like the controls sticker so I just used a label maker for the switches.

Last tip .... make sure you check your wiper function for conflict with air hoses before you tighten everything down.


I really appreciate you taking the time to provide the picture as well as the tips as they will all assist. I am at the point where I have the defrosters mounted and need to go ahead and cut the dash for the SC front vents but...... I would really like to know if you and\or others thinks the SC plate could go ahead and shift towards the steering wheel more without conflict with anything? I agree with you on getting the radio and control closer to the driver hence my question before I start cutting.

Thanks again for taking the time to post. This picture clarifies what I was looking for and now makes me curious if I can keep going towards the steering wheel a bit more.
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

I am going to mockup what it would take to use the SC PLate with the radio right over the current radio center mount to see if that may work.

artacoma makes a good point on the distance of the AC controls and radio and I want those to be as close and non-interfering as possible. I will post a few mock-up pics
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

So I got the dash put back in to check some clearances and it seems the real issue comes down to stereo clearance issues and the amount of depth available to do the install.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Not the best pic showing what would interfere but...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This pic is from above through the ashtray hole down.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So from the ashtray pic you can see the hose coming off the front vent would be impacted the most and the stereo would have maybe 3.5" to play with depth wise. Obviously we need a shallow depth stereo but even that may not fit with the SC plate moved more to the drivers side. I am going to see what options I may have for the stereo depth and decide from there what I will do.
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artacoma
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

I was just thinking about that , here is a pic with my stereo installed in the SC centre mount plate , it can still easily move 3" left without pinching the hoses.
the silver box is the back of the stereo and the top hose is the one you are thinking about.
If I install the same system in a different van I would make my own faceplate because the ac controls switches are quite small on the back and could be crowded together a bit too, with smaller knobs stolen from an old radio or something


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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86 Syncro Tintop
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86 Doka
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

artacoma wrote:
I was just thinking about that , here is a pic with my stereo installed in the SC centre mount plate , it can still easily move 3" left without pinching the hoses.
the silver box is the back of the stereo and the top hose is the one you are thinking about.
If I install the same system in a different van I would make my own faceplate because the ac controls switches are quite small on the back and could be crowded together a bit too, with smaller knobs stolen from an old radio or something


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Thanks again for the image. How deep is the stereo? Is it a shallow depth stereo? I just ordered a JVC unit which is 4.5" mounting depth. Also I have the Gen IV Vintage Air unit from SC is yours also Gen IV? I ask because my tolerances seem closer to that outlet we are both referring to.
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Ok so I took some more pics and I think we have a winner.

Using the SC plate in this location
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I believe I can install a stereo still without interference with the outlet.

Here is a pic if the stereo was installed at 4" depth vs 3.5" depth. The measurement was taken as if the stereo was installed and that was the left mounted corner.

4"
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


vs 3.5" depth
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I will have to make up the .5" by mounting on an adapter plate for the DIN but that should be easy.
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jlaudin
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:57 am    Post subject: Drawing power Reply with quote

Sir Sam wrote:
Some more pictures:


This is where I took my key on signal to run the box:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.




What is this block that you sourced power from originally used for???
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kourt
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Just FYI I have gone through a few mechless radio heads to give the SC AC system the most room without interfering with the radio. The best (shallowest) radio I found, that is also of good quality, is this Pioneer MVH-X390BT:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KKHTP7Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This little radio gave me the extra 5mm I needed to not damage the defroster tubing coming from the blower housing.

kourt
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Been a little bit as I have been busy working on the AC. At this point I am on the home stretch. I have lots of thoughts about the install but will save those for my website where I am putting my details on the job. To sum it up its an easy DIY install if you are comfortable with DIY work. The one thing to keep in mind is that there is a lot to think about and do so that you do it right which takes a ton of time. This is a fairly straight forward job but takes more time than you would imagine. I am proud that at this point I have not had to cut my glovebox and with AeroQuip AC lines gave me less hose size and stiffness to deal with. Everything has a home and fitment has not been an issue at all. More to come once she is done and charged up. I am also working on a 5 speed subaru transmission with my bostig swap so may be a little while.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
Just FYI I have gone through a few mechless radio heads to give the SC AC system the most room without interfering with the radio. The best (shallowest) radio I found, that is also of good quality, is this Pioneer MVH-X390BT:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KKHTP7Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This little radio gave me the extra 5mm I needed to not damage the defroster tubing coming from the blower housing.

kourt


Good info and I had a hard time finding a good one for myself but found the JVC KD-X340BTS as a great option and is slim slim at 4".

https://www.amazon.com/JVC-KD-X340BTS-Single-Din-B...KD-X340BTS
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Looking good Mad
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=416343
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Latest Update.

Dash is in and went in on the first try. All hoses are hooked up and stereo is in. I did use a 1/4 spacer for the stereo to give me a bit more room for the RCA jacks going to my AMP. I love this stereo it allows for multiple phones to be blue toothed to it at the same time and it also has really good Pandora control. I am very happy with this purchase.

Whats left....

Get the Steering wheel bolted back up and get all the wires hooked back up then gauge cluster back in. I was able to keep my GoWesty cruise control on the passenger side.

I installed a secondary radiator fan so I need to get that wired to a switched source and I also need the AC to access this switched source as well.

Install new padding and carpet for the front.

Since I am doing a 5 speed install as well I need to get that done so I can charge the system and test.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Its nice to be basically done at this point and I cant wait to enjoy the new AC. I will post-up the finished product once charged.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Looks clean!! Smile

Where did you install the drier?
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Surferboy120
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:09 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

ALIKA T3 wrote:
Looks clean!! Smile

Where did you install the drier?


Since I had my 90 degree fittings from having AC in the rear upper box I re-used those and put the drier\trinary switch below the condenser next to the horn on the passenger side. I had plenty of room, was able to use my existing drier bracket with the horn mount.

In case its helpful for those with a Bostig swap this is the exact parts list. Please note I use the EZClip AC fitting. I cant say enough good things about these lines and fittings for creating room and just overall better ability to work in tight spaces. Its what afforded me the room to not have to sacrifice interior things such as my glove-box and such.

Here is a Aeroquip EZ Clip fittings
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Price list with part numbers
First Lets talk about price. This is not a cheap project but if you intend to use the van in the south or anywhere hot this is a must. This is what I used for my Bostig swapped Van. Your list may be different so please check all part numbers.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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bajaleo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Surferboy120 wrote:
Latest Update.

Dash is in and went in on the first try. All hoses are hooked up and stereo is in. I did use a 1/4 spacer for the stereo to give me a bit more room for the RCA jacks going to my AMP. I love this stereo it allows for multiple phones to be blue toothed to it at the same time and it also has really good Pandora control. I am very happy with this purchase.

Whats left....

Get the Steering wheel bolted back up and get all the wires hooked back up then gauge cluster back in. I was able to keep my GoWesty cruise control on the passenger side.

I installed a secondary radiator fan so I need to get that wired to a switched source and I also need the AC to access this switched source as well.

Install new padding and carpet for the front.

Since I am doing a 5 speed install as well I need to get that done so I can charge the system and test.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Its nice to be basically done at this point and I cant wait to enjoy the new AC. I will post-up the finished product once charged.


Well done! Thanks for blazing the trail and documenting your work.
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