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Behr front A/C - Custom Radio Housing anyone?
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vwsyncroguy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Behr front A/C - Custom Radio Housing anyone? Reply with quote

I have a Behr front AC system and the center outlet comes out the radio slot. The original solution is a molded plastic box that mounts vertically on the front of the plastic heater cover.

I don't like this location...my Sony radio display is impossible to read from this angle.

I'd like to have a custom housing mounted on top of the dashboard right next to the instrument cover....better for easy glance and reach for tuning.

Has anyone made such a housing for their radio? Or othe4 radio solutions with Behr AC system.

Photos?
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe talk to this guy and have something made- http://www.vanagonaccessories.com/ Leon Korkin is supposed to be really good with wood as well.
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McVanagon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about something like this...
http://www.casmfg.com/Secretaudio.htm

I just googled the thing and posted the first one I came across.... It's a hideaway head unit with a remote.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With my used Behr unit, I received a vent that mounts on top of the ash tray hole. It works great. I'd imagine you could find something like this at a Vintage Air type shop.

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

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vw7266
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thats the coolest thing ive seen...if anyone has a spare I will buy it... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the same issue. The auto shifter housing has a cut out for a radio. It was done by the previous owner. I just picked up a radio with a remote and will try that.

Iv seen the vent pictured in the early diesels and air cooled.

There is also an overhead console that hold the radio and speaks. I did a quick search
http://shop.vw-winkler.de/index.php/cat/c20_Fittings.html/page/2
This page should have both a mid and an upper console. good ideas!!

jcl
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vwsyncroguy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:
With my used Behr unit, I received a vent that mounts on top of the ash tray hole. It works great. I'd imagine you could find something like this at a Vintage Air type shop.


Very interesting,

I've never seen one of these vents with a Behr unit before ....and I've seen a few. The guy at European Cooler air sells a vent like this...but I really like a dual directional vent to direct air to both driver and passenger. I get very little air flow out of the vent to the left of the steering wheel...so that center vent is the main source of cool air flow on the driver.....if only one vent...then the passenger gets none of it.

Also interesting is that you got to keep your cigarette lighter socket. I have a huge air hose coming out of the side of the Behr evaporator right where the lighter is....had to remove it to route the hose. Perhaps there are different Behr units..with different hose outlet locations.

Still.....although grateful for all the tips so far...I haven't seen a solution that would work for me....except perhaps an overhead console between the seats.

I have three aftermarket gauges in a pod that sits on top of my instrument cluster now.....so thinking of trying to create a "second level" of instruments that sits on top of the original....using a thin part of another Vanagon plastic instruments cover. There might be just enough room, side-to side, for my three gauges and the radio. I'm tall so I don't have to worry about a higher instrument cluster blocking my view.

Still looking...thinking.....so hope more ideas come in.

Warren C.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren C wrote:


I've never seen one of these vents with a Behr unit before ....and I've seen a few. The guy at European Cooler air sells a vent like this...but I really like a dual directional vent to direct air to both driver and passenger. I get very little air flow out of the vent to the left of the steering wheel...so that center vent is the main source of cool air flow on the driver.....if only one vent...then the passenger gets none of it.


I have equal air on both side vents; it's also more than enough. On the pass side the fan had a direct shot out the vent and was too powerful. I installed a small flat baffle between the vent and the A/C unit, this equalized the vent pressure.

Quote:

Also interesting is that you got to keep your cigarette lighter socket. I have a huge air hose coming out of the side of the Behr evaporator right where the lighter is....had to remove it to route the hose. Perhaps there are different Behr units..with different hose outlet locations.


Yep I have that hole but it is capped off, because the ash tray vent only uses one hose.

Good luck.
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vwsyncroguy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:


I have equal air on both side vents; it's also more than enough. On the pass side the fan had a direct shot out the vent and was too powerful. I installed a small flat baffle between the vent and the A/C unit, this equalized the vent pressure.



This is enlightening to me.....I thought the weak air flow on the left side was due to the distance from the evaporator and the "twisties" the hose had to make around the steering system.

You're right .....the the short distance from the evaporator to the passenger side vent makes for a powerful flow there. I'd like to do this same "baffle " mod to equalize the flow more...left to right. Can you discribe it in a bit more detail...how you made it and installed it??

presslab wrote:

Yep I have that hole but it is capped off, because the ash tray vent only uses one hose.


Think I'll keep the dual hose and vent to the center for now...and sacrifice the lighter....while I keep looking for a radio solution. I've installed other 12V outlets.

If I could find a nice side-by-side dual vent and housing tthat would sit on top the dashboard that would be ideal also....could enlarge the ash tray hole to accommodate the two hoses.

Thanks for the tips.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren C wrote:
Can you discribe it in a bit more detail...how you made it and installed it??


It's pretty simple. If you remove the pass vent, you will see that the A/C housing has a seam in the middle of the hole for that vent. I blocked off the left side of this hole, up to the seam; it blocked off about 2" or so. I used a thin piece of plastic a bit bigger so it would overlap top, bottom, and the left side. I pulled off the weatherstrip that seals the vent, and glued the plastic to the housing with some silicone. Then I replaced the weatherstrip over the plastic with a new piece and reinstalled the vent.

The baffle basically eliminates the straight shot from the fan to the vent.

Are your fans very strong? When I set both switches to 3, it's like a tornado in there!
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vwsyncroguy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="presslab"]
warren C wrote:


Are your fans very strong? When I set both switches to 3, it's like a tornado in there!


Yes, mine are also very strong. I rarely turn them both on full power....even trying to get air from the left side....it just makes the flow from the other vents too strong.....and LOUD!

One other issue I'd like to look into more... is finding a way for the evaporator to get its inflow air from someplace other than under the dashboard...which is the hottest air in the van after it sits in the sun for awhile. It takes longer than it needs to for the unit to recycle all that superheated air and start sending out cool air.....would be faster if it could draw ambient air from the outside.

I haven't looked at my evaporator for awhile, so can't remember where the inlet ducts are...seems I remember a grate on each side of the squirrel fans. POssible could design some ducting from these grates to a fresh air source.

All things considered, the Behr unit works,....but its VERY old technology. I find some of the newer aftermarket "all-in-one" (heat, AC, defrost) units intrigueing. I've seen one from Vintage Air installed, but achieving a "factory look" below the dashboard is an issue since the heater cover plastic mounts by sliding onto the factory heater box.

Warren C.
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iiigoiii
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren - i have one of the Behr front A/C units also. for mine, i decided to build a custom box to mount the stereo between the front seats, which still leaves enough room for a center console.

the Behr-supplied plastic stereo box is a poor design anyway - the weight of the stereo will pull the vent cover off of the dash, and the protruding plastic case makes for an easy theft target (mine came with the signs of already having a stereo stolen out of it - broken at the corners and 'fixed' with epoxy).

with my first attempt (pic below), the display was still hard to see so i ended up using spacers on the top screws to angle the unit a bit more towards the driver's seat. the passenger can easily read the display by looking over the side of the seat, but of course the controls and display are upside down.

other advantages - the unit is near the aux battery, and near some great amp-mounting locations. disadvantages: can have drinks spilled into the unit pretty easily!

let us other front-Behr owners know what you end up doing.


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

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vwsyncroguy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iiigoiii wrote:


warren - i have one of the Behr front A/C units also. for mine, i decided to build a custom box to mount the stereo between the front seats, which still leaves enough room for a center console.................

.................let us other front-Behr owners know what you end up doing.



I'll keep you posted/

It may be easier to find a double AC outlet that will go on top of the dashboard than a custom radio housing.

I'm looking for another plastic cover for the instrument cluster.....I'm gonna try experimenting with trimming most of it off the bottom and making either a "double decker" instrument cluster or a thinner instrument housing to mount in the center of the dash. My gauges are 2 1/16" diameter and the radio needs a 7"x2" opening, so a 2 1/2"-2/3/4" tall section should do it.

I have seen before where a full height section of a factory instrument cover is cut and added to the right of original instruments... it's OK, but doesn't quite look "right" IMHO.

On the hunt.....

WC
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Jamos
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to have the front dash Behr A/C in my old '83.5 country homes camper.
It was pretty great and effective for cooling, but I also was kind of unhappy with the stereo situation.

I kept the housing, but did buy a new one. They are available from boat stores like West Marine, for mounting a stereo wherever...

I never had any problem with the weight of the stereo pulling off the heater cover. If you re-route the air up through the ashtray opening, I'd have to think that the space would end up being really tight for the stereo (it's already tight, but with another duct back there...!)

Anyway, this is definitely a "get creative" kind of thing...
and WC, I have a spare instrument cluster cover that you can have if you want.
It's in good shape, and is brown.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a couple of 2nd dashboards by others

This one is by Blake Heinelin after he installed a Vintage Air Supercooler w/ heat/air/defrost all in one unit...result was effective according to Blake, but factory look and heater cover is lost.

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


Here's the link to his install blog.

http://blakeheinlein.googlepages.com/vanagon-airconditioning

This one I call " Ready for Takeoff"......I took the photo at Syncro de Mayo 2005 (can't remember the owner). It features an interesting rotary switch so that one guage can read multiple sensors.......

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


..... I'm hoping to make something much smaller.


Warren C
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren C wrote:
Here's a couple of 2nd dashboards by others

This one is by Blake Heinelin after he installed a Vintage Air Supercooler w/ heat/air/defrost all in one unit...result was effective according to Blake, but factory look and heater cover is lost.

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



Warren C


Hello

Sorry to Hijack the thread but I could not resist asking about the two switches on the door which I assume to be electric window switches. My (factory) switches are miserably hanging in and out of the door cover and I have seen many a Vanagon with that problem. The PO used Velcro in a (vain) attempt to keep them in place. But then he used Velcro all over the van. Must have a velcro fetish or something.
Those switches besides looking real cool seem to fit and stay perfectly.
I went on the website/blog indicated but there was no info regarding those (window) switches and could not find an email for that good chap.

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VisPacem wrote:

Hello

Sorry to Hijack the thread.......


OK....then please don't, ......feel free to copy the photo and start another new thread with aftemarket window switches as the main topic....if others wish to respond about them, please do so on on that thread.

I'd like to keep this discussion focused on radio installations issues with Behr AC units.

You'll have to contact Blake directly about his switches, I know nothing about them.

Thanks,

Warren C.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warren C wrote:
VisPacem wrote:

Hello

Sorry to Hijack the thread.......


OK....then please don't, ......feel free to copy the photo and start another new thread with aftemarket window switches as the main topic....if others wish to respond about them, please do so on on that thread.

I'd like to keep this discussion focused on radio installations issues with Behr AC units.

You'll have to contact Blake directly about his switches, I know nothing about them.

Thanks,

Warren C.


Gracious as usual, the pink pills dude Smile)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:46 pm    Post subject: Possible Overhead Option Reply with quote

Found this..... a possible overhead option.....or maybe modifyable for the dashboard.



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http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/60-1880


Warren C.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resurrecting an old thread...

This discovery certainly doesn't deserve its own thread, but because the subject here is radio housings, it belongs in the archives.

I found it in a junkyard last week, I'd never seen one like it:

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


I was thinking of trying to modify it to use with my 4-speed, but then decided that I wouldn't be able to make it look as good as it does with an automatic.
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