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Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit?
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tpinthepack
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:21 pm    Post subject: Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit? Reply with quote

I am putting A/C in my 1990 Doka. I have two options, the in dash Behr unit from the Westy Vans, or the overhead unit that I was told goes up the B piller across the driver ceiling. I should have pictures soon, I have never seen the overhead unit, it is different than what came stock. I like the idea of in Dash, and out of site, but if it does not cool well, I would consider the overhead. The guys at ICE air in California said he put the overhead unit in his Doka and it works great, but he is an A/C salesman, does anyone have experience here?

Thanks, Florida Heat is if full force
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have less area to cool with your Doka than a full vanagon. You have access to both types of evaporator setups? Either should work fine as long as the parts are good. You'll need a thermostat to keep either from icing up and you will need good blowers and switches. For sure if you are using used parts, I'd pressure check the evaporator core and test all the electrical before mounting anything. Use a new expansion valve and drier along with all new hoses.

I am in Florida also. Rather than mess with used parts for a 20 year old A/C system, I am considering the aftermarket dash units that are sold for the Hot Rodders and custom cars. They have the heater core and evaportator in a single case. Good luck on your install which ever way you go. mark
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure both the overhead unit and the in-dash were dealer add-ons. I had the overhead in one van and it worked really well.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
I am considering the aftermarket dash units that are sold for the Hot Rodders and custom cars. They have the heater core and evaportator in a single case. Good luck on your install which ever way you go. mark

Could we hear more?

I am looking into AC in a yr or two.

Where does all the aftermarket stuff go? Still use stock hoses from rear to front?

Which aftermarket units are you considering?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a while ago when I was looking into it. No everything would have to be made custom to fit the vanagon including the hoses. Do a google search for Custom Car air conditioners or Hot Rod air conditioners. My Vanagon has a TDI, and was a diesel originally, so there are no provisions for A/C. We use all the free space in our camper, so the cabinet air is not an option, nor is an overhead. Look here to get an idea of what I am talking about. http://www.vintageair.com I am not affiliated with this company nor have I done any business with them. I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express that does qualify me to post here on Samba. Regards Cool
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tpinthepack
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out how this guy used a hotrod a/c unit. Looks like a great job. Look at both links, the first one is the pictures, and the second is the details down to the actual receipt from vintageair.

http://picasaweb.google.com/blakeheinlein/VanagonAirConditioningInstall#

http://blakeheinlein.googlepages.com/vanagon-airconditioning
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. Think I've seen it before. Great to see it again. Thanks for posting it tpinthepack.

Great pics, FAQ's etc.

Neil.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just what I had in mind. His reasoning matches mine exactly. I think I am going to contact vintage air. After reading his FAQ. He seemed concerned about running the heater and a/c to defrost the windshield. Most new cars, when you turn the defroster on with Factory Air, the compressor does run regardless of outside temp. I am going to save these two links and his order sheet. Thank you Samba.
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iiigoiii
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit? Reply with quote

i have the behr in-dash unit in my westy. as far as i understand, the behr unit was a dealer installed unit, whereas the overhead was factory installed.

there's a couple of considerations about using a behr unit. the first is parts - there were not nearly as many of these installed as the factory overheads, so some of the parts are harder to come by. mine was only missing the fan switches...but after the mechanic and the PO asked around for most of a year they had given up; i was able to recreate them after a bit of effort poring over the schematics. (pm me if you need help with the electronics, i now understand the behr units pretty completely.)

also the behr unit takes up quite a bit of space behind the dash - the glove compartment is actually cut into a bit to make room, and hoses rerouted. everything gets crammed in, and it makes for a tight fit for working on anything else behind the dash. a couple of the vent boots that were supplied with the behr unit had begun to deteriorate a bit, i had to fix mine with metal tape. one of the side vents doesn't seem to be hooked up any longer and i'm not sure i want to open a can of worms by dropping the dash to find out why.

that been said, my unit works fairly well now and has the advantage of cooling down the front of my westy as opposed to the back (not an issue with your doka).

tpinthepack wrote:
I am putting A/C in my 1990 Doka. I have two options, the in dash Behr unit from the Westy Vans, or the overhead unit that I was told goes up the B piller across the driver ceiling. I should have pictures soon, I have never seen the overhead unit, it is different than what came stock. I like the idea of in Dash, and out of site, but if it does not cool well, I would consider the overhead. The guys at ICE air in California said he put the overhead unit in his Doka and it works great, but he is an A/C salesman, does anyone have experience here?

Thanks, Florida Heat is if full force

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took some more time to look at Blakes pictures of his Vintageair A/C install. I think some pictures are missing. The outlet vents of the AC evaporator case are right up aqainst the dashboard. You can see that in one of his pictures. There is also a shot of the evaporator with all the duct hoses attached, but not with the dashboard installed. He has a picture of a second cluster cover with his radio, which while functional looks unoriginal too me. When I thought about it, the reason for the second cover was to hide where he must have had to cut the dashboard out to make room for the A/C hoses. That is troublesome to me. Looking at the other pictures it looks like there would be room to add duct outlets to the front of the backside of the evaportator case for the dash vents and center vent. I would not mind relocating my radio. Don't listen to it much anyhow. I could not find an email or member here to contact him. He also did not mention how well it cooled. I still like the idea of a modern evaporator case with heater core. Regards.
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iiigoiii
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...which reminds me of another consideration of using the behr unit - the radio is relocated to put the main vents in the dash coming out of the hole formerly for the radio.

behr then supplied a plastic case for the radio which got bolted onto the front floor vent cover. the one i got had evidence of being broken (by vibration of the unit or by thief's screwdriver?) at least twice. with the weight of a stereo in it, it would vibrate the whole vent cover off. so, i ended up mounting the stereo in a custom box i made, next to the passenger seat.

i still like the behr unit though...!
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit? Reply with quote

Considering that the only available "new" heater core is $575 from Ken at vanagain, this might be a great choice for a heater core alternative, plus you get A/C to boot!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have a picture of the factory overhead unit? Not the one in a van that sits in the very back, but the one that goes over the head of the driver and passenger? I still don't have the pictures I requested from my vendor who claims to have a DOKA with air overhead. He said the hoses go up the B Pillar along the seat belts up to the overhead unit. I don't have a clue where the switch's are, or how the unit looks. He has one for sale though.

Thanks
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump, Does anyone know the if the person that documented the Vintage Air at Picassa web Vanagon install is a member of the Samba? I'd like to PM him a couple questions he might be able to answer. Would someone have a stock front heater box intact that could give me the three dimensions? Depth, Width and Height? I am looking at some other units from a Florida based company that have the outlets on the front of the housing rather than on top. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit? Reply with quote

There were two different front in-dash a/c systems for the vanagons, both German, and I have one of each installed. Behr was the most popular in NA.

ButI I'd suspect in Florida there should be a lot of a/c specialty places so if I were in your place, I'd check more on some of those newer compact, modern a/c systems.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i had one istalled in my tristar. i painted it gray, but it was originally beige. it works really well, a little loud - but well worth it! i have to keep it on the lowest setting because it can make the interior really cold!

here are some pictures:

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

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

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

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


good luck with whichever you choose!
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tpinthepack
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EwokPoacher , Thank you for the pics. Awesome. I can't see the hoses anywhere, clean install. How is the plumbing routed. I will definately persue that option over the Behr. This was what I needed.

Thanks

Tony
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EwokPoacher
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the hoses are routed thru the b-pillars on both sides. really tight fit but well worth the effort for a clean look. the only problem is that these overhead a/c units are very hard to come by.
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ohlott
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EwokPoacher wrote:
the hoses are routed thru the b-pillars on both sides. really tight fit but well worth the effort for a clean look. the only problem is that these overhead a/c units are very hard to come by.



Can this unit fit in a westy camper? Did you install this your self. Was it a factory install originally in the doka's.
I have a 83.5 westy that I am looking for an ac.
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EwokPoacher
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this unit cannot fit in a westy without modifying the poptop latch with an extension. i have only seen one installation done on a westy, and they made an extension for the poptop latch. i do not have any pictures of the westy installation. this installation was mostly done by my mechanic with a little help from me. as far as i know, these were not installed on any doka's. when i first saw the unit, i immediately thought of installing one in my doka because it seemed like a good fit - and it is perfect.
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