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To A/C or not to A/C, that is the question...
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:15 am    Post subject: To A/C or not to A/C, that is the question... Reply with quote

Okay, here's the deal. I have the '82 full camper Westy almost ready to list for sale. When I bought it, it had factory air conditioning and the compressor, dash controls and interior stuff were all still in place. However, some PO had taken off the belt and its pulley, so I imagine there was a serious problem with the function of the unit as a whole.

So, do I now have the A/C fixed? I imagine it'll tear up a thousand-dollar bill pretty well, before it's all sorted out. The vehicle is in the PNW, and if I were to keep it, I wouldn't care about having A/C. But, what do you think? I've read some of the archives, and find comments to the effect that some wouldn't have a van with A/C and some wouldn't have one otherwise. So, I'm turning to the last resort - I'm asking you! Laughing

Pretend you're a potential buyer for this Westy. All other considerations of price or condition aside, is the air conditioner a deal-breaker for you? Or, would you just as soon not have it (and get the van a little cheaper)? And, if I decide not to fix it, should I remove the compressor and interior stuff as well?

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=581285


I still have a few things to do on the van, like new curtains and a new tent. The engine is tight and smooth and the manual tranny has a recent rebuild, along with the clutch. There's not much else I feel that needs to be done, so what do you think about the A/C?

Uncle Lon
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joetiger Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd leave it disconnected and let the buyer decide. It's like a basement remodel--are you going to get a full return on investment for the upgrade? Probably not, especially in that climate and considering the fact that it's air-cooled.

Who knows, the system might be fine and the PO might have disliked the needless power loss.
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EVinVT
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't remove it and would list it as having factory air in non-working condition. That would tempt someone who might have the skills or money to restore it should they find it desirable. If they don't care, having it there makes little difference. I sure wouldn't pay to fix it first.

Last edited by EVinVT on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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Yondermtn
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would leave it as-is.

You probably won't get your money back by fixing it.
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mirthpeople
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, leave as is.
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's sure unexpected! Four replies, all sensible and not one mention of how dumb I am (and probably homely as well). Smile

Thanks guys! Of course, that's the ticket; leave it there and let the buyer decide for himself if he wants A/C enough to invest in the fix. I may get an estimate, just to have something for a potential buyer, or may even fix it if it turns out to be cheap. Like THAT'S gonna happen!

I had two earlier Westies, both air-cooled and neither with A/C when I was younger. I lived on the Gulf Coast and took month-long trips in them both. I can't remember ever saying, "I wish I had air conditioning and less power". But, now that I'm older and slower anyway, I imagine I would like it on my own van.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies. Sambanistas are the best!

U.L.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, VW did not offer "Factory Air" in a vanagon for the air cooled models. There were two or 3 aftermarket kits that were installed by the dealer. The install was only as good as the original technician installing the kit. I saw some pretty flat rated installs in those days.

The other problem is the parts for these units are hard to come by now days. Replacing the AC belt was a pain in the arse. It runs between the engine and the fan shroud. They also had a large York 2 piston compressor. Much better compressors available now.

As others have stated, if you are going to sell it on, might as well not spend much time/money on it. That said, I installed an aftermarket AC in our 82 and would be hard to imagine not having it now.
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dobryan Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirthpeople wrote:
I agree, leave as is.
-Eric


X4. It will only make you raise the price which would be bad for those who did not want A/C.
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HoustonPhotog
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

definitely leave it as-is. let new buyer decide...

I bought mine and it wasnt working... i knew in advance. i live in texas and really could use ac so im in the process of sorting it out. already bought a new compressor, drier and expansion valve and have paid for all of the labor for the swap and still no worky.

so in short it might be more than a grand since thats where im sitting at now...

let the new people decide. plus. if u fix the ac youll raise your price and that might count some potential buyers out.
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my ac has had the belt removed for years, I need to replace the 30 year old rubber hoses, they leak now. until then, I removed the belt. the ac did work fine till the Freon leaked out, the hoses become permeable after decades of decay.
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Lon,
I agree with the "don't fix" opinions.

But if you have manifold gauges, you could hook them up and see if any R-12 is in the system. If low, it means the systems hoses aren't leaking.
And turn the compressor by hand to see if it's frozen. If it turns, it may be still good.

Then you can inform the buyer what to expect.

Putting a belt on it is a waste of time if the R12 is low or gone. Compressor won't kick on without enough pressure.

Too bad you're not near me, I have a half full tank of R-12.
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Uncle Lon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JudoJeff wrote:
Uncle Lon,
I agree with the "don't fix" opinions.

But if you have manifold gauges, you could hook them up and see if any R-12 is in the system. If low, it means the systems hoses aren't leaking.
And turn the compressor by hand to see if it's frozen. If it turns, it may be still good.

Then you can inform the buyer what to expect.

Putting a belt on it is a waste of time if the R12 is low or gone. Compressor won't kick on without enough pressure.

Too bad you're not near me, I have a half full tank of R-12.


Hey, don't be so sure; I would probably drive to Maine for a shot of R-12 and a good onion-and-mayonnaise sammich! I will do exactly as you suggest, however and leave it up to the buyer.

But, as is so often the case with an old vehicle, one task leads to another. When I was in the engine bay, I noticed the insulation in the lid was shot. Does anyone know what I can replace it with:

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



U.L.
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HoustonPhotog
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

this just reminded of the time i looked at my first vanagon that was for sale locally. the guy on the phone when asked about the AC said it worked, it just needed a charge...

so i go there and upon looking at the engine i noticed the AC compressor belt was taken off... hmm.. then while looking at the inside I notice all of the AC controls and vent sliders were ripped out of the dash.

Not cool. lol.

Needless to say I did not buy it.
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