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Westy aftermarket A/C options
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:02 pm    Post subject: Westy aftermarket A/C options Reply with quote

I have an 86 Syncro Westfalia without A/C and looking at options.
I have searched and have seen many things on here.
The Vintage air unit in dash sounds great but but I have a thought.
Has anyone ever tried an aftermarket under dash unit mounted where the factory unit mounts overhead in the rear?
I have seen what appears to be several good options that will easily fit in my storage area (where the factory A/C goes).
I think it is also possible to mount one between the pop top opening and the front seats, you could possible blow this both directions in a fairly small amount of space.
If I install it in the rear I would like to try to make some channels to route air up closer to the front seats, perhaps along the side windows.
I know I could try to find a factory unit that would be easier to install but that is 30 year old technology and I was just thinking something new might work better.
I have a friend who does vacuum forming so all I would have to do is make a wooden mold the shape I want and he could form it so I think I could make it look factory.
Any thoughts, ideas?
Rusty
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rusty:

I built my own front-mounted AC system from scratch. I did not want to lose the valuable rear cabinet space and I wanted my vents in the dash, so I had no other option. Here's my build thread:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=535444&highlight=diy+front+air+conditioning

Having said that, if the rear cabinet is not a big concern to you, the only thing the factory AC system needs to modernize it is a high-efficiency parallel-flow condenser. The rest of the system is fine. Of course, the standard maintenance items will need replacement (hoses, TXV, receiver-drier), but this is not a big issue.
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did read your thread, I do like it and is definitely an option I am considering.
I did however find this on ebay and it got me thinking
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-AC-Bus-and-Van-U...1340192120
My Westy has a Tiico I4 but no air so all lines, condenser, compressor etc will have to be added.
My thought just for this summer is to slip the above unit into the overhead storage without damaging the storage unit, remove the door and fab some sort of surround to make it look professional.
I don't do A/C stuff so will just rough everything in then take it to an A/C shop I use and have them hook everything up.
This unit claims to be 32,000 BTU and 600 CFM, it is made for Vans so it should put out enough air to even keep the front occupants cool, I hope!
The price is so cheap if I don't like it, or if it doesn't work I am not out much and if I can do it without any damage to the overhead storage I can make it stock again and go with the in dash idea, just not sure I am ready for that much of a project right now.
Rusty
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtarh2o wrote:
I did read your thread, I do like it and is definitely an option I am considering.
I did however find this on ebay and it got me thinking
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-AC-Bus-and-Van-U...1340192120
My Westy has a Tiico I4 but no air so all lines, condenser, compressor etc will have to be added.
My thought just for this summer is to slip the above unit into the overhead storage without damaging the storage unit, remove the door and fab some sort of surround to make it look professional.
I don't do A/C stuff so will just rough everything in then take it to an A/C shop I use and have them hook everything up.
This unit claims to be 32,000 BTU and 600 CFM, it is made for Vans so it should put out enough air to even keep the front occupants cool, I hope!
The price is so cheap if I don't like it, or if it doesn't work I am not out much and if I can do it without any damage to the overhead storage I can make it stock again and go with the in dash idea, just not sure I am ready for that much of a project right now.
Rusty

Isn't that unit missing a boatload of required parts? Hard to tell from the eBay ad... But the same seller seems to have more complete kits at higher prices...?
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LuvWagn, it is missing a lot of parts but I am going to need them anyway.
They might have more complete kits but not sure I would order everything from them anyway.
Since I do not have air I will need compressor, condenser, all lines, valves, etc but will need all those parts no matter which unit I decide to go with.
This just seems like an easy option and with 32,000 BTU and 600 CFM I can't imagine it won't cool all the passengers in the van.
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LeftCoastKiteboarding
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out a site called ( I think) Classic Air. They make retrofit units. A friend has one and loves it.
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Howesight
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeftCoastKiteboarding wrote:
Check out a site called ( I think) Classic Air. They make retrofit units. A friend has one and loves it.


Classic Air and Vintage Air used to sell ( and e-market) all the components used on a custom or DIY A/C system. Unfortunately, they got out of that portion of the market. Nostalgic Air (See: http://nostalgicac.com/), now is the one major supplier that is DIY-friendly. Good service (at least until the hot weather really arrives) and excellent prices on hose, fittings and the like.
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JPrato
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Howesight, I just checked Vintage Air Catalog they still market all the components for AC??

http://www.vintageair.com/catalog.asp

You do start with one of their Gen II or Gen IV evaporator/fan units and build from there. Nostalgic AC is a great place to get parts. I used their 16X22 condenser with my VA Gen II system.
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JPrato wrote:
Howesight, I just checked Vintage Air Catalog they still market all the components for AC??

http://www.vintageair.com/catalog.asp

You do start with one of their Gen II or Gen IV evaporator/fan units and build from there. Nostalgic AC is a great place to get parts. I used their 16X22 condenser with my VA Gen II system.


JPrato, are you talking about building an in dash or overhead unit?
Or just using their parts and building either?
I know there are pros and cons to both, just seems like it could possibly be quicker and easier to fab on overhead unit as opposed to removing the dash and going that route but then dash removal doesn't seem to complicated either.

Rusty
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yycwesty
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone ever considered using one of those slim AC units that we see in delivery vans. Could something be mounted in the luggage rack that fed down through the roof with roof vents above driver and passenger
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yycwesty wrote:
Has anyone ever considered using one of those slim AC units that we see in delivery vans. Could something be mounted in the luggage rack that fed down through the roof with roof vents above driver and passenger


That is exactly what I am talking about, the link I included is for one of the really slim (5" is all!) overhead units made for Vans, Ambulances, etc.
I guess maybe I will be the one to try it out!
I have a product I sell that requires some plastic molding so I plan to make a form for the unit and possibly some vents going to the front and take them to my vacuum form guy and see what he can do for me.

Rusty
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JPrato
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtarh2o wrote:
JPrato wrote:
Howesight, I just checked Vintage Air Catalog they still market all the components for AC??

http://www.vintageair.com/catalog.asp

You do start with one of their Gen II or Gen IV evaporator/fan units and build from there. Nostalgic AC is a great place to get parts. I used their 16X22 condenser with my VA Gen II system.


JPrato, are you talking about building an in dash or overhead unit?
Or just using their parts and building either?
I know there are pros and cons to both, just seems like it could possibly be quicker and easier to fab on overhead unit as opposed to removing the dash and going that route but then dash removal doesn't seem to complicated either.

Rusty


Rusty, I built an in dash unit from a VA Gen II unit. Copied an install from here: https://sites.google.com/site/blakeheinlein2/vanagon-airconditioning
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yycwesty
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rusty..if you going to go the luggage rack unit, I'm really looking forward to seeing the results..Seems to me it would be much simpler than the whole dash work.
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ute
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have thought about the overhead ones as well. It seems like a great option if you are cool with some roof ornaments.
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something like this: http://dcpowersales.com/transportation-industry/ai...ditioners/?

Or this for use when parked and tethered to shore power, and add an inverter for use in motion...

http://www.waeco.com/za/4733_2378.php

This idea popped up awhile back, but no install pics yet...
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yycwesty
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://dcpowersales.com/transportation-industry/air-conditioners/roof-top-units/kanada-ii/

this one looks really good as well..not sure about their measurements. Is that millimeters or centimeters. I'm assuming mm
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rtarh2o
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, wasn't a rooftop I was thinking about it would be simply an overhead unit similar in idea to the factory unit using something like this

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-AC-Bus-and-Van-U...1340192120

My thought is to enclose it in the overhead storage unit and run some ductwork forward towards the front seat passengers
Want to get this thing going by summer so might just go ahead and order one and start fabbing it up!
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtarh2o

Did you ever get arround to doing this? If I could install a rear AC (in the position of the factory Westfalia - I do not have anything in that location currently) that could produce enough cold air to cool the whole van it would seem to be a viable alternative to the in-dash route. The Pros would seem be easier instalation (and maintenance), retaining the stock appearance and functionality of the dash, possibly greater cooling capacity and ability to cool the whole van. The main Con would seem be loss of overhead space when sleeping in back.
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