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Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation
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David Marquis
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Location: Bay Area, California
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:39 pm    Post subject: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Ok, I know that there have been many, many postings on Air Conditioning solutions for the Vanagon/Westfalia.

I have summarized all that I have found over the years below my question and I have also read through all of them. I only found one that seemed to be specific to the DIY unit from Small Car Performance, seen here:

Topic: Small Car Performance - I'm #10 on the list
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=564590&highlight=air+conditioning

Apparently, after speaking with Chris at Small Car Performance, the above threads title stems from a waiting process that they were undertaking when attempting to have the unit initially manufactured. The above referenced thread, while useful to me in regards to provoking thought upon what might be wise to do while a dash is removed, unfortunately, does not continue on to illustrate installation results of the DIY kit.

The other forum threads that I found varied from info about A/C vendors, or individuals who have bravely installed various units themselves over the years. I feel as though I would like to say that TheSamba is such a vital resource. So amazing how others, (as can be seen in my list of Information regarding A/C below), have done such things themselves, without even the use of a DIY kit.

In posting this topic, I am hoping to begin a concise thread centered around the specific DIY kit that is supplied by Small Car Performance. As can be seen in this link:
http://www.smallcar.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29991

In the link you can see that the kit includes the following:

-Instructions
- Plenum unit with fan, evaporator and heater core
1. Variable controls for air temp, fan speed and air direction
2. Wiring with electronic control unit and relays
3. New powder coated dash face
4. Three control knobs and custom faceplate
5. Electric heater valve
6. Two additional louvered vents for dash (similar to the OEM vents)
7. Hose for heater core, heat and dash vents and defrost
8. Adapters for defrost vents
9. Cover for original air intake and bracket for plenum mounting
10. Extension for radio antenna

Parts not supplied
-Compressor and condenser
-Hoses for A/C
-Wire and connectors for extending wiring to stereo
-Wiring and connectors for in dash power outlets
Chris, from Small Car Performance, told me that Small Car Performance collaborated with vintage air to have a unit manufactured specifically to fit the Vanagon, with its own part No., etc.

After much reading and research on what others have done, and while I most definitely admire the work, the online help via forums and photo blogs, the ingenuity, and results of all I have seen, I personally like the idea of the Small Car Performance DIY route of installation overall.

I already have my dash removed and I am ready to go in that regard.

My hope is to seek out any and all help, assistance, and or guidance from others who may have installed this specific DIY, front, in dash, A/C system sold by Small Car Performance.

Has anyone else used this specific kit?

If so, please chime in with any and all photos and information, as I progress with the process of doing the installation myself I will do the same.



Below is a list of all of my search results throughout the web as well as within TheSamba:

Web Search Results:

* DIY'ers with Photos:

Blake HeinLein:

https://sites.google.com/site/blakeheinlein/blake/air-conditioning-project

https://sites.google.com/site/blakeheinlein2/vanagon-airconditioning

https://plus.google.com/photos/105522702091926885239/albums/5043682372830586289?banner=pwa



Steven White: Vanagon front AC system install:

http://s21.photobucket.com/user/saha3/library/Vana...amp;page=1

* A/C Installers or suppliers of A/C units:


H2oVanagon:
http://h20vanagon.com/VanagonServices/GeneralMaintenance/AirConditioning.aspx

Vintage Air:
http://www.vintageair.com/customer-gallery.asp

European Cooler Air, Inc:
http://www.europeancoolerair.com/

ACKits.com:
http://www.ackits.com/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=01&Category_Code=universalevap

Small car Performance:
http://www.smallcar.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29991

Subagon:
http://subagon.com/contact-us/


Samba Search Query/Search Results:


DIY AC:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search..._chars=200

Air conditioning:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search..._chars=200

Vanagon Westfalia Front A/C:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search..._chars=200



Found and Relevant Individual Samba forums/postings:

Topic: Adding aftermarket A/C for $1500. Possible?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6161716

Topic: front and rear ac ordered (Complete kit)
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1...p;start=20

Topic: Under Dash A/C
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=377287&start=0

Topic: Experience with Cooler Air or Vintage Air
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=409551&highlight=vintage+air

Topic: Adding Air Conditioning
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=587190&highlight=air+conditioning

Topic: air conditioning?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=585080&highlight=air+conditioning

Topic: Vintage Air latest digital Gen IV installed
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5...p;start=40

Topic: Westy aftermarket A/C options
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=590420&highlight=diy

Topic: In Dash Ac
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=570707&highlight=diy

Topic: dual AC units
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=562123&highlight=diy

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

Topic: Bostig AC mod
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=423893&highlight=john+sullivan

Topic: Bostig A/C Pictures?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=508366&highlight=diy

Topic: replacing non-working AC?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=589355&highlight=air+conditioning

Topc: Early 86 Westy AC System Replacement (Charging Phase)
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=583818&highlight=system+installation

Topic: Air Conditioning for a 1980 VW Vanagon
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1...a84b92b9ce

Topic: To A/C or not to A/C, that is the question...
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=581340&highlight=air+conditioning

Topic: Universal Front A/C Units
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234572&highlight=air+conditioning

Topic: Behr In Dash A/C vs. Dealer aftermarket overhead unit?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=364436

Topic: Custom Vanagon A/C: Under dash, under seat, or in cabinet?
Link: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249529
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Last edited by David Marquis on Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:39 am; edited 4 times in total
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JeffRobenolt
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for putting this all together, This needs to be a sticky.
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tarandusVDub
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aftermarket AC is in my van's future too, and Small Car is at the top of the list.

Thanks much for doing the leg work and we are watching eagerly for your install!

Applause Popcorn
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool breeze Wink
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'88MoneyPit
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought the kit, but haven't installed yet. Mao at small car is their ac nut. He sent me pictures of how to run the ac lines through the fire wall. Over all it seams well thought out

S
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David Marquis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:56 am    Post subject: Small Car Performance, DIY Front A/C Installation Reply with quote

Thank you 88MoneyPit !! (Very Cool Name by the way)

Your response is along the lines of what I was hoping for by way of feedback from others who are currently going this specific route, or who have had experience with Small Car Performance regarding their system.

I wonder if anyone out there has paid them for the installation of their system. While I can certainly understand the justification of the cost I can not personally justify what it would take for me to put forth that amount of money so as to have someone else do the labor. I have more time then money as of now.

Like yourself, I have not yet begun, but I intend to in the next couple of weeks. I will begin, of course, by removing all that this will replace. Thank you again for your response.

As i move along in the process I plan to post as much info as possible so as to benefit others who wish to take this route, my hope in posting this thread is that you and others who are going, or who have gone, this path will do the same....
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'88MoneyPit
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted the pictures of the Small Car AC system in the Gallery. These are from Mao at Small Car of an install they did.

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


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David Marquis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right On! Thanks...
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing...looks like a sweet kit.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks much for all the research. I'm going to be following along. Does scp give a samba discount?
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David Marquis
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I spoke with Chris at scp, I also spoke with him about Thesamba and he made no mention about a discount, although I never asked him directly...
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad someone made a post about this I've been considering this kit for a while I'm sick of the rear overhead a/c that isn't cold whatsoever.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David or 88 MoneyPit, any updates for us on the kit? Id love to hear how well it works.

If I go this route, my plan would be to install all the hardware myself to save some bucks, and then have a local AC shop build the lines to attach it to my Subie 2.5.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have assembled all of the parts needed and the SC kit.
It will be connected to a Bostig conversion.
I will post as much info as I have once completed.
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David Marquis
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you insyncro for your having chimed in on this. I was wondering if there were anyone else installing this SCP kit.

epaddler, et all:
As an update, I have nearly completed the install. I have completely removed the original A/C system, keeping all of its hoses and wiring harnesses intact and complete. I have the Vintage Air evaporator wiring harness completely integrated with the wiring of the Bus and all of the A/C related and integrated components, etc, etc...

I am at the point now where I will simply need to plug everything in. I have been, perhaps excessively, photographing every miniscule aspect of the process as I have progressed along.

In adding this documentary aspect to the installation It has certainly lengthened the process, with the setting up of a tripod, angling lighting, crawling in and out, from inside and under, in order to switch lenses, etc. However, In result I do have many photos that I feel clearly illustrate the process in which I have taken. When finished with the install I will compile and post a successive, chronological flow, complete with photos, and a step by step write up of the process in which I have taken in order to finish this job.

I do, however, need to focus a bit upon Grad school applications.. So hard to prioritize other things in life over the finishing of the bus...Smile
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epaddler
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David Marquis wrote:

I have been, perhaps excessively, photographing every miniscule aspect of the process as I have progressed along.

In adding this documentary aspect to the installation It has certainly lengthened the process, with the setting up of a tripod, angling lighting, crawling in and out, from inside and under, in in order to switch lenses, etc. However, In result I do have many photos that I feel clearly illustrate the process in which I have taken. When finished with the install I will compile and post a successive, chronological flow, complete with photos, and a step by step write up of the process in which I have taken in order to finish this job.

I do, however, need to focus a bit upon Grad school applications.. So hard to prioritize other things in life over the finishing of the bus...Smile


It's a shame when life gets in the way of working on your vanagon. Very Happy
Those that follow you with this install will really appreciate the work you are doing to document it. Many thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David-

I look forward to seeing the documentary when you get there. Front AC is high on my list for the "new" Westy. Smile

Thank you for taking the time and effort to take pictures along the way!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So any update? Thanks
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got mine finished and it works well cooling the van. The radiator fan cycles correctly, and nice cool air comes out. The heater could be hotter, but havent figures out why. The coolant lines are definitely bled, and they get hot. There were only two big negatives.
1- I had to cut and reweld the bracket that holds the vintage air unit because in the SCP configuration the drivers side defrost vent was being blocked by a servo motor.
2- the control knobs aren't lighted, so I had to add an aviation post light so I use it at night.

Posting pics in the gallery.

Stephen
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stephen thanks for the extra pictures!
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=749359&highlight=

Syncro panel van camper build. Taking Offers.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=575458&highlight=
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