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EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP!
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AndyBees
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

Red Ryder wrote:
Nice fabrication work to save that AC duct. Now to find something to cover the “unseemly” seams!
Laughing


Yes, good work. And, those unsightly seams is exactly why I've been procrastinating in reference to my 89 Tin-top!
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Red Ryder
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

Nice fabrication work to save that AC duct. Now to find something to cover the “unseemly” seams!
Laughing
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

For an entire day I ran errands. It was 85° and I so enjoyed the front air distribution manifold!
I was comfortable and was able to use the much quieter #2 fan speed.

I do wonder though why they didn’t install vents in the ceiling section between the front seats?
It would be a nice feature to have.
I will soon have a spare center section, I may harvest some vents out of it to transplant.

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Dave
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jlrftype7
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

Well done Dave, another VW fiasco saved by owner ingenuity…. Cool Cool Cool
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'68 Westy- my first VW and vehicle/Bus- long gone.- sold it to a traveling Swiss couple....
'67 Type 3 Fastback, my 2nd car- also long gone
'69 Semi-Auto Stick Shift Beetle, my wife's first car= yep. still long gone....
2017 MINI Coopers, our current DDs
‘84 Tin Top - Hilga....Auto
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dabaron
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

that blows Wink

way better there than in my dining room Cool
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dobryan Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

Good job Dave. Got er dun.
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Dave O
'87 Westy w/ 2002 Subaru EJ25 and Peloquin TBD

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." Robert Louis Stevenson

MD>Canada>AK>WA>OR>CA>AZ>UT>WY>SD
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=620646

Building a bus for travel in Europe (euroBus)
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=695371

The West Coast Westy
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=746794
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct Reply with quote

But how to hang it all up?
Obviously previous plastic repair attempts have failed.
I'm not sure that I can do any better.

Many, I mean a LOT of people advised me to leave the duct work off.
They say the system actually cools better without the ducts.

I ran the Van for about 2 weeks without Duct work after fixing the A/C.
Yes, the A/C cooled off the interior but it required the blower fan to be on speed 3 or 4.
Speed 2 hardly moved the cold air to the front and speed 1? Well I haven't any speed 1 because my four speed switch died and I had a three speed heater fan switch in hand. I chose to use the top three speeds upon its installation.

Anyway, the cooling without duct work was similar to my Westy.
Ice cold air on the back of my neck.
My Wife has hair issues.
The fan created a wind inside not unlike having a window open.
Her hair blew all around so she took to keeping scrunchie hair ties on my shift lever, just like when we were young and dating in the early 1970’s in my 1960 Beetle!
The memories are fun, but the reality is........ I want duct work!

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So began my journey.

To be honest, this was a make it up as you go solution.

I went to Home Depot and spent about $20 on four 10” mending plates and two packages of size 1/4”x 1 1/4” round head sheet metal screws. You really can't go with screws too long without damaging the roof panel.

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My plan was to mount these plates mid point using the factory screw holes.
If I leave them loose and hanging they will hold up the front end of the duct and you will be able to slide the next piece over the mending plates begore tightening them up.
If I had a “do over card” I would not drill any holes until the entire assembly was loosely hung and spaced evenly.

What can I say?
It WORKS! (A few stray pieces of well placed wood provided some extra arms that I lacked.

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But now comes the dilemma ........ how do you tighten those screws?
There is zero access, the system was designed as a hidden fastener system.

Well something needs to change.
Obviously their hidden fastener system was a huge failure!

The hidden part is over.

Before installing the next section I projected down where the screws will fall and also forward and aft.
I made very small marks with a Sharpie on the outside.

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I was then able to accurately transfer the marks to the next section once installed.

Up goes section 2 !
Again some wooden props helps me tremendously! The first prop really is no longer needed and falls out soon after this photo was taken.

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Once the holes were marked I used a 1/2” spade bit and bored holes through the Plastic.
I first bored perpendicular to the curve of the plastic and once trough I tipped the bit vertically and reamed out the plastic to allow a screw driver to go straight up.

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IT WORKED!
Screw driver on the screw head…..

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But I am leaving the plates loose right now to allow some component floating as I work forward.

But Dave? What about the holes? How will you cover them?

I thought of that actually......
ACE Hardware
1/2” rubber well nuts.
(Hence my 1/2” spade bit choice)

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1/2” well nuts take a 1/4-20 screw. I chose stainless steel with a stainless steel washer about the size of the well nut top.
Once installed and tightened you will see four stainless screw heads.

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Wait Dave! What about the rubber seam trim?
Well...... I don't have any of that, so it is a non issue for me.

All went well until I was test installing the 3rd front duct.
Two problems arose.
The biggest was that the front distribution manifold must come down!
The second was that the drivers side of the 3rd duct has a molded in bump!
Why? I see no logical reason but there it is in this crappy photo!

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As a result, I cut one of my 10” mending plates down to the length of a Sharpie.

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This solved the interior obstruction issue.
Now the manifold.
Really not so bad, but again cracked plastic!
What holds it up?

A screw is on each side above the door jamb
The two screws which mount the sun visor hold it up on each side.
The sun visor clip screw holds it up on each side
Then there is a screw near the mirror coming in from the windshield on each side.
Don't let it sag and crack more, it is already fragile!

Once the manifold was off I installed duct 3 and so began the ballet of hooking duct 3 to the manifold while holding up the manifold and getting a screw started!
I needed three or four arms, I only had two but I got it done!

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I did make the mistake of making the rear seams tight.
This left wider gapped seams at the front.
Minor, but I may fix it someday...... might not.

I then took a test drive.
I was HOT and sweaty from installing the duct.
OMG! What a pleasure!
Cold air from the front!
I was sold on having this duct installed within the first 1000’ of driving!

It makes me wonder, do the anti duct people really hate the air delivery of having ducts, or do they hate that the ducts keep falling down?

Not unlike people spreading the rumor that Vanagon A/C sucks?
That it never worked well when new?

I and others have proven that the "Vanagon has a crappy A/C system" mindset to be an ignorant lie!
Vanagon A/C will freeze you out of the Vehicle......... if it is repaired correctly!

I am 100% confident that with my duct hanging system the ducts will NOT FALL DOWN.
I am however NOT 100% confident that the Evaporator housing or front manifold will stay up.

Dave
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Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:28 am; edited 4 times in total
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:02 am    Post subject: EZ method: Installing Tintop A/C Duct To STAY UP! Reply with quote

I have a 1990 Tintop.

I haven't had it long and the A/C duct work came to me piled in the back seat.

This duct work is a mystery to me, I had a Westy previously, which had no duct work.

I did recall reading about this duct system and the horrors of keeping it up on the ceiling!
But I paid little attention to the stories, they simply did not affect me.
Not unlike Syncro stories, interesting but they don't affect me.

Now
I have one, not only have one but I have duct work that has been repaired (possibly multiple times? ) with plastics, duct tape, aluminum, whatever.

It also had the VW recall "fix" steel plates still on the ceiling without any of the duct work attached!

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


When I brought the Van home in January 2021 the duct work came out if the Van and went on the deck. I then promptly forgot about it.

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


After getting the A/C working in July 21 I picked uo all of the pieces and laid them out figuring how they interconnected.
It isn't complex, just all sorts of broken!

I then figured out how the system was designed to be installed by asking questions on this forum.
It appears each piece hangs on the piece already installed.

Start at the back, install the Evaporator housing.
The next length slips into the Evaporator housing and the forward end is fastened to a roof cross member with two large screws.

The design was such that there was space to slip the next section above where the screws hold up the former piece. The plastic was molded to allow this.
Once the long center section (with the vents) was slipped above the rear section, it too got two big screws to hold it up in a similar manner.

The third section was a repeat slipping above the vent section but with an interesting twist. This third section needs to slip into the front manifold section while you mount the front manifold section!
From what I can see, about 6 arms are needed to pull this off!

Once it is completely installed and new, it worked great!

Until

The plastic started to age and fatigue.
The hanging tabs began to crack and then broke resulting in the entire system crashing down on the occupants below!

VW's fix was installing a steel plate to help reinforce the weak plastic.

I am sure this worked until the plastic fatigue extended beyond the steel plate!
Hence my steel plates screwed to the ceiling with zero duct work hanging on them!

Ok, what to do?
First thing? Clean the ducts. It appears that Mrs. Mouse took up residence this Spring in the long duct.
She was evicted and her home was destroyed.
The entire system was cleaned with Simple Green and then bathed in a Bleach solution. I HATE MOUSE PISS SMELL!

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Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473

Vanagon
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537

Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Sat Jul 31, 2021 10:37 am; edited 4 times in total
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