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  #1  
Old 10-08-2014, 12:52 AM
ffjake ffjake is offline
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Default AC conversion 1960 thunderbird

Hello,
Has anyone done an AC conversion on their 1960 thunderbird? I have some R12 left (just one can) so I'm looking to see about converting my 1960 thunderbird from a R12 system to an R134A... I also have a 1966 F100 that I'm looking to convert as well but I figure I'll start with my bird. It came with the stock AC. Any advice or recommended conversion kits/processes would be great!
Thank you,
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2014, 01:25 AM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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One name that continually pops up is Classic Auto Air in Tampa & Texas. They have a great tech support service to answer questions regarding your swap. I bought two R134a systems from them for my classic Ford cars. Both use Sanden compressors. Give them a call and ask lots of questions.

BTW, you won't have ANY trouble getting rid of a can of R-12. - Dave
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2014, 03:15 AM
ffjake ffjake is offline
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Thanks, I will call them however I do not want to change my existing OE setup with the exception of the hoses dryer seals etc.... hopefully they can help though....
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:25 AM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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I've been adding A/C to my car that originally did not have A/C to make it appear that it was added at the dealership. Basically it looks like a factory set up but has a bracket that extends the Bendix under hood booster out to clear the evaporator box. Lots of other little things to get the system on there though .......

I ordered my hoses from Classic Auto Air. I decided to leave out the mid hose sight glass - seemed like too many specialty seals to deal with rebuilding the one I have (the sight glass is also a valve for servicing and wasn't sure if mine was any good). Classic Air installed a different end on one hose to eliminate the mid sight glass. Their hoses are expensive. Been told you can usually find a local shop that can make hoses and come out better. I should have checked around but at the time I thought I was ready to install the system and get it working for the summer so just went with CAA - of course - then the rear main seal went bad and I ended up doing engine work instead of A/C work.

I installed a new aluminum condenser, new drier, hoses, rebuilt the evaporator box (you are supposed to recalibrate your expansion valve for R-134 but I just made sure mine was working correctly by using the ice water method in the manual). Added insulation to the inside of the box and ducting etc but I haven't bought my compressor yet.

Dave suggested using the Sanden compressor - much more efficient - but I hope to use an original style - just because I guess. Probably will end up changing it (was hoping to have the A/C so cold that when I show up at a summer time car show and open the door - the temp at the car show will drop 5 degrees - ).

Sounds like you are aware that you can't use your old hoses and seals with R-134. The PAG oil needed for R-134 eats away at the rubber plus the molecules in 134 are small enough to leach out of the old hoses so your always having to add freon. New hoses are Teflon lined. Guess you "can" use the old stuff if you are aware of the problems you will have. I did that on an old truck I have and the screen in the orifice tube is always clogging - even with a new drier, complete system flush etc.

Let us know how yours turns out.....

Eric



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Old 10-08-2014, 04:46 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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I saw a 1# can of R12 on craigslist and they wanted $95 for it. Ouch.

Nyles
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  #6  
Old 10-08-2014, 10:25 PM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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In the early 80's, I had an automatic BB gun that used Freon as the propellant. Advertised as being able to shoot 2000 BB's per minute....

Dad had several dozen cans of Freon on the shelf in the machine shop. I think they were maybe a dollar a can or so; whatever it was, it wasn't too expensive as I recall.

I still have the gun, but the Freon is long gone!
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:29 AM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKheld View Post
I've been adding A/C to my car that originally did not have A/C to make it appear that it was added at the dealership. ...
That's not easy to do because the power steering is different between AC and non-AC cars.

I did mine with a Sanden style by trial and error. I had to exchange the compressor and bracket from the original kit that I was sold.

I eventually ended up with a nice set-up through. I have a March serpentine kit, two belts, which are about 1/3 the cost of their single belt system. The PS is now a Saginaw type off an early 70's Chevy, more or less in the OE position. The alternator is a Ford body in the OE position. The Sanden "peanut" compressor sits under the alternator. I mounted the radiator bottom clips in the front of the frame opening and tilted it as far forward as possible by modifying the upper part of the radiator frame. This allowed me to squeeze in an electric fan from a Lincoln Mark 8 with about 1/4" clearance.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2014, 03:52 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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Looks like a really clean conversion. I'll bet there was more than a "little" trial and error in setting that up.
It looks like the AC compressor is running on the backside of the serpentine belt. Surprising you can get enough power transmitted if that is the case.
Nyles
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2014, 05:29 PM
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DKheld DKheld is offline
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X2 on a nice setup - looks great. Tried to stay with a more original look on mine. (What's a Chevy? - ha!)

"not easy" seems to be included in any project I undertake these days - - just have to keep the thinking cap handy..

Special water pump pulley, different power steering pulley (took forever to find), different fan spacer, different generator pulley, booster extender bracket (made of unobtanium), different pedal bracket - etc (all to make it look original). And that was the easy part - then came cutting the firewall to add the evaporator and duct work.

Don't think I have even taken the time to take a good picture after I put it all together. Once I got it running again I have just been too busy driving it.

Hopefully I'll install the compressor this spring - don't need it now.

Yes those are 312 Y block stickers on my 352 valve covers - I just like them.


and I did change to a 70's Ford 400 ci flex fan to cut down on the fan noise on the interstate - no room for an electric fan but haven't needed one.......yet.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:12 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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Valve covers look great and I do like the stickers.
I changed my covers to the ones that say Thunderbird instead of Ford. The Ford covers were the stock in 60.
Nyles
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