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Old 05-21-2017, 09:16 AM   #111
tekctrl
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Default Adding A/C

Now that everything else is working pretty well, it's time to add the final ingredient; the Southern Air A/C kit that we bought at last year's Nationals.

Started mocking everything up a few days ago. No major problems so far, just the irritating stuff; hose fitting missing, parts have to be 'adjusted' to fit properly, instructions are sketchy or just plain wrong. but that's what hot rodding is about...file to fit, paint to hide...adapt, improvise, overcome. :-)

Will do a trial-fit on the under-dash unit tomorrow, as well as mounting the condenser and such. I'm totally ignorant about a/c, so taking lots of time to go slow and consult with more knowledgeable club members.

Having the condenser, dryer, etcetera already mounted will let me get the hose routing and fittings oriented properly. Already learned important lesson from another club member; when cutting a hose to length, Always have an index mark on the hose and fittings so that the fittings are properly oriented and the hose isn't twisted to get it on.
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:05 PM   #112
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Glad to hear things are moving in the right direction... I thought it was file to fit and hammer to match...maybe I have been doing this wrong.
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Old 05-22-2017, 08:20 AM   #113
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Default 2 steps forward, 1 step back

While doing a trial fit on the condenser yesterday, I pulled the fan and shroud from the back of the radiator and removed the plastic clips holding the trans cooler to the radiator. Mid-way through working on getting the condenser mounting brackets done right I noticed a puddle (!!) of engine coolant creeping out from under the front of 'Christine'. Seems to be coming from the radiator. I thought that those plastic 'through clips' weren't capable of injuring the radiator. Drained the radiator and now I get to return it to the shop for inspection/repair. (sigh) I guess the good news is that it did this in the driveway and not 200 miles from home on the freeway.
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:20 PM   #114
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The a/c unit that we got is a 3-vent unit. Discovered today that the end vents won't fit with the kick-panel speakers in place. We have a console under the center of the dash, so the under-dash center vent won't work either. Time to exercise my metal fabrication skills and make a plate to go where the OEM radio-delete was located in the dash and modify the center vent to put it in the new mounting plate, then fabricate some brackets to mount the corner vents out of the way of the kick-panel speakers.

Have a factory radio-delete plate but don't want to cut it up if I can avoid it as they're just too hard to find.

Good thing that we have plenty of time to get this done right before hitting the road to B-G. :-)
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:15 PM   #115
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Default Back on track

Got the radiator back from the shop. They said that a screw for the shroud had penetrated one of the tubes. Trashed the shroud screws and got some shorter ones, put the shroud back on and noticed that the shroud has a gap at the bottom...it doesn't cover the entire radiator. Cut a strip of adhesive backed foam rubber and put that on so the shroud would have a good seal around the entire radiator. Put the radiator, a/c condenser and trans cooler back in and took it out for a spin. No leaks!

Mocked up a mounting plate for the center-dash a/c vent where Chevrolet put the radio in the dash of the '57. Need to transfer the dimensions from the cardboard template to some sheet metal and make it permanent.

The corner vents in the kit will not work. The pass side interferes with the kick panel speaker and the drivers side interferes with the kick panel speaker and the parking brake. Southern Air says they'll trade me the corner pieces for another center-dash vent which Will mount under the dash in each corner using the tabs that are already on the vents.

Still need to mount the heater valve and complete installing the vents, then do a test fit for the under dash a/c unit. After that's all finalized, we can get to work on the hoses.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:17 AM   #116
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Copied the cardboard template to sheet steel, cut & bent to fit, and everything fits okay. Primed and painted it to match the dash... surprise!... the paint color on the cap (which is an exact match for the dash) is NOT the color in the can and it was the last can of this color on the shelf at the store.

Mailed off the unusable corner vents to Southern Rods on Saturday. Might get the vents that work by Friday? 'Til then, just sitting here twiddling as I want to have the vents mocked up in place before doing a trial fit on the under-dash unit. Hate waiting on parts.

Received the missing fitting from Southern Rods so now the kit is complete as far as that goes. Can't do anything with it, though, as it goes on the under-dash unit and that still needs a test fit.

Took 'Christine' out for a spin and noticed that the temp is a little higher (not quite to 200 degrees but stable) than it had been before installing the a/c condenser (180-190). Thinking of getting some HVAC adhesive backed aluminum tape and sealing the edges so that All of the air being pulled by the fan comes through the radiator/condenser/trans cooler and not around the edges. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Twiddle...twiddle...twiddle.
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Old 06-15-2017, 01:10 PM   #117
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Default Final Report

The a/c install is coming along. Got all of the parts and have just about everything mocked up awaiting final/permanent install, charging & testing.

Have an appointment at a nearby garage to fine tune the carb and engine and see if they can squeeze any more MPG's out of it beyond the 19.1 (!) that it's giving us now.

Took 'Christine' out for a spin the other day and it's FUN to drive! Put it in Drive, stuck my foot in the throttle and spun the rear wheels without even trying! Since the new motor is good for around 5.5-6K RPM's, and it's doing 2700-3000RPM's at 70, I calculate that it should be good for up to 140mph which is Waaay more than I want or need.

This swap made 'Christine' exactly as we wanted it; a nice, reasonably quiet, comfortable highway cruiser that handles and keeps up with modern traffic without problem but fully capable of getting rowdy too. It'll never be a show car but it sure is Fun to drive now!
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