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Thread: Patro's 74 Restomod Classic Air Perfect Fit Air Conditioner Install Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-30-2018 05:46 PM
lan240 I am looking at putting the CAA HVAC in my 69 non AC convertible. How hard was it getting the duct to the drivers side vent?
04-21-2017 11:38 AM
gdh Great job fitting everything in and making it look so good.
04-21-2017 01:42 AM
Patro46 With the Classic Air Perfect Fit cabin air conditioning installed, it is time to move to the firewall forward area.

I didn't opt for the Classic Air firewall forward kit because I have already converted to a Sanden Compressor and upgraded the condenser (twice now as well as the radiator. Gotta love hindsight)

So it's a matter of running new refrigerant lines, low pressure switch, trinary switch on the high side and still find room to jam a high side filter/dryer into the already now packed area of the passenger side firewall.

First up, the filter dryer needs mounted....somewhere.

As you can see, I'm running out of room. But this IS the last component....I think. Surely I can jam one more thing in...




I think just behind the heater hoses and in front of the Snow Performance meth tank is just about enough room



Where I'm thinking about mounting it is going to require a very sturdy mount to prevent vibration from snapping the high side inlet leading into the evaporator coil. I hope to NEVER have to dig into that area again.

Anyway, time for this 'Po Boy to bust out the hardware store aluminum scrap from other projects and see what we can come up with.



Aluminum is by far one of my favorite metals to play with. It's fairly cheap, is soft yet rigid, and with a little sandpaper and a polishing wheel it shines like a diamond (almost)



The two pronged low side pressure switch is just there to seal the hole in the dryer. That switch will be located in the suction line, and a high side trinary switch will be located there, and will be responsible for both compressor and electric fan control via the engine's PCM, located somewhere behind the Snow Performance tank and pump

This turned out pretty good, and is rock solid. The boys at Classic Air should be proud...




It sure is looking awful busy under the hood these days



Almost done! I need to make a few lines, evac and charge. Just in time for the 2017 Power Tour!
04-21-2017 01:05 AM
Patro46
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdh View Post
Can't thank-you enough for posting your detailed instal with pics. When you put the centre consol back in I'll be interested to hearing how much the hoses get crushed (Vintage Air seems like a lot but supposedly VA now only ships an updated set of hoses). I will likely buy a used stock a/c centre vent setup to be able to divert cold air to both myself and passenger.
There was an issue with the center two registers being able to go back far enough. I had to deviate from the instructions and cut back the center factory duct almost a full 1/2" further than instructed. As far as the 2" ducts go, a few may be a tab egg shaped, but that about it. Airflow is better than ANY C3 I've ever been in!
04-15-2017 07:52 AM
gdh Can't thank-you enough for posting your detailed instal with pics. When you put the centre consol back in I'll be interested to hearing how much the hoses get crushed (Vintage Air seems like a lot but supposedly VA now only ships an updated set of hoses). I will likely buy a used stock a/c centre vent setup to be able to divert cold air to both myself and passenger.
04-15-2017 01:14 AM
Patro46 Even though getting rid of the factory air, and that freed up some space, it's still at a premium, so I decided to house the entire pump and reservoir in one neat little area. this will also protect the pump.





I still have to get the heater core water valve and both heater hoses in place, so I can only move the tank forward up to the heater hoses. Still yet, I need to install the AC lines here as well, and still need room for the intercooler reservoir.



Tucked about as neat as I could it



Wiring reloom. Done. Meth injection-done. I selected the 600 hp jet and set the boost parameters. The meth injection comes on at 3 lbs boost, and at 10% of full rating. It graduates in meth delivery from 10% to 100%, and 100% being realized at 9 lbs boost. Pretty cool setup



I got the new condenser in place, and will begin to button this up
04-14-2017 05:28 AM
Patro46 I'm nearly done, and had I not had a long laundry list of "to do's", I'd have been done two weeks ago.


I realize, this thread is about the install of a Classic Air Perfect Fit AC system, and it is, it's just that I had to address a lot of issues as soon as the factory evaporator, housing and blower motor were removed, and though all I lack are the refrigeration lines, I had a handful of things that had to go in first before the AC lines could go in.


First up was the LS1 PCM, as it took a total redesign. I tucked it back towards the passenger inner fender.


Here you can see the PCM located next to the burp tank. Take note of the wiring. All that messy wiring. That gets addressed as well





Next up, right in front of the PCM, I had to find a way to tuck the Snow performance meth tank, and still be able to get to the fill cap and still have the room for the rather large 300 psi Snow Performance methane pump, but we're not done yet.


I still have to squeeze the heater hoses and the new Classic Air heater control valve. All the sudden all this newly gained real estate is now gone, but I still have room for headers now, unlike before!


After giving the workspace a good gander, this is what I came up with


04-10-2017 12:50 AM
Patro46 Last night, I burnt the midnight oil until about 5 am, and got quite a bit done.
The Perfect Fit AC is installed in the cabin now. The airflow improvement alone is one leaving me giddy at how much better it should cool.



As far as "Perfect Fit"? There is no such thing, however, understand, you are taking what used to eat up tons of real estate under the dash and a solid 1/3rd of the passenger firewall and jamming it ALL under the dash. This said, my hat's off to the guys at Classic Air for squeezing a pretty damn robust HVAC system in a very confined area.

This said, I had to perform several mods that deviated from the instructions, but in a mod like this, expect it.

While performing this project, I took on several others as well. A cold air solution and entire reloom of the engine compartment wiring. Also, while having the dash pretty well gutted from the AC install, what better time to unbox the Snow stage 2 Meth Injection Kit.



Well....look what Summit tossed in. Who says you don't get freebies!



I took the AEM boost gauge out of the pod and installed the Snow Performance controller. Not only does it control the meth on a digital boost injection controller, It also shows boost, and does it in much cooler graphics, easy to change both the graph colors as well as the text. Huge improvement over the AEM boost gauge



Here's a view of the shorter radiator. I also had to replace the condenser. That's next.

04-10-2017 12:20 AM
Patro46
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdh View Post
Thank-you, I helped a friend install a unit (not sure the make anymore) around 2001. That poor 71 had been butchered by a previous owner. It was a nightmare as the guy tried retrofitting a 78 dash at some point then put the 71 back on. Nothing worked, took us a long time to fix that mess, haven't opened up a dash since.

Does the centre dash vent that comes with the pkg work like the OEM one in able to divert air to both the driver and passenger at the same time. From the pics it looks like a single vent that can direct air either left or right or is it split? I like the optional DER as well.
The center vent isn't divided. it's blowing left, right or in the middle
03-30-2017 08:43 PM
gdh Thank-you, I helped a friend install a unit (not sure the make anymore) around 2001. That poor 71 had been butchered by a previous owner. It was a nightmare as the guy tried retrofitting a 78 dash at some point then put the 71 back on. Nothing worked, took us a long time to fix that mess, haven't opened up a dash since.

Does the centre dash vent that comes with the pkg work like the OEM one in able to divert air to both the driver and passenger at the same time. From the pics it looks like a single vent that can direct air either left or right or is it split? I like the optional DER as well.
03-30-2017 06:05 PM
Patro46
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdh View Post
Greatly appreciate your right up c/w pics. I've been going through the whole CAA vs VA process for my 72 convertible non a/c and will probably go with CAA.
The CAA website is not very complete as it mentions options but no links to price etc. ie center vent upgrade and electronic stock looking control unit. I've read that the included center vents are very shiny unlike stock.
The passenger side dash braces are different for a/c vs non a/c cars. I am wondering if I shouldn't look for an a/c car brace to help with cowl shake.

Looking fwd to hearing about how much cold air this pushes.

A/C passenger brace
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126440...dateposted-ff/




Non A/C passenger brace
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126440...dateposted-ff/

You are correct on the brace. The upper one has to be removed. The lower one still, barely fits, but barely counts at this stage.
As far as the "shiny vents", even though I cant use them (mine is factory air) they are simply chrome plated plastic just like the reproduction ones I got from Willcox. For an "add on", (a car without factory air) it should look right at home and certainly not an "add on look".
CCA provides a template for non factory ac cars to cut out the area for their new center dash register. It's one long one instead of the stock duals, but most would never know the difference.
As far as air flow, I bench tested this unit while performing the one time system electronics calibration, and I can say without a doubt, even with my C5 blower and squirrel cage mod, the CCA outperforms my best effort by a longshot. Can't beat a Spal fan, plus it gives me peace of mind knowing the same brand fans are powering my radiator fans as well as my intercooler radiator. They just work, OEM quality.
Also note, both the CCA and VA use TVX valves for metering refrigerant. This device far surpasses any fixed metering device on the market. Charged correctly, I'm betting I get 38 deg, if not lower coming out the supply registers. Keep in mind with the TXV, as load conditions charge, so does the amount of refrigerant being metered into the evaporator coil.

I think most noteworthy is the optional D.E.R. (Direct Electronic Replacement) control head. This puppy is solid steel and heavy, and is silkscreened to look rather at home in a C3. First, it just looks like it belongs, something that was a must with my build, and gets rid of the clunky method of converting your existing cable driven control over to electronic. Their method reminds me of lady fingers when we were kids...hehe...
03-29-2017 07:15 AM
gdh Greatly appreciate your right up c/w pics. I've been going through the whole CAA vs VA process for my 72 convertible non a/c and will probably go with CAA.
The CAA website is not very complete as it mentions options but no links to price etc. ie center vent upgrade and electronic stock looking control unit. I've read that the included center vents are very shiny unlike stock.
The passenger side dash braces are different for a/c vs non a/c cars. I am wondering if I shouldn't look for an a/c car brace to help with cowl shake.

Looking fwd to hearing about how much cold air this pushes.

A/C passenger brace
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126440...dateposted-ff/




Non A/C passenger brace
https://www.flickr.com/photos/126440...dateposted-ff/

03-29-2017 12:05 AM
Patro46

First up, going over the install instructions one more time. Also note:ClassicAir has a PDF of the install online that you can download, is in color, and is a different install than the one included in the kit.

I suggest both, as some steps kinda need a different perspective, and with both instructionals, you get it.





I probably don't need to detail what this is like, but done in a systematic method, it is possible to achieve this goal while remaining sane, but it isn't easy.

You don't need to remove the entire center console, but the gauge cluster needs to come out.



This offers the perfect time to install the adjustable resistor I got from Willcox a few years ago and install it on the temp gauge. This will allow me to calibrate the temp gauge with the actual engine temp. (You simply can't find an aftermarket sending unit that will read correctly). The pigtail is long enough to put the gauges back in place and calibrate it on demand. Pretty cool, and something that's been needed for a lot of years on just about every old Chevy made.

Here's a view of just how cramped the wider LS engine is, and just how much real estate the factory air takes up. I NEED this space!



What I CAN tell you, is with an LS swap in a 74 Stingray Convertible with factory air, you CANNOT get the evaporator and housing out without first removing the engine.

It was at this stage, in a very brief 1.7 seconds I decided two parts can come out of a hole where one part won't a lot faster than it takes to remove an engine, so out came the 20 volt Dewalt sawzaw and made short order of that task...




Note all the leaves and crap that work their way into the very worse possible location for restricted airflow



Here is the provided block off plate for where the old blower was located. Even though ClassicAir provided the foam sealing tape, this is another area I simply DON'T want to risk ANY hot engine compartment air entering the cabin. I used a clear HVAC silicone for this, and a few other areas of concern.



Here's a view of the interior firewall. With everything out of the way, this was also the time to apply some high tech heatproofing so I broke out the wire brush and knocked out some aged glue holding aged insulation, then followed up with a good scrubbing of wax and grease remover.

This will insure when the Stinger Roadkill is rolled on, it will stay put, even when applied overhead. Not only does this stuff insulate, it deadens anything you stick it too. I applied a few strips to the interior door skin, as well as full treatment under the door panels. This stuff simply "works".



Here's a view of the robust stamped steel powder painted evaporator block off plate. It also came equipped with a great durable insulated rubber like sealing gasket, so robust I didn't feel the need to interject an improvement



*Note. Before installing the evaporator and block off plate, carefully cut the rubber gasket out around the knock outs with an Xacto Knife, and place the plate over the heater core lines as well as the suction and discharge connections and check for proper alignment. I didn't and ended up pulling the evaporator and setting the plate as it sat. Note how far off the condensate drain is from the drain punch out. This wasn't a simple "twist and fix" solution, as the line creating the issue was the larger 5/8" aluminum line leading into the evaporator, and it's not like bending soft copper. This said, with careful use of leverage, I aligned it up to perfection on the bench.

Trust me, this will save time and it seems I recollect the instructional mentioning this....



Once properly aligned, it went together like it was a perfect fit...
Hmmm It is after all, a ClassicAir Perfect Fit series system, right?



I deviated a tad when it came to mounting the evaporator/blower. ClassicAir suggests mounting and leveling the interior unit before installing the block off plate, however, I chose to secure the block off plate first, then align the evap/blower and secure, I think this way might prevent having to realign the evap/blower and re-drill any mounting holes



Next up is the center console air discharge vent above the wiper switch. If you car has factory air, you need to make a few cuts in the new center supply plenum and do away with the factory shut off flap and lever, then apply the included foam seal. If you car didn't have factory air, you'll use the enclosed template to cut a slot for the new included chrome register. Mine was a factory air car, so I did the mod and kept my stock registers.
Mine always flopped around like a wet noodle, and I was always readjusting it. When out this time, I installed two o rings (different sized) on the outer register swivels. This tightened them up and won't be vibrating around when 600 hp is unleashed



I'm a big believer in over securing ductwork, and used 2 (two) self tapping #8's on each connection. My ductwork won't slip or vibrate off.




Here's another view, and you can see the notch I had to cut the clear the factory center wiper switch/ air register pod



Wow! Look at the real estate! I can see a set of headers here now, a meth injection kit, and maybe even an intercooler reservoir! All while housing the engines PCM as well. Oh the possibilities!




Well, this is about as far as I made it tonight.


Next Up: The wiring, and integration into the intelligent HVAC controls that the 2000 LS1 PCM provides, as well as the one any only stock looking center console mounted electronic control head, that is a VERY pleasant and durable replacement to the old string and cable driven units our C3's came with.

Stay TuneD!
03-28-2017 10:16 PM
Patro46
Quote:
Originally Posted by slofut View Post
I wish I'd installed the complete CA hvac, I did just the firewall forward. Although I cleaned the evaporator well, and totally rebuilt all the in dash/console bits, I now know that the CA would be much more efficient not to mention gaining some firewall space.
Well, you got rid of the outdated stuff anyway. I know on mine the VIR system, evap and housing ate far too much real estate. Not only that, but even after all the Stinger Roadkill installed, improvements to the blower motor, and sealing up all the ductwork, on a hot summer day it left me wanting more.

The design of the ClassicAir evap/blower is a hands down improvement in every way. I especially like the fact they use a much more expensive method of metering refrigerant, and can change the amount of refrigerant entering the evaporator dependent upon heat load. This allows the evaporator to hang around 35 deg without the fear of freezing, unlike the fixed metering devices used throughout the automotive industry industry.

You already vamped the outside, probably consisting of the much more efficient Sanden compressor, as well as a much more efficient condenser.
03-27-2017 12:48 PM
slofut I wish I'd installed the complete CA hvac, I did just the firewall forward. Although I cleaned the evaporator well, and totally rebuilt all the in dash/console bits, I now know that the CA would be much more efficient not to mention gaining some firewall space.
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