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Old 07-28-2016, 02:51 AM   #1
Patro46
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Patro's 74 Restomod Classic Air Perfect Fit Air Conditioner Install

After a good spell of research, I pulled the trigger and went with what I believe to be the hands down best solution for an improved, modernized heat and air conditioning comfort system for a C3 Corvette on the market today.
Several factors have upped the ante for an improved comfort system.
First up is clearance between something I'm trying to keep cool (evaporator) and something that tends to run real hot (exhaust manifold). I did pull it off, but it's uncomfortably close to the evaporator housing so you can bet it's picking up heat.

My factory AC is the dreaded VIR (valves in receiver) problematic by design. I pulled it and converted the system to a CCOT system at the beginning of by build. Even with the Sanden compressor, improved condenser coil, and making sure all air doors were doing their thing, it still left me wanting that modern AC feel-something NO factory C3 ever had in my opinion. Air flow simply wasn't to my satisfaction. Period. I then performed the C4 blower upgrade, which did help somewhat, but it still left me wanting. Don't get me wrong, you won't sweat with the AC running, but you won't be dropping it off high speed either-ever, and with a supercharged LS engine, the cabin needs to stay as cool as the rest of the car

So today after being told it might be 7 to 10 days, my new Classic Air Perfect Fit Elite Series comfort system has arrived about a week early! So what better time to give this latest example from the boy's at Classic Air a good gander!

So without further adieu...



It came nicely packaged



This is the box I couldn't wait to get opened. It contains the new D.E.F. HVAC control to replace the entire factory shifter console mounted unit.



Here she is. No bulky feeling slide cables. No vacuum lines. One idiot-proofed color coded Molex connector and that's it. Simply plug it into the ECU.

The first thing you'll notice when you pick this up is it is HEAVY! Everything on but the faceplate is like 1/8" powder painted steel. The second thing you'll notice is the solid, smooth operation of the blend air controls, and the firm, positive click of the blower speed selector. The construction is FAR better than I had figured or hoped it would be.




*Quick fact. My friend has a Vintage Air setup in his 72 Chevelle. It was a factory heat only car, so the kit came with the dash mounted control. Sorry Scott, but the Vintage Air control (for the Chevelle anyway) looks cheap and feels cheap. I'll be sure and post a few pics for reference.

Everything is clearly marked and bagged in an ABC manner for easy reference




Here is the brain of the system-the PCM. It's plug and play, color coded and clearly marked. If all you read was Spanish, you could complete this provided you weren't color blind as well... And Yes. No cables, vacuum lines of bungy cords here



Quality wiring throughout. They did a great job on the harness



Here's a view of the firewall block off plate. This is going to free up a LOT of real estate. It's solid and insulated, and has top notch holes already punched. Sweet



Anyone who has ever owned a C3 will appreciate having an automated method of shutting off water to the heater core



Next up is all the ducting. They included the parts to tie their ductwork into my existing factory AC registers. Here they are in no particular order





Here's the little gizmo that all the controversy was about. My Classic Air uses a genuine TXV (thermal expansion valve). Yay!
Why the yay? Because when folks like Lamborghini, Ferrari and other exotics use a TXV, there must be a reason, and there is. Instead of having a fixed metering device that Ford, Chevy or Dodge use, (like a jet on a Holley carb) you have a valve that opens and closes to allow more refrigerant into the evaporator or reduce the amount if the coil gets too cold. We want it cold. real cold, but we can't hit the magic 32 deg mark or our coil will freeze. Then no airflow makes it though and you start sweating...not a good thing. This unit is calibrated to maintain a 38-40 deg coil, right on par with any other offering, factory or otherwise.



Here's the servo motor for the face/floor air modes



Here's a view of the firewall side




Next up.... The install! Coming to a very near weekend!
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:41 AM   #2
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That looks like a real quality thought out kit. I don't know how many pennies it set you back but I bet it was worth it. Looking forward to the install
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Old 07-28-2016, 08:07 AM   #3
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I'm far from the same point, but already committed to an aftermarket AC system such as this, if for no better reason than to get a cleaner looking engine bay. Can't wait to see it installed, so get to work and post the pics!
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:46 PM   #4
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We just got home from a long work day, and I couldn't wait to show off the new shifter console HVAC control. The slides feel smooth with a firm positional force while moving it. I handed it to my son to show him how smooth they were when they didn't sound so smooth. Uh oh.

There is a tiny issue with the controller, and it has to do with the slide knobs. Here's what happened, and it did it on both the blend air door slide and the temp slide.



The issue is the knobs are push on knobs which is fine. However they push too far down and the bottom of the knob edges scrape the faceplate leaving behind a nice scrape mark.

Here's what caused both sides to scrape. The metal tension insert has a bent tab that pokes out on both slide knobs. It's this tab that makes contact with the faceplate on both slides and scratched it. The shafts either need less penetration into the knob or the knob needs a limiter, like a set screw. Once this is achieved, this is a flawless little controller. When I receive the replacement, I'll carefully check operation and depth. If it's still an issue, I'll post a fix before another faceplate gets scratched



They either need less travel on the slide shaft or some kind of limiter to prevent it from going down so far. Not a big issue, but one that needs addressed. I can see these things being returned for this very issue.

I'll have to send this one back in and let the boys gather their thoughts for a solution, and I'm betting they will come up with a great one. A new knob with a set screw would end this issue...(hint, hint).

This said, I don't waiver from the unbelievably solid and heavy construction, and the fact it really adds some well needed modernization to the C3.

I look forward to the install!
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Old 07-28-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
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So your other thread describing the differences between VA, and CA has me interested in upgrading to a modern system. However, I have a 78, and I like having a functioning glove box. With the interior heat exchanger on these units, can I retain the glove box, or do I lose some depth?
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:55 AM   #6
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Last night before bed, I took the time to read through the installation manual. With the addition of the electronic controls and integrated pcm, there is a process one needs to go through to perform the initial pcm programming.

I don't claim to know what information is possibly being programmed but I can take a stab at it. I think for the most part we are programming parameters, such as blend air door positioning (high and low parameters) and the same for the signal that controls the hot/cool (parameters on the servo driven water shut off valve) I'm also guessing there might be a parameter when the cool lever goes up to a certain location, the pcm triggers the ac compressor. just a guess though.



Anyway, here's the cool programming chip



here's the cool pcm controlled servo driven water shut off valve. This little gem automatically controls what every C3 owner has had to deal with at one time or another. Here's the position (closed) when the temp lever is in the cool position.



Here's the same valve when the lever is kicked to the hot postition




Though I haven't even started the install, I did read the install manual. They've had plenty of time to get the isntall manual right, and I think they did a pretty good job. It's laid out in such a way IF you follow along to the tee you won't end up backpeddaling. Clear and concise.




This is another item I like. Assembled with pride!



OK Moving onto the calibration. First up, we have to connect the various wiring. We will also need a 12 volt battery. Not a charger, but a battery. I used my 12 volt jump starter, and connected the units 12 volts supply through a 20 amp fuse.



Here's a view of Classic's pcm controller. They really idiot-proofed the connections for the most part.



Connect face/floor servo. Once again, color coded.



Next up, connect the elctronic water valve servo



Next up is connecting the electronic controller



Then we connect the blower harness to the new controller



Next up is the power harness. Once again, simple plug and play



Blower motor connection. On another note, I am impressed on the output of this little SPAL fan. SHe does indeed move more air



Thermostat connection



Then you tie your grounds together (3 I believe) and connect your battery. Insert the program chip into the pcm and run through a simple sequence of operations. This sets the postioning of air diverter door and water valve into the pcm once input from controller

Once this is completed, each test, if successful flashes an LED sequence before moving onto the next setting. This is a one time deal. You them remove the chip and place somewhere safe. Why this isn't done at the factory is beyond me, but it was kinda cool, and you get to see how it works what your going get as far as airflow.


Once calibrated, carefully box it back up. It's ready for installation.


Last edited by Patro46; 07-30-2016 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 07-30-2016, 09:43 AM   #7
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I really like the bench calibration. That way if there's a failure somewhere it's relatively easy to box it up and get it to and from without the hassle of uninstalling from the car.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:41 PM   #8
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Am I seeing that right, Patro? Sticker with colors aside are those 5 identical 6p connectors on the module? so like you could plug them in wrong if you wanted to or if the sticker faded or got wet and came off or the color on the sheathing faded over time.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:31 PM   #9
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Hey Pat-

Couple of questions-

Can you check the parasitic draw?

And is the memory "non volatile"- or will disconnecting the battery require you to reprogram.

thanks.... and carry on-

Richard
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard454 View Post
Hey Pat-

Couple of questions-

Can you check the parasitic draw?

And is the memory "non volatile"- or will disconnecting the battery require you to reprogram.

thanks.... and carry on-

Richard
SInce the one power lead is designed to be "key on 12v" there shouldn't be any draw? Or do you mean "system off, key on"?
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autowiz View Post
Am I seeing that right, Patro? Sticker with colors aside are those 5 identical 6p connectors on the module? so like you could plug them in wrong if you wanted to or if the sticker faded or got wet and came off or the color on the sheathing faded over time.
Yup! Indeed they are 5 identical plugs, and should you choose, I presume you COULD mix and match, with a presumed mixed bag of outcomes!

As stated earlier, provided someone didn't peel off the stickers, a mexican who can't read engish could put it together...provided he wasn't color blind!
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Old 07-31-2016, 11:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard454 View Post
Hey Pat-

Couple of questions-

Can you check the parasitic draw?

And is the memory "non volatile"- or will disconnecting the battery require you to reprogram.

thanks.... and carry on-

Richard
I can't answer the parasitic draw question, but I assume that since he programmed it with a 12 volt source that is not in the car, then disconnected that source and put the system back in the box, that the system uses non volatile memory. Correct me if I'm wrong Patro. BTW, I've enjoyed following your progress!
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Old 07-31-2016, 02:29 PM   #13
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This is a cool piece. I've been wanting a modern A/C for mine to. Does it come with lines and fittings? The reason I ask is I'm needing to hook up a Denson 10 series compressor to whatever I get.
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:03 PM   #14
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I had already converted the condenser and the compressor, so I only ordered the the inside kit. If you opt for the entire kit, then yes, it comes with everything including pre bent lines
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patro46 View Post
I had already converted the condenser and the compressor, so I only ordered the the inside kit. If you opt for the entire kit, then yes, it comes with everything including pre bent lines
Hey I didn't realize you ordered the interior kit (I'm in the same boat). Did you get the evap housing out without pulling the motor? I'll be watching this thread closely. What did the kit cost?
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