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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to you guys here who have posted and a few guys I know I've started this project. I just sold my perfectly good drivetrain to a local C3 guy (383 stroker motor (with a bunch of goodies), TCI th350 trans w/b&m stall, OBX side pipe headers (kept sidepipes and mufflers for LS engine).

I'm planning on the LS3 525 crate motor with a 4L70e trans and stall. I'll also be going installing a vintage air setup along the way.

Here's some pictures from a few days ago. I'm waiting to hear back from a vendor before ordering the new setup. Hopefully I'll get it ordered next week and get some stuff moving here.

Out with the old....







 

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Consider me subscribed! Before you pull the pin on Vintage Air, you really need to look into Classic Auto Air beforehand. TXV metering, larger capacity evaporator (not siamesed) and the DER controller that takes the place of the stock clunky HVAC controls?
Yea baby. Perform due diligence before pulling the plug on Vintage Air. They simply cant touch the Classic Auto Air Perfect Fit series.
That said, your gonna love the swap, EVERYTIME you get behind the wheel!
Im running a blown LS with a beefed 4L60e, 3600 Vigilante billet and 3:73 cogs.
More fun than GM ever envisioned for a C3 Corvette!
 

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Good looking car.
Going to be killer with that LS3.

What trans mount/motor mount combo are you going with?

Subscribed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Consider me subscribed! Before you pull the pin on Vintage Air, you really need to look into Classic Auto Air beforehand. TXV metering, larger capacity evaporator (not siamesed) and the DER controller that takes the place of the stock clunky HVAC controls?
Yea baby. Perform due diligence before pulling the plug on Vintage Air. They simply cant touch the Classic Auto Air Perfect Fit series.
That said, your gonna love the swap, EVERYTIME you get behind the wheel!
Im running a blown LS with a beefed 4L60e, 3600 Vigilante billet and 3:73 cogs.
More fun than GM ever envisioned for a C3 Corvette!
Thanks for the information. I just emailed classic to see if they have any options available for my 79. Not sure what the differences would be besides ductwork. I'm very much looking forward to the LS drivetrain, ac and hearing an LS3 through sidepipes (hopefully it sounds good!)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good looking car.
Going to be killer with that LS3.

What trans mount/motor mount combo are you going with?

Subscribed.
I'm looking at custom image at this point for motor mounts and trans crossmember. Waiting on a little further information from them. Same goes for the the ls3/trans setup. I'm ready to order now that all the old stuff is out and sold!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Man, I wish someone around me would want to get rid of their perfectly good 383! Good Luck with the swap.
That was a fun little motor! Loads of torque and a lot of spinning tires! It was about 10 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
A little bit of degreaser and pressure washing along with demo of the old ac setup and pulling dash. Engine bay will get some fresh paint and some new wiring harnesses (car had an engine bay fire atsome point and random splices in the engine harness, starter and ac). I think I will really like the additional space in the engine bay though.











 

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Discussion Starter #10
Consider me subscribed! Before you pull the pin on Vintage Air, you really need to look into Classic Auto Air beforehand. TXV metering, larger capacity evaporator (not siamesed) and the DER controller that takes the place of the stock clunky HVAC controls?
Yea baby. Perform due diligence before pulling the plug on Vintage Air. They simply cant touch the Classic Auto Air Perfect Fit series.
That said, your gonna love the swap, EVERYTIME you get behind the wheel!
Im running a blown LS with a beefed 4L60e, 3600 Vigilante billet and 3:73 cogs.
More fun than GM ever envisioned for a C3 Corvette!
I called classic auto air today and it sounds like they can provide a set up for my 79 and may be able to convert the factory controls or I may just go with their switch/knob controller similar to vintage air. I checked out your install thread and it doesn't look too bad now that everything is already out.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have about 90% of everything bought. Just waiting for everything to come in. Josh at CIC has been very helpful with getting me on the right track with the the LS3/525 ECM and going in the right direction for a harness.

I went with a 3500-3700 stall from circle d. E67 ECM harness from Tilden motorsports. LS3/525 motor and ECM, 4L70E trans, Motor mounts, crossmember for trans, engine accessories, tcm, new wilwood master cylinder and handful of other misc items are coming from CIC.

Here's some updated pictures. I tried my best to clean up the engine bay without going too overboard and ripping everything out. Filled in some holes and painted. I still have some touch ups but came out decent considering what it looked like previously.








souvenir from the old 383....my friend that helped e build the engine has the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
classic auto air system came in last week. Hopefully it performs well and everything looks nicely laid out. Not sure exactly what to think about other than that. The company gave me a "custom kit" since they don't make one for the 79. I figured they would've started with the 68-76 kit and worked out the differences. (which maybe I should've just ordered the older setup and dealt with the differences myself, we'll see) Instead this way I had to make my own block off plates on the firewall. Not that hard and came out clean looking (see below).

I sent back the cheesy looking controller for the system. 1: cheesy looking 2: knobs are too large and you can't see the symbols, 3: way too large 4: goofy way of mounting.

I returned the defrost vent they send because it doesn't match up to the factory defrost and not close to the dimensions I gave for fitment. If they provide something close to the right size for the factory vent duct I can modify to make it work. Not a big deal and expected.

I also had to order some bulkhead fittings because with this kit they give you grommets to route your lines through the firewall. Kinda cheesy looking on this build in my opinion. I wasn't told this when I ordered the kit either.

I called last thursday to return the controller and get some bulkhead fittings and the guy never returned my call. I called the following tuesday and he said he received the controller I shipped back to them and will get the bulkhead fittings and new slimline controller out the following day (wednesday). I had to call again Thursday to check in on the status. I was really hoping to have these parts in by the weekend so I can get this thing tested and installed on the interior side over the 4th of July holidays. It's very apparent I'm going to have to call again today to confirm my parts were shipped. Sigh........






controller:



defrost vent sent (yeah, that's not gonna work):



The vent connections they sent over for the sides worked out perfect for my 79 dash:


the center vent will work just fine. Luckily I kept the factory ducts to modify for the center vents and defrost vents.
factory:


modified factory/CAA:
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Here's the block off plates I cutout for the old unit and blower. I also had a rusted out plate on the drivers side wiper area I went ahead and made.



Painted up and bolted on along with the slightly cleaned up firewall (still have to clean hinges):



[




 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'm also redoing the wiring in the engine bay with some braided loom. I think this will last a little while and look nice.



new 79 engine harness with braid loom:
 

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classic auto air system came in last week. Hopefully it performs well and everything looks nicely laid out. Not sure exactly what to think about other than that. The company gave me a "custom kit" since they don't make one for the 79. I figured they would've started with the 68-76 kit and worked out the differences. (which maybe I should've just ordered the older setup and dealt with the differences myself, we'll see) Instead this way I had to make my own block off plates on the firewall. Not that hard and came out clean looking (see below).

I sent back the cheesy looking controller for the system. 1: cheesy looking 2: knobs are too large and you can't see the symbols, 3: way too large 4: goofy way of mounting.

I returned the defrost vent they send because it doesn't match up to the factory defrost and not close to the dimensions I gave for fitment. If they provide something close to the right size for the factory vent duct I can modify to make it work. Not a big deal and expected.

I also had to order some bulkhead fittings because with this kit they give you grommets to route your lines through the firewall. Kinda cheesy looking on this build in my opinion. I wasn't told this when I ordered the kit either.

I called last thursday to return the controller and get some bulkhead fittings and the guy never returned my call. I called the following tuesday and he said he received the controller I shipped back to them and will get the bulkhead fittings and new slimline controller out the following day (wednesday). I had to call again Thursday to check in on the status. I was really hoping to have these parts in by the weekend so I can get this thing tested and installed on the interior side over the 4th of July holidays. It's very apparent I'm going to have to call again today to confirm my parts were shipped. Sigh........
Sorry to hear of your issues with the AC.
I'll still be interested in the finished look of the unit once it's all done compared with the Vintage kit. My unit hangs below the dash is slightly distracting.

But on a positive spin, your'e moving along nicely. Engine compartment looks good! that loom wrap will look good installed. Much more modern.
Keep up the good work!
 

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I'm also redoing the wiring in the engine bay with some braided loom. I think this will last a little while and look nice.



new 79 engine harness with braid loom:
First off, sorry about the issues on the AC. The kit I received had everything, including block off plates and blower motor covers. I especially like the D.E.R. controller, with one exception. It should have had a pushbutton to activate the compressor. As it stands, you have to move the slide off of the dash air setting to deactivate the compressor.

The only other issue I have had is my unit has a defective thermostat. It will freeze you cajones off, but in the process, it gets SO cold my ducts begin condensing on the outside.

Monday, I'm due to get the new thermostat in.

As far as your wire loom? Your gonna LOVE it over split loom. As far as how to seal the ends I used a product called F4 Tape. Heat resistant and self vulcanizing.

Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sorry to hear of your issues with the AC.
I'll still be interested in the finished look of the unit once it's all done compared with the Vintage kit. My unit hangs below the dash is slightly distracting.

But on a positive spin, your'e moving along nicely. Engine compartment looks good! that loom wrap will look good installed. Much more modern.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks. I expected some modifications with the classic auto. They have been nice to deal with just a bit slow. I do have high expectations. After a phone call Thursday and another Friday they did ship out the new parts. They said it should be in tomorrow even with july 4th on Tuesday.

I'll post some pictures when in get it mounted up and the dash in.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First off, sorry about the issues on the AC. The kit I received had everything, including block off plates and blower motor covers. I especially like the D.E.R. controller, with one exception. It should have had a pushbutton to activate the compressor. As it stands, you have to move the slide off of the dash air setting to deactivate the compressor.

The only other issue I have had is my unit has a defective thermostat. It will freeze you cajones off, but in the process, it gets SO cold my ducts begin condensing on the outside.

Monday, I'm due to get the new thermostat in.

As far as your wire loom? Your gonna LOVE it over split loom. As far as how to seal the ends I used a product called F4 Tape. Heat resistant and self vulcanizing.

Keep up the good work!
I'd be having to modify the classic auto air or the vintage air system no matter which I went with. I never had the factory setup working so anything that blows cold air down here in the summer I'll be impressed.

Is the DER controller the factory looking one from caa that you have in your thread? It looks nice.

Did yours come with a fresh air block off plate? I'm curious if I can just shut the factory door or if I need to make block off plate for that too.

Beat ya to it! Already ordered some some f4 tape. Thanks. I was digging around on dc and found some posts on it with the braided loom. I can see my electrical tape stash won't be getting a lot of use.

Out stuff must have gotten shipped out about the same time. My new parts from classic auto are due Monday too.

I was gonna post a few more pictures but apparently photobucket is having some problems right now. Time to look for something else to use.

Ryan
 

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I'd be having to modify the classic auto air or the vintage air system no matter which I went with. I never had the factory setup working so anything that blows cold air down here in the summer I'll be impressed.

Is the DER controller the factory looking one from caa that you have in your thread? It looks nice.

Did yours come with a fresh air block off plate? I'm curious if I can just shut the factory door or if I need to make block off plate for that too.

Beat ya to it! Already ordered some some f4 tape. Thanks. I was digging around on dc and found some posts on it with the braided loom. I can see my electrical tape stash won't be getting a lot of use.

Out stuff must have gotten shipped out about the same time. My new parts from classic auto are due Monday too.

I was gonna post a few more pictures but apparently photobucket is having some problems right now. Time to look for something else to use.

Ryan
Here's a decent shot of their new DER controller. Big improvement over the clunky factory control. As I've stated before, the biggest peeve is Classic not adding a pushbutton on-off for the compressor. You have to slide the setting off dash a tad, then it kills the compressor. If there was room enough on the controller, I'd add my own switch. Don't get me wrong, I'm used to the operation now, but it could have been a little more intelligently thought out from the git go.

On the fresh air issue or "Astro Ventilation" as GM like to call it. I used the spring to hold the flap closed, then I sealed it and the surrounding area with some leftover Stinger Roadkill.

I received the new thermostat yesterday, and will implement the replacement into the same time to radio and gauges come out for a single DIN radio with a flip out screen, new amp install and carbon fiber treatment.

Does it ever end?:crazy:

Nope....:thumbsup:
 
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