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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a lead to where I might find a copy of this book?
Would like to add it to my library for future reference.

"Air Conditioning Strategies for the 63-82 Corvette"
by Michael J. Davis


I did several internet searches, but turned up nothing but other forums
making reference to this book. :(
 

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This has come up before. I believe the book is out of print. I had a copy that I sold to a Forum member last year because he couldn't find one. You can try eBay.
 

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Yup. I got my copy off eBay. The author makes an excellent explanation of the Corvette AC system and tips for helping the system run efficiently.

:thumbsup:
 

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JMHO but after having read the book I thought it sucked. There's a lot of theory and research but very little practical application. You'll probably learn more about AC by searching past threads here and at the other place. Basically he goes into all the reasons why a C3 AC sucks and some of the minor things that can be done to help like insulation. Other than that its just blah, blah, blah. Save the money and do a search.
 

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JMHO but after having read the book I thought it sucked. There's a lot of theory and research but very little practical application. You'll probably learn more about AC by searching past threads here and at the other place. Basically he goes into all the reasons why a C3 AC sucks and some of the minor things that can be done to help like insulation. Other than that its just blah, blah, blah. Save the money and do a search.
What are some of the DIY tips and tricks he suggests? You mentioned insulating something, the hoses?

Thanks for any info,
 

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What are some of the DIY tips and tricks he suggests? You mentioned insulating something, the hoses?...
Keeping outside (warm) air out of the system; hot water shut off valve, cowl flapper door, vent door, refridgerant levels, etc. I agree the text is "techy," but the info is good.

:thumbsup:
 

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Dunno the book at all, but the basics are not hard to comprende....insulate hell outta the floorboards and tunnel area....make damn sure there are NO LEAKS into the pass compartment, I recommend blocking the fresh air intake and removing the flapper from under the pass side kick panel....less flow restrictions....it's on recirc all the time then....put in a C4 blower, and update that stupid 30 amp fuse in the white fuse holder that allways fails, just off the horn relay on driver's fender liner....rerun a nice HEAVE gauge wire....10 gauge for grounding the blower fan and wiper motor, and speed relay coil....

I hear a good idea is a metal heat shield on the bottom of the floorboards as some early sharks came with that.....I never did it, though....

some say to ceramic the headers, mine are naked steel, MONEY....and down time....daily driver....

I did put a heat shield of aluminum plate between the headers and the a/c blower box....easy do....

I find the C4 blower is very good mod, High speed blows good....finally...

IF you have a POA valve, I have for a long tyme now removed the expansion valve sense tube wrapping off the output line of the evaporator, that mod allows a lie to the expansion valve, making the evaporator run colder than it might normally....

I have a '88 vette type compressor and new hoses...serp drive....134 freon...

stock condensor....
 

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What are some of the DIY tips and tricks he suggests? You mentioned insulating something, the hoses?

Thanks for any info,
Adding a C4 blower is a good way to get more flow, but to do it right you need to cut the evap housing and reglass it to really take advantage of the bigger fan. Most guys just make a spacer to get the longer fan to fit. Thats a very good time to use something like Lizard skin on the evap box to keep underhood heat from radiating into the evap box. Same product and a layer of insulation on the floor and inside of the firewall. Converting over to an orifice type system instead of the POA valve is another good mod. If you want to go with R134A them a good aluminum paralell flow condendor is a very good mod. Insulating the low pressure lind between the Orifice and evap is a good idea. Fixing all the leaking ducts is probly a good thing.
There are probably some other things to do to make it better.
 

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Here's some practical tips on AC.

First, make sure you have everything insulated properly and I don't mean the factory insulation. Here's a link on how to do it the right way.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/vettfixr/page14.htm

Make sure you have all the holes in the firewall sealed well in order to keep engine heat out of the cockpit. Pay particular attention to the evaporator box and how well it is sealed to the firewall.

Then make sure you do not have hot water circulating through the AC system. Many C3s have factory installed shut off valves. My 74 did not, so I got a brass shut off valve from home depot and installed nipples on either side and then installed it in the 5/8 inch line going to the heat/AC unit. It only takes a minute to open the hood and flip the lever to shut off the hot water.

(I discovered this next tip while working on my system. I developed a tech tip article about it and posted it on the other forum. It was also used in a issue of Corvette Fever magazine about a year ago. It really works and improves a C3 AC system more than all the other tips posted. )
One of the biggest problems in C3s is hot air entering into the intake of the system. The system is fed by a plenum that is behind the rear of the front right fender. Here's a pic of it (BTW, this is not a pic of my car. Its an earlier C3 as you can see by the wiper door mechanism but they are all similar).



As you can see from the above pic the area that comprises the plenum is sealed by the ridgid body adhesive that holds the fender to the body. This adhesive over time dries up, cracks and sometimes falls out allowing hot air to enter the plenum. Also note that the lower area has a rather large opening to allow for drainage that is right above the exhaust pipe. You can imagine how much heat is drawn into the system given this design. What were they thinking? :crazy: In order to seal this area you need to take the right side kick panel off and the recirculate flapper. This will allow you to reach inside the plenum area and seal it. I used windshield mounting tape to do this. Seal the entire area that is shown with the yellow line. At the bottom stick one or two straws up into the area and seal up to them. Then pull the straws out. This will leave you enough of a drain that any water will have an exit but not enough to appreciably pull heat into the area.

There have been many posts about mounting a C4 fan to increase flow. The problem with this is the C4 fan requires a spacer because of the wider fan. If you use a spacer you effectively allow the same amount of fan to pull air that a C3 allows although the C4 fan may turn faster (no experience here). In my case, after the original fan gave up the ghost, I switched to a replacement fan (Hitachi I think) which was very reasonably priced and worked much better than the original. You can get replacements at most parts stores and they are quite a bit better than the old units.

There are two splash shields mounted at the rear of the front fenders. These units should be in place because they effectively create a heat barrier between the exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe to the body.

Make sure your AC system is in good working order. I don't mean just check the freon charge. I mean check that your condensor is not clogged and that air passes through it easily. Open up the evaporator box and make sure there isn't a ton of leaves and debris in there. Also make sure all of the flappers and seals are working correctly. Dr. Rebuild sells a kit to refurbish the evaporator box containing everything you need.

Make sure all of the duct work under the dash is sealed. If they are not a lot of air won't make it to the vents. I used metallic duct tape to seall all the ducts in my car so they are air tight. Also check the seals at the vents to make sure the air is all coming out and not being blown back under the dash. Remember that these ducts are in many cases over 30 years old so they may have cracks in them. Seal everything as well as you can.

Now, after having done this, just realize that early C3 systems were no big deal as far as air flow. Later C3s (78 and later I believe) had redesigned ducting that helped a lot. If you've got an early model you're pretty much stuck with the limitations of the system.

Now, after owning my car for 20 years and having gone through all of the above, I'll make a suggestion. If you want to keep your car completely stock or if you just want to maximize the system you have, do all of the above. If you have a car where multiple pieces (compressor, condensor, evaporator, fan motor, etc.) are not functioning correctly I recommend going with an aftermarket unit for the following reasons. They are engineered to modern standards and include a compact design, high blower capacity, modern cross flow condensors, compact compressors, electronic motors to move the flaps, and work well with R134. They also will cost less to install than the price of the major components of the stock system listed above. Had I known the amount of work and money I would put into my car to get the system working acceptably I would have gone aftermarket in a minute. I still may do it but its not a priority since my system works sort of OK.

Sorry to be long winded but its a complex topic and real world experience counts.:thumbsup:
 

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Some excellent suggestions above. I got the book on eBay and found it an interesting read. Be patient and another will come along. in the mean time, follow the suggestions above and you'll probably get to the same place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks "vettfixr" and everyone for the posts.

I've saved copies of the tips posted.

I'll be keeping an eye out for the book.......I'm just funny that way.:D
I have approximately 200+ "automotive" books in my personal library
on just about anything. Every time I go by a book store I usually pick
up another book to add to the collection. Some were bought over 25
years ago.

I don't know much..........but I know where to get my questions answered.:thumbsup:
 

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In order to seal this area you need to take the right side kick panel off and the recirculate flapper. This will allow you to reach inside the plenum area and seal it. I used windshield mounting tape to do this. Seal the entire area that is shown with the yellow line. At the bottom stick one or two straws up into the area and seal up to them. Then pull the straws out. This will leave you enough of a drain that any water will have an exit but not enough to appreciably pull heat into the area.
Your kidding? Right? I can barely get my hand back there, let alone seal those areas. I can't imagine how many joints my arm would need to do that.:huh:
 
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