Removing the stock AC/Heat box and installing a vintage air under dash unit, has it been done?

87 WE2

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Jun 28, 2002
Looking into removing the big ass stock AC/Heat box and replacing it with a vintage air under dash unit. Anyone know if its ever been done? I have searched multiple sites and found its been done in heat only and ac only but not together with heat and ac.

I am thinking of putting this in my GN powered Malibu Wagon currently still gutted on a rotisserie which makes it the perfect time to do the swap. The car has a Regal dash.
http://www.turbobuick.com/forums/threads/80-malibu-wagon.276526/page-5#post-3165750

It looks like the Vintage Air Gen 11 Super will fit (8 1/2" x 24") under the dash with some mods to the stock duct work. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vta-61005-vuz-a/overview/

The controls for it will fit in the stock control location above the radio with a custom mounting plate
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vta-491229

They make the same flow switch for the heater core under the hood with a servo instead of vacuum.
http://www.charlotterod.com/Vintage-Air-46114-VUH

I could use there dryer mounted to an ac block off plate and some custom plumbing but can use my ac comp, condenser, and lines. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/vta-07308-vuq

It looks like it will not be to bad, some minor fab work, plumbing, and wiring so I am seriously thinking about doing this. It would enable me to retain AC and clean up under the hood allot and also make it easier to work on the car with the big box out of the way.

Anyone have any thoughts, concerns, ideas please post away. Thanks.
 
not doing this to a GN but i am also using an aftermarket AC system in my hybrid vehicle.

I am using Southern Air products as there cheaper and same quality as i can tell.

its a pretty straight forward swap. Depending on the refridgerant used, you might want to step up to a good parallel flow condensor since the evaporator is usually of much better efficiency then the original. I use Freeze-12 in my system but im also on a remote condensor and i prefer hydrocarbons for the long line runs.
 
Thanks I'll check out there stuff.

I have a bunch of R12 so I was planning to use some of it. I'll have to think about the condenser, I already have a new one from a GN.
 
Looking into removing the big ass stock AC/Heat box and replacing it with a vintage air under dash unit. Anyone know if its ever been done? ............

It looks like it will not be to bad, some minor fab work, plumbing, and wiring so I am seriously thinking about doing this. It would enable me to retain AC and clean up under the hood allot and also make it easier to work on the car with the big box out of the way.

Anyone have any thoughts, concerns, ideas please post away. Thanks.


We are working with Vintage Air to develop a kit for 1978-1988 G-Body vehicles, and are in the final phase of finishing it. :)

Our first Vintage Air installation was in a 1981 Turbo Trans Am that we converted to a GN drivetrain was a relatively easy job, and the AC/Heater performance turned out to be as good or better than stock performance.

However, the Gen IV Magnum Evac unit will not fit under the G-Body dash with a regular AC block-off plate. There are also custom adapters needed if the stock vent outlets in the dash are to be retained. It will have both AC and heat, and NO vacuum controls.

We have completed that difficult phase, and are now working on the under hood items like routing the lines and placement of items like the dryer and condensor.

The current schedule is to have the pro-type unit operational by April 1, and then have the first complete kit by May 1 to display at the G-Body/TB.Com event in North Carolina. :cool:

This will be exclusive, custom fit Vintage Air kit only available through ArizonaGN and G-Body Parts.

AC4.JPG
 
Nick this is great news, thanks for the information I'm glad I posted this thread. I knew I was going to have to build a custom firewall delete plate to make it fit and it looks like you have that squared away also.

Would the system be available as a direct swap out for the stock ac/heat box utilizing the stock ac compressor, condenser with modified stock style ac lines? If you can give any more info now I would certainly like to hear it as well as any more pictures of the prototype. Late April early May would be the ideal time for me to purchase.

Please post updates here if and when you can on the system.
 
Greg Kring in Texas did it about 10 years ago. I dont know if he's still on the board or even owns the car anymore but someone from Texas would probably know.
 
Hi Nick, as of now I do not think I will be able make it to the nationals to see the prototype in person. If you could more updates & pictures on this when you can I would appreciate it. Thanks -Ed
 
Howdy all,
I was finalizing my potential order for a generic Vintage Air system last night. Over the last 6 months, I had been looking on a few forums to see if anybody had installed a Vintage Air system on a G-body like my '79 Monte. I'm SOO glad there will be a kit coming out. Please keep us up to date on its progress as I'd love to do one this year.

Thanks again,
Russ
 
The bracket for mounting the evap unit under the dash is completed, and the vents/ducting are in place.

An adapter was made to enable us to retain the stock 2 center dash outlets, so this will be a part of the kit.

The bracket from Vintage Air for mounting the evap was also modified to fit under the dash with the custom block-off plate we will fabricate. Three bolts are visible on the plate are used to secure the evap unit, as well as a bracket from the from of the dash.

The bulkhead connectors for the AC and heater lines are seen next to the fender side of the plate.

The hoses on the evap unit under the dash will be fit and installed when the unit is shipped.

Vintage Air has been extremely co-operative in assisting us in the development this kit, and since it is directed to the G-Body vehicles exclusively and will contain our custom made and modified parts, it will be sold as a complete kit through G Body Parts and ArizonaGN.

We are still on schedule to have a complete kit on display at Buick event in NC on the first week of May. :)

AC5.JPG
 
The bracket for mounting the evap unit under the dash is completed, and the vents/ducting are in place.

An adapter was made to enable us to retain the stock 2 center dash outlets, so this will be a part of the kit.

The bracket from Vintage Air for mounting the evap was also modified to fit under the dash with the custom block-off plate we will fabricate. Three bolts are visible on the plate are used to secure the evap unit, as well as a bracket from the from of the dash.

The bulkhead connectors for the AC and heater lines are seen next to the fender side of the plate.

The hoses on the evap unit under the dash will be fit and installed when the unit is shipped.

Vintage Air has been extremely co-operative in assisting us in the development this kit, and since it is directed to the G-Body vehicles exclusively and will contain our custom made and modified parts, it will be sold as a complete kit through G Body Parts and ArizonaGN.

We are still on schedule to have a complete kit on display at Buick event in NC on the first week of May. :)

View attachment 185228[/quot
Time to come visit!!! May be that way soon!
 
Nick,
Sounds great. Count me in as one of the first to order from either G Body Parts or ArizonaGN. I'm happy that it will come as a complete kit so I don't foul it up.

One additional question.... Will I have to remove the engine to do the install? The heater core/fan housing on my '79 Monte is out of a non/AC El Camino As I removed the non functioning factory AC stuff to clean up the engine compartment. When I did that, I removed the engine.

Please drop a note here when part numbers are available to order.

Thanks,
Russ
 
Russ, you will now be among the first few owners on our list, and would appreciate if you would send me a direct e-mail so I can add you to our file. :)

One of the very exciting features about the Vintage Air kit is that there are NO vacuum controls or lines needed, as it has complete electronic controls, not to mention the under hood "suitcase" will no longer be a PIA when working in that area! :D

It is not difficult, but the dash should be removed, at least away from the firewall, to allow access to remove all the factory air/heater stuff, make way to install new brackets and vents. We did this install with the engine in place, it is easier if removed.

The picture shows the condenser and dryer which will be mounted in the stock location, and metal lines will be run along the pass fender and hoses will connect to the compressor.

A Vintage Air adapter will allow us to use the stock GN compressor, and retain the stock brackets

AC6.JPG
 
Nick,
I just e-mailed you directly at arizonagn@q.com.

Another question. I ditched the OEM compressor many years back after it locked up. I'll assume that the 04808-VUQ compressor will work. The thing I am NOT sure about is if the 15541-VCB low mount brackets will clear on a G-Body. (Currently running a small block Chevy with headers) I installed an electric fuel pump and have the "fuel pump delete" plate installed on the block. Or should I not even try to do a low mount???

Thanks again,
Russ
 
Funny how I keep coming up with questions.... When I changed the '79 Monte A/C ductwork with the El Camino Non-A/C duct work, it conflicted with my glove compartment. Does this setup conflict with the glove compartment?

Secondly, does this custom kit come with a custom heater control interface that uses the factory mounts? Or do I use the 491231 (Vintage Air 3-Lever Gen IV ProLine Rectangular Control Panel)?

Thanks again,
Russ
 
Glad to see this coming out! Would be great to get rid of the huge heater/ac box and have something low profile.
 
Any idea of a ballpark on price for the g body kit? Looks great, I think I will be picking one up....
 
slowboi said:
Any idea of a ballpark on price for the g body kit? Looks great, I think I will be picking one up....

Same here, i just deleted my stock box, must have been 40 lbs. tons more room to boot

Thanks Joe
 
anybody ever thought about replacing the O-ring fittings in the AC system with AN style fittings? is there a reason they went to the O-ring setup or was that a marketing thing to help phase out R-12? as most early R-12 systems are just typical flare.
 
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