Ready to retrofit air-con

Post discussions on potential upgrades and modifications here, as well as documenting successfully implemented projects.

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AndyLotus
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by AndyLotus »

Hi Jeff,

It's great thanks. We did a little 50 mile classic car tour with 40 other cars on Sunday morning. It was Sunny and about 25 degrees outside but lurverly inside the Excel. Very pleased, especially with the engine temperature keeping stable. I did wonder if a condenser in front of a dual core rad would be a problem but despite some low speed high rev work, the temp only just made it to 90 before dropping back to 82 ish.

I think it may have all been worth it.......for me anyway.

Andy.

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bash
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by bash »

Thread resurrection time.....
Could I pick your brains Andy, Im looking at doing this conversion to a non AC car and this thread has been a great help, I noticed that you have fitted a stat to the system but its flying straight over my head as to what its fitted to or adjusted ( pipes / airbox ? ), and how its wired in, and, is there any chance that you can remember where the stat was from.
I noticed that you have not used the amplifier bits on the Lotus system, is this because you have mapped ignition that caters for the rpm differences because I think thats what this bit of kit does normally. Im thinking of doing away with the amplifier anyway because Ive now got a V8 in place and I dont think it will affect the revs much when the compressor kicks in.... the car will pull away from tickover at the moment.
I think I can figure out the wiring with a trinary switch but any help on a diagram could be useful... and electrician or AC engineer I am not.
I presume you got the dash switches from the usual source ( although I may just fit another switch.... cos its just a switch really ). I presume that you didnt get an AC harness at the same time as the switch panel and made your own up.
Heres hoping to look cool in the future ( theres always a first isnt there ! )
Ive been told before that Im not as bright as I look.


Cheers
Bash
On a mission to find the airspeed velocity of a european swallow.

CHRISYD
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by CHRISYD »

(not as bright as you look)….bet you can tell a forged £20 note from 50yds away tho!!!
I REALISED YOU CANT LIVE WITHOUT A LOTUS!!! Until now :oops:

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AndyLotus
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by AndyLotus »

Sorry Bash, I've been away for a long weekend and didn't get time to reply.

Anyway to try and answer some of your questions:
I wouldn't worry about the thermostat. I have now disconnected mine so it in effect runs all the time controlled by the trinary switch. If I don't want it too freezing cold I just move the heater control to make the coolant heater matrix warmer. Obviously if you want a lot of heat you won't be running the ac anyway.
With ac on and the heater all the way to hot the air temp is warm and clears misted windows all round brilliantly. If you then want more heat just switch the ac off.

Regarding the amplifier, I bought one but didn't use it as I don't have all the wiring or the idle solenoid. The mapped ignition helps with the idle speed but I can't imagine you would have much problem with the torque of a v8.

Have a look at the Car Builders Solutions catalogue page 280 for a helpful wiring diagram and schematic of the hoses, and system. I bought the drier, trinary switch and some fittings from them. I also used another really helpful guy whose details I'll find at work tomorrow.

I made sure to replace every o ring in the system with the r134a compatible green ones. Including the ones in the evaporator and expansion valve. The evaporator was flushed through with carb cleaner.

If you are using an original Excel evaporator I found one of the outlet fittings was impossible to get in this country. I bought it from America where the parts are cheap but shipping isn't. I'll get you those details once I have been into work tomorrow.

I tracked down a local ac engineer who had the kit to make up the fittings. I cut all the hoses to length then timed up the hose to the fitting by marking a line on each part. They need to be orientated accurately as the hoses won't twist, they are thick and strong. The guy then crimped the end fittings on and returned them all back to me. Car builder solutions will do this for you if required.

I've probably forgotten some bits but feel free to ask any more questions. I'll try and help.
One thing I will say is for me it's the best mod I have done to the car and makes it so much more comfortable and usable.
Cheers,
Andy.

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bash
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by bash »

Brilliant. Ive got a standard unit for under the dash and Petes got some pipes so hopefully I will be able to cobble some connectors together when I call at my local hose specialist. Im just gathering bits and doing research at the moment because Ive had an op and Ive got to 'behave' for a bit, which means leave things alone in the garage for a few weeks. I havnt got the compressor yet or the condensor but Im 'on it', I'm still looking for the right one at the right price but I am going to do this cos last summer was like driving in a mobile sauna ( visions of James May in an AstonMartin on top gear, in the nude, is not a good look ). Your info has been great because I didnt really understand aircon and its smoothed the waves.
So its going to be a simple switch for the compressor clutch on and off, a trinary for pressure too low / too high and fan control ( with a possible manual overide switch for the fans ) plus fuses and a relay. Knowing that the temperature aspect isnt required has simplied stuff somewhat because the blending effect of the heater performs the same function.

Bash
Ps. Yorkshiremen can easily spot a fake £20 note cos Betty Windsor blinks as the sunlight hits it when it leaves the wallet. ( a rare event anyway )
On a mission to find the airspeed velocity of a european swallow.

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AndyLotus
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by AndyLotus »

The other place to go for parts and help is Tim Arnold www.arnoldscustomsandclassics.com

He was very helpful and is a Vintageair dealer. Vintageair have some great stuff. Have a look at their catalogue which also has tips and advice. Tim imports most of their parts (They are American).

The place in America I bought some parts from directly was www.coldhose.com
They were really easy to deal with and sent the few parts I wanted as cheaply as they could.

The fitting that I found tricky to get hold of was the one to attach to the smallest pipe on the evaporator. I ended up buying from coldhose:

1 x 90 degree Female O-ring (Metric) (#5 fitting to #6 hose) P/N: BL9321
If you tap that P/N into the search function their website it will come up with the details.

The wiring really is quite straightforward and that Trinary switch is the key to controlling everything successfully.

Gas quantity wise I can't remember the exact amount but I think the AC guy started with slightly less than recommended for a standard system. He then showed me a top tip: On the top of the fitting on the drier is a small round, black adhesive label. Peel this off and underneath is a viewing window to see the ac gas. He gradually increased the quantity of gas until the bubbles stopped appearing in the window. This meant the system was filled to it's optimum amount.

Good luck with the project, it will be worth it in the end. In fact I'll fit the ac for you if you fit a V8 for me. :lol:

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bash
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by bash »

Thanks again, those websites are great so I will let you know when a get on with it.
I will pass on your generous offer, fitting the V8 wasnt rocket science but it was time consuming, it has altered the character of the car from a revver to a 'torquer' but I am enjoying it at the moment. I suppose the car will always be a work in progress.

Bash
On a mission to find the airspeed velocity of a european swallow.

fairline38
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by fairline38 »

I am having issues with the AC in my 87 Excel SA.

I have changes the dryer / condenser / and had it cleaned out and recharged by a true auto AC expert.

It charges up properly and works perfect for 24 hours, but then loses pressure.

My guy has check for leaks but cannot find anything.

It would appear that the problem my be the pressure switch behind the dash?

Any suggestions before taking out the dashboard?

fairline38
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by fairline38 »

I had to take out the dash.

My a/c guys believe the evaporator is leaking.

Does anybody know a suitable replacement part or where the evaporator can be rebuilt?

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Hawaiis0
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by Hawaiis0 »

I've been checking the parts manual vs toyota and there is a close resemblance to the drawings as used on MA61. However, I cant confirm if the air con system was Toyota based.

If it is then this might be the baddie.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-NEW-for- ... SwyQtVv1Ap

This is USA located, but try uk Toyota dealers for a price.
Nothing is fool proof. Fools are clever!

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Hawaiis0
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Re: Ready to retrofit air-con

Post by Hawaiis0 »

With this to help pick a toyota part number

http://japan.toylexparts.com/celica/252 ... 260c/88501
Nothing is fool proof. Fools are clever!

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