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 Post subject: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:08 pm 
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EDIT--- I originally was going to make this 914 and T3, but on a 914, it appears so easy it's not even fair.
Split topic to add to T3 forum.
***********************

This is an unsolicited review of an under-dash "universal" auto AC evaporator/blower unit purchased from action-ac.com
They happen to be well within 1 hour driving range of me In Irving, Texas, but UPS is cheaper. Really.
I have no other relationship with them, don't know them from Bob etc.

This was $102, plus tax plus shipping, $122
This SPECIFIC unit is going in a 73 Squareback, but there's little difference as I have a T4 motor in my square, and it's running/driving and the 914 needs extensive bodywork after our very close to Come to Jesus meeting with the semi.

Anyway, Tonights episode is basically going to be first impressions: How's it packed, look/feel, mount setup and pics.

(add pic of box etc)
The unit is packed like it's designed to survive a ship voyage from Thailand, where this unit is made.
First impression--- Nice. This is going to fit.
I shortly realized that this actually appears MUCH better made than the original dealer under dash aftermarket units, and a whole lot better mounted.
The quality of the plastic injection molding is ~ OEM quality, the DRD units appear vacuum molded from flat sheet (kynar?) stock.
(I have the original `70s DRD unit for my the Pile 914 that was dealer installed and in great condition)

The mounts attach to sliding metal nutserts in a metal bracket inside the unit--- appears attached to the evaporator itself.
(will tear down and have a look later)

Drivers view of front of unit, table is 24" wide for scale
It ships with that welded adjustable mount, a nice front hanger strap, drain hose w/T and an inline fuse setup for power.
Attachment:
outlets-controls.jpg


Outside ball vents are rotate-able and have a handy little tongue sticking out to grab.
Center vents go up/down L/R and can be turned to ~closed by rotating up/down.

Drivers Side view
Attachment:
Lside.jpg


Passengers side view, also shows gaslines with pre-installed expansion valve etc.
Attachment:
right-gaslines.jpg


Tomorrow AM I'll test hang it in the square and maybe a 914 just to see how it fits.
(If the heat doesn't kill me first)


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Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


Last edited by Piledriver on Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Nice! Its probably not Kynar (PVDF) thats still just too expensive...but definately looks like an much thicker version of ABS. Probably high temp ABS that was heat and pressure formed, not just cheap vacuum forming. May even have been injection molded but mold costs would be huge for short run product. The back 3/4 view has definate nice mold marks on the corner radius. Let us know how it works.

I have been designing a ceiling mounted overhead unit for the 412...but that one could fit and it would even look nice if I only had to fab a cosmetic cover for the back fan unit. Ray


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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:00 pm 
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That is a great price. I it looks better than this:
http://www.gilmore-enterprises.net/Air/ ... eetle6.jpg
Image

I may have AC in my baja some day after all.


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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:52 pm 
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raygreenwood wrote:
Nice! Its probably not Kynar (PVDF) thats still just too expensive...but definately looks like an much thicker version of ABS. Probably high temp ABS that was heat and pressure formed, not just cheap vacuum forming. May even have been injection molded but mold costs would be huge for short run product. The back 3/4 view has definate nice mold marks on the corner radius. Let us know how it works.

I have been designing a ceiling mounted overhead unit for the 412...but that one could fit and it would even look nice if I only had to fab a cosmetic cover for the back fan unit. Ray


The new unit is injection molded ABS almost certainly, I was guessing on the `70 vintage DRD units which appear made from formed sheet, it feels like kynar or similar sheet, it has a bit of flex unlike ABS

I got a late start today but hope to hang it once I can go outside without ~instantly bursting into flames.

Integrating a std cabin air filter into the cosmetic cover would probably be a neat idea, I might have room for that myself.

_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:05 am 
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Good idea on the filter. At least some kind of pre-filter screen


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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:47 am 
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OK, test fit in the square tonight after that big hot thing in the sky cooled off.

It fits. Fits Good, basically flush with the bottom edge of the T3 dash, would be level but the trunk pull cable is in the way and the wiper motor hangs down.
No "big feet" issues plenty of room with 11 1/2 Es, 14+ might have a problem, but then you need modded pedals to get your foot out anyway.

Misses my knee in normal driving position by ~6 inches any axis, I can't get closer to it if I try with my seat belt on properly.

Will fit better on some front to back rails under the dash with the mount flipped around/hidden.

Old Blackberrys also take lousy pics in the dark, so I'm not going to bother.

The compressor is here too, it looks like it will Fit Good too, but the vanagon mount will need to be first reduced to the plate that bolts on the fan housing.
The overall length of the compressor incl pulley is ~same as the original boat anchor, but it will have to have it's shaft center ~where the base of the York to clear the body w/o mods... Works out better considering the shape/position of the mounting base plate.
I'm considering looking for a Vbelt clutch for it, little bitty thing, the stock T4 AC crank pulley//ratio might just work.

_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


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 Post subject: Re: AC install-- In cabin evaporator blower unit from
PostPosted: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:17 am 
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I've decided to move this thread to the T3 forum as soon as I figure out how...
Doing the same thing in a 914 would be easier in all respects, the T3 is the harder case.
The 914 case could even likely use the original AC compressor mount.
*********************
Got up early before the heat was ugly, wanted to try and mount it level and up as high as possible.
Also had a peek under the 914 dash (just so this thread stays sort of 914 related0 and there is TONS of roon under the 914 dash--- No issues at all, save for the steering, but that's almost flush anyway.

On a T3. the windshield wiper motor hanging down is an issue for mounting it level... NOT an issue for early cars, since you can't mount it level F/R.
Reindexing the stock T3 wiper motor appears out, looks like a T1 wiper motor/gearbox will bolt on and everything clears fine, just need to make a support bracket.


For giggles I hooked it up to the battery to see how it blows--- It blows HARD, esp considering the forward curve fans could use side skirts<intakes and are just hanging in the blower housings with 10-15mm open air on each side, could easily be made far more efficient.
I'll probably hard mount it tomorrow and use it for a fan until the rest of the junk gets installed.

Mounted like an early car would require:
Attachment:
AC-underdash-flush-angle.jpg

Mounting it dead level also would not be an option on an early T3 (ut it would still work, easily, although mounting it biased to the passenger side for drivers feet clearance would be prudent.

I then yanked the wiper assy and drilled a 6mm hole in the center of the late T3 airbox kickout for the front mount screw.
The unit is pretty level and centered here, it sticks out ~30mm from the bottom edge of the dash mounted this way, a change tray could easily go on top of it.
(and yes, the Berrymans bottle is holding it up for the pics, I need to pick up or bend up some light angle steel for under-dash supports for the AC units nice hanger)

Attachment:
AC-underdash-level-centered.jpg


Side view of same::
Attachment:
AC-underdash-level-side-view.jpg


Yes, that's my right shoe on the gas pedal.
I was trying to show the miles of clearance, but that angle really doesn't show it.

Note that it LOOKS like there MAY be enough room that one could cut a hole in the front firewall on a late car for the fans etc and slide the whole mess up and fwd, then make/weld in a box for the fans in the trunk, and use hoses to dash vents so it looks ~like the factory AC install VW never offered.
The wiper assy with a T1 wiper drive motor/gearbox will need to be installed to see if this is really an option.
(I need to get one, i only have a gearbox stripped to fix another assy, but the indexing looks workable)


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_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Hello, I live in New Mexico and am puting a bay window bus back on the road. That air looks great, does it have a motor mounted compresser,or is it built in?


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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:10 pm 
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You"ll be ready for anything...T-4 powered...gas heater...A/C what's next? 8)


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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:51 pm 
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animal_in_nm wrote:
Hello, I live in New Mexico and am puting a bay window bus back on the road. That air looks great, does it have a motor mounted compresser,or is it built in?



It's just a new universal under dash blower/evaporator unit with control switches, you still need a compressor etc out back.
For busses there is a similar but much larger unit for ~$300... This one was $102.

No ACVW had "factory air" all dealer installed, and the 30+ year old under dash units are falling apart and treated like gold by sellers.
This is probably an excellent alternative.

This thing blows harder than the Mk4 Jetta AC, but how cold it will make the car depends on much.
It's rated at ~5K BTU IIRC, a Bus may need a larger unit.

You can get adapter mounts for the later compressors.

_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


Last edited by Piledriver on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Hmmmmm, interesting...I got some ish in the works as well.

bus depot has the sanden adapter brackets.

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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:27 pm 
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supaninja wrote:
Hmmmmm, interesting...I got some ish in the works as well.

bus depot has the Sanden adapter brackets.



Note those Sanden adapters are for the SD508 ish units that are made for R12.

Those are many generations back...

Looks like they may be pulling R134 off the market in a couple of years since it causes global warming (like everything else.)
Not sure what the replacement will be.

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Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:31 pm 
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Soul wrote:
You"ll be ready for anything...T-4 powered...gas heater...A/C what's next? 8)

Power(?) rack and pinion steering. (not sure if power steering is really needed, option)

Gotta finish the AC etc first, slow going when it's so hot, but it does make for a motivator.


Looks like almost any VW 12V wiper motor OTHER than the T3 one will bolt on horizontal clear everything, T1/Bus/Mk1 Golf...

I have a 72 Bus (`ol Shed) handy, will try that for fit ASAP.
The Bug and Golf units look a bit smaller.

_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


Last edited by Piledriver on Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:36 pm 
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I know your square is heavier then my notch but regular R&P should be no problem. My steering right now is so damn lite.

The mounting ears should be the same on the 134a sandens. That would be my friggin luck that I just put a AC setup in the notch and bamm 134a is banned, boy do I hate greenie-weenies.

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 Post subject: Re: T3--Under dash aftermarket AC unit review//install
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Well, Propane would work great with compatible oil, but the Lawyers are terrified of adding a highly flammable refrigerant to cars.
(since it can leak into the passenger compartment via a leaky AC hose/evap)

Propane's' flammability range isn't really that wide though, so it's probably no risk, especially in a old car with iffy door/window seals etc.

There's also some stuff called Duracool that is a retrofit for 134A but supposedly performs like R12.
(I think it's just a refined propane blend, may go this route myself, still researching)

They make several blends to replace various refrigerants, but you can get refrigerant grade propane many places.

_________________
Piledrivers extensions of Newtons first law:
A vehicle on jackstands tends to remain that way.
Further:
The longer it stays on jackstands the more money will be needed to get it back off.


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