Let's discuss adding A/C to my 1st gen V8 truck that never had it to begin with..


Bird76Mojo

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Well, the phone tech at Nostalgic AC Parts flat out lied about measuring the condenser. There's no way he was actually measuring it while on the phone with me like he seemed to be doing. He stated it was 7/8 max thickness on the end "tanks"

Here's the thickness of the "tank" or header, just underneath the fitting:

thumbnail (3).jpg


Here's the max thickness which includes the little spot welds that hold the brackets on:

thumbnail (1).jpg


I could have still used it after test fitting it in the truck, but the lower fitting on the end ran in to a curved section of the core support down low. It would require way too much cutting of the core support, and I'm not comfortable with removing that much metal in that spot.

I really need one with both fittings on the same end, and both fittings next to each other, at the top. That would be ideal. At the very least I'll need the lower fitting to be higher up. I may have to go with a condenser that's not as tall, which will reduce my capacity, but it's the only way to get that lower fitting higher up where I need it to be. So I'm still looking, but no luck finding what I need just yet...



GB :)
 
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Bird76Mojo

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The only affordable thing I've found so far is a 14x20 condenser so it looks like I'll be going that route. It will allow me to raise it a little higher to get that lower fitting a little higher to avoid cutting the hell out of the core support. I'll have a little lower BTU because of it, but I'm hoping for the best.

I did locate an identical size condenser online (16x20) that seems to have the lower fitting a little higher but I'm not paying $90+ for one because it's sold by some "brand name" company like "BeCool" because they're still built in China..






The cheapest I've found that looks to have a higher lower fitting:

http://www.aapak.com/16-in-x-20-inbrUniversal-Parallel-Flow-CondenserbrUnpainted_p_125.html
 
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Bird76Mojo

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Ok, I just ordered this unit as it seems like the best fit on the cheap. I plan to return the 16"x20" unit if return shipping doesn't end up costing too much. I hate to end up being stuck with a 16"x20" condenser I can't use and no one wants to buy from me..

https://www.ebay.com/itm/192730190041

It will reduce my BTU capacity but I'm hoping it won't affect my system too drastically. It seems to be the largest condenser I can run at this point.

EDIT: I tried to send the 16"x20" condenser back through the USPS, and shipping would have been around $35 so I was prepared to take the loss and just keep it. Then I had a look at the Ebay return system. It allowed me to print a label that said "no postage necessary in the USA" or some such thing. So the return shipping cost me nothing so far. If the seller tries to deduct the return shipping from my refund, it would leave me with like $5 or so, and Ebay never warned me about that happening in the return process ahead of time, and the seller doesn't list that as part of their normal return process. So I'll have a chat with Ebay staff if necessary. I find that if you're polite with them and explain everything well, they often help you out. I received over $200 in credit from them last year in 2 different transactions that went sideways on me. So we'll see..
 
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Bird76Mojo

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Just scored a brand new Four Seasons 58140 FS-10 compressor on Ebay for $67.61 shipped - not too bad.. Less than half price when it comes down to it.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Change of plans on the compressor manifold/adapter block. Due to space constraints, I'm making my own from the Thunderbird factory manifold block. I'll be cutting the tubes off and redrilling the holes to silver solder some tubing/fittings in.

I'll have to cap the 1/2" tube off and drill a new 1/2" hole on the side of the block where I need it. The other tube will be drilled out of the block and a new tube/fitting silver soldered in it's place. The manifold already has a high pressure relief valve incorporated in to it, so it makes sense to use it. I just have to find the right steel weld-in fittings to attach to it.
 

Uncle Gump

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Might be worth a trip to the shop making your lines to see what they have for fittings/hardware.
 

Bird76Mojo

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I've searched every single online A/C business, and A/C supplier PDF catalog known to man. Even Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Australian suppliers/manufacturers. I located the weld on hose ends I need about a week ago, but now I'm having trouble finding them. I'll get to the bottom of it eventually.

The problem is no one makes a Ford FS series compressor adapter that will work in my application. I did find out that the spacing between the suction and outlet on the compressor is the same center to center distance between Sanden GV heads and Ford FS-10 compressors, so many of the adapters meant for GM compressors would work with some slight modification. BUT, there are still clearance issues to worry about with 99% of the adapters in my case. I hate to have to buy 2 or 3 adapters to find one that fits ok. Making my own from what I already have, that I know fits my compressor, makes more financial sense. Silver soldering connectors together in A/C systems is pretty common in custom applications. ColdHose.com actually offers it as a service.

In the meantime, I've still got a lot of research and searching to do while I wait on my new condenser to get here. I have to make sure I can fit it in the truck with the radiator, and check the clearance of the mechanical fan before I go too crazy ordering fittings, hose, accumulator, and the evaporator. I only scored that new compressor the other day because it was such a killer deal. If worse comes to worse I could always sell it on another Ford truck or Thunderbird forum.

For the life of me, I can't find the size that Ford used on the female springlock connector on the dryer inlet. I'll have to measure the one I have and call ColdHose or Nostalgic A/C and see if they can measure their male springlock fittings for me.

I also have to confirm the fitting size on the bottom (outlet) of the evaporator.
 
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Uncle Gump

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It's a good thing this is a labor of love for you... and your skill set allows you to do the fab work yourself. Joe Public won't or can't reach deep enough to have this system built for them. Custom... one off stuff like this costs money... and your time is money. Off the shelf parts requiring no fab work would make this system way more repeatable... but kudos to you for taking the time to document your struggles along the way.

My suggestion for an actual face to face with people in the know... sometimes... yield great results. They do this stuff everyday and could save you a bunch of time behind the computer searching out the exact part you're looking for. They could also just laugh and send you packing.

Either way... you're getting closer to blowing cold air in your face while rockin the hot rod Ranger.
 

Bird76Mojo

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It's definitely been frustrating so far, and I haven't even got much of it accomplished yet. So far I just have a bunch of parts hacked up. lol

A heater/AC plenum that's chopped and still needs fiberglass work..
A compressor bracket that's tacked together for mock-up purposes..
Radiator/mechanical fan/belt accessories removed and alternator bracket chopped up..


Researching the various fittings, hoses, compressors and adapters, and trying to find dimensions and specifications on each of those parts, has all been interesting research for me, as I'm a naturally curious person that questions most things in life. Finding out that the Sanden (typically GM) GV head compressors use the same hole spacing on the suction/outlet as Nippon Denso (typically Ford) was a revelation for me. That info seems to be highly guarded, or at the very least it's hidden deep within PDF manuals that are very hard to find, and even customer support and phone technicians didn't know about it. What it means is that a lot of the GM compressor adapters can be made to fit Ford FS series compressors with a little thought and light modification. Still, in my case, space is such an issue that it appears nearly all compressor adapters won't work for me. So making my own from a factory manifold block makes more sense than buying one or two adapters to ultimately find out that they won't fit in the small spot in my application.

I'm going to Napa and Oreilly's todays to see what A/C hose ends they have in stock. I'll need two different sizes to chop the ends off and silver solder them in to my compressor manifold block, and the specs on tubing size isn't listed anywhere online. They only list the hose size and the style of attaching the fitting uses, and whether they're made of steel or aluminum.

It's definitely a labor of love for me. I'm head over heels in love with my little V8 Ranger. I just want to make it a little more suited to daily driving, and adding A/C will certainly help with that. The custom seat cover with cloth inserts helped, but it isn't enough..
 

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Wouldn't it be simpler to just use the factory Explorer drive components so you could use that stock compressor? Then the Explorer lines and condensor would come very close to fitting correctly.
 

Bird76Mojo

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It would be much more expensive for me, and I've already got a perfectly functioning Thunderbird accessory drive system.

Fitting the Explorer accessories would create many more problems for me. Hooking up the power steering to my factory steering box, making sure the Explorer A/C hoses actually hook up to 1st gen Ranger evaporator/dryer connections, potential radiator hose problems which I've already solved in my truck, and fitting a factory condenser is not an option due to my aftermarket radiator that sits inside the core support. Plus many other small issues I'd have along the way, many of which I've already solved with my accessory drive system.
 

fastpakr

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Fair enough. I forgot about your radiator being tucked into the core support and the power steering issues.
 

Bird76Mojo

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I need to confirm something, so any A/C techs please speak up.

My aftermarket condenser has two different sized fittings on it. A #6 and a #8 male insert o-ring. From what I've read so far, the large fitting needs to be at the top. Correct?????

If so, this creates another clusterF for me. Finding the right size fitting to match up a #10 Ford male 90 degree springlock fitting on the other end of the hose. With the other end being a #6 female o-ring fitting. I may have to have ColdHose make me a custom fitting on this one.

I think this project is giving me an ulcer.
 

Uncle Gump

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Bird... I believe that is correct. The high pressure liquid line is always the smallest line... and that comes off the bottom of the condenser.

I remembered something else you said in a previous post didn't make sense to me but I'm gonna go back and re-read to get my thoughts straight before I reply to it.
 

Bird76Mojo

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But wait, I should probably confirm flow path as well..

Flow --> outlet on compressor - to top of condenser - from bottom of condenser to bottom of evaporator (through orifice tube) - out top of evaporator - through accumulator - back into suction on compressor

Is this diagram correct? Because if so, Vintage Air's universal diagram is wrong, and I have to totally re-draw my own diagram and re-think what fittings I need. lol

 


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