Vintage Air install

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Sep 13, 2012
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i had a few posts in my build thread but decided to make a thread for this, maybe someone will find it helpful when doing preliminary research. i purchased a new gen IV vintage air surfit kit for my 1975 fj40, with 2F , no power steering, and oem alternator.

my install is already complete and the system is working great, but ill try and recount my efforts. the kit is separated into three instruction installs, evap / compressor / condensor. i started with the evap box. the instructions are pretty basic and dont leave a lot of room for error so i will not go into detail. they involve removing your heater box and lines, and blower. then routing a few wires and installing the evap box unit and controls. the controls look great in my opinion. the box fits pretty snug up against your dash, and mounts in a few locations. you need to drills a few holes, and enlarge some existing bolt holes. you should have already drained the radiator and coolant system at this point, if that was obvious.. also you need to go buy some heater hose and a few hose clamps (i like the oem band clamps).
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next i tackled the condenser, although i would recommend reading through the compressor material while you have the rad out, would have made my life a little easier to tackle both books at the same time. this was the hardest part, if i had to pick one. they are ambiguous on some portions because of model year discrepancies. some people may need to move the rad back, but i didnt. i did move my battery tray back to the last notch, and i could realistically use another half inch of space. the condenser mounts to the front of the rad support with a bracket they provide. YES, you do have tp remove the rad support and YES you will be cutting and drilling. purists beware, this kit involves custom mods. if you arent comfortable drilling holes and cutting out OEM metal bits, this is not for you. the dryer also mounts to the support. youll need to tweak lines a little here and there to get everything to line up. orings are all provided. use mineral oil as lube. good time to replace the rad if needed, hoses, clamps, and flush the system. i use the red toyota coolant. youll install a block plate on the firewall where the blower was. i used some black seam sealant on the back side. grommets provided and all hoses run though here, along with wiring.
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the compressor is last the piece i installed. the bracket provided for mounting the compressor, mounts to the bosses where the oem alternator is. their new mount holds BOTH the comp and the alt. alt on bottom. youll need belts, as they are not provided. i ended up using about a 59 and a 48 inch belt, but i suggest grabbing several belts around those sizes to see which fits best. i used gates hi power II belts, because thats what i could find locally. slap some paint on the bracket, and get to work. its a tight fit, i will say. its hard to get the alt snug enough for the belt to not squeal at the angle it is under the compressor. once installed, i burped the coolant system and tested the heat, worked great. then i had a local shop that specializes in vintage air kits vac my system out and charge it. the AC blows nice and cold and the new blowers are very powerfull. the defrosters will blow your dang hat off. i need to "clean" up my wiring a little bit still but the system is installed and works fine. last piece is a cover that mounts to the blower in the cab to protect from passenger karate kicks. the kit takes up A LOT of passenger foot space btw.
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airon23

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Good job. I installed the same unit, but the last (most important) part I didn't do was actually fill with the R134a stuff for the AC. I believe they suggested taking it somewhere like a shop to have them fill it.
Do you mind me asking if you did this or just bought a kit and did it yourself?
 

John Smith

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Good job. I installed the same unit, but the last (most important) part I didn't do was actually fill with the R134a stuff for the AC. I believe they suggested taking it somewhere like a shop to have them fill it.
Do you mind me asking if you did this or just bought a kit and did it yourself?
If you didn't vacuum down the system, you should replace the receiver/drier before you charge it. I have the same system and filled mine myself. You will need to invest in a gauge set, vacuum pump, and accurate digital scale.
 
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Good job. I installed the same unit, but the last (most important) part I didn't do was actually fill with the R134a stuff for the AC. I believe they suggested taking it somewhere like a shop to have them fill it.
Do you mind me asking if you did this or just bought a kit and did it yourself?

I did not charge the system myself, as I do not plan on doing it again and I don’t see the value in buying a manifold set and pump. The new compressors are designed for r134a yes, and come pre filled with oil. I use a local shop and specializes in AC work, and they also love messing with custom projects like this. Basically, they will pull a vacuum on the system and perform a drop test, check for leaks, and fill the system with the appropriate reefer. Cost to be was $197 bucks for this job. I’m certain there will be guys that say “that’s dumb just buy a few cans at autozone and fill it up” but, well, don’t do that lol. If you are willing to pay for a quality kit like this, pay for a repairable tech to charge the system.
 

samc2447

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If you didn't vacuum down the system, you should replace the receiver/drier before you charge it. I have the same system and filled mine myself. You will need to invest in a gauge set, vacuum pump, and accurate digital scale.
Autozone and O'Reilly's will lend you the vacuum pump and manifold set
 

airon23

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I did not charge the system myself, as I do not plan on doing it again and I don’t see the value in buying a manifold set and pump. The new compressors are designed for r134a yes, and come pre filled with oil. I use a local shop and specializes in AC work, and they also love messing with custom projects like this. Basically, they will pull a vacuum on the system and perform a drop test, check for leaks, and fill the system with the appropriate reefer. Cost to be was $197 bucks for this job. I’m certain there will be guys that say “that’s dumb just buy a few cans at autozone and fill it up” but, well, don’t do that lol. If you are willing to pay for a quality kit like this, pay for a repairable tech to charge the system.
That was sort of my thought as well. I've just been putting it off and haven't done it yet even though I installed it over a year ago.
I think since I don't drive it so much and the heat hasn't been an issue to me yet so I just say I'll do it later. But I really have to get it done.
 
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Thanks for posting info , What unit did u go with standard or BIG BLOWER kit ? I want for my FJ55 thinking i might need the Big Blower kit ? Nice upgrade you did ,
 
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Thanks for posting info , What unit did u go with standard or BIG BLOWER kit ? I want for my FJ55 thinking i might need the Big Blower kit ? Nice upgrade you did ,
i did the standard blower option and its pretty dang strong. with a pig you may want to look at the larger option though, im just thinking about the extra cab space.
 

airon23

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Also I believe @thecrazygreek makes some custom knobs that would work for this application.

Haven’t heard from him much. I messaged him about a radio I bought from him that is defective. He said he would warranty it and then Ghosted me.
 

thecrazygreek

A.K.A. TheCraftyGreek
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Haven’t heard from him much. I messaged him about a radio I bought from him that is defective. He said he would warranty it and then Ghosted me.
Hey there. Sorry I missed your replacement.

Didn't mean to!

Please email me at angelo.j.jordan@gmail.com if you have any questions. I'll look you up in Etsy and take care of it

I'll get one out to you in two days
Angelo
 
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Ackcruisers

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Are you all @asu4runner @airon23 happy with the heat output from the Vintage Air Gen IV unit? I installed one a couple of years ago. AC works well (had it professionally purged and filled by local shop), but the heater is not hot. The blower works great and should be very warm when putting hand over vents.

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Tank5

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Redline Land Cruisers has a really nice looking set of knobs for the vintage air setup.

Purely preference, but I can't stand the ones that come in the kit.

View attachment 3164398
I have a set of the Redline knobs I am not using, still new for sale in the classifieds if anyone is looking.
 
Joined
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Are you all @asu4runner @airon23 happy with the heat output from the Vintage Air Gen IV unit? I installed one a couple of years ago. AC works well (had it professionally purged and filled by local shop), but the heater is not hot. The blower works great and should be very warm when putting hand over vents.

View attachment 3189949
Mine will roast me out on a pretty low fan setting.
 

airon23

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Are you all @asu4runner @airon23 happy with the heat output from the Vintage Air Gen IV unit? I installed one a couple of years ago. AC works well (had it professionally purged and filled by local shop), but the heater is not hot. The blower works great and should be very warm when putting hand over vents.

View attachment 3189949
I gotta say no even though I haven't used it a ton. But I also wasn't getting much heat out of the original heater core. A while ago before any vintage air install, the heater never really seemed to get hot. Additionally, the thermostat I thought was old and frozen or something, but that has since been changed and last I checked I was seeing the same thing. I've always noticed my FJ40 temp gauge has never really gotten hot per se. Sounds like it should be a good thing, but not when waiting for heater to start warming up.
 
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My vintage air makes decent heat down to about freezing. Cooler than that I covered about half the radiator to keep engine temps up. I never saw a coolant temp over 200. Next year I'll probably cover all of it and see if I can get the engine a little hotter.

No insulation, no headliner, and some air leaks make it tough to keep the cabin temps up at 10º for me. I haven't driven mine in any serious cold.
 

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