AC in '73 spyder - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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AC in '73 spyder

I'm looking into buying my first Alfa. I found a car I like but it never had AC. I've called several A/C shops and repair shops but can't seem to find anyone to tackle this problem. One shop made it seem that it was blasphemous to even try but I live in Fl and as I want to drive it all year long, I need AC.

Anyone here know of a reliable after market system for this car? If not I'll have to pass on the car.

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 10:12 AM
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Welcome.

You can safely pass on that one. It will not be hard to find other Spiders that have working A/C. There are 4 series of models that were made. Series 3 - about 1984-1991 came in three models - the Spider Veloce and Spider Quad had factory air - the Graduate model did not. The 1992-1994 Series 4 were designed to be a bit more upscale and all had AC with automatic as a transmission option. Prices vary a lot based on condition, mileage, documentation, amount of time sitting in storage. I personally do not know as much about Series 2 examples from the 1970's. There are lots of experts here on AlfaBB.

Good luck with your search

John

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So. NH, USA --'87 Spider Veloce 'Beige'
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehu999 View Post
I found a car I like but it never had AC. I've called several A/C shops and repair shops but can't seem to find anyone to tackle this problem.
spiderJohnNH offers good advice: look for a newer spider.

I can't say that A/C was never offered in 1970's era spiders, but if it was, it was awfully rare.

By the early 1980's, Alfa spiders were modernized with features like electronic fuel injection and A/C. I'm not sure of the year or model when A/C became available, but it was probably still a decade away when that '73 you're looking at was built.

Sure, a hot rod shop can add A/C to anything. But I really doubt it would cool very effectively in an early spider. Stuffing the air distribution system under the dash would be difficult.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies. So I guess it will be no older spider for me. I already have W/E cars that I don't drive enough and don't want to add another. I wanted it as an occasional DD but the heat here half the year does not allow for an non AC car, been there, don't want to go again.

Not to offend anyone here but the looks of the newer spiders aren't quite as interesting but might go that route anyway, will see.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 06:28 PM
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Not to offend anyone here but the looks of the newer spiders aren't quite as interesting but might go that route anyway, will see.
No offense taken here - yes, 80's era spiders are "modern cars" with 5mph bumpers, smog equipment, airbag steering wheels, etc., while Alfa spiders from the early 70's were still "classic cars".

The problem is that few classic cars were offered with A/C as an option. However, some early 1970's Alfa GTVs did come with factory air (or was it dealer installed?). A friend of mine here in Southern California has a '74 GTV with original A/C that he has updated with a rotary compressor - he reports that it cools pretty well. Of course, we don't have the heat/humidity here that you experience in Florida.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 03-22-2016 at 06:33 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 07:25 PM
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I don't know if the kit from alfaholics could be adapted to fit your spider. I have had good experiences talking with the guys from alfaholics. i think it might be worth giving them a call to see what could be done.

Alfaholics Air Conditioning System
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 08:55 PM
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The simplest way to get an early look Spider with air conditioning would be to find a 1982 with the optional A/C and convert to the early style bumpers.

Another alternative would be to remove the factory heater box and replace it with a small Vintage Air style unit that has heat, defrost, and A/C. This only really makes sense if you're rebuilding a car from the ground up, know your way around A/C, and are pretty committed to the project.

I'm restoring a '74 now. Once it comes back from the body shop I plan to see if it's possible to fit the smallest Vintage Air Gen II unit in place of the factory heater box with ducts routed to the existing dash outside air vents. I have one of the mock-up units already.

Jason Arrington
1989 Spider driver
1974 Spider restoration project
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:25 PM
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My 1978 Spider has factory air (probably dealer installed).
Unit fits under existing dash, can be retro-fitted if an old system can be found.

Looking for a shop to get it functional, has not worked in years.
Do not expect much, but last mechanical system to get working.
Pic of engine bay, compressor fits between air pump and alternator.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 10:02 PM
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The factory offered A/C as a factory option on the 1982 Spider,

(it may have been available on earlier model, but fitment with the smog pump made for a tight engine compartment; some would remove the smog pump and mount the compressor in its place)

which although it has S-3 running gear it has an S-2 body and interior, that interior was carried over with option factory A/C being available on the early S-3 models. One of the features were A/C vents built into the center console. I have a set of those console side panels with vents available on E-bay. These console sides will fit any S-2 (1971 - 1982) and early S-3 thru 1985. Here is a link:

ALFA ROMEO Spider Center Console Side Panels A/C 1971 - 1985, VG, NR, FS | eBay

I also have the bracket that mounts the compressor on the intake side of the engine, there is also a tapped mount in the upper oil pan, a double front pulley and fan spacer used for this type of installation.

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83 Spider Veloce
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