MODERN A.C. in an OLD ALFA (Part 3) - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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MODERN A.C. in an OLD ALFA (Part 3)

I used an Alfa Romeo compressor bracket commonly used on the Spica cars. (Bosch F.I. injected cars have the A.C. compressor mounted low on the right side of the engine.) VINTAGE AIR makes a handy adapter plate that bolts onto the Alfa bracket to adapt neatly to a modern Japanese compressor. How handy! You can see in the engine compartment photo that I opted to use a "modern" multi-groove serpentine belt drive. In order to do that I added a 6-groove pulley off a junkyard BMW, welding it to the crankshaft pulley. I also used a "modern" spring-loaded idler sourced from some Japanese car (have fun at the junkyard!), and a 12" pancake radiator fan from the auto parts store. I already mentioned that I obtained a 24"x 13" condenser from the junkyard (make sure it's a post-1995 so it has R134a fittings). V-A strongly recommends you use the largest condenser that will fit in the car, and that's what I did, and I installed another 12" pancake fan on the front of it. You can also buy condensers and fans from them and other places - - read what V-A says in their helpful catalog.

Getting back to the compressor, you can see it overhangs the original battery box, so undoubtedly in every Alfa installation the battery will have to go in the trunk. Amazingly Alfa provided a recessed battery box in the trunk floor of all Alfettas which was extremely handy. On my car I could also see evidence underneath where the battery cable was to run, and so I was able to have a neat and safe cable insulation outside of the car.

My final photo shows the V-A receiver drier installed on the firewall behind the Alfa cold air box, and a black gizmo mounted on the rear of that cold air box. That is the servo heater valve (from V-A, of course). These parts can be installed about anywhere you desire, inside the engine compartment or under the dash.

Yes, there's a bunch of parts placements, clearance concerns, wiring and "hosing" to do. I spent many hours figuring out how to make it all work, but WORK IT DOES! To answer a big question, all this cost around $2200.

I know these few photos and my description leave out a lot of details, which would vary depending on which Alfa you own. The VINTAGE AIR catalog has a real good guide for installing A.C., and I would be glad to answer any questions one might have about the installation. Since I don't regularly monitor the ALFABB, contact me at [email protected] then I'll probably post replies on the Forum, too.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 02:36 AM
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Nice job! You do know you could have put these all in one thread by just replying to it yourself right? Would make reading and following it easier.

Happy New Year!

Kevin

Currently Alfaless. Ex: 87 Verde, 86 GTV6, 67 Super, 86 Spider, 88 LeMons Verde
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:54 PM
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Very nice install! I am starting soon on my 81 gtv6 as good a/c in required in gulf coast Texas. I rode in a vintage air equipped gtv6 in Austin and was impressed. Proved wrong my saying that the 2nd hottest car in the world is an alfetta gt without air and the hottest car in the world is a alfetta gt with air

87 graduate, 81 gtv6, 91 164s, 73 berlina 79 Mille miglia GONE: 76 alfetta gt, 74 berlina, 85 gtv6, 79 spider
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 03:52 PM
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Nice! How did you get a 24x13 condenser to fit? A photo would be greatly appreciated.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Just measured, and the condenser is actually 12-3/4"x 22" (the hole is about 13x25). I am (hopefully) enclosing four photos. The first two are driver's side and the second two are passenger's side (taken through lower grill openings). You can see it is a very tight fit. I don't think you could get one in that is any larger. I had to angle it in from the engine compartment (pass. side). I wanted to use Alfa's built-in mounts, so I cut the (removeable) mounts that were on the condenser and rewelded them in line with the Alfa mounts. Good thing it was that much narrower than the opening as I needed the room on the right for the lines. I had originally obtained this condenser to use in my Montreal, but sold the car first. Amazingly the Montreal opening and the Alfetta opening in front of the radiator are the same size.

The electrical cable draped across it was a late and non-intended addition, as I found out I needed to wire both the radiator cooling fan and the condenser fan to run together to get sufficient engine cooling in hot weather. I didn't want to remove all that stuff in the engine compartment just to route the wiring inside, so I just ran it around the front of the condenser. Both fans will now come on (A) if the radiator switch trips, or (B) if the A/C system (using a trinary switch) demands it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 05:42 PM
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Thanks! I think I figured out this is in a Alfetta? I could only get at 14x16? maybe not even that big in a Berlina and GTV and that was a really tight fit and I had to cut out some of the fresh air scoop to get all the space on the left (facing the front of the car). Nice install for sure.

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 06:43 PM
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Excellent work and presentation.
re: engine overheating when it is hot. My Alfetta GT, with 2 10" fans, push on the condenser and pull on the radiator will not keep the engine cool when it is +90 deg and in stop/go traffic. When the car is moving, like on the highway it runs 180 ish even when 105 outside.
I think you made a great move installing a NEW evaporator unit from VA. I used the original Italian Alfa setup and it does not move enough air and certainly there was no provision to send cool air to the side vents. I assume you closed them off from the outside fresh air. I have found that the volume of air movement is very important to good AC in a car. This was not really understood by Alfa back in the '70s.
Note; Alfa screwed up the design of the incoming cabin air on the Alfetta. It is directly on top of the evaporator/heater unit which is right under the black HOT dash board so that all incoming cabin air is preheated before it enters the evaporator!!!
Keep us updated with your results.

Paul Blankenship AROSC
76 Alfetta GT -Track and daily driver; 88 Milano - a continuing project
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 06:06 AM
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Thanks for posting Mr Goose. Good amount of info on the Vintage Air website. Not sure if my 82 spider had an A/C option but I'd love to have air added to it.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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More information - - sorry it's months later but I have run it through the summer and decided to make further modifications. The engine cooling was insufficient. It would be nice to get a direct-fitting, larger radiator but Alfa used the same rad. on their factory A/C cars because their condenser was a little thing mounted in the engine compartment (c/w a little electric fan). They did not mount a condenser in front of the radiator as I and the rest of the world has done. So that's why radiator cooling became a problem. I have found no one that makes bigger radiators for Alfettas.

I solved this problem by ditching the 12" fan I had installed behind the radiator (PULLING air through it) and replaced it with TWO 10" high velocity fans that JUST FIT side-be-side in the engine compartment. These fans came from JEGS High Performance Parts | Aftermarket Auto Parts & Accessories, the hot rodders' choice, and they are P/N 52160. They can be run as PULLERS or PUSHERS and I am pulling the air through, naturally.

So, now I have 3 fans that run simultaneously, each drawing around 8 amps, and that (plus the evaporator fan under the dash) and any extra current needs (headlights?) called for a new and bigger alternator. I used the A.C. Delco (GM) 100 watt ("1 wire") alternator, available new for around a hundred bucks, which I have used successfully on two other cars.

The end result is great A/C cooling + engine cooling that runs around 170-180F and never as high as 200 so far + plenty of electricity to power all this. Clearance at the front of the engine is real tight now, but it all works.

The final problem I have yet to solve is the engine RPMs will drop 6-700 when the compressor comes on. No problem on the road, but embarrassing when the engine stalls at a traffic light. At the moment I have the SPICA idle set at about 1400 to stop the engine from stalling. It would be nice to find an instant "idle-increasing solenoid" but so far I haven't figured out how to do it. I am running high lift cams with significant overlap which undoubtedly has decreased my low speed torque - - maybe 12.5 to 1 pistons would help...!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 05:26 PM
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If you find that solution I will buy you a case of Shiner Beer!

The passenger seat is 15 miles an hour faster than the drivers seat.

currently
2017 Giulia Q4
74 GTV restored daily driver
71 Berlina in 2L restored driver
the ones that got away:
1959 750 series Giulietta Spider Veloce
1962 Giulietta Spider normale
1965 Giulia Sprint normale
1972 GTV
1974 GTV
1974 GTV
1977 Spider
1974 Spider
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 05:44 PM
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Alfa started putting compressor cut off switches that the bell crank pushed in when the car came down to idle and disengaged the compressor clutch. Then when you accelerated the clutch would reengage when the circuit closed.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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I know I could do it with an electrical solenoid and some linkage activated by the compressor clutch signal pulling the bellcrank, but do I have the time and energy to work on it? Well, for a case of GUINNESS it's got me thinking...
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Jim G., that's a much simpler method. But now I've lost that case of beer...!
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-06-2017, 05:53 PM
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Alfa had a bracket the the solenoid mounted to. One end had a round hole in it and it slide on to the pin that holds the ends of the bellcrank springs. Can't remember were the other end attached to.

1969 1750 Spider Veloce w/dual webers, 1969 1750 Berlina, 1971 1750 Spider Veloce w/ dual webers, 1985 Spider Veloce 23,000 orig. miles, {Two} 1986 Spider Veloces, 1987 Spider Veloce bought new, 1988 Quadrifoglio, 1991 164S, Plus several more. I think they are breeding.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 06:22 AM
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I have also just finished fitting an a/c system to my 105 and will be looking for some fast idle system when the ac is on, see GT section.

I have seen an alfetta GTV that used to have some sort of extra lever on the carby throttle shafts which a solenoid acted upon when the a/c clutch was engaged.

If any one has any photos of this set up it would be great to help see how best to make something similar.

Tim
1975 105 GTV 2000
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