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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the process of adding a 16V into my Series 1 "Sud berlina and would like to develop the definitive Air Conditioning installation for this car since I live in California and A/C is an absolute must if I want to drive this car anywhere, anytime.

My plan is to use an evaporator unit from www.vintageair.com and try to mount it in the front cowl section where the heater, fresh air ducting and battery are located. My goal is to create an installation that keeps the interior of the car looking completely stock. I hate A/C installs that look like they are just tacked on to the interior because they take up too much room and the extra vents never match the rest of the car.

I'm going to use a Sanden 508 compressor and a custom 2-groove pulley which should just barely fit (the 3-groove pulley from the 33 won't clear the radiator). However, the biggest problem to deal with will be the condenser(s). The 33 has (2) mounted in the fender wells. I've read that they don't work very well, and besides, I'll need to come up with custom dimensions and brackets to fit the Series 1. But it doesn't look like it will mount in front of the radiator either and I was planning on building a custom radiator with an extra row or two to minimize the chance of overheating.

Any ideas?
 

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Hi,

Well ... just coming after A/C installation in my 1991 Alfa 33 i can say the following.

R134a and condensers under the fenders lower the a/c performance but not to the extend to sweat inside the car. It will simply have lower performance compared to todays cars that are designed for R134a and hotter climates. What you can do is find (that's the tricky part as it needs a lot of searching) a parallel flow condenser which are about 1.5cm thick and fit it infront of the radiator; this is the best solution combined with a high speed engine fan wired to run as long as a/c is on.

Also get hold of a SD 508 compressor designed for R134a; SD-5H14 is the equivalent of 508. If you decide to rebuilt the old SD-508 R12 compressor be carefull at the repair process as the internal items are very many and tricky to deal. Keep in mind that rebuilding a compressor is not that difficult but it requires careful steps for a succesful repair...

Bottomline: Sud and Alfa 33 A/C systems were fitted at these vehicles only to say they have A/C. Compared to todays A/C systems, these are considered feeble but at the same time they can surely prevent you from feeling awful from the 40 C burning the road...


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info! Are you familiar with the Sanden 505? It looks smaller than the 508 but I'm not sure how the cooling capacity compares.

Also, would a parallel condenser placed in front of the radiator limit the radiator's cooling capacity?
 

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Hi,

Sanden compressors are indicative of the capacity out of their name.

SD-505: 5 pistons, 5 oz displacement
SD-508: 5 pistons, 8 oz displacement
etc.

By reffering displacement: discharged freon quantity per cycle

Keep in mind that the 508 compressor has capability of performance around 33,000 BTU. It may sound a big number but automotive A/C has many cooling loses due to large glass surfaces, engine heat transferred to passenger compartment etc.

I would think that a condenser in front of the radiator would probably block some dynamic air but this can be compensated if you install a two speed fan like newer models have. For example if the A/C is on the fan kicks in at a lower speed; when the motor needs extra cooling the fan operates at double speed. I think this is not really difficult to adopt.

You may have a look at http://www.alfa-restoration.co.uk where a detailed guide is describing A/C installation in the series 3 Alfa 33; the setup in a Sud is slightly different but you get the idea.;)

Regards,
 

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Bottomline: Sud and Alfa 33 A/C systems were fitted at these vehicles only to say they have A/C. Compared to todays A/C systems, these are considered feeble but at the same time they can surely prevent you from feeling awful from the 40 C burning the road...


Regards,
Feeble is perhaps too optimistic a word. I have two 33's, one with factory air and one with aftermarket air. Neither are effective.

The factory installation has radiators in each side of the front spoiler, the aftermarket has one on one side and one in front of the engine. Folks I have asked to repair this tell me the evaporator (not an expert but the bit that gets cold) is too small and a function of the available space in the dash.

My advise, forget it unless you like a challenge and have low expectations. If on the other hand you succeed, let us know how you managed to do so. I would be delighted if I could get the air working in my 33's, as feeble as it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Were you using a parallel flow condensor or an old-school type? I found this one on the net:

http://www.rjays.com/Air-Cond/hra-condensers-01.htm

Model #: HRA15-1220 for $116.99 (12"H x 20"W)

If it works without causing the radiator to overheat (and I will be upgrading to a high-performance dual flow aluminum radiator with a modern fan), then a Sanden 508 combined with the Vintage Air Gen-II Micro should freeze you right out of the car.
 

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Hi,

Keith, I would be interested to see the setup on the aftermarket A/C system in case you have any pics out of it.

In addition, please correct me if i'm wrong but i think there is no grill for dynamic air in the sud front valance so there will also be a problem of proper air flow to the condensers...

Anyway A/C installation is a real challenge and one can learn a lot of automotive A/C.

Best of luck and keeps us informed with your progress.

Regards
 

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When the red 33 returns from the mechanic this week after having the front end welded I will organise some pictures for this thread.
 

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Just came across my mind,

76Alfasud5M, are you using the original EFI out of the 33 or are you converting to carbs?

A/C setup requires a fast idle valve in order to raise the revs of the engine during A/C operation. This valve actually makes a bypass from the AAV, feeding the engine with more air which eventually raises idle.

In the case of carbs the fast idle bypasses air from the servo brake towards the distributor pneumatic device.

These devices are the same in principle, do the same job either on EFI or Carbs but different in shape, connections etc

Regards
 

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All this aircon talk has only further inspired me to repair my 33 16v's aircon system. I had beautiful airconditioning until I drove into a divet in the road leading into a carpark and snapped the hose off the passenger side condensor. Pulling out the condensor revealed it had been previously repaired (and not very well at that).

My goal is to install similar sized condensors either from another vehicle or possibly custom made, with an extra row of tubing (3 rows instead of 2) to improve efficieny. I will also fit better quality fans with ducting from the front bumper's grilles.

So, first question - can anyone recommend an Australian distributor of automotive aircon components much like the link in the previous message. Walking in to Repco will only provide me with blank looks I'm sure!

Also, as my system has been opened up to the elements, and no doubt the aircon dryer has never been replaced in the life of the car, is it worth replacing it? The lines are all taped up, but I suspect moisture would have still got in at some point. Who can make up new aircon hoses for me at a reasonable price?

Thanks in advance :)

~Benjamin
 

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Hi,

It goes without saying that since air has entered the system, the receiver/drier should be replaced.

In the case of moisture inside the hoses, I would say that a vaccum process prior freon charge should eliminate any traces of elements that might clog the system.

Regarding new hoses manufacturing, I would seek for a A/C shop specialising only in automotive air conditioning. There are shops that offer repair, electrical, etc services plus air conditioning. These guys for sure know how to do vaccum and freon charge...but only this.In case the repair needs a new hose for example they will just order the part from the supplier:rolleyes:

In my case of A/C installation, some hoses from the donor car were badly knackered from the accident so I found an A/C shop specialised only in automotive airconditioning who had the right gear to create hoses from scratch.

Finally don't forget that in case you need to buy A/C hose from AR dealers there is a strong posibility that these hoses sit on the bench for ages and are designed for R12. Newer R134a freon is not compatible with new, unused R12 hoses since the molecule of R134a is "smaller" than the one of R12 and will find its way out in the atmosphere; however used R12 hoses can accomodate R134a since oil has formed a natural barrier to R134a molecules, so no escape to the atmosphere can happen.

Best regards
 

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So, first question - can anyone recommend an Australian distributor of automotive aircon components much like the link in the previous message. Walking in to Repco will only provide me with blank looks I'm sure!
Repco are distributors for "JayAir". Look them up on google.

I got quite a shock myself at how much R-co carry in the way of air/c gear - down to converter valves, compressor rebuild parts... You name it.

If you get a dumb-***, ask them for a seat (to sit on) & the jayair parts book. You will be there a while...
 

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Hopefully you can see the hose leading the front of the radiator. In the factory install, there are two units, one each side of the car in the front spoiler. This local installation has one on the inside of the lhs spoiler and a big one in front of the radiator. This installation is orders of magnitude neater than the factory installation and much of the work is shrouded and had to see. The car is an 84 build and this was supplied by the dealer with the air.

My 85 build 33 has factory air.



Under the car. Unit in the spoiler.



Under the bonnet. Again, neatly concealed.



The compressor.
 
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