Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
New-to-me 1972 Spider, so I have the usual early-energy in wanting to work on the car.
I need AC regardless of the spirit of a convertible, so I'm looking at the components that will be needed to install air conditioning.

Especially interested in the evaporator solutions, whether there are in-dash units, or whether an under-dash unit is needed -- or what alterations of the center console need to be made.

I'd like to hear about your installations -- woes, victories, modifications, ingenuity, etc.
Pics would be good too.
...or further referrals for info.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
1973 Spider 2L
Joined
·
228 Posts
I've never heard of a 72 with AC installed. It's a lot more complex then you think. Even just mounting the compressor is a struggle and would require lots of custom brackets. You can get a do it yourself kit from vintage air but you will have to mount and run and design everything yourself. You could look at series three spiders and how they fit the AC in and retro fit that backwards into your 72. The vintage air kit is possible but it will be alot of work. You could relocate the battery to the trunk and mount your compressor there mount your condenser in front of your radiator but that will add lots of extra heat so you'll want some electric fans to go with. You can relocate your coil and run your lines through the firewall there and possibly fit everything else in that pocket. But theres no guarantee you'll get a heater box to fit under your dash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
Air conditioning on a Spider?????? Why?
 
  • Like
Reactions: bjwhite and P-3

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,315 Posts
Air conditioning on a Spider?????? Why?
If you had been in our Spider last year, near Bordeaux, in traffic, in 40 degrees you would have been able to answer that question!
We had to put the hood up to get some shade and A/C would have been a real treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
365 Posts
If you had been in our Spider last year, near Bordeaux, in traffic, in 40 degrees you would have been able to answer that question!
We had to put the hood up to get some shade and A/C would have been a real treat.
Been there done that, 2019 working our way through traffic in Turin on our way to the Baloco test track, 40C there too. Thing is, in 1972 not many cars had air con, its a bit of a soft luxury we have got used to in our saloon cars.

PS, we're talking 104F not chilly chilly 40deg
 
  • Like
Reactions: AaronsSpider

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Being honest, sell it and get a late model with factory air....much better in the long run.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bjwhite

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Just came across these.

Thanks.
I can't quite figure out how these work, or where they fit.
Do they bolt into an AC compressor mounting plate, or directly into the compressor?
Also, I'd have to assume that Alfa changed AC compressor models over the years, so which compressors could I use. Would really like to use as modern a compressor as possible due to improved efficiency -- but, certainly not a show-stopper. ANY AC is better than none on those hot, humid and rainy days.
 

·
Registered
1974 Alfa Romeo spider
Joined
·
124 Posts
Thanks.
I can't quite figure out how these work, or where they fit.
Do they bolt into an AC compressor mounting plate, or directly into the compressor?
Also, I'd have to assume that Alfa changed AC compressor models over the years, so which compressors could I use. Would really like to use as modern a compressor as possible due to improved efficiency -- but, certainly not a show-stopper. ANY AC is better than none on those hot, humid and rainy days.
They replace the huge plugs in the front of the head. There is a massive bracket that mounts to them. My 76 Alfetta had a York 2 piston compressor mounted, but there is an adapter for a rotary compressor. You could probably have a rotary compressor bracket make that would be better for your needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hah, the York! Massive chunk of steel.
Yep, looks like I'll be making my own bracket for a Sanden, unless a later smaller Alfa compressor model with bracket can bolt up.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,270 Posts
Hah, the York! Massive chunk of steel.
Yep, looks like I'll be making my own bracket for a Sanden, unless a later smaller Alfa compressor model with bracket can bolt up.
Yep good idea. Not sure what happened in the Alfa design office when that "massive chunk of steel" was designed? Maybe when the boss said bracket for aircon compressor he heard bracket for an air compressor
Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
947 Posts
Got to thinking about what you said at the top of this discussion:

"I need AC regardless of the spirit of a convertible "

I'm not convinced that you are "married" to this car. Putting A/C in this car is going to be a daunting task. Unless you are looking forward to it (the task) why not just sell this car and buy one that's just a few years younger that already has A/C. Most Alfas of this vintage with A/C will not have a working A/C system (blame the nonworking system as a reason to offer a lower price for the car) but it will still have all the parts. Even if you have to rebuild the A/C, it will be quicker and almost as much fun..

I'm not sure if it will cost less or more going in this direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I too have bounced this idea around in my '76 spider. Toronto summers are brutally humid, and some AC would be nice when stuck in traffic at high noon. Any option I've looked at is too expensive to be economically viable, and well beyond the scope of my mechanical ability/interest. There's plenty I love about the car, and most of that is the old school features the S2 cars have over the S3's and S4's. However, if there were ever a point where comfort became paramount, selling it and upgrading to a later series, with AC, working or not would be my way to go. It's much easier and likely cheaper to resurrect a dead A/C system than put one in a car that never had one.

Like a lot of folks on here, I don't NEED my Spider to get around, so if it's 40 degrees in mid July, I just skip taking the spider to work (as hard as that is), take my Jeep with ice cold AC instead and reward myself with a nice evening drive once I get home and it's cooled off.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,270 Posts
What Samakijoe and Andrew say makes sense, but I could never own a car with the bracket that Alfa Romeo designed. Honestly did they give the design to a child that had never designed anything in their lives before? As I wrote that comment I realised that it was insulting to children ... apologies

Pete
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,270 Posts
If I ever go down this path with my GTV, I will either go Vintage Air, or purchase a written off Japanese car from a wrecker. Something like a Honda. Japanese aircon is a wonderful thing, and the air compressors they use are not the same size as the rest of the engine!

Pete
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Interesting perspectives.
Ref just buying another newer Alfa already with AC... that's the kind of advice I would give someone else, but now that I am living the reality, I'm not sure if it's a good decision. I recently sold 2 cars, and MAN!, it's a PITA if you want to sell a car honestly while striving to be transparent. The questions I had to answer!!!! I NEVER, in all the 50+ cars I have bought, required the level of detail that was asked of me for that 66 Mustang and 96 Porsche 993. AND, TO BOOT, I STILL lowered my price (although I still came a little above even -- but did not charge any of my own labor, which amounted to a few hundred hours).
I'm not in the mood for selling at the moment, unless someone waltzes in and pays me enough to break even (and that includes licensing and registration and transportation costs). Not likely.

On the other hand, I have put together and installed AC systems from scratch, where none previously existed, so I know the routine -- although, yes, it's a PITA.
It's winter, so we'll see what happens...but present course is to get the AC parts together gradually, while researching the best way to install it all (evaporator is the key -- it's always best to have a combination heater/AC unit, as opposed to 2 separate units -- and I don't know if a late Alfa unit can be adapted to fit the 72).
More to come, I am sure. Hope the project does not stall, as is likely in these types of conversions.
Hah.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I guess you will have ruled out the Alfaholics option, at £3,500 ?
Anglo, thanks!
I was unaware of that kit... but, no...far too expensive for a $10k USD car.
However, no doubt I might borrow/copy some features.
More likely I'll do what is easiest. Very likely get a system from a very small Japanese car, make brackets, stuff the evaporator under the dash, and put flexible ductwork to left, right, and center aftermarket underdash vents.
....that's all presupposing I keep the car or maintain interest, huh. These types of projects always have a death warrant lurking behind them: a threat of being a "forever project" rather than a weekend project.

Still looking for ideas, including e-compressor to avoid new crankshaft pulley and extra belt, plus brackets and pulley alignment.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top