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converting a non AC truck to AC

volaredon

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85 D150. wanting to put factory air in. I had an 83 once with "hang on" AC. old school "dealer installed" AC/

For this one, I have the "factory AC" heater box and the ductwork for within the dash. still need a few things like a control head. I think there's a few Dodge trucks/vans at the local yard I can get that from.
The factory AC stuff came from an 87 that someone on CL was parting out. Dash pad itself had previously sold before I got to it.
My question(s) are related to what all else I will need to find to make this happen.
My dash pad is in really good shape. but it doesnt have the cutouts for the face vents like an AC truck would. Do I have to find another dash pad or are the spots for the vents "marked out" on the back side of the dash where I could cut them into this dash?
My truck is a /6. I know that during the 80s they used the round aluminum compressor. C-171 I think. I dunno who made that unit for Dodge. I have heard alot about a "Sanden" compressor, alot of classic car retrofits use them, and from what I see they were OE on alot of vehicles too. Old AC compressors were power hogs. What is an efficient compressor that won't be such a drain on the system? I don't want to back date to the old cast iron RV2 unit.
I want to go with R134, as though I do have a few cans of R12 left, I have another car that still has all its original AC stuff that I need to save that stuff for.
So considering the wanting to go with 134, is there a different evap or different condenser needed to make it work as 134 should? I know that cars that were originally R12 dont quite work as well on 134 as they did on R12.
I dont mind having to have hoses made, though I have OE design hoses from companies like "4 seasons" on my watch list on Ebay.
Can I just cut the crimps on the original hoses that came with the under dash unit and have new hose crimped on the old fittings? I really dont wanna use the "heater hose" style clamps. If I knew for sure Id use a factory compressor from back in the day Id just get the "factory replacement" ones from Ebay. but most of the Sanden units I see, the factory ends wont fit so I'd have to have ends that do fit melded into the hoses anyways...... I do have a place local that can make them.
 

7mopar

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Your truck would have had the Sanden compressor if it had come with A/C. Change the oil in it and you can use the 134 but why not just use 12A? Your dash parts should not be to hard to find. Years 82-93
 

volaredon

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"12A"? HUH? I actually have some virgin R12 here but don't want to use it for that........ probably go with 134. is there a different evaporator or condenser suggested, vs what it would have originally had with R12? It would have to fit the original plenum box.... I have brand new (not OEM) "Everco" and/or "4-seasons" hoses located for use with my engine
I have the plenum box and ductwork from an 87 factory AC truck, still need the dash with the vents, and the control head
don't have to be in a hurry, but am looking to find "if the gettin' becomes good"...... long ways from crossing that bridge on this (project) truck.
 

volaredon

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Bump. If I can get the louvered dash vents particularly on either side of the glove box can I "cut them in" and put those into my original dash pad? The one I have now is the original and not an AC dash. I have a lead on a different dash (from a factory AC truck, same color) and I think there's a couple of these trucks in my local yard still that had factory AC but wrong color.
I can get those pretty cheap. Definitely less than what I saw on EPay. And then won't have to worry about mismatched vin as I would if I changed out the dash. Nor would I have to pull the windshield to get to the bolts at the cowl that hold the top of the dash to the cab.
 

7mopar

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Driver's side ac is in the dash panel, not the pad. Not sure about the passenger side.
 

7mopar

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Just checked my photos.
 

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volaredon

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yeah/ im talking about the 2 vents in the dash one on either side of the glove box.
I went to the Indy Cylinder head swap 2 weekends ago and saw a couple of sellers that had maroon dash pads for sale from 80s trucks. One was an AC dash and he wanted $220/ there was a non AC version a couple of rows over from a different seller for $20.... I almost bought the $20 one, had it in my hand actually. The $220 guy wanted over $20 just for the glovebox door he had..... I did buy his visors from him though..... he had the whole interior but those were the only things he had that were reasonable.... I wanted the plastic trim that goes around the windshield an a few other parts but not for what he was wanting. though I know that particular swap isnt cheap at any means to set up at.....
 

volaredon

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Not really. Just wanted to know mostly whether the dash pads were the same minus the cutouts for the vents between them.
Though I have never pulled a complete dash out of one I have heard that you need to pull the windshield out to get at the top screws and I'm wanting to avoid that, is why I'm asking the questions.
I've been talking for a while with a guy a few hours north of me, that has a couple of factory AC dashes from partouts he has done. He is holding a swap meet at a former Chrysler dealer building he owns in about 3 weeks. I met up with him at the Indy swap, he's wanting to deal on everything because I guess he has the building sold.
Every time I ask an 80s dodge trucks question on Moparts he is usually the first to answer me and usually somewhere within is some sort of reference to "c'mon up".
He has tons of A Body C body and truck stuff, (Dodge only) plus whoever else shows up to sell what they may have.
I've been to 2 of his swaps over the years, this is either his 4th or 5th one. Only year in the stretch he didn't (couldn't) was 2020 and he held out til like 3 days before under threats of major fines from the local government before he had to call it off. I think they ran the previous 2-3 years and this will be the 2nd one since.
The aggravating thing? My son had an 87 D150 that he parted out after he got from it whatever he needed for his 2 that he could use, and it had a nice factory AC dash in it that went with the remains, to the scrap yard. It was scrapped about 6 months before I had any idea that I was gonna wind up with the truck that I am now working on.

But keep me posted, if you do come up with anything. Until I am finished with this truck I never know what I might wind up needing for it.
He did save the seat from it and never did get a bite on anyone wanting one, I'm so happy he still had it when I got this 85
In addition to the dash/vents etc I need brackets to put the round aluminum style compressor into a slant 6 and maybe a good condenser.
 
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volaredon

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ok..... went to see a guy (who posts on FABO and Moparts quite a bit, different name on each) last weekend //as he is having a swap meet at a building he owns, this coming weekend/// he's been asking me to come up, and see what he has laying around, since last Fall. After spending too much money up there, I came home with factory AC dashes from 2 trucks. And he had a factory non AC dash there too. Just like what I have now. I didn't get that one. (should have gotten the factory non AC dash I saw at Indy swap, just to have/// that guy was plenty reasonable) I coulda gotten the non AC one this guy had too, but figured well, why... that's just like what I already have. Don't need another of those.
and I saw then, with all 3 dashes that he had, up next to each other, that the non AC one is marked on the back side where I'd have to cut it out for the vents... gonna have to come out anyway so I can install the plenum and tubing to connect it all, but I am probably gonna (at least try) to cut the holes into my existing one, as then I won't have to worry about what to do about putting my original VIN tag, onto one of the replacement dashes.
But at least laying up next to each other I saw what needs doing..... that was a help.
I'm still lacking the push button control head (I got one from a '92ish that he had.... I don't care that it has pictures on the display, vs words like an 85 would have originally, but I think the wiring plug is different. The 2 dashes I got, are from an 89 and that 92. I'm gonna hang onto everything I have, until the job is done/ "just in case" but then, I will have the extra's for sale. I want at least 1 of them here til I'm done, if nothing else, just as a reference.
In all of the mess I brought home, I still need at least 1 dash vent and bezel for it. one that I got is missing fins. I THINK the ones from a Dodge Van will be the same. Anyone know for sure? I hope so there are a bunch of those in the local boneyard. and need a dash bezel, as the 3 that this guy had were non AC, non AC, and busted. none of which did me any good.
Hopefully this info will help others here that are wanting to do the same sort of thing as I am to their truck.
I will also be looking for other parts for this truck as I go along.

7mopar.... keep me posted on what you may have that comes available, Im guessing you have "something" cooking, being as how you asked what a hurry I may be in..... Right now I'm in the "gather parts as gettin is good" mode.
 
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