Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2006 09:02:50 -0800
Reply-To: Blake Heinlein <blakeheinlein@GMAIL.COM>
Sender: Vanagon Mailing List <email@example.com>
From: Blake Heinlein <blakeheinlein@GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Aftermarket Air Conditioning
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This web site link is where I plan on documenting the A/C R&D project once I
get equipment and start the work.
Most likely my questions, concerns, and Vanagon specific part searches will
be posted on the Vanagon List.
Currently Vintage Air has an in-dash unit called the Gen IV Magnum
Universal. It includes the heater coil and the a/c evaporator in the same
housing with the fan. Everything in the air handling box is controlled by
servo motors and the control panel is wired to it electronically. No levers.
The main difference up front is that there is no fresh air connection for
this unit. Most modern cars have the ability to turn on and off the fresh
air recirculation. This unit is designed for recirculating air only.
This worried me at first, then I started thinking about some of the
advantages. If I can cover and insulate the ram air fresh air port on the
front of the van I can greatly reduce the wind noise created by this
specific feature. I also called V.A. and asked them how the unit worked in
defrost mode. They said the air conditioner cycles on (removing humidity by
condensing water on the evap coil) and the heater coil also heats the air.
Unless I set up a bathtub in the back of the van, my guess is that after
about 15 minutes of driving, the a/c will have condensed all the water out
of that space and I wouldn't have to run it all the time.
Typical a/c systems always work more efficiently when the air is recycled
inside the vehicle. So it looks like they addressed the fresh air issue and
I'm willing to part with it so that I can significantly easy the
installation process and hopefully reduce the highspeed wind noise.
My goal is also to have a very stock looking installation. This unit will be
a no/go if it doesn't fit under the dashboard, but I'll have a lot of room
because I'm removing the existing heater box. The control panel they offer
has three nobs and will replace all the existing levers, the only
disadvantage is that I think the. only color they have is chrome and brush
aluminum, but I'll see if they have black.
The heater box shroud that you are referring to attaching the the heater box
is also not much of a problem for me. A while back I built a console that
goes around my automatic shifter and it conceals the entire shroud anyway.
So if it goes away it wouldn't matter. Here are some pictures of the
My van is my second vehicle, so my goal is to get this installed by May so I
have the summer to enjoy it. Once I start work the van will be driveway
bound for 2-3 months. My wife, the wonderful Vanagon hobby enabler, has
given me the green light to purchase the equipment. After many years of
driving the van in CA summers on long road trips it didn't take much
Warren, Thanks for all the points you brought up. Keep bringing the
questions because it helps me think of all the potential roadblocks before I
'84 Westy (2.1 wasserboxer conversion) no a/c, no p/s
On 12/30/06, Warren Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Where would you be documenting this process.....here...a blog ???
> Six years ago I looked into Vintage Air units some...but I defaulted to a
> Behr unit after the Suby conversion used up most of my "conversion" energy
> at the time.... I figured that...with the Behr ...at at least it was
> already designed for the job.. But the Behr unit was quite a job anyway.
> The V.A. units with all inclusive, heat, air, defrost in one unit is
> defenitely enticing. Are you considering their "Supercooler" or a
> different unit?
> Seems like a VA unit may mount to the Vanagon front box member that goes
> across the front of the van with some not too difficult mounting
> but will take a fair amount of creativivity...and perhaps some sheet metal
> or other skills...to work out the fresh air ducting from the outside.....
> and to have a sanitary, "stock looking" install when done. There will be
> fair amount of issues.....not the least of which is what to cover it all
> with once it's mounted in there. The stock plastic heatercover in front of
> the gearshift is held in place by sliding into a couple of slots on the
> sides the VW heating unit
> I've thought that perhaps it would be really helpful to have a parts van
> around...or at least a front clip of one...that you can remove everything
> out of the front and do all the work-up prior to tearing into your
> Lots of us will be following your R&D with keen interest. Keep us
> Warren C.
> SubaruVanagon Yahoo Group
> 90 Syncro Westy w/Subaru 4 cyl and Behr front AC.