Should I replace dealer installed A/C with vintage
I am a new member, And this is my first post. I have a 1965 unrestored Impala super sport 396 4-speed 12 bolt car that is in very nice shape. The car has a dealer installed A/C system and I was wanting to upgrade to vintage air. Will the car be more valuable with the dealer installed A/C?
A dealer installed knee knocker is no more valuable than Vintage air's same device. The factory in dash vents and three chamber mixing heat and air is infinitely more valuable and can be upgraded to newer R134 from the factory R12 by changing the expansion valve. With any A/C this old it will need new hoses and a new drier to blow cold air for another dozen years.
Depends upon who built it. Some used a York 8 10 cid twin piston compressor, and others used the Sanden 508 scroll compressor.
To find a replacement compressor that hasn't been built since 1982 you can read this article for donor cars. The York was used on AMC and Chrysler cars since 1958. Also under some Ford car hoods but those might have been dealer installed cars, as they were rare and usually didn't work (but then I only saw stuff people wanted fixed in my shop).
All will require new hoses, drier, new R134 refrigerant, a bottle of whale oil, and expansion valve at a minimum. Depending upon how well it was installed and maintained over the decades it might also need the thermal shut off valve and a new blower motor. Basically it will be cheaper to buy a new kit unless you are providing "free" labor yourself.
If you were keeping the car mostly original at the engine, interior and suspension - and you care about resale value - I'd say keep the original A/C and do what it takes to make it work as new again. It's a good system.
If you did a "resto-mod' to the car, or plan to, like maybe adding Fuel Injection, or lowering it, updated suspension with aftermarket parts, updated engine with newer carb, headers, maybe cam, etc, well, then I'd vote for the Vintage Air. I can't say whether it technically blows colder or is more efficient - but it certainly cleans up the engine bay and makes it easier to work on under there too.
Plenty of (restored) cars crossed the line at Barret Jackson auction with Vintage Air(or similar) under the hood, it did not affect the value whatsoever.
I have both, original and classic air.
original A/C filled with R12 will work better than new units, however since we can't (legally) use R12 any longer people are converting to R134. Converted units do not work as well, and they are not as efficient as new units that are designed to work with R134.
I am planning on installing Classic Air in my unmolested 67 Impala SS.
Consider Classic Air, they have a slightly better unit than Vintage air.
original A/C filled with R12 will work better than new units, however since we can't (legally) use R12 any longer people are converting to R134.
Not totally true. R-12 can be purchased and used by a licensed tech with the proper recycling tools. It can not be legally placed into a system that leaks in any way (such as old hoses that are porous to the gas), or old O-ring Schrader valve port or hose end fittings that leak. My brother gets 22 pound R-12 bottles of refrigerant for use in A/C equipped Caterpillars all the time. Laws still apply to Cat dealerships as they do at automotive dealerships. NO LEAKS!.
Converted units do not work as well, and they are not as efficient as new units that are designed to work with R134.
This is a true statement as R12 and R-134 have different boiling points and points of condensation. They also have a triple point which requires more pressure than most older R-12 units can cope with. This is why older A/C systems never blow as cold when measured with a thermometer, but will still give you frost bite if your hand is held there long enough.
There is a reason that Chevrolet never offered A/C on a high performance car (anything with a solid lifter cam) after the 1964 production run. This is because warranty claims on older style piston driven (Harrison and Frigidaire A6 units) and a 327 or 409 with a solid cam where a recipe for a blown front seal. Computerized cars that today rev to six grand with a hydraulic roller have a sdensor in the ignition module that turns the compressor off as the RPM crosses four grand. Between 4,200 and 4,600 the ceramic front seal melts the rubber O-ring that it seals against as the motor revs, then you have no A/C and the compressor needs to be rebuilt. Something to keep in mind no matter which air conditioning unit you install.