The 66 SS project car I got from my dad is a factory air car. I have heard they can hard to get working again and it is easier to add vintage air to it instead. The clone has vintage air and it works great, I was just wondering how hard it can be to get the original AC system working. I am wanting to take this car back to its' original color and interior trim. Figured I would work on the AC while I have it torn apart.
If all the major parts are there reworking the factory air is not that bad. I redid the factory air on my '60 and it works just fine.
a '66 should be much easier as the minor parts are more available. Go for it.
I've done a bunch of comparisons on getting my original '68 factory AC working or going with an aftermarket set up. At $1300 for a new Restromod AC vs $2K starting quote for a restoration of the OG unit, the Restromod Air is leading the race for me. Its also lighter, and would simplify the engine bay & plumbing considerably, along with delivering modern diagnostics to the mix. THAT said, if you are looking to keep it as close to original as possible, then the refit is your only real option, since the new units are not located in the engine bay (that's a modern design thing - it's a lot easier on the AC components so we've discovered since the early 90's) so you'll have to carve up your firewall and rearrange the guts of your Dash.
Keep in mind that '68's and '69's are the redheaded step-children of B-Bodies, so nearly everything original for my generation of car is more expensive or just unavailable. Like wahelton said, a '66 is a sweet spot for parts - jealous of yah :-D
got factory air in 1963 impala works great out here in las vegas all summer, i put a vintage air in another 63 impala i had that worked a little better, i would stay with the factory air if i had a chioce , you car your $ do what you want