Author Topic: Upgrading factory air in a 1967 ... keeping factory air components and look?  (Read 732 times)

67L48

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
1967 SS 350, all original.  Has factory air, but it hasn't blown cold since around 1990.  It's really hot in the summer and I really want to be able to blow some cold air.

I think it's safe to say that R-12 isn't coming back at this point.  I don't want a second mortgage to find some weird source of R-12 to charge my factory air, either.

I know that there are aftermarket systems, such as Vintage Air.  However, I don't want the look of an aftermarket A/C.  I want to maintain the factory components so that my car still looks like a factory air car ... just one that uses R-134a.  I did a quick search here, and I could only find a few threads of people adding A/C to non-A/C cars.

I'm looking for a solution to convert factory air R-12 to an R-134a system.  Is that possible?  Are there kits for that or is every one a custom job?  Anyone who has done this before and could share pros, cons, and learnings?

Thanks.

67L48
1967 Camaro SS 350
PG, factory air, console, fold down rear seat, PS, PB, butternut yellow, #s matching, original manual/warranty/POP, <70K miles
Frederick, CO

x66 714

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1404
    • View Profile
That A6 system will freeze you out if it's working properly....Joe
See America's First, Chevrolet

1968 Z/28 Corvette Bronze. Black Hounds Tooth. 02E Los Angeles born 3/13/1968 pnt OO. Purchased March 1976
1969 SS396 Yellow/Yellow 08E Norwood born 8/28/1969 pnt 76E. Purchased April 1981

Petes L48

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 681
    • View Profile
R-134a is also getting phased out in a few years, FWIW.  I think 1/1/2024.  Has anyone checked your system and components?  I'm told R-12 is more efficient than 134a.  So if nothing changes other than the refrigerant, it may not get any cooler.  There are places that can rebuild/convert the POA valve and compressor to 134a. 

GMAD_Van Nuys

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
I found this R12 to R134a conversion kit for a 1967 Camaro, but don't have any experience with the company:

https://www.originalair.com/67-camaro-134a-rotary-compressor-upgrade-kit

69DuskBlueRS/Z28

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Unless you plan on upgrading the hoses to a barrier type hose w/ associated fittings along with a parallel flow condenser, you will not get satisfactory results using R134A refrigerant.  Also keep in mind that R134A operates at higher pressures.  You will also need to convert your metered orifice.  It has been my experience that the coldest air is made coupling an A6 compressor with R12 refrigerant.  I have more R12 refrigerant than I will ever possibly use and am happy to help fellow members if they need any.

Kelley W King

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1268
    • View Profile
My 77 TA runs 134A and it is not as cold as R12 but it is acceptable to me except 95 degree days. New hoses and seals for sure. I had someone do it so not sure what else but it looks factory. My car is black on black with glass T tops so it is hard to cool anyway. I sealed air leaks in the inside ductwork and the under hood box and feel a big improvement air flow which helped a lot.
69 Z28 RS Scuncio Hi Performance
69 SS L78
67 SS Chevelle
64 Corvette
66 GTO Tiger Gold
77 Trans Am Special Edition

CantRepeat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
I found this R12 to R134a conversion kit for a 1967 Camaro, but don't have any experience with the company:

https://www.originalair.com/67-camaro-134a-rotary-compressor-upgrade-kit

I bought a kit from them. Other then the newer style compressor, which I ordered in black, it looks ok. The compressor clearly isn't factory looking but you do retain the suit case in the engine compartment as apposed to a vintage air look.

I live in the Southeast and with the hot humid summers AC is must. If I could get the A6 compressor to work with 134a I would have done so. I guess I should say, work well enough, which it didn't, I would have kept it.
-Tim
67 RS/SS Vert C-1 797-Z LOS
EXDL 2EMGR 3SL
4P

67L48

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
    • View Profile
Thanks for the replies.  My A/C is definitely depleted.  I know that R-12 is superior to R-134a in terms of cooling.  I think the last time I priced out R-12 (about 5 years ago), it was going to be prohibitively expensive.  But, after 25 years or so of not really being used, I don't really even know if the factory components are up to snuff, have more holes than a block of swiss cheese, etc.

I think I'll probably end up taking it to a shop in the spring to get an assessment + options going forward.  When I get more info, I'll post back here for others who might be in the same position with an old, depleted factory air system.

Thanks again.

67L48
1967 Camaro SS 350
PG, factory air, console, fold down rear seat, PS, PB, butternut yellow, #s matching, original manual/warranty/POP, <70K miles
Frederick, CO

z28z11

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1753
    • View Profile
Conversions can be done, fairly inexpensively. Please take a look at my friend's '69 Firebird 400 (I know it's not a Camaro, but at least it's a 1st. Gen F body). You can keep the original compressor, or you can start with a new or rebuilt as the system oil has to change to the 134 compatible oil; you 'll need new lines and muffler for the same reason (and a new drier, which would have to be replaced after the system is discharged or opened). The POA valve has to be gutted as it doesn't work well with the 134 in terms of expansion rates and system designs. If you have a local shop that's worth it, they should be able to coach you in preparing the system for the conversion (and will need to exchange the old freon and/or vacuum and charge the system unless you have a pump). My bud did everything but vacuum and charge the system, and I think the results were great in terms of cosmetics, and it blows cold. I'm not a Firebird expert - to me you have to look twice to see any differences from stock (the right angle 134 adaptor on the POA low side port is one clue).

The car is a convertible, by the way, a "BB" Bird, was a Turbo 400 swapped to a 200R4 for overdrive capabilites, complete ground up resto. Really nice ride -

Regards,
Steve 
1968 Z28 M21/U17 BRG/W 1967 Chevy ll Nova SS 
1969 Z28 X77/M20/VE3 LeMans/W
1969 L78 X66/N66 Cortez/BVT
1969 Z11 L48/M35/C60/C06  1949 3100 5wd 235/6

KurtS

  • CRG Coordinator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5508
    • View Profile
It's not complicated. Lots of discussions on various forums.
You can keep the original compressor, as shown above. Many have just changed to 134a. Drier is supposed to be changed but I know of several who didn't and it worked fine. That's the first I've heard of changing the hoses.
Biggest thing for you is finding the current leaks...
Kurt S
CRG

 

anything