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  • Vintage A/C Versus Classic Auto Air

    Please excuse my ignorance if this subject has already been discussed, but I could not find it by searching. I don't post much with the exception of on the Hot Rod Power Tour Section....

    With that being said, my name is Bucky and I own a 1967 RS/SS Camaro. Next year's PT is going to be brutal, considering it's an all south tour. I live in Alabama, been stationed in Iraq three different times and Afghanistan twice, so I know heat. However, there's a possibility that I may be bringing my kiddo's with me next year.

    So, with that being said, has anyone had any experience with either Classic Auto Air or Vintage? If so, was it good or bad? Which company has the best reputation and Technical/Customer Support? I'm open for all suggestion and opinions. I will be installing the system myself, so you could say that this is my research stage.

    Thanks to everyone in advance for the help!!
    sigpic

    "People Sleep Peacefully in their beds at Night Because Rough Men Stand Ready to do violence on their Behalf."
    - George Orwell

  • #2
    WOW .... timing is everything! I just started researching A/C for my Chevelle .... more questions than answers so far, but I'm in. I'll post up what I find out ....
    Whiskey for my men ... and beer for their horses!

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    • #3
      I have been enjoying the vintage air system in my 1967 RS camaro all summer for the first time and love it. The center electronic slide was defective on my dash selector and their tech was great in helping me trouble shoot the issue. They sent me a replacement at no cost. Works great and was very simple to install with the engine out of the car. I believe it is designed to install with the engine in place but it was great for access and firewall cleanup after removal of the factory A/C box. That was my experience.
      HOTROD Dragweek Pro Street N/A winner 2007,2011, 2012/ 2nd, 2009
      HOTROD Dragweek quickest and fastest naturally aspirated car in any class 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012
      FIRST IN THE EIGHTS Legal Pro Street N/A HOTROD Drag Week 2012

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      • #4
        "Which" (see what I did there?) vintage kit did you go with? I'm finding they make 2 or 3 different ones in addition to the direct fit.
        Whiskey for my men ... and beer for their horses!

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        • #5
          Since it will cost a few hundred just to rebuild the old heater box in the falcon - I've been looking at this complete system, heat, defrost, ac, a complete system for $1060.

          http://www.oldairproducts.com/catalo...em-p-4234.html
          There's always something new to learn.

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          • #6
            We have a Vintage Air Gen IV system, finished just in time for this year's PT. It works well, except on really hot humid days (90+) where it won't blow quite as cold. That might be fixed with a pusher fan on the condenser.

            I've heard of folks being dissatisfied with Vintage Air's tech support, but I never had an issue with them. And when we needed new compressor hoses made up and sent out the same day (my foul-up not theirs), the rep walked the parts through and got them shipped overnight, my installer had them by 10:00 the next morning. We would have been without A/C on the tour if not for him.

            Overall, I'm happy with the system. No issues with the components and it went in as advertised.

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            • #7
              I have a CAA system that has been in use since 97. The system works great. Back then I thought the CAA system seemed better than the VA one, but I think it's hard to distinguish between the current designs.
              Tampa, FL

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              • #8
                from what I was told years ago from some texas hot rodders the person who started CAA worked for VA and was one of the higher ups and from what I understand, both units are pretty much the same / identical
                Last edited by BOOOGHAR; June 29, 2012, 06:01 PM.
                Charles W - BS Photographer at large

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                • #9
                  Thank makes complete sense, as both units look the same. My firewall is completely smooth and I have deleted the original heater box, so I'm looking for something that would fit all under my dash. My engine bay is as smooth and professional as I could get it, and I'm a tad bit "OCD" when it comes to hoses and wires. When I built Jade, I took the time to hid and run every wire inside of of the frame. I deleted the heater box/core to get rid of the hoses because IMO- it looks tacky. I also deleted the bypass hose that goes from the water pump to the intake. Once again, just a personal preference...

                  I've read reviews and stories where people that own a VA system were having troubles cooling in 95+ weather. As of now, I haven't read anything like that on CAA. With that being said, I'm not saying they're not out there, but I personally haven't found any. I'm also not positive on the price difference, but then again, I'd probably be going with a custom kit, since my firewall is smooth....

                  I truly appreciate everyone's comments. Thanks!!
                  sigpic

                  "People Sleep Peacefully in their beds at Night Because Rough Men Stand Ready to do violence on their Behalf."
                  - George Orwell

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by milner351 View Post
                    Since it will cost a few hundred just to rebuild the old heater box in the falcon - I've been looking at this complete system, heat, defrost, ac, a complete system for $1060.

                    http://www.oldairproducts.com/catalo...em-p-4234.html
                    Hey John, the only thing that questions me about this sytem is 1) I'm not sure if that unit goes in the Engine Bay or under the Dash; and 2) I don't want a cable system. I would rather upgrade to new modern technology and have a complete electronic system. Yes, they are more expensive, but the technology has surpassed the cable set up. Plus, I took all that out when I did my frame-off, and they are a Pain in the A$$..... LOL

                    But, I truly appreciate the heads up and ideas man. After all, I'm clueless, which is why I'm researching and seeing what all is out there.
                    sigpic

                    "People Sleep Peacefully in their beds at Night Because Rough Men Stand Ready to do violence on their Behalf."
                    - George Orwell

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                    • #11
                      Bucky- they have the option for electronic switches - it's $100 more.
                      I was leaning toward cables so I could hopefully use the factory dash controls to operate it.
                      The heater box goes underdash.
                      There's always something new to learn.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by milner351 View Post
                        Bucky- they have the option for electronic switches - it's $100 more.
                        I was leaning toward cables so I could hopefully use the factory dash controls to operate it.
                        The heater box goes underdash.
                        Freaking awesome!! Thanks again man, I truly appreciate it.
                        sigpic

                        "People Sleep Peacefully in their beds at Night Because Rough Men Stand Ready to do violence on their Behalf."
                        - George Orwell

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                        • #13
                          I have Vintage Air Gen 4 on my Mustang.
                          I installed it last July,best mod Ive done.
                          Im near Vintage Air so I picked everything up from them.
                          My set up is semi custom because I ran all the hoses through the fender so I have no hoses running over the engine,the heater hoses run through the fender as well. I have stock A/C vents in the dash. The Gen 4 setup uses the stock control but converts it to electronic so it uses no cables,just a small wire harness about 1/4" in dia. You have fully proportional fan speed control and temp. blending. The compressure runs with the defrost so the windows clear,and stay clear.(If you drive in "weather")
                          The under dash unit is smaller than the stock Mustang heater box and would have used the stock holes had I not ordered the "with factory a/c" kit. Had I ordered the non a/c system I would have got the add on vents,not factory,and the contol would be defferent.
                          My goal was to hide the system but look factory inside the car,check and check. I did drill 4 holes in the firewall and 2 up into the cowl area. I also had to cut holes into the radiator support for the hoses to pass through.Some (I might say most) of the "Sure Fit" systems require no holes. The kit came with a flat plate to cover the heater motor hole and heater hose holes in the firewall.All the kit hoses pass throught holes in the new plate in the old heater motor hole but I mad a plate with no holes because all my hoses are in the fender.The kit also came with a cover for the stock cowl vent on the right side,this would be the outside air in for the stock heater. The V/A set up uses no outside air so it runs like a modern car AC system in "Max A/C" mode.
                          As for cooling I run 40*f at the center vent at 100f outside temp. The "trick" is to get the low side pressure to run between 10 and 18psi,I idle at 16psi and drop to 12 @ 2000rpm.
                          I installed the kit and used the stock clutch fan,it cooled the car fine but it didn't pull alot of air at idle,I replaced it with dual Ford Contour fans now it cools great even at idle.
                          After the install my going down the road water temp went up about 5*,I idle A/C on at about 190-195f.

                          If you are going a complete kit as designed get it from Summit or Jegs,or a local dealer if they'll cut you a deal.I spent about $300-$400 too much buying direct. Now I also bought bulk hose and a bunch of lose fittings that they crimped for me and my install is far from stock,so......
                          They,VA, have several hose kits deffinetly buy bulk in those kits if you can,the kits save you a little over indidual pieces.
                          The best upgrade if you have the space infront of the radiator is to install the biggest condensor you can fit,they are not that much from VA but call VA first before you buy.
                          Last edited by Cyclone03; June 30, 2012, 04:24 PM. Reason: Sorry No A/C pics in my garage

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                          • #14
                            I have done a bunch of the Vintage Air, the most recent was a '66chevelle. I did the chevelle with the engine in place and used the kit (most often i have to replace hoses etc for more stainless braid and billet bulkhead assemblies etc) and all the plates etc as provided by Vintage Air, it worked perfect. The only surprise was 'no surprises!' I believe the only upgrade was the electronic slide controls and they work perfect.
                            You'll want a couple different hose fittings as well, some extra -6 & -10 (a 45 & 90 each will give you some mounting and routing options; the -8 runs from compressor to condensor it that part will work as intended). I also replaced some of thier bolts where the bolt heads are visible on the firewall, i used stainless/satin black buttonhead allen bolts and they just disappear when you retouch the firewall.
                            You will also have to 'gut' and remove the dash. Everything will have to go, if the dash isn't welded in the plan to unbolt the whole mess. Believe me, when you run the hosing and lift the hvac box up into place for bolting you need all the space you can get. I used a bottle jack to get it where it is supposed to go! It is very tight and you have to take it on faith that it'll actually go in there.
                            I pulled front seat, console, slid the steering column back and rested it on the floor, unbolted the dash, took out the wireing harness.
                            It is also a good oppertunity to fix some buggers left from that 8track installation from back in the 70's etc.
                            Last edited by oj; July 1, 2012, 03:56 AM. Reason: more info
                            A Carter Carb Shop, sales and service

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                            • #15
                              I went with the va in my 69 camaro although I haven't fired it off yet installation was a breeze directions were pretty good. I went to the va website and downloaded the evaporator instructions just to get an idea on how it went in. I got the fly by wire system and it looks great in the interior, it almost looks like a factory heater Box. I'll probably charge it up in about a week or so ( engine problems ) I'll keep you posted on how the rest goes. I live in south Alabama so I to know the heat.
                              Last edited by corvettedad; July 1, 2012, 07:29 AM.
                              Pt 2010, Long Haul 2011,12,13,14,15,16,17, 18, 19
                              If you wait, all that happens is that you get older

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