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Thread: Vintage Air Question

  1. #1
    Registered Member Tabasco's Avatar
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    Vintage Air Question

    I have a question about the VA Surefit AC for '56 Chevy. Does anything fit without headaches? I haven't found anything that is a sure fit yet. The evaporator took two people and a ratchet strap on the bottom of the dash to install. The firewall cover didn't fit so I made my own. The drain line wasn't even long enough.

    The latest is the condenser. I installed the two angle brackets on each side of the condenser exactly like the instructions. Them I learned the hard lines did not have enough clearance to turn the nuts. So I modified the brackets.

    When I tried to install the condenser the brackets were too tight against the sides of the radiator support. But with a lot of force and bending I got it on. When I tried to tighten the bolts to hold it on I found out the brackets didn't reach far enough over the bolts to hold them on. The condenser was all the way against the radiator but the side brackets need to be about 1/2 of an inch longer. (The radiator is a stock replacement six cylinder '56 radiator, not a custom one.) If they had made the brackets too long it would have been easy to cut off the excess. But since they are too short it is going to be a problem. So I have to modify the brackets again.

    I realize each car is a little different, but they could have designed some adjustments to make up for the slight variations. Plus the instructions suck. It says there is a left and right bracket but it doesn't tell which is which or why there is a difference. There are no photos, only drawings.

    I picked this AC because everyone ,even Jay Leno, says this the brand to get. Of course Jay Leno doesn't install his own. If my health and finances hold up and I ever get to build another Trifive it won't have VA air. After all the headaches I just hope it works and is cool.

  2. #2
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    I've learned the last 4 or 5 years, that everything 'aftermarket' is mostly a PITA....

  3. #3
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    The definition of "NEW" parts, Never Ever Work.

  4. #4
    Registered Member scorpion1110's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    The definition of "NEW" parts, Never Ever Work.
    You should see my box of junk repop stuff. It so big its become a national tourist attraction; right after the World's largest ball of string.

    Scorp
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  5. #5
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    Vintage Air is far from perfect, but what's better?

  6. #6
    Registered Member Tabasco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick_L View Post
    Vintage Air is far from perfect, but what's better?
    I have heard good things about Classic Air. I don't know if they are better or worse than VA. Classic Air instructions have actual photographs of air conditioning being installed in a 55/56 Chevy. Classic Air instructions are 27 pages total. Vintage Air has 22 pages to just tell how to modify the stock dash controller. For Classic Air it is 2 pages. If I had read both instructions before I bought I probably have gone with Classic Air.

    This Vintage Air is the first AC I ever installed in an old car. If I install another I will try a different brand. Vintage Air has been doing this for a very long time. I believe they could have come up with better instructions and made installation easier by now. I think they should try to make sure it fits if they are going to call it "Sure Fit".

  7. #7
    Registered Member busterwivell's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you're having such a problem. I installed Vintage Air in my 56 and thought it was a breeze. Everything went as planned and fit without an issue. I drove my 56 over 100 miles yesterday, it was over 100 degrees here. Continuosly blew 42 degrees out the vents. I've got their system in my 66 Chevelle and my 71 C30, had it in my 56 Studebaker, all systems have been just fine. Sorry you are having such trouble.

  8. #8
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    I like to see companies (and people) who are constantly trying to IMPROVE, and not lackadaisical because they are 'good enough' already! In my view, things either get better (because we make an effort), OR they get worse when we are 'happy' with the way things are now...


    Yes Vintage Air could be better if they made effort to 1) correct documentation as they get feedback, 2) improve their designs also as they get feedback... If they aren't getting BETTER, then they are likely getting worse...

    and this goes for all companies!

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