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260Z factory AC to none AC 280Z


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I'm attempting to install an HVAC system from a 260Z with factory AC to a none AC 280Z. I'm not familiar with the vacuum systems. How does it gets its air from to open close the air ducts and water heater from? I've looked at the fsm but still can't figure it out. Will it work? I've got new compressor and condenser. Anyone done this before? Your help is appreciated. Thanks.




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eBay would be your best bet.  Or you could probably cobble together the valves and a vacuum bottle. 

Some of the valves, and the capillary tube, are probably non-functional and/or leaky, on your collection of old parts.  You might be better off to get a more modern system. 

Here's one.  Or at least part of it.  There might be threads on the site about swapping a more modern control system in.  Can't remember.


Edited by Zed Head
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Just a couple of words of warning, there are several components that you will need to find suitable substitutes for, such as the drier and condenser. Even if you could find a stock condenser, you'll probably be running R134A, and the stock condenser is suboptimal for that refrigerant. Also, I tried to see if I could find a way to bench test the expansion valve at the evaporator. There doesn't seem to be such a method. If the expansion valve is bad, you'll end up tearing the system apart and trying to figure out what you could do for a replacement.

That's the risk of used AC systems.

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Thanks guys for your feedbacks, it's what I need. I thought this stock 260Z factory unit is doable and if it's going to head ache will scrap the idea. I visited a local store this morning who specializes in modern parts and accessories for old cars. The tech guy advised to scrap the old unit. Not worth messing around with it. So I picked up the full kit of Vintage Air Gen Mini II. Will see if the tech was right, suppose to be easy plug and play except for making my own brackets etc.





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Hello 240ziggy,
I’m in the process of doing the same thing. I have a 77 280z that didn’t come with A/C and have been tracking down all the parts. eBay has been very helpful because I wanted to go with stock inside the cabin. I ordered this kit for everything else under the hood and it looks good. Just need to get started on the installation now! Hope that helps! 6a6460ce05517f5acf7476c6def0bc30.jpg

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I have said it before I will say it again, the stock 280z setup works pretty good, not great as in its not a meat locker but it does well. In fact I notice that the real issue is trying to cool down the heated interior parts, a few minutes in the sun and you can barely hold you hand to the dash (sunny florida).

I will break it down into pros and cons

Stock pros:

  1.  OE can only help with value if you ever want to sell the car, buys like OE.
  2. its simple, really really simple, easy to trouble shoot.
  3. this is big if you care, it allows for the use of the "VENT" setting, aftermarkets have you block this off. I like the vent on the days when its cool enough to not use the AC  and i don't want to have the windows rolled down, besides its just a nice feature imho.
  4. It works pretty good, has things like idle up so rpm is kept up under the load of the compressor.
  5. The stock compressor is rugged, will last forever.
  6. You can get evaps and condensors and tvx if you are willing to spend the money.

Stock cons:

  1. its old and there are a lot of NLA parts I am talking about control panels magnet valves bottles not the evap/cond which are out there.
  2. its based on R-12, I don't know how well the evaporator or stock expansion valve would work with R-134.
  3. Some folks "may" find the lever controls confusing, I don't think so but just saying.
  4. the stock compressor while rugged is very heavy for the go fast types this is a problem.

After market pros:

  1. easy to get, just spend money, lots of it, but you don't have to hunt things down.
  2. I presume it works well and on does it on R134a, I have no 1st hand exp with these but if the were lousy I am sure it would be known.
  3. it does not have to have air bottles and vacuum to operate if that matters.
  4. I am sure its well supported by the dealers since its new.
  5. it uses modern compressors that prob are lighter for the go fast types.

After market cons:

  1. its not OE so does not add as much value as a OE for buyers that are looking for all original.
  2. a Biggie here, it looks like there is a lot of fabrication, I never see instructions showing pre made parts for the install, its up to the buyer to figure out how to put it in. Do not underestimate this.
  3. it deletes (I hate that word) the vent for outside air. this is for cooling and heating as well.
  4. Its expensive (that is if you have a complete but non working original ac system that may just need some easy fixing). esp if you have some one install it, i have to imagine the labor cost would be high for a quality job.

Now if you have a non functional OE system I would advice trouble shooting it and getting it working.

If you have a non AC car but want an OE system your best bet would be to find a donor or try to find a complete system, a bit of a hit or miss here if you are not fully aware of all that is needed.

if neither of those appeal to you and your prefer the pros over the cons of an aftermarket setup, I would hope you can find someone that has actually installed one and you can see for yourself the finished product.






Edited by Dave WM
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Thanks Dave. This VA unit should do it. This 280Z is going to be a Resto-Mod, it will have a 500HP turbo under the hood so it won't be stock anymore but keeping it to look stock with new modern stuff as possible, you know what I mean. LOL! It would have been nice to use the stock AC but I just don't have the time due to deadline. I will put it aside in the future when I have more time for it. I have no problem fabricating the mounting brackets for the compressor. I just want to make sure that the parts are easily available. 






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