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where to buy complete ac kit


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Can someone please tell me the best place to buy a complete ac system for my 1976 280z? I would prefer a vintage air system . I called vintage air and they want me to buy piece by piece and I am not familiar enough with the system to do that. Thanks Ken

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Unfortunately, it's pretty much "There ain't no such thing." The generic kits from MSA and the like are for people who can work without any instructions.

With Vintage Air, it seems like you need to be lucky enough to find a dealer who will work with you. Many of their dealers are muscle car guys. If you have a good dealer nearby, you will have better success.

You might want to reach out to Nostalgic AC. Their products are similar to Vintage Air. They don't rely upon a dealer network.

With either Nostalgic AC or Vintage Air, you will need to piece together the system. This isn't exactly rocket surgery though. I believe Vintage Air used to have a guide on component selection.

You'll need

  1. Compressor with bracket (Nostalgic AC has an L series specific bracket by the way.)
  2. Condenser (possibly with fan to keep air moving past)
  3. Drier
  4. Evaporator (Vintage Air and Nostalgic AC both have evaporators combined with defrost units. That's what I would use.)
  5. Controls (I believe that you can pay Nostalgic AC to retrofit their controls into your current control panel.)
  6. Hoses with fittings
  7. Crimping and cutting tools (for a DIY install)

No matter what, you'll be installing yourself or paying someone to install.

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1 hour ago, SteveJ said:

You might want to reach out to Nostalgic AC. ...

No matter what, you'll be installing yourself or paying someone to install.

Any clue what an entire system might cost Steve?  Just curious if you have a ballpark.

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From Nostalgic AC, it looks to be around $1650 plus the cost for them to integrate controls.. That includes the crimping tool. You'd still need the freon and vacuum pump to draw down the system prior to adding freon. For that, find someone with a good vacuum pump. Don't rely on a HF special. Moisture in the system will degrade performance. You also want to find air leaks before you dump freon in.

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2 minutes ago, AZDatsun said:

How do you test for leaks before Freon?

Turn off the vacuum pump and watch the vacuum gauge. If you have leaks, it shouldn't take too long for the pressure to start creeping up. I can't give a quantitative value, but I'm sure you could find some references on how far down to draw the system and how long it should be able to hold the vacuum.

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