Author Topic: BETTER PICS LOADED-- Now have AC installed! IMPORTANT UPDATE SEE POST #14  (Read 18558 times)

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Offline 68autobug

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    • My 1968 Autostick Beetle
Here is an air conditioning tip for those thinking about adding AC to their vehicle:
Even tho I added an alternator to my Karmann Ghia, the German wiring was not too happy with the added load. I monitored low voltage at stoplights, and a general strain on the entire electrical system.
My solution was to run a fused 6 gauge stranded wire directly from the positive battery terminal to a new barrier terminal strip I installed behind the dash. All the air conditioning wires were removed from the fuse panel and connected to the new barrier terminal. I used a 30 amp relay to turn the new power line off and on via a switched source at the old fuse panel.
The difference in operation is amazing. The turn signals do not slow down at stoplights, the idle voltage is higher, and everything works well.
As an added bonus, I also connected the horns to this new power supply line and now they blow louder and work reliably.
The added power line was well worth the effort.
I thought I'd share this with those that are thinking of adding AC to these older cars.


Hi
Yes, I agree, these old cars do need an upgrade in the electrical system.
I installed an alternator a few years ago and I also installed 2 x 6mm wires from the alternator to the battery and from the battery to the back of the dash. I also rewired the car completely.  The copper terminals get contaminated after many years and everything needs refreshing.
as you have found..  VW wired up these cars rather odd... its taken Me years to actually work out why they did it... lol
to save money on extra wires.. lol

cheers

Lee in Australia

-- Helping keep Autostick beetles on the road --
   -1968 Silver metallic 1600 single port Beetle - with BOSCH  SVDA and new BROSOL H30/31 carburetor with GENIE Extractor exhaust system with a quiet thunderbird muffler

http://photobucket.com/68autobug

Offline jaxwithanx

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I want to let everyone know that Gilmore AC is now selling the exact unit I bought but with a newly designed dash unit. The new unit has a total of 4 air outlets. The old unit (what I have) has 5 air outlets. More importantly the new unit design severely restricts the air output into the car and has other restrictive flaws.
I know this because my best buddy had Gilmore install AC into his Ghia with poor results. Gilmore made two attempts to make the system work properly but his efforts made almost no improvement.
ALL THIS CAN BE CORRECTED. But, it took my buddy and I two days to make the system work. The entire inside unit had to be dismantled and redesigned. After spending $2248.00 to have Gilmore install a properly working AC unit, it was very frustrating to have to expend all this effort to correct the system.
I post this to make all aware of this new design that is being sold.
Our experience applies to the dash unit that is made for Ghia's. I do not know if his Beetle design has the same issues.
Keep in mind the major components of both old and new systems (Compressor, condenser, evaporator) are identical. The only thing changed is the design of the dash air vent housing, ducting, and control placement.

Glad I ran across this thread.  I had been planning on installing a Gilmore this next month or so in my Ghia but I don't want to have the mess with design just to get a proper unit.  Now I'm back to square one, considering a ICEAC (http://www.iceac.com/index-1KarmannGhia.html) or Hot Rod Air (http://tswf.com/koolkarzonline/vw.cfm) unit.  It seems that Gilmore is typically the most well-known though, guess I'll try and give them a call and ask about this issue first.  Which vent is now missing, the one on the left of the steering wheel, or just one less in the grouping on the right side?

Also, what idle solenoid did you end up installing beforehand?  My system has been converted to an alternator and the entire wiring system is brand new...guess I'll see if it can handle the load before I go running the extra terminal and everything.  I really quite piss poor at dealing with electrics.

Offline autonewbie

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The missing vent is one less vent in the grouping on the passenger vent box. It now has 3 and left of steering has 1.
The missing vent is not the problem. The problems are as follows:
1. The missing vent is now the spot where the fan speed and temp controls are mounted. What this does is almost totally block the air from getting into and through the tunnel that feeds the drivers left vent.
2.  The temp tube (sensor) that tells the temp control when to shut off the compressor is now all coiled up just behind the vents. Therefore the temp tube gets cold way too fast and shuts off the compressor too soon. The temp tube is supposed to watch the freon coils and prevent them from getting too cold and freezing up. In the old dash unit the controls were in the left vent box left of the steering column. The long temp tube was needed to reach over to the top of the dash unit and down into the coils. All that long tube is now jammed near the controls in the passenger vent unit.
3. Biggest problem....The air flow from the cold coils now has to flow through a restrictor wall. This plastic wall has 3 or 4 holes in it the size of a quarter. It restricts so much air that the system is choked. The old dash unit had restrictor too but the holes were oval and much larger.
What we did:
1.  We totally removed the restrictor wall.
2. We removed the controls from the passenger vent box and installed them into a Radio Shack black plastic box that is mounted under the driver left vent.  Now air can flow through the duct into the driver vent. The RS box actually looks like it belongs there. The holes from the controls were plugged with plastic plugs available at lowes. They match perfectly.
The sensor tube now runs from the radio shack box over to the passenger vent box and enters from the top and drops into the freon coils.
These changes went from a non cooling AC system to a really cold AC system.

I still think Gilmores system is the best installation/placement of parts, but his new dash design will ruin his business.
Lastly, I am no expert. We learned as we went. I am sure AC experts out there will have different opinions. All I can say is we learned by trying and doing whatever it took.
We had one small advantage, my Ghia has the old dash unit and we aimed at duplicating that design as close as possible.

The idle solinoide is from a 70's vintage chevy.  Last one we bought was on ebay. No idea of its model number.

I would be surprised if Gilmore admits to these flaws. As far as he knows, his last attempt fixed the cooling issue. IT DID NOT.
We just got tired of going back.
« Last Edit: 10 October 2012, 05:23 by autonewbie »
When I  was 15 I wanted a Ghia....It only took me 47 years to get one!   1970 Karmann Ghia Autostick.

Offline jaxwithanx

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Awesome. Thanks for such a thorough reply.  I will take this into account....with any luck, I can hunt down the older system to just skip the crap.

Offline jaxwithanx

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Does the idle solenoid automatically kick up the rpm's when the compressor kicks in or do you have to blip the throttle first so it can lock out.  Heard varying reports on whether the solenoid was strong enough to actually step up the throttle itself.

Offline autonewbie

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Initially I wired the idle solinoide to the compressor clutch wire. In that configuration the solinolde increased the idle only when the compressor load was on. The problem I found was that when at a red light and the compressor went off, the solioide dropped out and the idle returned to normal. However, if the compressor came back on and you were still sitting at the light, the solinoide could not push all the hardware to increase the idle. The engine would bog down and you had to touch the gas pedal to help the solinoide push out the linkage and up the idle.
My solution to this is, I removed the solinoide wiring from the compressor and wired it to the blower motor wiring under the dash. This way the idle is up whenever the AC is on. No more strain on the solinoide, it just keeps the idle up whenever the AC is operating.  So far this has worked so well, we have wired my buddies car the same way.
Long answer to a short question.
When I  was 15 I wanted a Ghia....It only took me 47 years to get one!   1970 Karmann Ghia Autostick.

Offline jaxwithanx

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Long answer, but just what I needed to know. Thanks! Ordered my A/C the other day...interested to look at the design.  Almost went with other company but in the end, just felt more comfortable with the "standard"

Offline 68autobug

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  • 68AutoBug - Lee in Australia
    • My 1968 Autostick Beetle
Excellent work Guys.... I always wanted Air con for My Beetle but never went ahead with it.... I did take some pics of an air con set up in A Beetle.... Brackets were made by the owners....  68autobug  LEE ...
-- Helping keep Autostick beetles on the road --
   -1968 Silver metallic 1600 single port Beetle - with BOSCH  SVDA and new BROSOL H30/31 carburetor with GENIE Extractor exhaust system with a quiet thunderbird muffler

http://photobucket.com/68autobug

 

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