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Installing DIY Airco


Maarten88
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As I experienced last summer, when I took my 110" FC to Portugal, it gets quite hot in the cab. This gets quite tiring, and driving 3000 kms with the windows open and the vents full open is not quite relaxing as well. So, there are two options:

A) Don't go anywhere when it's hot outside.

B) Install some form of airco.

I tried google, but haven't found a good write-up. As far as I can tell, installing it consists of salvaging a complete system, and installing that into my FC, and than having a airco place fill the system up for me. I'd need to plug in a separate vent system with a fan, as I currenctly don't have one.

Is it that simple, and has anyone tried this before?

Also, as my FC is 24v, the only electrical component I need is the fan, right?

Regards

Maarten

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my guy that does all my commercial fridges charges me £30 for refilling with any time of gas.

if you can retrofit a RR system from a classic then that might be a good option as they were effectively a retrofit option- they don't work particultarly well in a RaRo though (at least mine never did!)

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Dunno how much they cost, but the HotRod boys in the US install air-con systems by a company called Vintage Air.

They are designed for retro-fitting, so fitting should be okay.

If you've got plenty of roof space, a camper van style roof mount might work ?

Andy

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Also, as my FC is 24v, the only electrical component I need is the fan, right?

Most Engine driven air-con compressors have an electricly operated clutch as well, so presumably that would also need to be 24V..

Mark

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Have checked upon the camper roofmounted airco's , they come in at around 1000 euros. Mostly they work on 220, or use a 12 volt inverter. I guess I could make that a 24-220 inverter, but it still would be a huge inverter. Also, there's the matter of the 1000 euros...

Checked on the vintage air solution, seems pretty well made and the cost around 900 dollars. Still a lot of money. What is wrong with the RaRo system?

Have to check that electronic/electro magnetic clutch.

thanks,

Maarten

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I did this in my 110! I could get ice forming on the inside of the windscreen in the middle of summer!

The simplest option os to rip all the bits you require out of a single car at a scrappy.

Replace the filter drier element - they are only a few quid, but are very important.

If you need to extend any of the pipes, my advice would be to use the original flexy's from the engine mounted compressor to the body, then plumb everything in Copper, ideally with silver-soldered joints, but compression / flare fittings are fine.

The reason for this is the refrigerant molecules in modern gasses are much smaller than the old gasses and they tend to leak out of flexy pipe too fast.

Annealed copper is pretty resistant to vibration related fatigue - and totally gas proof.

I have gas and a filling set - if you happen to be close to Horsham. It's dead easy to do. The first fill takes a bit more gas than top-ups as you have to flush the system to get all the air & moisture out first.

It's so easy to do that I'm surprised it's not more common.

Si

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I did this in my 110! I could get ice forming on the inside of the windscreen in the middle of summer!

The simplest option os to rip all the bits you require out of a single car at a scrappy.

Tell us more...

what was the donor vehicle?

how did u do it?

pics?....

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I had a complete air con system installed in the Unimog for last years Desert Challeneg event. Cost all told was around 1000 quid using mostly new parts.

I also had twin a/c put into my 130 twin cab for a bit more. That was a pig of a job...the hoses to the rear system cost a couple of hundred quid just to start.

I'd be inclined to look around the lorry breakers yards for a/c equipped trucks or perhaps some of the American made people carriers...they have a nice little electric system that can be remotely fitted.

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm more inclined to go the scrappy route, I've got a 3.3 diesel engine, so I thing it can cope with the extra load.

The electromagnetic clutch only needs a small amperage, doesn't it? So I can get away with a 12 volt system using a inverter?

Regards

Maarten

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Thanks for all the replies. I'm more inclined to go the scrappy route, I've got a 3.3 diesel engine, so I thing it can cope with the extra load.

The electromagnetic clutch only needs a small amperage, doesn't it? So I can get away with a 12 volt system using a inverter?

Not quite sure why you'd want to use an inverter? The whole thing runs off 12v anyway.

The kit I used was mostly from a Jaguar. It even used the same Sanden pump Range Rovers use. The condenser came from a Range Rover and I mounted it on the roof with a couple of fans for extra flow. The slope of the front of the roof directed sufficient air through the condenser while moving.

The evaporator was just mounted in a box behind the front seats blowing on the back of my head.

If I were to have another go, I'd either mount the evaporator inside the heater box (and adapt it to re-circulate) or try & adapt one of the wall mounted AC blowers to sit within the dash blowing up towards your front. That way, you get more cooling and the windscreen does not ice up!.

You could use an office type wall mounted blower run off an inverter I suppose. The wall packs contain the thermostat etc for full climate control - they are usually remote controlled too!

Si

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What about using the refridgeration unit from a lorry, there the ones which run all night when your trying to kip in a lorry park. Dont know if its possible but for sure there 24v. Something like a vegatable/friut/meat lorry usually has them on the roof of the container directly behind the cab.

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That refridgeration unit did cross my mind, but I know exactly what you mean when you say they're noisy... As my IIB is already 3 meters high, I'm a bit hesitant to increase that. Over 3 meters is also a new toll tariff in France, a country I don't live in but go on holiday quite often.

I maybe forgot to mention my IIB is 24 volts, because of the Japanese engine. So if I could run the electromagnetic clutch of an inverter, and buy a 24 v fan, which I suspect will draw much more amps, I should be in business?

Thanks again,

Maarten

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The mag clutch on the compressor typically draws 3A at 12v - so you would need a dropper. The type used for CB's will be plenty.

The fans usually come in pairs - so just connect them in series instead of parallel.

The coolers from trucks are not that good for this application. They are designed to maintain the temperature of goods in a well insulated, sealed box. You are trying to cool a warm, poorly insulated, leaky box with windows - it needs far more power to achieve a decent result!

A typical car AC draws the equivalent of 7 to 10 kw from your engine. Such a setup run on 24v would draw 300 to 400A - you can see the problem!

Si

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Thanks! I'm afraid 1000 euro's is way above my budget, although that shop offers some nice bargains! I guess its off to the scrappy, and fabrication time. Thanks for all your replies.

Regards

Maarten

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By placing two identical resistors* in series across the 24V supply and tapping the centre you should be able to get 12V's so if you can't get 24V rated fans etc that might be an option

* I mean rated the same i.e. 100 ohms with the same tolerances

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By placing two identical resistors* in series across the 24V supply and tapping the centre you should be able to get 12V's so if you can't get 24V rated fans etc that might be an option

* I mean rated the same i.e. 100 ohms with the same tolerances

Actually, it's simpler than that. The above will not give you 12v as there is a current flow through the coil on the clutch as well.

You only need a resistor in series with the coil. If the coil draws 3A at 12v, it has a resistance of 4 ohm. therefore placing a 4 ohm resistor in series with the coil will give you 12v.

since you have 3A flowing through 4 ohms, it will generate I^2R of heat = 3 x 3 x 4 = 36 Watts. It will get pretty hot so best go for a 100W wire wound resistor.

Si

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