View Full Version : Air Conditioning

02-04-2007, 03:52 PM
I'm sure this question has been asked before. How feasible is adding a/c to the 170ohv engine? I've been warned not too as the engine is already overworked and in the desert may not be very good for the head. Thanks for the input.

Bob Sporner
Palm Springs, California

02-04-2007, 04:25 PM
Hi, 63larkcustom,

The short answer is no, if you use older tech.

Having said that, if you spend the money to get a modern, state of the art system, with the small, efficient rotary compressors used in today's smallest cars, it will be enough to lower the temp to a bearable level on a hot day. All this is assuming you have hot-tanked your block and head, build a heavy-duty radiator, have a new water pump, install an electric engine cooling fan and build all the bracketry and pulleys. Figure $1,500 if you can do it yourself; $2,000 if you pay someone who likes Studebakers to do it for you. Just don't expect the car to be able to pass anyone or anything.

thnx, jv.


02-04-2007, 05:25 PM
quote:Originally posted by 63larkcustom

I'm sure this question has been asked before. How feasible is adding a/c to the 170ohv engine? I've been warned not too as the engine is already overworked and in the desert may not be very good for the head. Thanks for the input.
Bob Sporner
Palm Springs, California


I added a/c on my '64 Commander with OHV 6 and 3 speed/OD back in the mid-90s. I used the stock mounts (got them from Newman & Altman, now SASCO), with a small modification to tie the two pieces together, and used a small rotary compressor. (On the stock setup, the York compressor bolts to both the bottom portion of the mount, and the side portion, effectively tying the two pieces together; the Sanyo/Sanden compressor can't do this.) Other than this, I used the stock Studebaker evaporator, and an aftermarket condenser, with freon 12. I did come up with a 6 cylinder fan shroud and 6 cylinder 5 blade viscous fan, but you could use an electric pusher instead. The small rotary does very well with the OHV 6, can feel only a very slight difference when the compressor kicks in.

For the crank pulley, I cheated a little bit and adapted a V8 pulley (I think it was a power steering pulley) to the 6 cylinder hub. Yes, this makes the belt a little narrower than is optimal, but I did not want to rob one of my V8 a/c pulleys.

I did not route the belt over the water pump pulley, I really don't like that arrangement but that's just my opinion. I think the 6 cylinder with a/c has a different diameter water pump pulley too, but I will have to check that.....can't remember back that many years (mid-90s).<G> I welded a small tab to the bottom portion of the compressor mount, and used a aftermarket a/c belt adjuster and pulley, which works well and is WAY easier to adjust than the stock adjuster.

As JV notes, makes sure your block is clean (pull the core plugs and dig all the crap out), and make sure you have a good radiator, I would think at least a 3 row HD style radiator would be needed for your area.

Cost will depend on how much you can do yourself, and how good a deal you get on parts. I have very little in my setup because I already had the evaporator, traded for the 6 cylinder fan shroud and viscous fan, and shopped around for the compressor and condenser.

If you want pictures, let me know. I don't have any right now, but can take some.


Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: http://hometown.aol.com/r1skytop/myhomepage/index.html

02-04-2007, 10:42 PM
See if SASCO still has the kit for dealer installed AC on OHV 6's.
Seems like it was a partial kit. No compressor/evaporator, but among the parts included was a sheet metal radiator shroud, a multiblade fan, and I think the necessary crank pulleys and a smaller water pump pulley so's to speed up both water pump and fan.

02-04-2007, 11:22 PM
thanks for the information.. I'm debating on how to handle the summer as 3 months here get pretty nasty

Bob Sporner
Palm Springs, California

02-05-2007, 06:59 AM
If you're worried about extra heat-load on your radiator, have a look under a fully optioned ***-van. Here in Oz, some come fitted with horizontal condensors which do not put additional heat into the radiator. My "work-van" has a dual A/C installation, fed from a LARGE compressor. The condensors are horizontal, fitted underneath the floor at the LH front corner of the van. The compressor takes a bit out of the dinky little engine, but I don't mind when I can avoid heat stress. Today was +93 F in the shade and a lot more inside the van until I started both A/C's.

02-05-2007, 09:08 PM
Bob, if you can get that partial kit, Vintage Air could hook you up with a compressor, evaporator and condensor. The lines can be made up as necessary and they sell anything else you could need. They even sell an under dash unit similar to a '60's model used by Studebaker.

Vintage Air = http://www.vintageair.com

Tom - Valrico, FL

1964 Studebaker Daytona

http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/Studebaker%20Stuff/StudeRear198x131.jpg http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i280/Swifster/Studebaker%20Stuff/StudePlate-FL197x100.jpg

02-05-2007, 09:47 PM
I have installed both the under the dash and the heater/Ac after market units. The under the dash went in a 55 t-bird and it will freeze you out . The larger unit went in a 46 pick-up truck and I had problems. It kept freezing up but it would freeze you out until then. Neither of these were Vintage air but just wanted to say most are pretty good upgrades for the money. Good luck. Living in Houston I always get the biggest unit I can find.