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  • what A/C compressor?

    can someone tell me if there's a vehicle that uses the exact same compressor as a Stude? I'm trying to fit the A/C on my '55 and it actually looks like it would be waaaaay easier (and possibly less expensive) to use the big York thumper than try to make the little Sanden work correctly due to the different shapes of the various compressors. JDP had one on the shelf that had a smaller pulley/clutch (that would be good, in a '55) than the stock Stude one and it had a Ford tag on it. Clutch appeared to still be OK. Am tempted to just buy it from him and try it (it also felt like it was working OK with a thumb over the ports,) but if I can get a reman for not too much money would rather do that just to save futzing with it down the road. ISTR that they were sold to be installed in several orientations and I'd want to make sure I got the right one.

    BTW the Vintage Air hardware kit included exactly the tensioner I needed for the old aftermarket bracket that I'm 90% sure I'll be using. I had to add two flat washers to get the pulley spacing dead on. So it appears that my guess was correct that the VA kit was based on a combination of the factory late compressor bracket (on the pass. side) and the aftermarket bracket that I have (on the driver's side, for the tensioner.) I didn't go with the whole Vintage Air bracket kit because it specifies "without power steering" and I still haven't found a good steering shaft for my old Saginaw manual steering box so I'm trying to retain the P/S. Also the aftermarket bracket actually sandwiches between the thermostat housing and the water manifold, making it trivial to mount the early thermostat housing on the later water manifold (I want to do this simply because I didn't have a '55 water manifold when I put the engine together.) I *THINK* it will work, but I may have screwed myself over by drilling out the threaded hole in the tensioner so as to mount it as it was originally in the kit. I won't know for sure until I actually mount it on the car; the bolt head is close to the P/S belt but I can't tell whether it's too close for comfort or merely close but no big deal. I didn't take any pics but it looks like it is finally coming together... I'm hoping to end up with a "factory appearing" install but using a modern condenser and a late Studebaker evaporator. I know JDP used had one of the old trunk mounted units, but I don't think I'm that hard core about true period correctness to try to install one of those bad boys

    I'm also thinking it might be a good idea to get a pin switch to go on the throttle linkage through the O/D kickdown switch hole as a WOT compressor clutch disconnect, especially if I'm going to use a smaller clutch than stock (I'm guessing a compressor failure at 6000 RPM might fall under the category of Bad Thing...) I didn't think to measure the current draw of the clutch, anyone have a ballpark on that?

    nate

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  • #2
    Hi, Nate,

    You didn't ask for another option, but suggest you do some more research before going with that old York AC compressor. The modern axial and rotary compressors are half the weight and bulk, smoother, take less horsepower to drive and are much more efficient.

    The 70s-90s GM Frigidaire Model A-6 AC compressors are supposedly the best ever. It was used by General Motors for more than 25 years. This compressor used a cast-iron cylinder and heads with a steel case and "swash" plate. The Axial-6-cylinder compressor has an oil pickup and sump system to lubricate the internal parts. The A-6 compressor will push out 27,000 BTUs at 2,000 rpm and as high as 42,000 BTUs at 4,000 rpm with a discharge rate of 240 p.s.i. That's enough cold air to cool a small house (most home window-mounted air conditioners are only rated from 5,000 to 12,000 BTUs). An A-6 is 207cc displacement, 1.5-inch bore with a 1.2-inch stroke. That's about 12.5 cubic inches. The A-6 is also highly adaptable. It can run in 6, 12 or 24-volt systems if you install the proper clutch coil. They are bulletproof, too; they can turn consistently 6,500 rpm all day without overheating, turn them in either direction. Originally designed to be used with R-12 Freon, modern adapter kits allow the A-6 to use R-134a. The only drawback I have ever found is the large diameter makes them a little more difficult to mount.

    thnx, jack vines

    PackardV8
    PackardV8

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    • #3
      Nate;

      If you go to the eBay listing for York you will find people who make adaptors to put the Sanden on in place of the York compressor.
      They were a very popular compressor for the after market add on AC units. American Motors and Ford are 2 manufactures that used a look alike York compressor.
      Now if someone that has an Avanti would measure the outside diameter of the clutch pulley on a York compressor I will then know what size I need to replace my burnt out clutch. Mine is not the original compressor.

      Ron 63R1890

      Comment


      • #4
        Ron,

        I bought one of those adapter plates; it looks like the only way I could possibly make it work on my bracket is to either weld it to the old bracket or else drill new holes and bolt it up, and then cut away a bunch of metal that's in the way. The little vertical tabs that mount the compressor to the bracket really need to be in exactly the same place as the bolt holes to make it work correctly, and that's obviously not how those plates are made. Really, easier and more elegant would be to simply cut the tabs off the adapter plate or just make new ones and weld them right to the old bracket. Seeing as I'd probably have to buy a new head for the Sanden anyway as the suction/discharge fittings point straight up in the "stock" configuration that's a lot of work plus more $$ to make it work.

        Jack, I'll check into the A-6; I think I know what you're talking about and I'll have to ask JDP if he has one (he might; I know he bought a Caddy motor with a lot of accessories still intact a while back.) I am having a serious space issue though so if it is significantly larger than either the York or Sanden it might be a no go. The York would be an easy job as that is what this bracket was designed for.

        edit: the A-6 looks WAY bigger than I could ever hope to fit in my car. ISTR that Sanden also makes some "direct mount" style compressors, maybe I should just get one of those. then I'd just have to drill and tap four holes in my current bracket and buy some long bolts and I'd be good to go. I did a little poking on their web site and it appears that they can be mounted up to 90 degrees off the straight up position with no ill effects. Does anyone know if Sanden compressor heads can also be "clocked" for fine tuning hose routing or would I still have to buy a rear-exit head?

        thanks to both for the suggestions, anything else I should be looking at?

        nate

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        Comment


        • #5
          heh... after I a little googling I discovered several things:

          1) apparently old Porsches used the same York compressor we know and love.

          2) my usual Porsche parts supplier actually sells a York-to-Sanden bracket that looks like it would actually work.

          http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/...VENTac_pg5.htm (see "RennAire York to Sanden 507 Adapter Plate, 911 (most up to 1985)" about halfway down the page)

          3) it's even more expensive than the steel bracket that won't work that I bought from Vintage Air (which I thought was expensive to begin with...)

          I probably ought to just suck it up and buy it so I can quit messing around with this and get it on the car and see what other issues I just caused

          edit:

          this one might work even better:

          http://www.apairinc.com/detail.asp?Part=995-313

          still expensive, but... I guess if I had a welder, was good at welding, and had some steel plate and spacer stock laying around I could duplicate that bracket, but I don't...

          nate

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          • #6
            Nate,

            When I replaced the compressor on my '64 I utilized a compressor that oem-d for a Ford truck. Fit like a glove...blows like an SOB...sop is R-12 naturally!



            quote:Originally posted by N8N

            can someone tell me if there's a vehicle that uses the exact same compressor as a Stude? I'm trying to fit the A/C on my '55 and it actually looks like it would be waaaaay easier (and possibly less expensive) to use the big York thumper than try to make the little Sanden work correctly due to the different shapes of the various compressors. JDP had one on the shelf that had a smaller pulley/clutch (that would be good, in a '55) than the stock Stude one and it had a Ford tag on it. Clutch appeared to still be OK. Am tempted to just buy it from him and try it (it also felt like it was working OK with a thumb over the ports,) but if I can get a reman for not too much money would rather do that just to save futzing with it down the road. ISTR that they were sold to be installed in several orientations and I'd want to make sure I got the right one.

            BTW the Vintage Air hardware kit included exactly the tensioner I needed for the old aftermarket bracket that I'm 90% sure I'll be using. I had to add two flat washers to get the pulley spacing dead on. So it appears that my guess was correct that the VA kit was based on a combination of the factory late compressor bracket (on the pass. side) and the aftermarket bracket that I have (on the driver's side, for the tensioner.) I didn't go with the whole Vintage Air bracket kit because it specifies "without power steering" and I still haven't found a good steering shaft for my old Saginaw manual steering box so I'm trying to retain the P/S. Also the aftermarket bracket actually sandwiches between the thermostat housing and the water manifold, making it trivial to mount the early thermostat housing on the later water manifold (I want to do this simply because I didn't have a '55 water manifold when I put the engine together.) I *THINK* it will work, but I may have screwed myself over by drilling out the threaded hole in the tensioner so as to mount it as it was originally in the kit. I won't know for sure until I actually mount it on the car; the bolt head is close to the P/S belt but I can't tell whether it's too close for comfort or merely close but no big deal. I didn't take any pics but it looks like it is finally coming together... I'm hoping to end up with a "factory appearing" install but using a modern condenser and a late Studebaker evaporator. I know JDP used had one of the old trunk mounted units, but I don't think I'm that hard core about true period correctness to try to install one of those bad boys

            I'm also thinking it might be a good idea to get a pin switch to go on the throttle linkage through the O/D kickdown switch hole as a WOT compressor clutch disconnect, especially if I'm going to use a smaller clutch than stock (I'm guessing a compressor failure at 6000 RPM might fall under the category of Bad Thing...) I didn't think to measure the current draw of the clutch, anyone have a ballpark on that?

            nate

            --
            55 Commander Starlight
            http://members.cox.net/njnagel

            Comment


            • #7
              Nate,
              Just take your adapter plate and whack the right rear tab and metal underneath off completely. This will make it fit the original bracket without valve cover interference. I know your's isn't a factory bracket, but it is in the same location. Depending on where you cut it, it also gets far enough out of the way of the heater hose connection. 3-Lugs is plenty to hold it securely.

              Bolt the Sanden to it and line up the pulley/clutch. Use welders vise grips to hold it in place. Remove the compressor and either weld the plate to the aftermarket bracket, or drill a few holes and bolt it.
              I have done this twice with Sandens. See Jeff DeWitt's '59 Lark here:
              http://ncsdc.com/TechnicalPages/Dewitt/index.htm

              You can also get the Sanden with REAR discharge plate. This allows more hood clearance.




              Specializing in Studebaker Restoration
              Ray

              www.raylinrestoration.com
              Specializing in Studebaker Restoration

              Comment


              • #8
                N8, I have the GM compressor off the Caddy under the porch.

                JDP/Maryland
                JDP Maryland

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ray,

                  the problem is actually not in the valve cover area. the problem with the VA bracket is that the tabs are simply in the wrong place WRT the slots for the bolts to bolt it down to the old York bracket. The only way it could possibly work would involve some minor modification to allow it to be installed "backwards" but then the belt would be running in the second groove, which I suspect would cause fan interference. The other brackets I posted I think would work OK although now that I look again I suspect that the Porsche one might have the same issue, although it appears to have been shaped properly to not interfere with the front of the compressor body. The "offset" one appears to be the way to go for me and I should probably just order it tomorrow and try to sell the VA one to someone that doesn't have so many underhood space issues. I will be ordering a new head for the Sanden as I suspect you are correct, I need one of the rear discharge ones. (I got a good enough deal on the compressor I have that replacing the head is no big deal.)

                  nate

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