Installing factory A/C on a manual trans car

SGT FURY

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My daily driving project car is a 61 Fury 361
GC with 3 on the tree. It had a aftermarket radio
and hacked dash frame. My plans are to change dash frame. I have 3 parts car dash frames to choose from,but they are all factory A/C frames.
A/C in 61 Plymouth is fairly rare and was very expensive back then. Over $600 at the time.
I also have a parts 61 imperial and 3 63 300s all with factory A/C. I think I have all needed to convert 61 over to A/C.
My problem is Im not that big of a fan A/C and I’m not to crazy about A/C with 3 speed manual.
Advice and opinions please about swap.
Is A/C with manual a bad idea?
Is 1961 A/C have serviceable parts?
I would not be interested in new style parts look under hood?
Would it hurt the value not being original A/C car?
Is it a big cans of worms to get into?

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CBODY67

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We had a '61 BelAir 4-dr sedan 6cyl 3-spd manual trans that we had aftermarket a/c put on. Just needed to tweak the hot base idle speed a bit for the a/c compressor when engaged. In many ways, those aftermarket a/cs worked pretty good, just could not do all of the "blend temp" things a factory a/c could, with "outside" air coming from the open windows/vents rather than from the a/c vents. The a/c blower motor was a bit noisy, but that was just part of the deal that was generally overlooked.

The a/c compressors back then were usually the big York items, as Ford used for years. All things considered, a Sanden with a GM back on it could work well, painted satin black, so you're not chasing all of the "mount and drive kit" pieces for the old York/Tecumseh compressors and a Chrysler V-8. Then route the hoses and such "out of the way". All of the aftermarket systems cycled the a/c compressor via a "Cold" knob.

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68 4spd Fury

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If you're changing the dash anyway why not start with that. Make sure the heater core and evaporator are good, all the doors/functions work, can't say if they're mechanical, vacuum or a combination of both. Then at least, you'll get air flow through there then add the Compressor/condenser later?
 

3175375

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I think that putting in a factory A/C system would be awesome as they are not common and would be unique. I would get an R-12 Sanden compressor as R-12 flat out performs much better than R-134a on all fronts (except availability, but that’s not a show stopper).
 

Big_John

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My daily driving project car is a 61 Fury 361
GC with 3 on the tree. It had a aftermarket radio
and hacked dash frame. My plans are to change dash frame. I have 3 parts car dash frames to choose from,but they are all factory A/C frames.
A/C in 61 Plymouth is fairly rare and was very expensive back then. Over $600 at the time.
I also have a parts 61 imperial and 3 63 300s all with factory A/C. I think I have all needed to convert 61 over to A/C.
My problem is Im not that big of a fan A/C and I’m not to crazy about A/C with 3 speed manual.
Advice and opinions please about swap.
Is A/C with manual a bad idea?
Is 1961 A/C have serviceable parts?
I would not be interested in new style parts look under hood?
Would it hurt the value not being original A/C car?
Is it a big cans of worms to get into?

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IMHO, you've said that you don't really like AC, so that should dictate what you do.

You've also said it's a very rare option, and you have 3 dashes. I would see if you can source another dash... Even trading for the one you want might be an option. There's got to be someone out there sweating away in their '61 Fury that would love to add some form of factory AC to their car.... You have the hard piece (dash) and you have a lot of the other pieces. Seems to me that you could do some horse trading and end up with the right dash.
 

Big_John

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Another option.... I'll bet one of those dashes can be reworked, combined with the old, or used for patch pieces for a non-AC dash.
 

volksworld

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just a couple random thoughts...i'm currently trying to get factory air working on a 68...so i know nothing about your body style...but step one you'd need the heater / evaporator box for your year car and i have no clue if one out of an imperial or a 63 300 would be the same...no, i cant imagine properly installing factory air on a non air car could possibly lower the resale value...we're talking about c bodies here, not numbers matching vettes...but i can imagine getting the air working will cost you a couple extra thousand dollars that you wont recoup in a sale...and sourcing another dash would be a hell of a lot cheaper
 

Ross Wooldridge

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I would do it in an instant. I can't live without AC, but that's just me. In regards to the manual transmission issues, I would put a belt keeper on the alternator pulley to stop belt throwing during hard shifts with the AC compressor engaged. I made my own and I hope that it works OK.

Belt Keepr 2A.JPG
Belkt Keepr 1A.JPG
 

Snotty

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There is no issue with a manual trans and AC; I've had it in two of my cars, and there's many a Corvette with a 4-speed and AC.
 

413

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Another potential problem is the hole in the firewall for airflow is different for AC and non.

You state you don't like AC on a 3 speed or AC in general so skip it. Many want AC these days so it will increase car value to those folks.
 

fury fan

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Inserted a few responses.
IMO, skip the AC (you aren't desiring it), swap the dash to correct the hack job, you'll have AC vents being dormant. Unless the unused vents bother you, that solves all your problems/questions?
Can you change just the applique to hide the radio hole or must the whole dash be changed?
Could you add some type of suitable faceplate over a radio and make it look sorta-OK?

Some comments inserted after a few of your phrases below.
My daily driving project car is a 61 Fury 361
GC with 3 on the tree. It had a aftermarket radio
and hacked dash frame. My plans are to change dash frame. I have 3 parts car dash frames to choose from,but they are all factory A/C frames.
A/C in 61 Plymouth is fairly rare and was very expensive back then. Over $600 at the time.
I also have a parts 61 imperial and 3 63 300s all with factory A/C. I think I have all needed to convert 61 over to A/C.
My problem is Im not that big of a fan A/C and I’m not to crazy about A/C with 3 speed manual.
Advice and opinions please about swap.
Is A/C with manual a bad idea? -- No, not if you don't over-rev and grenade the compressor. But a modern Sanden might not care.
Is 1961 A/C have serviceable parts? - Probably yes and no.
I would not be interested in new style parts look under hood? - Then cancel the Sanden, and you're limited by whatever the rpm capability is of the RV2. Or keep the hood closed?
Would it hurt the value not being original A/C car? - I doubt it would make much difference unless the car is restored to #1 condition.
Is it a big cans of worms to get into? -- Swapping the dash is a pretty big job in itself?
 
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SGT FURY

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It’s the hack radio hole that bothers me.
Every time I look at it!!
I’m thinking the easy button short term solution will be to cover radio hole with radio delete panel.

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SGT FURY

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Another potential problem is the hole in the firewall for airflow is different for AC and non.

You state you don't like AC on a 3 speed or AC in general so skip it. Many want AC these days so it will increase car value to those folks.
They look to be the same firewall on 60-64 dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth? Are the box holes different? Sizes?
 

fury fan

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I wonder if an aluminum plate could cover down at the bottom area, between the red lines of the patterned area and then teh blue line, which looks like some outward curvature.
Or would there still be a gap.


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There's probably some Chinese adage about turning a problem into an advantage.

Do you/would you use any radio/USB/Bluetooth stuff in this car?

These are slide-in like a modern one, the top one has some resemblance to an old radio, the bottom one has some tiny built-in speakers. (it probably doesn't have impressive sound, but better than nothign?)

Other true 2-shaft radios (retrofits with modern electronics) look to be $200+.




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There are versions of this with and without the cigarette lighter.
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If this sparks any ideas with you, I might be able to CNC some type of filler plate that could retrofit some type of doo-dad in there for you for a reasonable price, to save you the grief of parts swapping and to install something useful in the hole.
Here's one I made an ABS plate for, to use some side-brackets with it.
I can make similar things from aluminum.
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413

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They look to be the same firewall on 60-64 dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth? Are the box holes different? Sizes?

It’s not the entire firewall, it’s the hole where the air passes through the firewall. Need to remove the heater box and you will see welded in frame and a flapper door with a rubber seal. This area is different between air and non air.

Gary Goers sold the seals and listed different in the catalog, see photo.
549A or 549B


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thrashingcows

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My opinion is to Swap in the A/C dash and the A/C HVAC box and get the heater and vents all working, but you don't have to hook up any of the A/C stuff right now. Then down the road if you do decided you want A/C you can easily add the under hood components. Or if you sell the car you can include all the A/C parts to get it working to the new owner.

But for under the hood you can get a low mount bracket set up for a Sanden A/C compressor that mounts it bellow the Alternator, you do have to go electric fuel pump with this option though, but at least you would not see the modern compressor up top.
 
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