Jump to content
HybridZ
Sign in to follow this  
eddieh91

260z ac install

Recommended Posts

Looked around and i cant seem to find anything so im posting. If i missed something let me know and i'll delete my post. So im pulling the dash to install digital gauges and decided to take advantage of the dash being off to install an ac system in my 260z. Vegas summers are unforgiving and the junk yard by my house has 2 280zx's sitting around. Called them and asked for pricing and they said if im the one pulling the system they will sell me everything for $52. So im curious if the 280zx system drops right in or if id be better off trying to pull the system from another car. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm runing a Vintage Air system in my 73. Couldn't be happier here in Florida.  

 

Do some searches for Vintage Air and 240Z here and on classic Z and you will find a few people who have done the conversions.

 

Derek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A 280ZX system will not drop straight in and will require quite a bit of work to get it to fit properly.  Pretty much the only benefit will be that the compressor will mount up without any mods (you may need the 280ZX crank pulley though if yours is not a 2-row).  After that, it is likely that pretty much the entire system will need to be modded or rerouted to fit the S-30 chassis.  Some items may fit well enough, but from the firewall back is all different (dash, controls, blower, etc.).  You will also need to upgrade it to use R134 (unless you happen to know a guy with some R12 laying around) which can have varying levels of effectiveness.  The old system used to run on R12, which was "discontinued" due to its harmful effects on the environment, and is therefore quite expensive to acquire.  As a result, you will have to convert the system to run R134, which will cost a little more money and some folks claim that it just doesnt work all that well in the R12 components.  

 

One of the big things to consider is how long the system on the 280ZX has been sitting, and what condition is it in.  Many of the components are likely to need replacement or reconditioning at a minimum, which will cost you a lot more.  Dont expect to be able to get working AC in your car for $52 plus a bit of elbow-grease, it is just not possible.  Since you are starting from a clean slate, I'd say the best option is to buy a new aftermarket AC system like the Vintage Air system that Derek mentioned.  It is tried and true and will give you a much better end result for the effort involved.  There will still be fab work involved, but people have done writeups on it and you know it will work once installed because all of the components are brand new.

Edited by Pillar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies. Conversion to r134a will not be required as there are a few shops here in vegas that have r12 and will service the system. So my gooal is to keep the system running r12. Vintage air would be the easy route but the price tag on it is what led me to look for others that have pieced together their own systems. Ive actually gone and pulled alot from that junkyard and have never had an issue with their parts thats why i wanted to hop on the oppurtinity to pull the ac for that cheap. I may end up just pulling the underhood parts and trying to figure out if other people have pieced together the dryer, evap controls and rest of the dash side of the ac.

Edited by eddieh91

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Worth a shot if you can get R12.  Worst case you are only out $52 for the parts from the yard.  I am on the East coast so if you are lucky enough to find an old car in a yard, it is normally roached and parts like AC compressors are likely to be seized.  I'm sure you are much more likely to get a good system out of a yard in your area.  Hope you are successful!  I plan to do an AC conversion myself this winter using the Vintage Air system.  My 76 actually has all the factory AC parts, but R12 is not really available here and I'd rather start fresh.

 

Anyways, let us know how it goes!  Take lots of photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have personally done two after market AC installs in early Z cars.  Trying to stuff cheap S130 parts in there is going to be difficult.  The behind the dash unit is not extremely expensive.  My suggestion is to get it and get it in the car while the dash is out.  From there the parts can be sourced and the install completed.  Did Hot Rod air (no longer in business) in one car and Vintage air in the second.  JMHO, Richard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Don't know if you're currently using or thinking of electric radiator fans like the 2 fan kit from MSA. If you are you need a Sanden compressor mounted low. I had a dealer installed AC in my '71 240 with the old York compressor and there was no way to go to electric fans for the radiator. Found this on Ebay;

https://www.ebay.com/i/152578331358?chn=ps&dispItem=1

Compressor mounts low so it's out of the way of the fans. Yes, my smog pump has been removed and I run the MSA 6 to 1 headers. My fans are now installed on the 3 row Champion radiator (the MSA kit) with this compressor kit. The compressor comes with mounting plate, belt tension arm and bolts to put on your block. Neither belt they sent would work, so I did have to buy a different belt than they sent. Other than that it fit perfectly.

Edited by w3wilkes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×