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Old 07-18-2018, 07:30 PM
Dave A's Avatar
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Aftermarket AC

Just for fun, a thread on aftermarket/dealer add-on AC units. Big in the 50's/60's before Detroit paid attention to AC as somewhat standard. Lots of mfrs. from southern states but not much detail on the web other than installation prices in newspaper ads. $300+ or so.

Mine is installed in my 1960 Cadillac SDV and appears to be 1960 vintage and added by the dealer. The Cad came from SW Ohio and the dealer is still around.

It is a Parkomat 727, one of several variations they made and never detailed in the history of the web. There is no web photo of this version. The others are larger with big round vents. All work the same way. Strap on the compressor, condenser, evaporator and under-dash chrome-plated monster and get cool. Recirculating only in my case. Power and temp controls are separate from the Cad dash. Drain hose goes through a new hole drilled in the pan near the trans hump.

The hoses at the compressor are radiator clamped. Condenser and dash unit are sealed hoses. And mine is converted to R134. A recharge, new charging fittings and clamp tightening brought it right back until I kicked the compressor power loose as it is near my foot tip on the gas pedal. Easy fix following the compressor black power wire.

Show your unit and lets gather some history on these units.
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“Once you eliminate the impossible...whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." Sherlock Holmes.

Last edited by Dave A; 07-18-2018 at 07:34 PM. Reason: text add
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:26 AM
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I remember Frigiking, based in Dallas, and when a friend took his new '68 GTO to K-Mart to have one installed. He stupidly bought a new car without factory AC and right away had a Frigiking installed. It did cool. It would blow snow too which seemed impressive at the time, but it was probably just low on R-12.

Good article about add-on AC from Popular Science I came across looking for info about Frigiking....
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Old 07-19-2018, 01:17 PM
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My grandfather's 65 Mustang has aftermarket AC, with a york 2 cylinder compressor. No safety switches on the system, just the freeze switch on the dash unit that's adjustable.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:09 PM
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That Pop Science article was a good read.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:03 AM
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A quick Google searched revealed many of these systems still available.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dishdude View Post
A quick Google searched revealed many of these systems still available.
Now that you mention it ~10 years back when I used to regularly read 'Old Car Trader' there were modern versions of those systems advertised...Good to know for when I get something old enough to not have AC...Then again not having it (working) in some of my cars here in Wisconsin doesn't feel like such a big deal after living in Florida for a few years...
Tom C.

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Old 07-25-2018, 10:23 PM
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I have friend who I guess is in his 70's-he's always been a Cadillac nut. One of his stories involves a car from the early/mid-50's. He and a friend added AC by rigging up the internals from a window unit. It was old enough to use a belt-driven compressor. Apparently they ran it off the engine, plumbing lines to the rest of the system in the trunk, and it worked quite well.

I have a binder of sales literature for the '76 Chevrolet and it includes a flyer for dealer-installed AC. These were more of a custom fit than the aftermarket units but still looked tacked-on.
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:53 PM
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David Thomas
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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I had a '62 Galaxie 500 a couple years ago that had the dealer installed "hang-on" unit. It worked fairly well, despite not having an STV valve to regulate refrigerant pressure. It had a temp sensor on the evaporator that would remove voltage to the clutch until the temp went up enough to keep from freezing up.

I have a '73 LTD now with factory air, with the same Tecumseh compressor but with a POA valve for refrigerant regulation. I think Ford must have used York and Tecumseh compressors for years.
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