adding air conditioning to a soft top - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 1st, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Clark Bowen
1969 Series 2a/OM617 Bugeye 88"
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adding air conditioning to a soft top

The heat has hit Salem, and we are starting to think about adding air conditioning to the 1994 soft top, but I wonder if this is an exercise in futility (besides the difficulty of adding a/c to a 300 TDi with a large intercooler in front of the radiator and a winch already
pressed up to the grill).
Anyone done this and how well did it work. Seems like a black soft top would be a heat sink and radiator for the inside of the vehicle and yet leak a lot of cool air to the outdoors. Doesn't cold air travel towards heat?

Clark
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  #2  
Old June 1st, 2007, 02:06 PM
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Jim Cheney
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The AC works fine in the soft top - I mean, it keeps your knees nice and cool. Works a lot better with a drop curtain but I still got a benefit out of it in SC with the soft top.

I dont know the best solution for your clearance issues, but I'm sure Shane could sort them out!
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  #3  
Old June 1st, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Robert Ragland
1994 Defender 90
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Between the soft top and fiberglass hard top, my truck seems much cooler with the fabric soft top. There is less window area for sun to enter, and the material does not heat up.

The a/c helps a lot. It never becomes truly comfortable during the peak heat, but it does make it less of an inferno. The greatest relief is from humidity. This is why I could never go without the a/c.

All in all you will notice a tremendous difference. When my a/c went out one summer, and parts weren't sourced for a month, it was miserable.
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  #4  
Old June 1st, 2007, 06:49 PM
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You wimp Clark!

I can second Jim's assertion that both your knees, keys, and groin will stay nice and cool. The system is pretty worthless at temperatures exceeding 85. I have an SW and the A/C is more of crutch given limited amount a space in a D90 and the obesity of my friends. Everytime they struggle into the cab they hit the condensor/fan box with thier fat knees.

Besides Salem and PDX summers aren't that bad. If anything the A/C will provide temporary relief while sitting at a stop light. The only reason I would advocate A/C is to beat the humidity. Of course get used one or a take-off from George. The NIB units at RN are a bit much.
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  #5  
Old June 3rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Clark, I can't tell you how easy/hard it would be to install on a TDI, but I have one for sale if you need it.

charles
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  #6  
Old June 4th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Rick Mabus
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AC Help

I have a 95 Soft top in Dallas and I have found that the truck does not get driven that much in the Summers when it gets hot. That is until last year. My top ripped last year and the truck stays in the garage on the bad days now. I found the AC to be better than nothing, but still totally incapable of cooling the truck with the soft top. We now use the ac to blow cold air on us when it is 105 out here in Dallas and it actually makes a big difference with the top off. I would also say engine heat has contributed to the heat equation. I would save the money, and put it towards a good pair of of tires or even a Jayco Baja Toy Hauler to have AC once you hit the Camp Grounds!! You live in Gods country anyway. You should not need AC.
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  #7  
Old June 4th, 2007, 02:41 PM
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AC in a defender is like having a pocket fan with two double AAs.
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  #8  
Old June 4th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Clark Bowen
1969 Series 2a/OM617 Bugeye 88"
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air conditioning in a soft top

Thanks everyone for your responses. Even though we live in an area that seldom needs a/c we are going to travel all around the US in the next few years (dragging the D90 behind a motorhome) and I am most interested in the responses from the humid states as my West Coast body cannot stand humdity. Sounds like that is the one area where a/c really helps - drying things out a bit.

Clark
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  #9  
Old June 5th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Robert Ragland
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Clark,

Regarding your comments about the humid states, I can attest here. The a/c may not always win the battle against radiant heat, but it does kill the humidity. Honestly, it keeps up pretty well 9-10 months a year during mid day. You just can't fight the battle with no insulation, two hot cats right beneath, and (in my case) a fibreglass hard top baking in the sun. Morning and night, though, you will get your money's worth.

Mine is a daily driver, and there is no way this would have ever been this case without the A/C. RDS often has a variety of pieces, if not a whole kit. The premium route, if money is no object, would be the Rovers North setup.
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  #10  
Old June 6th, 2007, 12:15 AM
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Clark Bowen
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Thanks for your comment Robert. One thing I noticed was how much cooler the floor is without those cats when it was converted to a 300TDi. The floor used to get almost too hot to touch.

Clark
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  #11  
Old June 6th, 2007, 07:33 AM
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Jim Cheney
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Oh yes, the AC works much better with the Tdi. When I bought this second NAS truck here a couple months back, I was reminded of how ridiculously hot the floors get.
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  #12  
Old June 8th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Scott Yates
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I also have a working, currently installed A/C system for sale (94 model). As this vehicle has been in Laramie, Wyoming since 96, it has had very little use to date (only about two weeks a year is it actually warm enough for A/C lol.

scott.yates@gmail.com
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  #13  
Old June 9th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Robert Ragland
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Clark, you are right about the hot-almost-burn effect inside. Never go feeling around the seats and interior after a long drive during the summer.

Has anyone seen or devised something that effectively blocks the heat from the cat? I have no intention of installing carpet, so I am limited in where I can use interior heat shielding. Anyone use a different style of converter, maybe? I keep thinking there must have been a better solution (maybe not cheaper, easier, or readily available from LR's point of view back then).
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  #14  
Old June 9th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Has anyone considered using something like this around the cat?
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