Anyone mod their A/C? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Robert Ragland
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Anyone mod their A/C?

This past month I had to change my fuel relay. Because it's behind the AC, I had to undo a lot of the unit to reach the relay (change both while back there FWIW). With everything off, I started looking at all the components in my diavia unit.

My drier is a BMW part, the compressor is new, and something else was sourced as parts were non existent. All said, the AC is still pathetic. I've heard the $3000 new units won't really wow anyone, either.

Has anyone tried dropping in other parts to get better cooling? Is the squirrel cage to small, too much restriction, something else? So long as it fits behind the fascia, I'd have to think there is some way to get more out of the system. The below dash unit on my old jeep years back would keep you plenty cool.
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  #2  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:04 PM
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kevin
1994 D90 300tdi #730, SIII 88
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I think the best a/c for the Defender is the cowl vents
Seriously, I agree that there has to be something better than an a/c system like the ones installed in the 60's before factory a/c was available. I took mine out because it just seemed to take up too much of the limited cabin space. I've seen some really nice custom a/c systems in custom cars so I am sure something better could be created for the Defender.
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  #3  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Robert Ragland
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The cowl vents are the only thing that really move air. I like when the AC freezes up after 45 minutes of use. The air flow is just weak, and it's not consistent cold.

I bet you could cobble some other make parts, that would still fit in the plastic fascia for a clean look, and have a much better unit for a third the cost of a new rovers north kit.
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  #4  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:56 PM
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mark kellgren
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I moved my temperature probe closer to the outlets. made a huge difference in temp and temp stability.
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  #5  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 03:39 PM
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i would really appreciate any insight as to how to achieve colder air from the a/c unit as the temp here in Dubai has me showing up to work looking like i just went swimming even with the a/c on full blast.
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  #6  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 03:49 PM
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I've been looking into the Oldair units. I've seen similar ones (not the below dash) mounted under the seat on a series rig. Seems like you can tweak the underdash models, but my guess (?) is your limited by the size of the evaporator.


My uncle builds hot rods with Vintage Air kits; I'm going to visit him and try to get some G2 on how well they work.
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  #7  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 04:46 PM
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It's interesting that Vintage Air offers a complete package for the Landcruiser for $1150
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  #8  
Old July 5th, 2011, 03:57 PM
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Robert Ragland
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I've noticed that most under dash units for older cars run between $1000 to $1500.
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  #9  
Old July 5th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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William Skidmore
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Not sure if it has been brought up here or not but I know on the guns&rovers and roversnorth that there are build threads about putting in a summit ac(?)/heater system. The guys that have done it have been very happy with it and also takes up less physical space then the heater unit that was there before.
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  #10  
Old July 6th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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I have toyed with the idea of using the system like the NAS 110's use where the a/c and heater are all under the hood.
Enlarge the air opening in the bulkhead and some custom vents should work. Eliminates the footwell room problem too.
I think a huge issue w/ the factory design is that here in the US we have cats that sit right under the floor there and all that heat is then pulled into the a/c. I know you couldnt touch the floor it got so hot so trying to cool 100+ degree air down in that small area just isnt likely.
A huge improvement was getting rid of the black bestop and using a light tan badger top. Huge difference even w/o the air on due to the color and material.
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  #11  
Old July 6th, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Tony Sims
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There's a lot of room in a Defender, just none of it is in the dashboard...

I think a good plan would be to install a heater in the seatbox with vents blowing out into the footwells. Then use the space under the hood to install a larger A/C evaporator and more efficient fan, and use the old heater ducting to carry the cool air, so you don't have to give up leg space. Top it all off with a heated windscreen, and have the best of both worlds for defrost/defog.
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  #12  
Old July 6th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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Robert Ragland
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Summit racing has a rather large section of parts and kits for HVAC systems in custom applications. That seems like a good suggestion. Couple that with some shielding on the cats, and the oven might drop below 350.
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  #13  
Old July 6th, 2011, 11:24 PM
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Tony Sims
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Ah yes, cats. Forgot about those... Don't have that particular handicap with the doosel.
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[appropriated from Ren Ching] Most faults can usually be traced to the badge on the grill.
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This is straight out of the Manual for Build Builders.
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  #14  
Old July 6th, 2011, 11:38 PM
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barry f
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakethesnake View Post
i would really appreciate any insight as to how to achieve colder air from the a/c unit as the temp here in Dubai has me showing up to work looking like i just went swimming even with the a/c on full blast.
Did you end up shipping your truck from LA? I would think the soft top can't help with the heat either.
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  #15  
Old July 7th, 2011, 03:24 AM
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Left the soft top in LA as i didn't want the sun and sand to destroy it, plus you have to be nuts to own a convertible here. Ended up buying a Japanese spec 97 SW, white, 150,000 km for only $15,000 usd. only sad part is that it, like all the other examples I have seen over here, has had its "sticker" removed from the driver's footwell, so no chance of bringing it home.
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  #16  
Old July 7th, 2011, 08:44 AM
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kevin
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I don't see any reason why a custom system can't be created which would combine heating and cooling. With the new servo dampers and more efficient blower motors available, the sytem should be very efficient and actually take up less space. I definately agree that it should be run in the dash.
For those of you with cats heating the floor, you can now get the tiles used on the space shuttle
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  #17  
Old August 5th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Rich Campbell
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I was talking to someone about this yesterday. My 97 system sucks. The system I had in my late production 94 ST was amazing. Would freeze me out with the top off and 80-90 degrees. They mentioned the possibility of swapping out the cage/fan in the blow motor to one with larger fins to increase air flow.
Anyone ever try this.
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  #18  
Old August 6th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Rob
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Maybe it helps someone
Here is an old post of mine re the israeli AC system in use here.

I have the same system used by all civilian defenders here in israel, the dual system is in use
in the David armored vehicle. And from recent personal experience, it works very well.

Though I have see several civilian rigs adapt the same cocept and retrofit other vehicle AC systems
Mounted inside above the rear door, not as clean as the pro version sold to the IDF...but they also work really well.

Hope it helps.

http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...ad.php?t=22481
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  #19  
Old August 6th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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Gary Waggoner
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I used the all electronic Classic Auto air unit in my 110 with a factory compressor and larger than stock condenser. The unit was a complete custom install with half of it inside and half sticking out into the engine compartment. I made an aluminum panel/cover for all the tubing and ac unit. The vents were installed into the dash without use of any of the factory under dash plastic. It blows REALLY cold air and flows enough volume to easily cool the cabin. The heat works just as well as the AC. Overall I would do exactly the same thing again.
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  #20  
Old August 6th, 2011, 09:09 PM
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Very nice job! Can you post the parts you used?
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