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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have successfully installed the engine compartment portion of the New Vintage Auto AC system for the Opel GT and combined it with the interior components of my original ARA AC system.
I still have a lot of testing and bugs with idle speed, and engine cooling to work out, but I'm not really worried about it.
The system blows cold air about as good as my modern car. That original ARA blower still has some high cfm.
The AC drops the idle about 200rpm and my coolant temp has gone up to the halfway point with it, but not over yet. It was 90 degrees out today.

The New Vintage Auto kit came with:
-1x lightweight custom crank pulley
-1x lightweight custom water pump pulley
-1x cadmium plated steel alternator pulley
-1x AC condenser and brackets (for extra $)
-1x Chrome mini compressor
-1x compressor lower mount
-1x compressor upper mount/ tensioner

The parts I used from my original ARA AC are as follows:
-Original AC Console, rear panel riser.
-All original switches. The fan control switch and the temperature control thermostat with ~48 capillary tube
-my original evaporator, expansion valve, and blower all work great with r134a still.

Parts I had to buy myself:
-Male Binary Safety Switch 3/8" - 24
-Universal Receiver Drier #6 Male O-Ring with 1/4" and 3/8" Switch Port
-# 6 (5/16") Barrier A/C Hose Per Foot Length 13 ft
-# 8 (13/32") Barrier A/C Hose Per Foot Length 4 ft (5 ft might give more room for error)
-# 10 (1/2") Barrier A/C Hose Per Foot Length 11 ft
-# 6 90 Degree Flare Fitting (for the original expansion valve)
-# 10 90 Degree Flare Fitting (for the original ARA evaporator)
-# 10 90 Degree O-ring Fitting R-134a 13mm Suction Port
-# 8 90 Degree O-ring Fitting R-134a 16mm Discharge Port
-# 8 90 Degree O-ring Fitting
-1x # 6 Straight O-ring Fitting
-2x # 6 90 Degree O-ring Fitting

Tools Needed:
-Pretty much every basic tool lol
-AC Guages (can get free loaner from auto parts stores)
-Vacuum pump (can get free loaner from auto parts stores)
-Hose cutter
-AC hose Crimper tool

Fluids Needed:
enough coolant to refill your car
1 can of UV dye R134a to help find leaks
1 can of normal r134a

To be continued:
 

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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I’ll post some of the pictures from beginning to end now!


The first thing to do is remove the radiator (and in my case the aluminum ARA lower hose adapter that interferes with the new kit).

The next part is a bit more tricky. You have to remove all the pulleys. The crank pulley wouldn’t come off of mine with my impact wrench so I had to use other methods. Putting the Opel in gear and trying to loosen the crank bolt won’t work.
A nice trick is to coil a rope in the combustion chamber through the spark plug hole make sure the valves will be closed! Ie do this on the compression stroke. when you turn the crank bolt the piston will rise and safely compress your coil of rope and stop the motor from turning. Then you can get the crank bolt off with a wrench. Put the new pulley on and tighten the bolt until the engine frees. Remove the rope and put it in a cylinder that will have a rising piston and closed valves. Put the rope in and torque the crank bolt.


The water pump pulley on mine was no big deal to put on. Note that the original metal ARA AC fan won’t work with the new pulley. You need to buy a 7 blade fan from OGTS to help cool anyway.

The Alternator pulley was another story all together. I have a 70 amp alternator from an Opel omega. It apparently had a much shorter shaft that the one used to make the new vintage auto kit, because this pulley was totally wrong. I machined 5mm off of the front inside (where the nut goes) and it needed 7mm off of the backside where it meets the alternator. New vintage offered to make me a pulley that would work with my alternator, it I was able to modify my own fine. If you have yours machined I would do less than 5mm on the front. 4mm would be safer and I think you could still get the nut on ok.

Here is trying to make it work with the original pulley.

Above are pictures with the unmodified pulley from new vintage. The shaft doesn’t make it through and it is a bit too far forward too. All spacers were removed from the alternator.

To be continued...


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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

Here’s a picture of machining the crank on the lathe. It fit almost perfect after this. It could use another mm probably, but it’s close enough.

I disassembled my ARA AC blower/evaporator to see what it’s condition was. It looks great. It uses flange fittings.

After removing a ton of insulation tape.





This was a very well built unit and it has stood the test of time.


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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Next was installing of the dryer and condenser.
My belly pan cover did not allow me to mount my condenser where New Vintage Auto recommended. I would have preferred a slightly shorter condensor instead. There is a decent gap I plan to make a shroud for. I also mounted my condensor the opposite direction of New Vintage Auto so I could route my hoses all on the passenger side. Not sure I’ll be able to get my battery out easy, but I’ll figure it out. Worst case scenario I’ll cut a trap door in the belly pan like some of the ARA ac cars already have. My battery box is compromised so I plan to move it to the back at some point.




I used 90° fitting on everything in the bellypan except for the #6 out from the drier is a strait fitting.

I think I forgot to post compressor install. It was pretty easy. Just bolt the bracket on, and mount the compressor to it. Put the upper mount on the compressor, but DO NOT attach it to the block until you get your hoses routed and tightened.


You should have plenty of room to put on lower radiator hose and everything, just be patient. I don’t have any tips other than that. It is a bit of a biotch to get everything put together.

I had to cut my large wrenches in half and shave them down on the grinder to tighten these fittings.

Also you will only get about 1mm of clearance between the rad hose and the pulley, but it shouldn’t rub.


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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Next was hose routing and crimping. If you route through the car you may have to crimp your hoses without the help of a vice to hold the crimp tool. It is TOUGH!

I routed mine exactly where the original ARA hoses were on my car.


I’m going to skip the rest of the interior pics for now. This site is a pain to load pics to nowadays.

I replaced all of the original under-carpet deadening in the footwell with some cheap 1/3” kilmat sound deadner/insulation. It is super cheap on amazon and seems to be great stuff.
I also placed some butyl rubber deadner and the kilmat in the rear section.

Here’s how the crimping inside looks.






You can hardly tell there are hoses here! It does make moving the seat harder, but it not that bad. Use reduced barrier hose if you are worried.


Also the fan is very close to the radiator with this kit. I made my own lower radiator bracket and got the fan plenty far away. It would have cleared, but I feel better with the added clearance I have now.




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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Here’s the ARA switches. You can reuse them, but my thermostat had to be replaced. A 48” thermostat off eBay will fit and work the same!
This is the fan switch. Notice the huge resistors! Those suckers get hot. I’d just always run this switch at full power. You will be drawing the same amps either way.


Here’s the thermostat switch




Here’s the final product after reassembly.








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Über Genius
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8,937 Posts
You did a great job there and a great write up!!

Quick question.

Did the crankshaft pulley fit good?
 
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Outstanding workmanship, Kyler. Thank you for taking the time to document this project. Enjoy the A/C! :)

PS: The driving gloves in the last pic are a nice touch; capturing the spirit of what working on and driving these cars are all about. Late 60's/early 70's sports car ethic at it's finest.
 

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Can Opeler
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Discussion Starter #9
You did a great job there and a great write up!!

Quick question.

Did the crankshaft pulley fit good?
Thanks! Yes the pulley fits perfectly. It is also very very light.


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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I drove it quite a bit today. My side draft does not like that rpm drop at idle so I’m turning the thermostat off at long idles. The AC still blows cool air for a good while when turned off. I had no issues with running hot today and driving was such a treat! It’s nice to be cool:)

Lotus says simplify and add lightness
I say complicate and add weight lol.


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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
What a day! So I got to school today and even though my temp gauge wasn’t high I had a puddle of coolant under me in minutes. What the heck? It looked like it leaked from lower radiator hose where it meets the water pump. No big deal. After class I tightened down that clamp and poured the contents of my windshield washer bottle into the radiator to hopefully get me at least to the nearest gas station.
I made it home, but the last mile the temp gauge just kept creeping upwards. I was about a mile from home when it hit 212°F so I gunned it and shut the engine off and coasted the rest of the way home. The radiator cap wasn’t spewing but coolant was everywhere!
Turns out my AC pulley burned a hole in my lower radiator hose where I couldn’t see it.
I called up OkieOpel and he gave me an old hose he had sitting around.
That old hose was far superior to these new ones OGTS is selling. Much thicker rubber and it still has the metal spring inside that keeps it from collapsing. I put that hose on and it still hit the compressor pulley...




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Can Opeler
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Discussion Starter #14
To clear the New Vintage auto compressor pulley with the lower radiator hose it is helpful to cut 1/4” off of the lower end of hose. This makes the radiator hose move forward away from the pulley. I also ziptied the hose to the lower radiator shroud bracket to make sure it never goes near that pulley again.

New vintage really needs to make a hose holder that bolts to the divider between the belly pan and engine bay an forces the hose forward to prevent hitting that pulley.
When I put the first lower hose on it cleared, but after a few miles of driving it settled and hit the pulley.


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4,231 Posts
Wow
That are so many great Iformations.Thank you so much Kyler for sharing.
Al of this is worth a little download for A/C interested Opeler.
You make a great job at all and show us all steps also in other threads.
It is great to have you with us:yup:

Thanks
Norbert

Is there still a handbook or service manual for the original ARA untit
available anywhere?
We need it for a 72`GT with Automatic console.The car is Arizona car in
best condition.So we must bring the ARA to work.

Thanks for answers
Norbert
 

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Can Opeler
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3,289 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Norbert,
Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad my threads are helping people.

There is an ARA installation guide floating around. I believe Charles Goin has it. I think he said he was going to scan it for us a while back. I’ll send him a message to remind him:)

I’m trying to get a copy of the GM AC installation guide from Todd now too.

If I get a hold of either one I will post them on all of the Opel sites for everyone.
 

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Registered
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Well done, and excellent write up!
 

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RunOpel
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1,234 Posts
Kyler, I would also add my compliments to your workmanship. Outstanding write up with easy steps to follow. I have been contemplating on
installing AC for awhile. You have inspired me to try it. Thanks again for many posts of information along with your awesome videos. :yup:
Dan
 

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Premium Member
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1,608 Posts
Great job Kyler, it gets pretty warm here in Nevada, but it looks like more that I want to chew on. You made it pretty simple with the step by step instructions, but I like to drive the GT and not put any more time that I have in it already.

Bob
 
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