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Old 07-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
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Default air conditioning on a flathead?

I am considering adding air conditioning to my flathead, summers here get to 100 and I'd like to be able to still drive my truck. Have any of you added air conditioning, and what brackets, condensers, etc did you use?
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

If you're in a dry climate, on the highway these work pretty good and are vintage and look cool I think. Used one for years on a VW bug traveling the west in the summer and it worked great. Not so good around town or in a humid climate. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw...6028&_from=R40
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

I remember my folks having one on their Hudson when I was a kid. Been thinking I would build one for my 46 pickup for summer driving.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Get one where you can put in some dry ice and you will be cool, specially in a small cab p-up!
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

A well known V8er (initials RH) pulled a Mullins with a Honda generator to power the home window air conditioner in his back seat. From San Diego to Dearborn in a '38 Fordor with no sweat!
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Check out Alan Grove Components. They have a line of AC brackets for the early and late FH.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Some years ago I remember seeing a picture of an old four door (don't know if it was a Ford) and they had mounted a small window A/C unit in the rear window and towed a small trailer with a little Honda generator that fed power to the A/C. Ingenuity!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

you might need a radator from a prter built truck
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

You can get brackets to mount a compressor on your engine, or you can make your own. You can get the A/C set up so it blows nice and cold. If you had a car it wouldn't help you though. Putting the condenser in front of a V8 radiator pretty much guarantees the engine will run hot when you turn on the air.

In your truck you may be able to install a variant of the Model A setup. The A guys are mounting the condenser under the car near the rear axle. The V8 sedans do not have the room to do this, but a truck might. This guy may be able to give you some advise since he makes a kit for the Model A: http://www.kendavismodela.com/AirConditioners.html

I saw 5 or 6 52-53 Fords, including mine, and 1 52 Mercury with A/C at the Grand National. Everyone I talked to had the same experience as me, on a hot day and climbing a hill the A/C got turned off. We all have the condenser in front of the radiator.

Last edited by 38 coupe; 07-17-2013 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

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Originally Posted by oldford2 View Post
Some years ago I remember seeing a picture of an old four door (don't know if it was a Ford) and they had mounted a small window A/C unit in the rear window and towed a small trailer with a little Honda generator that fed power to the A/C. Ingenuity!
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How about this? Note the custom taillights too.


Dry ice wouldn't be safe in a evaporative cooler, it vaporizes to CO2.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

A friend of mine has a 39 Ford coupe with a 302, automatic transmission. and 8 inch rerarand he has the fan and condenser mounted under the rear of the car behind the rearend. He built it in the 80's and it has worked well evry since.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

You can mount the condenser under the bed and use an electric fan. Call Ken Davis as stated above.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

A friend has 40 pu with ac on a flathead. Vintage Air with condenser in front of Walker radiator. Works great with out heating the engine. Hot and humid here.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

I put A/C on my 40 Ford more than 10 years ago. I have driven anywhere I desired without engine overheating regardless of the terrain or temperature. That includes over the Rocky Mountains, in August, to Bonneville from southern Georgia. That trip was with STOCK Ford waterpumps and STOCK Ford radiator. I installed a blow-through electric fan on the condenser to help the exchange rate at low speeds to provide cold air from the A/C. The fan is not used at highway speed and it is a restriction to maximum air flow. But, still NO OVERHEATING. I have since changed to a Walker radiator with their condenser because the stock radiator braces repeatedly broke loose from the top tank. I think the extra weight of the condenser and blow-through fan contributed to the breakage. I still have the stock waterpumps in place. I suggest the Walker radiator with their condenser because the recovery rate of the radiator is superior and the condenser is a nice arrangement. I built my brackets and special reinforcement gadget at the front of my aluminum intake manifold. These days there are brackets advertised in magazines(as noted above) and they should work OK. I would only add that some aluminum intake manifolds are not well designed at the generator mount so they might not handle the additional loading. The Edmunds on my car was one such example.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

I am currently working on a 40 deluxe, the motor is a 276 with the Mercury carb. The A/C is a vintage air with an Alen Grove mount. I can't say enough about the Grove brackets, they fit great and the workmanship is just beautiful. The dash and engine compartment get very crowded, lets hope for no problems. Oh yea, it's an automatic also. Chuck S.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Don't see the alt or PS unit.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

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Don't see the alt or PS unit.
The Alt unit is behind the AC unit - you can just see it if you enlarge the picture...
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #18
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

On e-Bay you can find the 6 volt units that use dry ice and sit on the floor of the car. They plug into the cigarette lighter for power. You sometimes see them at swap meets. In a pickup they would work fine. They can be removed when not needed. Many companies sold them and the most common is a Bon Aire.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Tom, Ol'Ron is just busting my hump a little. When I ask Kathie whitch car she wants to take, she says anything with A/C and automatic, so this 40 is my answer. I want my cake and eat it to.
I'm sure by now Ol' Ron knows I have Fords both ways- stock and hot rodded. This 39 still has everything it left Dearborn with, except radials. Chuck S.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:56 PM   #20
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Here is my flathead air conditioner.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #21
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Unhappy Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Quote:
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Here is my flathead air conditioner.
Frrom my experience those usualy work well in early Spring and late Fall. I summer when between 100* air and the 200 * hood it will bake you,and in the winter it is just plain cold air. Marv
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:08 PM   #22
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Yeah, it was getting pretty hot the other day. You can feel the firewall and floor getting hot. The hood was hot to the touch for a while. I want to go for a ride today but it is about 96F right now. I'll wait until night time.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:38 PM   #23
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

That is so strange... that green and white sticker on the rear trunk means "new driver" in Japan, but that photo doesn't look very japanese!

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Old 07-19-2013, 09:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: air conditioning on a flathead?

Quote:
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Here is my flathead air conditioner.
Saw a 34 three window with a sign in the open vent that read factory air. Good for a chuckle. :-)
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