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adding air conditioning


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14 replies to this topic

#1 RallyAlex

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:33 PM

I apologize if this is on usmb somewhere...if so, please feel free to respond with the link. Is it possible to add (as in "feasible" as in "not ridiculously expensive") an air conditioning set up to a 1981 wagon if it was never equipped with air? THANKS!

#2 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

yah its called a doner car/parts car/junk yard with ac that works in it:lol:

#3 ShawnW

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:58 AM

Start with, does the dashboard of your car say its equipped for adding A/C?

#4 turbosubarubrat

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:02 AM

Start with, does the dashboard of your car say its equipped for adding A/C?


yah that would be a good start because it would suck if he didnt have the second notch for the ac belt to go on and the longer piece for the ac motor to go on above the alternator, it will tell wheather it is equipped if it is on the dash above the radio and around the cigaret lighter and heat controls

#5 Chilton

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 04:28 AM

The car is old, if you want to add air conditioning on it, it will cost you much more money, I think you can sell it and buy a new one that with a/c.

____________________
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Edited by Chilton, 19 July 2012 - 04:31 AM.


#6 rdweninger

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:38 PM

I just have to say... I just removed the AC from one of my '85 EA82's. I know it's hot out there...because I grew up in Kansas. But the high in Tillamook is supposed to be 70 today... 68 on Friday... and the predicted high on Sunday is 65. Brrrrrr !
Driving home last night as I was heading up-river... my 'new' '85 EA82 with digi-dash read 59 degrees at 6:30 pm.
The other day it was 52 at 7 a.m.
There are NO bikinis on the Oregon Coast... Ha!

#7 RallyAlex

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 12:05 PM

Shawn, yes, it is "equipped" for a/c. You might have a bunch of junk yards in Salem, OR, but out here there are only a few. And NONE with ea81 Subarus.
I do not want to sell my rust-free '81 wagon and buy something far more complicated and expensive, hence the question about air. If you removed the a/c from you '85 Brat and it would work in my car, let me know if you want to sell. Then again, you might have removed it as it no longer works.

#8 el_freddo

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:18 AM

The car is old, if you want to add air conditioning on it, it will cost you much more money, I think you can sell it and buy a new one that with a/c.


And may I ask where's the fun in that? DIY of course - no use having someone else work on your car for your hard earned!

Shawn, yes, it is "equipped" for a/c. You might have a bunch of junk yards in Salem, OR, but out here there are only a few. And NONE with ea81 Subarus.
I do not want to sell my rust-free '81 wagon and buy something far more complicated and expensive, hence the question about air. If you removed the a/c from you '85 Brat and it would work in my car, let me know if you want to sell. Then again, you might have removed it as it no longer works.


I know over here all the MY's (as we call them) have the two notches in the dash board for the AC button. Seriously though, how hard is it to wire in a different switch and label it "AC"??

RallyAlex, if you do get a complete AC "kit" or find a donor vehicle you'll also need the crank pulley, alternator and AC compressor pump bracket as well as all the associated wiring - including the relays on your passenger's side strut tower, also you'll need the glove box and the exchange box under the dash. I've done this conversion/addition to my mum inlaw's brumby (brat) - it was simple plug and play, you just need all the bits, make sure all the plumbing is sealed properly and off you go.

Having a donor vehicle I also added power steering while I was at it - that transformed the feeling of the vehicle, much more nimble with the PS!

Cheers

Bennie

#9 92_rugby_subie

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

Ive been pondering adding A/C to Ned... but itll probably be awhile.

#10 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 07:31 PM

Unless you find a donor vehicle to get all the parts from.... it's one of those questions that's best answered with a "If you have to ask you probably aren't going to like the answer and/or cannot afford to make this happen".

If you had all the factory components from an 80/81 it would be relatively easy... though you would have to deal with converting the pump oil and lines to R-134 capable components. 82 to 89 EA81 AC components could also be made to work though the electrical side is going to be more of a challenge since after '81 things changed dramatically in '82 and '83.

If you wanted to go completely custom with all the components I could easily see you spending $1000 or more just on parts. And that's on the inexpensive side of the numbers for something like this. Kits are readily available for my '69 GMC truck and those are in the $1200 range. That's not installed, not charged with refrigerant..... that's going to be hundreds more if you are paying to have it done.

GD

#11 RallyAlex

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 02:32 PM

GD-

I believe there is a donor car from 81 with all the components. Just to clarify, my wagon is a 1981, are you saying if the donor car is not 80 or 81 to take a pass? Also, Shawn W asked if the dashboard has the sign, "equipped to add a/c". It does. So, what exactly does the sign mean? Are non a/c cars with this sign, like mine, in a different spot than non a/c cars without it? Thanks. And, yes, i know it will not be cheap.

#12 RallyAlex

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

Anyone know if I can use a 1985 a/c unit for a 1981 wagon? Shawn W, I think you were saying it would not fit. Would like to verify before buying the unit. Thanks.

#13 ebarb

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 01:21 PM

RallyAlex, Curious how this went for you? I've got an 81 as well equipped for optional A/C that I'd like to do this in as well. I'm also in the midwest so parts cars are harder to come by. 

 

Eli



#14 Dinky26

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 08:48 PM

Anyone know if I can use a 1985 a/c unit for a 1981 wagon? Shawn W, I think you were saying it would not fit. Would like to verify before buying the unit. Thanks.


Did you end up buying this unit? I would like to purchase if you didn't and it is still available, cause it sure does get hot in this part of the country and donor cars are hard to find.

#15 ruparts

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 09:33 PM

Anyone know if I can use a 1985 a/c unit for a 1981 wagon? Shawn W, I think you were saying it would not fit. Would like to verify before buying the unit. Thanks.

 

  hi,

   you need to use an ea81 style doner car,,  that is up through 84 on wagons and sedans, up through 87 for brats and hatchbacks,,  if the car (early-mid 80's) and has a pushrod style engine , thats what you need...

 the cars with overhead cams engines,  all the under dash stuff won't fit your 80-81 wagon, and the compressor brackets and evaporator would need modified ,, then there are electrical wiring / relays ,  vacuum tubes to run the air doors on the evaporator case and stuff too ,  bottom line =  its involved but doable , if you have a doner that has all of it. 






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