Upgrading an older van question/discussion. Part Two - Air conditioning. (1 Viewer)

Sep 25, 2018
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As in question one, above. I am looking at ways of upgrading an older motorhome from 1998 - 2006.
Vehicles from that vintage rarely if ever have air conditioning. I am talking about air con in the cab/driver area NOT the main habitation.
Many of the models are in production for long periods and later models had air con.
Has anybody taken a scrapped vehicle, removed the total air con system and remounted it in an older vehicle?
Obviously it is quite a big job but here in the village we have an excellent experienced mechanic who would be able to fit/mount it.
Any advice much appreciated.
Paul
 

Lenny HB

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As far can see if you take the aircon out of a scrapped vehicle it will have been sitting around for ages. When people don't use aircon in running cars it causes problems and often costs a couple of grand or more to sort out.
 
Oct 9, 2019
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I suspect that you can only do it there was one fitted to a similar aged base vehicle, if not you may have a lot of trouble locating something that will fit
 
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Paul and Val
Sep 25, 2018
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I suspect that you can only do it there was one fitted to a similar aged base vehicle, if not you may have a lot of trouble locating something that will fit
Agreed completely. There are later models of the same vans with air-con however. I would not bother trying to fit a different system.
 
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Paul and Val
Sep 25, 2018
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As far can see if you take the aircon out of a scrapped vehicle it will have been sitting around for ages. When people don't use aircon in running cars it causes problems and often costs a couple of grand or more to sort out.
Good evening.
Thank you but I don't quite agree. Obviously I would check that the sytem selected would be complete. When not used it is normally the air conditioning compressor which has the seals dry out I believe. A new compressor depending on model is probably between 350 and 750 Pounds and would not be beyond reach if needed.
Have a good evening.
Paul.

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Nov 14, 2018
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I'm wondering if you might be pouring good money after bad? Not sure if you have actually bought a motorhome from the era stated? As far as I remember All the motorhomes we have had did have cab aircon and thats going back to about 1996. Might be better to look for one with it in already? Just a thought.
 
Aug 27, 2014
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My 06 model has the factory fit aircon. It's relatively simple and yes could be retrofitted, but I think you'd really struggle to find a scrap van with it in. Most '06 motorhomes will still be going, '06 commercials won't be but very few would have had aircon fitted, it would have been an optional extra. That's before you start worrying about is the system any good.

Easier to find a motorhome with it already fitted I'd suggest.

It's an "ok" system by the way, it helps but definitely not as powerful as the ones in our cars. Yes, mine has been regassed!
 
Dec 6, 2011
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Surely with the additional costs associated with all your proposed upgrades you would be better off buying a van with the extras you deem necessary.

Unless of course you already have the van and are trying to edge your bets.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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It seems to me that the money you are anticipating spending to upgrade an old vehicle could be spent in the first place on a newer one which has what you are looking for.
Perfectly said (y)

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Tombola

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pigs ear silk purse maybe ?

have a good look round see if any vans suit your budget with what you want, you may be surprised
 
Nov 18, 2011
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As in question one, above. I am looking at ways of upgrading an older motorhome from 1998 - 2006.
Vehicles from that vintage rarely if ever have air conditioning. I am talking about air con in the cab/driver area NOT the main habitation.
Many of the models are in production for long periods and later models had air con.
Has anybody taken a scrapped vehicle, removed the total air con system and remounted it in an older vehicle?
Obviously it is quite a big job but here in the village we have an excellent experienced mechanic who would be able to fit/mount it.
Any advice much appreciated.
Paul
Air conditioning from that era open the windows and go at 60 mph
.works for me and I don't have to have it serviced every year.
Bill
 
Jul 18, 2009
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Like anything, yes it is possible, but it really is a big job. Probably a job for some Eastern Europe mechanic, they seem good at things like that.

I’ve been servicing and repairing Automotive A/C for close on 40 years. Even I wouldn’t consider doing it. Mainly because of the difficulty of the engine work.

Here is what is required to replace the leaking evaporator on my Mercedes Sprinter. I did this whilst I was on crutches !.
5744E869-CF36-4976-B84B-4629C5ED4469.jpeg
5F739B79-2B0F-4E50-9A0C-A04C9C47B49B.jpeg
8E61864F-0023-43CC-A23C-788B9876D808.jpeg
CDBE3E7A-7BFA-4E72-B9D9-6DFCC8D6C596.jpeg
4A784658-8D17-4A2E-A6AE-CE5562EED7C6.jpeg
 
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Dec 17, 2016
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I think part of the reason that van Aircon isn't as good as the car equivalent is that the motorhome had a volume of 10 -20 m3 compared to a car at 2m3.
 
Apr 3, 2018
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I think part of the reason that van Aircon isn't as good as the car equivalent is that the motorhome had a volume of 10 -20 m3 compared to a car at 2m3.
Reason why we have a curtain behind seats... keeps chill out of hab area when parked up and keeps chill in cab area when driving.... assuming of coarse nobody travelling in back 👍

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Jul 18, 2009
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Reason why we have a curtain behind seats... keeps chill out of hab area when parked up and keeps chill in cab area when driving.... assuming of coarse nobody travelling in back 👍
Yes, when we are parked up in hot sunny spot on a campsite. I shut cab blinds, put a silver screen on the outside and shut cab off with the bed curtains.
 

Happy Jim

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If you are a closet spanner twirler and really enjoy getting grubby then it's certainly possible to take the AC from a vehicle and move it to one without (BUT, same model year at a minimum), you will likely find that bits of the wiring loom are missing though from your original vehicle and swapping looms about is a route to hell! Paying someone to do that remove/replace/recondition just doesn't sound like financial sense to me.
I enjoy twirling a spanner......I wouldn't touch that game with a bargepole!! As people above have said, by the vehicle with the specs that you "must have" (everyone is different) and you will be a lot happier!

Jim
 
Oct 2, 2008
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Most cost effective and probably most reliable would be to fit after market aircon , this link will give you some ideas
https://www.reddotcorp.com/off-the-shelf-hvac-units.html I have fitted a few units to vehicles e.g. landrovers & trucks in Australia . Doing a transfer retrofit is a nightmare as it is often piping etc is fitted first during build, can get very expensive very quickly , especially as driers and heat exchangers will require renewing for optimal performance and reliability , thats before you look at the compressor.
 
Jul 18, 2009
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The other option would have been to fit ducted habitation A/C. Then run off engine whilst driving.

The problems with older vehicle chassis is low alternator outputs. You need at least 110amp, along with correctly sized cabling just for a small hab unit. Go bigger, you might be looking at 160amp plus. That and you need some power for fridge and other Automotive lighting etc.


That and you will be driving around in a greenhouse . Not parked up under a tree, with 16amp EHU, blinds closed and so on.
 
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Paul and Val
Sep 25, 2018
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It seems to me that the money you are anticipating spending to upgrade an old vehicle could be spent in the first place on a newer one which has what you are looking for.
That's fine, it just is not the way I want to go.
Obviously, If I can find something with air-con and an air bag it would be great. the UK vans seem to be very often more numerous with air-con than here in France where it is quite rare.
Despite the views above, as long as it is not too ancient and a COC (Certificate de conformity) is available, it is straight forward and not too expensive if over 10 years old. We just registered a 16 year old Jaguar X-Type here at a cost of about 230 € plus admin of 100 €.
On the other thread about retro fitting an airbag it is now quite obvious that it is not possible which I accept Before, I was not sure.
I appreciate the comments alos about the retro fitting of air- on. I would not mind later on when funds are more available to having a specialist fit it IF available.
Obviously with the comments received, I will be looking for a 2.5 or preferable 2.8 FIAT engine of a later Transit with 110 or 130bhp (both of which map extremely well). To find an airbag AND air-con will be more difficult.
Thank you all again for the excellent comments and assistance.
Kind regards
Paul

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mikebeaches

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Our 2004 - '54' reg - Rapido coachbuilt had factory fitted cab air conditioning on the Fiat Ducato base.

I believe it was standard on all models at the time, rather than an optional extra.

It was just one of the positives we alighted on when we chose and subsequently purchased the used Rapido in 2010. There weren't a lot of alternative brands from the same era and in our price bracket that had cab A/C fitted.

I considered other makes of pre-owned MH at the time and investigated having new A/C kit retro-fitted (didn't want a van without it). If I recall, I found somebody - relatively local to us - in Gloucestershire who could do it for circa £2k.
 
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