Prestige Air Conditioning

Discussion in 'T3 & T4 Tech Help Clinic' started by Kafermeister, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. Kafermeister

    Kafermeister Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Hi,

    My newly acquired T3 has from what I understand an aftermarket fitted Prestige air conditioning which isn’t connected at the compressor (actually no compressor at the moment - was thinking I could use the suby conversion’s compressor).

    If I got the system all connected (and obviously tested/repaired/regassed etc.), does the system in general work and cool OK for an old design? Can it even be used with the current gases etc. (Sorry I really know little about air conditioning having grown up with air cooled cars with little hope of having AC).

    Having air conditioning would definitely appease the partner, but basically wondering how well these old systems work.

    Thanks
    Peter
     
  2. jaybe1001

    jaybe1001 Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    On the Road, Victoria
    I have the same system and it only really provides a cool breeze to the face. There is no chance of it cooling the cabin. I use it mainly to provide air flow with the actual a/c turned off.
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  3. Grazza7755

    Grazza7755 Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Palmers Island NSW
    1990 T3 Double Cab auto.
    I have the older style dash top vents aircon that is now connected to the subaru compressor.
    The gas has to be changed to the 'new' style gas, of course.
    It works great.
     
    Syncro27 likes this.
  4. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    17,977
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    Peter, there is a large area to cool in a T3 ..... had a 1990 Caravelle and a Prestige AC unit which never really coped with the Brisbane/Qld summers ..... it would work better in a Double Cab as less area to cool ..... having said that they work well in a single cab as I had one for a few years and was happy enough with it.

    Using the suby compressor would be the best bet (as long as it fits) and the plumbing can get sorted out ....... I do not expect this would be a cheap exercise based on memory to get my Caravelle fixed/serviced 15+ yrs ago.
     
  5. Kafermeister

    Kafermeister Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Ok thanks for the replies guys. Sounds like I shouldn’t expect too much from it. I might drop by red devil radiators (and AC) down the road when I get a chance and get an idea of the cost involved as that might be the deciding factor for AC that could be marginal at best.

    Cheers
    Peter
     
  6. Grantus

    Grantus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,997
    Location:
    Southern ACT
    I had a T3 once with the aircraft overhead (or smack the head as you move around) type system, that wasn't working when I bought it.

    I thought it must have worked once, so I invested $900 with a local auto electrician, to get it sorted.

    I got 24 hrs of cool.......

    I went back for a second bash at it, and another $600 got me 2 weeks of cool, getting slowly warmer each day...

    I conceded defeat, and gave up. :(

    I sold the T3 with all the new parts and receipts, but had to advertise it with "aircon fitted, but not working"


    I really hope your quest is more successful than mine was. ;)
     
    Syncro27 and David H like this.
  7. Andy.

    Andy. Active Member

    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I have the same over head system in a bus. I agree it takes a while to cool the cabin down if the bus has been out in the sun, and it won't get the cabin cold on really hot days in Brisbane, but over all I think it does OK. Definitely a long way better than wind the windows down AC :)
    As my system was still all original and working when I got it, I have been slowly going through the system bit by bit replacing it for new, upgraded for new gas, compressor, all hoses and a few other bits and pieces. Over time will look at the fans for better air flow and the condenser etc as well.
    As Grant pointed out, costs do add up.
     
  8. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,734
    Location:
    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    I still have the remnants of the old aircraft headbanger style A/C system. I gave most of it to Hartmut in Port Mac (well what came out easy) but I still have the old condenser (In the garage) and the hoses are still in the van.

    Can these old hoses be re-used? Or should they be replaced?

    I would need to change the ends for the Subaru compressor but I would rather not pull the whole hoses out if possible and I would need a dash mounted system as my overhead wouldn't work in a pop top (plus I hated it).
     
  9. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    newcastle
    I put a vintage air gen 4 in my last Caravelle, along with 16x24" condensor and 7 piston pump and a whole lot of insulation,aswell as EVERYTHING in between new. It did cool the whole van comfortably, but as mentioned if left in the sun it does take some time to bring the whole cabin down.
    The cost in part alone was a little over $3k. The point is, if you expect it to cool like a new car averything has to be new.
    I will be doing the same to the camper (hopefully next year) but adding a second evaporator in the back.

    My experience anyway
     
    hairyman likes this.
  10. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,875
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    The Prestige never worked properly from new. The only good ac at the time was the genuine VW overhead which very few cars had. Most of the overhead air cons fitted here were locally made copies.

    The problem isn't the cooling system, but the air flow.
     
  11. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    newcastle
    Phill makes a good point

    No matter how cold your evaporator is, if there is not enough air exchanged between hot and cold you are not getting best out of your system anyway.

    I think we can all agree that the factory in dash fan doesn't do much, so additional vents and updated fans are also a must have.
     
    hairyman likes this.
  12. Andy.

    Andy. Active Member

    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Agree Phil, I have both systems, the big difference is the factory system pushes a lot more air, the compressor and condenser are basically the same. The local fitted system easily cools the air down (outlets at the front run ~4degC). The last upgrade for mine will be to change the fan and evaporator for better flow. That said, the factory system ducting allows for better flows though.

    A curiosity question, at recent show I saw a T3 with a system that looked similar to the factory setup (over head, all white plastic, vents across the front windscreen), but it did not have the factory style outlets and the rear box with the fan was a slightly different shape. I could nto get good pictures of it.
    Wondering if there is an after market system that is very similar to the factory one? I have not seen that system before.
     
  13. syncro

    syncro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,875
    Location:
    Southern Highlands
    It could have been one of the Australian copies. Prestige, Autofrost etc. Or South Africa.
     
  14. Kafermeister

    Kafermeister Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Nils, do you have build information/thread on the vintage air system? With my girlfriend putting up many protests against travelling in the recent heat, I think I’ll need to do something at some point. I started reading a yahoo build for a vanagon but he used a Gen 2 Super and claimed the Gen 4 was too large? Would definitely be interested in what you’re planing for the new Caravelle as I’d love to copy!
     
  15. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    newcastle
    Hi Mate,

    yes ............mine had the same protests this xmas.

    I will have a dig around for some photos, but there are not alot.
    The gen 4 definitely fits under there, its all very tight and you have to get pretty creative as well as pulling the dash in and out about a dozen times.
    I also managed to get 2 extra factory vents in there, ending up a pretty good system.

    Still in the planning stages of the next one, though I think i will leave the factory heat and demist as they are and add a huge stand alone under a very modified dash.
    My brother wants to put AC in his bus too for next summer, maybe we can put our heads together and save a few bucks one bulk systems.
     
  16. Kafermeister

    Kafermeister Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks nils! Yeah keen to pool together to save dollars and avoid reinventing wheels (especially as I'll really need to brush up0 on AC theory). The girlfriend and I are likely over in the states in November, so I was toying with the idea of picking up some parts then and carrying them in our checked baggage (normally we only travel with cabin bags so checked baggage is free car bits freight)...
     
  17. nils

    nils Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,351
    Location:
    newcastle
    To think of the only parts you really want from the states are the factory bracket and parts to mount the compressor. (Assuming you have a vw engine)
     
  18. Kafermeister

    Kafermeister Member

    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I was thinking more of getting the Vintage Air evaporator/under dash module if I went that way. I'm running a EJ25 which I assume will simplify the whole compressor thing (the engine still have the mount and I've the compressor in the shed although don't know if it'd be up to the task). Next step for me if a little more study on AC and also T3 airflow (which seems to be what can cripple the install).
     
  19. mackaymanx

    mackaymanx Active Member

    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Mackay
    I used to use a shower curtain behind the front seats to reduce the area to cool, but same as everyone else the system died not long after I had it gassed.
     
  20. peter915

    peter915 Active Member

    Messages:
    629
    Location:
    Sunshine coast
    I've been looking at installing air-conditioning in my Syncro, and after a recommendation from Nils I 've been corresponding with Jeremy at Speedy Air Spares http://speedyairspares.com.au
    Jeremy has given me a complete quote including hoses and associated fittings ( its a pity other company's here in Oz can't be as efficient and well organised as Jeremy)?
    Evaporator cooling unit quoted is a Vintage Air Gen II SUPER.

    I have also elected to go down the remote under the floor condenser install as I feel there isn't a lot of room in front of the radiator and the under floor jobbie gets it's spent heat away from the vehicle. It comes with it's own fan.
    Of course the negative with this type of condenser is stone damage - but I'm sure I can build something here to protect the unit.

    I've done a spreadsheet using Jeremy's quote so I can include total hose lengths.
    Quote includes a new Sanden compressor with bracket etc, to suit my Subaru motor.
    Quote is a couple bangers short of $3K
    Costs not included are testing, vacuum & charging the system by others.
    Maybe some extra duct outlets.

    I'm ditching the VW heater/ fresh air module and sealing off the fresh air entry.
    Vintage Air GenII SUPER has it's own heater module.
    But this will need to wait as I'm now preparing the pop-top unit I obtained last week. I want to get that installed so its out of my way - being such a large lump of fibreglass.. !
    :);)
    PJ
     
    hairyman and Syncro27 like this.

Share This Page