A/C Summary

MalibuRacing

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A/C:

Since the truck and some other LSx engines use a low mount A/C compressor, that would have required a frame notch, I decided to go a different route. I found a solution on the LS1tech.com forums that some others were using. I got a A/C bracket from a pre-Vortec 4.3L S-10. It will bolt right to the head and align perfectly with the other accessories on the truck motor.


This is what the A/C bracket looks as it comes off the S-10. Notice that there is a small section that I have circled. This needs to be removed. I used a cut-off wheel to do this.


This is what the bracket looks like after removing the bottom section.


In order to clear the "new" location of the A/C compressor and bracket, the water neck needs to be turned counter clockwise. The waterneck is press into the pump housing. It was pretty simple to do this. I use a torch to heat around the aluminum at the base of the waterneck. I then inserted the handle of my floor jack into the waterneck and turned it so that it was facing straight forward.


This is the hole I used to bolt the bracket to the head.


I bolted it to the accessory bolt hole in the head in the left top hand corner (facing the the engine).


You need to make a support that can locate the bracket the proper angle (left to right). You should mock this up to determine the correct position for a particular length accessory belt. Here you can see the support bar I created using pieces that I cut and welded from junk yard support bars.


The bracket is supported in the rear by this brace I fabricated from pieces of junkyard parts. This prevents the bracket from moving front to back.


This is what it looks like when mounted. Notice you will need another idler pulley on the bottom to keep the belt clear of the thermostat housing and lower radiator hose. The A/C compressor is from a 1992 F-body (Camaro/Firebird). It has a different type of hose connection on the back (than 1979 Malibu), so I used the hose assembly for a '92 F-body. Just make sure you get a hose assembly with the correct connections for your application.


The final belt routing will look like this



Since I used the 92 F-body compressor, I got the A/C compressor hose assembly for a '92 F-body, also. The line going to the condensor had to be shortened to prevent it from kinking. No biggie, I took it to a local parts house that makes/repairs A/C and hydraulic hose assemblies. The other line off the compressor bolted right to the evaporator with no modifications.


Here is another shot of the hoses going to the condensor. For the high pressure line (small line), I used my stock line and had the parts house shorten it to fit my application with the condensor fitting on the passenger side. It cost $31 to do both the compressor line and high pressure (liquid) line.


To keep all the A/C plumbing on the passenger side, I got a condensor for a 1987 Olds Cutlass. I was told 82-92 F-body (Camaro/Firebird) condensors will work as well. I had them bent down in this picture, because I planned on running the lines under the air filter, but I ended up bending the connections up and running the lines over the top of the filter.


Here you see the dryer. I got a new one for a 1985 Monte Carlo. The one from a 1979 Malibu should work fine. You can see the high pressure line with the the schrader valve port, connected to the evaporator.


In this picture, you see the temperature sensor with the electrical connector disconnected. The temperature switch is used to cycle the compressor. I don't want to use this setup because it is old.


I chose to use the more modern and accurate setup with a pressure switch to cycle the compressor. This switch screws onto one of the two schrader valves on the dryer. I got one for a 1985 Monte Carlo. Here you can see the pressure switch installed and the old electrical connector.


I cut the old connector off and installed a new connector to fit the pressure switch. Again, this part was for a 1985 Monte Carlo. Don't ask me why I used that specific model for some of these parts, I just did...


Lastly, which isn't really A/C, but heater related, I installed heater control valve on the heater hose. Of course, it's for a 1985 Monte Carlo with A/C.
 
A

Anonymous

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the compressor?
is it the compressor that came off the LS motor?
thanks
Ed
 

MalibuRacing

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PM sent.

No, the truck compressor will not fit using my setup. I used a 89-92 F-body (Camaro or Firebird). You will need new A/C lines to fit the back of the compressor. The F-body lines will connect to everything else correctly if you get a condensor from the same year F-bodies or from a late 80's Olds Cutlass. I haven't hooked up the remainder of the A/C, so that portion of the summary has not bee completed.

There is another option: There is a company that makes an adapter to use the F-body style compressor that is relocated to the top. See here: http://www.kwikperf.com/lsx_ac.html

Hope this answers everything, let me know if you have any other questions.
 

79loserbluebu

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Jun 15, 2009
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Do you think that one bolt will be enough for the A/C bracket with the compressor? I'm undergoing some changes in the engine bay including a serpentine swap from an 88' F-body, only problem is there's only 1 bolt in the p/s head. I see you made some support braces which is a very good idea. So good that I may have to steal it :-$
 

MalibuRacing

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79loserbluebu said:
Do you think that one bolt will be enough for the A/C bracket with the compressor? I'm undergoing some changes in the engine bay including a serpentine swap from an 88' F-body, only problem is there's only 1 bolt in the p/s head. I see you made some support braces which is a very good idea. So good that I may have to steal it :-$

I think it is plenty strong enough. Don't worry, I stole it from pictures I seen on LS1Tech.com. I would DEFINITELY add the bracing though!! It won't budge if you do.
 

Doober

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Jun 2, 2003
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Where parts are used from several different models, like this one (very good info btw! :)), I like to use a site like RockAuto.com or car-part.com. They usually have some way of showing the interchange between models, be it a direct one (RockAuto can list all models a specific part fits usually), or indirect - by going through the list of available parts (car-part.com). For example, the A/C compressor for a '92 F-Body will also fit the S-Series truck that bracket came off of. The condenser will fit '85-'87 Montes, Cutlasses, Grand Prixs, and Regals (obviously Malibu & others too, but for a replacement you could ask for any of these models).

Have I mentioned I love GM interchangeability? :D

*edit*
Also, why did you wind up routing the lines over the filter? I would've tried to get them under it, even if it meant notching the support to clear them. It looks to me like that filter will be fun to mess with when it's time to replace :shock:
 

MalibuRacing

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I may be able to route them under the filter. I was just trying to get everything sealed up before taking it to the body shop to get the floor pans replaced. I am going to look into this when I get it back from the body shop, hopefully tomorrow.
 

samckitt

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Mar 26, 2008
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Good find. Thanks for sharing. This will simplify, and save $, on my L92 to 86 Monte SS swap.
 

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