Wednesday’s Air

Lunch was great today and the topic was air conditioning in your Hot Rod. It has been in the triple digits for a couple of weeks now, so we are tying out our A/C units. The topic started with a call from Bob, who purchased his old Deuce back, and is changing the A/C system due to a compressor failure when r134a was added to an R12 system. The compressor froze up and could not be repaired. I called a few places and received several different answers on how hard is it to switch your old R12 system to use R134a. I was told very easy and inexpensive to very difficult and expensive. All of us at lunch have A/C and were concerned about the non existence of R12 which is no longer manufactured in the US. Recycled R12 is available some places but is really expensive and of course, off shore products can be found at swap meets and black market places. Cars manufactured from 1994 had to have R134a systems.

We all decided that we should be using R134a to make our units serviceable when on the road and not get ripped off when the A/C quits working. I looked under Pepe’s hood and by looking at the fittings on the compressor determined I have an old R12 system. The system works great but when it quits I am in big trouble trying to find some R12 to recharge the system. YouTube has lots of information on a conversion kit and shows a step by step procedure but reading other articles, I was informed about the conversion systems may not provide as cool air as the original R12. The suggestion of replacing the condenser with a larger unit is highly recommend and will improve the cooling — especially at idle or slow traffic (I need this on Pepe). If your compressor has Viton seals it is not compatible with R134a and you will need to replace the unit. I am not an expert on A/C but I did learn  about how to tell what system I have and how to change it over. I would suggest you contact an A/C professional, like Frantic Fred, to examine your system and tell you how to do the conversion correctly. In the meantime, I am looking for some recycled or back door R12.

My plans to clean the engine were delayed as the temperatures are high again today. Not an excuse, but a fact I have to live with at my age. One of the readers suggested I add a garage A/C and I like that idea.

Have a great day doing what makes you happy!

Stay Tooned!



Bob-O has A/C in his little Deuce coupe and uses R12 for freon. Nice profile for a chopped 5-window and it goes down the road really nice.


Here is your typical R12 compressor used in most Hot Rods. Note connections in brass. (screw on type not quick disconnect type)


Here is a sample of the different fitting sizes used in R12 and R134.


Here are the adapters you use to convert R12 to R134a. Blue is the low side and Red is the high side.


While I preach Hot Rods, I do confess to liking this 80’s style resto-rod look which incorporates converted stock gauges and woodgraining.  A beautiful 1934 Ford roadster by Bruce’s Rod Shop in Spring, TX.


The Austin Speed Shop is building a very nice traditional style Deuce with a Hemi. Check it out on the HAMB.


I feature these “Fat Girls” once in a while because I enjoy driving them better than earlier models. Done right, they ride better than you could expect.


They are good looking with the top up or down but I prefer top down cruising around town or on the PCH to Santa Barbara.


Bob has owned several and just sold his latest 46 and is looking for another one. Stoker’s built this one.


I watched this cherry 46 being built from a totally mint backyard find. Sid’s interior and flawless black paint.


Maroon is my favorite color after Maize Yellow on these very nice rag top Fords.


The top down version is hard to beat while heading home after a long day on the road. I prefer steel wheels but these look good also.


Customs are popular choices for these Fords also. Shaved, frenched and louvered were popular in my day.


The rear looks great with the shaved deck lid and license plate surround. Black is tasty if it’s a straight body like this one.

Today’s Starter Kit!


Bob purchased this one for a song and sold it to a customer in Australia. The car ran like a top and looked awful but was real solid with minimal rust in the rockers and one door.


Here is the day I looked at the car (for B0b) which came from NM and was driven daily for a couple years as you see it here. Patina was in and the owner received lots of thumbs up on this one.

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