1983 Chevy Van - no AC - easy to fix?

Hello - I am interested in buying a converstion van to drive as a secondary vechicle for tailgating and for fun. I went and looked at a 1983 chevy van today in good shape. The owner says that it was his uncles who was sick so did not often drive the van so it has around 120K miles. I am not sure if this is the truth, but the vechicle looks nice and is only $1500.

The problem is that the van currently does not have AC. The owner said that he thinks it is just a belt because the fan do not work. I looked under the hood and it appears like everything is very compact and the belt might be hard to change.

Do you all have any other ideas why the AC would not work prior to me purchasing this van. I live in NC so the AC is needed! Any ideas how expensive it would be to have the belt replaced if that truly is the problem?

Thank you,


Think belt missing=compressor siezed 1983=R12 refridgerant=money,and yes working on/replacing V-drive belts on these vans is not in the easy to do catagorey.If you got this van for free it would be to much.No insult intended.

Yeah, if AC is a priority this might be a problem. The AC parts are expensive enough to buy and difficult enough to replace on their own, but there’s also the issue of Freon. Cars up until the mid-90’s used R12 Freon, which unfortunately was depleting the ozone layer so they made them stop manufacturing it. It can still be bought, coming from old stocks and recovered from older junk vehicles, but it is getting increasingly more expensive. The other option is to retrofit the system to work on R134, the new stuff, but this is an expensive procedure and some old car AC systems don’t even work that well once they are converted because R12 was such a better refrigerant.