A/C Installation

I’m planning on having air conditioning installed on my 84 Chevy C20. It had it before but along the way everything was taken off and it hasn’t had a/c in 10 years. I bought an axial compressor, the hoses, am getting the accumulator and wanted to know what a reasonable installation cost might run for. I went to a Midas yesterday and was told it would be about $300. Then I went to my mechanic who referred me to somebody he used and that guy told me $800. Is that typical? It’s a big discrepancy. I live in Texas where cost of living is usually lower. Any info would be appreciated.

Are you saying your truck had factory A/C before and the components you mentioned are just missing? If so you need to do a little more than just install your new (not used I hope) compressor and hoses. The system needs to be flushed, orifice tube replaced, fan clutch checked, belt and brackets installed if needed and vacuum and electrical systems verified for proper operation. $300 seems awfully low for all that work, and $800 seems a little high.

Surely there are shops in Texas that specialize in automotive A/C, see what one of them has to say.

Thanks, and yeah, the guy quoting me 800 runs an A/C shop and seems highly recommended. I’m wondering if that was the reason for the high estimate.

The $300 estimate is totally unrealistic and might be the guestimate of a service writer who looked at the flat rate to replace a compressor.

I would NEVER use Midas for something this complex.

You get what you pay for, 300 at midas sounds like a problem waiting to happen. 800 seems a bit high, but if they do a great job and you dont have problems after that its money well spent.

I’d go with the $300 at Midas. Yet it’s probably no where near as good as the $800 unit…but I can’t believe this 30yo car is worth much more then $800.

Price discussion is not main issue. You need a shop that knows this truck. Would be huge help to have 2nd truck handy for comparison. Do u have the condenser? Compressor brackets? Has the evap inlet/outlet connections been hacked up? What do the connections look like? Did they take old system out with a chainsaw?

Brackets are there, minus one which I’ve ordered off LMC. The condenser is there, blower motor works, everything looks decent. No chainsaw work done. I’m leaning toward the $800 price tag. My mechanic has never recommended anybody else and I’ve learned to trust his shop for jobs I don’t do so I feel I’m going to take his vouching for the guy. And to Mike in NH, you just don’t understand.

And to Mike in NH, you just don't understand.

I didn’t know you had a restored C20. Unrestored…it’s worth practically nothing.

Even if the compressor, hoses, and accumulator were the only things missing, the 300 sounds too cheap to me.

It will take at least $800 to get cold air blowing out the vents…Especially if you want the heater to work too…If the condenser has been open to the atmosphere for any length of time, replace it also…