Easy AC repair

Some people are more creative than others…

It looks funny, but manufacturers were able to vastly improve A.C sales in the North by eliminating wing windows and flow through ventilation. The last car I had with flow through ventilation was an 81 Horizon. I then got an 87 Reliant that didn’t have ventilation and it was a sweat box.

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How about a van with a home AC unit thru the rear door, plugged into a generator in a trailer hitch mounted carry box?

I always liked the vent doors under the dash on my ‘72 Duster, let in LOTS of air.

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The '59 Corvette I had was a blast to drive but in warm weather and even at night it was a pizza oven on wheels.

The only air that could get through was from a flip up cowl flap in the middle of the windshield and since the car was fiberglass a lot of engine came up around that cowl.

About 25 years ago there was a guy running around here for a long time with a mid 60s full size Ford station wagon.
He heated that car with a wood burning, pot bellied stove. He had removed the left rear glass and fixed a wooden panel in place. The 4" stovepipe was run through that and stuck about 2 feet above the roof of the car. The stove was mounted on the drivers side. I assume the back end of the wagon was full of firewood. Maybe even a chainsaw for use in an emergency.

I always wondered what was going to happen in the event of a hard collision and if the cast iron stove broke loose. Decapitated and roasted at the same time.
Takes all kinds I guess.

A big thick white towel attached to the roof, with a water supply to wet it, will do a lot of evaporative cooling. Otherwise the roof is a source of uncomfortable radiant heat on a hot sunny day.

A friend of mine considered them to be a good place to conceal his stash of weed.
One winter day, Grandma asked him to turn on the heater, and as a result Granny was showered with shreds of marijuana. Apparently he told her that some autumn leaves had gotten caught in the intake passage, and she believed him.


I saw an evaporative cooler rigged on a car.

lol The new AC units are a lot better on MPG, though. Apparently,
on some higher MPG vehicles, they use no more fuel than windows at
freeway speeds. Of course, like the old VW heaters, you are at
your destination before it catches up.

  My new car has auto climate control. It's nice, but I don't

always need AC/heat. No way to turn on the blower by itself.

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Yep. Those were semi-popular in the 50’s and 60’s. I see they
still sell them on eBay (though are bigger these days).


I think that’s a pretty good idea. Needs a little ergonomics refinement, but that arrangement (along with an exit point at the rear) would do a very good cooling job in the SF Bay area climate on most days. My no-AC early 90’s Corolla has excellent flow through ventilation. My no-AC early 70’s truck, with only wing windows, not as good. I’ve noticed driving newer rental cars the ventilation system isn’t very good, not enough cooling unless the AC is on.

Another good thing about the arrangement in that photo, if it is in the way of a repair you can remove the AC system without worrying about loosing the coolant … lol …

The early Japanese cars (1960s, 1970s) had flow-thru ventilation plus that nice big vent mid-dash that could blow lots of fresh air.

JC Whitney, IIRC, had a box with a fan. You filled it with ice and plugged in the fan and out came cool air.

When I’m sweating in the humid Florida heat in my Civic, a fan blowing hot air at my face goes a long way to making me comfortable. Likewise, being on a motorcycle with no windshield is nice as long as I’m moving.

Good grief, George . . . !

You’re a presumably wealthy man living in Silicon Valley

And none of your vehicles have AC . . . ?!

time for an upgrade . . . live a little already


The home AC isn’t far off. I used to have a heater in my VW van. Plug it in at night, flip a switch inside while getting ready for work. When I started working nights, I swapped in a window AC. (It lasted about 2 months before someone helped themselves to it.)

lol For the next 10 days, SF will reach its high, a scorching 71
degrees on Monday.

A guy that installed some carpet in my house showed up with the rig I described in a Ford van. Given that darn near any auto AC repair here in Florida costs about $1500, he was money ahead. Couldn’t have had more than $400 in the whole lot. :laughing:

I’ve seen a lot of vans with that kind of rigging. If you want to get fancy, you can use a side-mounted or top-mounted RV air conditioner, but those would set you back more than the smallest household window unit, and I’ve never seen a roof-mounted air conditioner that didn’t eventually leak in a hard storm.

Why are you bringing up San Francisco?

George lives in San Jose

And San Jose , CA. is going to have temps in the mid 80’s with 50 % humidity .