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A/C in FLs ?
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firedome
Posted 2018-02-17 2:19 PM (#558264)
Subject: A/C in FLs ?



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Imperials aside, being a luxury car, where it might almost be expected, does anybody have any figures as to the prevalence of Air Conditioning in '57 to '59 lower or "mid-range" FLs: Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler? I certainly haven't seen many, even back in that time, where I grew up in the hot & humid in the summertime Baltimore/DC area. Are there statistics available anywhere as to options, beyond just model production figures?
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-02-17 7:20 PM (#558271 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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57 Imperials had a very complex system that operated the different dampers using oil pressure from the engine. After operating the dampers, the engine oil returned via a rubber hose in the valve cover. That over-engineer marvel was replaced by the vacuum system years later. I imagine that all 57 58 had this kind of complexity too.
I spoke with a guy who restore this system and he told me "stay away from it"
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56D500boy
Posted 2018-02-17 7:26 PM (#558272 - in reply to #558271)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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hemidenis - 2018-02-17 7:20 PM
57 Imperials had a very complex system that operated the different dampers using oil pressure from the engine


So different than the 55-56 System:



(55-56AirConditioningLayout_1.jpg)



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KcImperial
Posted 2018-02-17 11:22 PM (#558284 - in reply to #558272)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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56D500boy - 2018-02-17 6:26 PM

hemidenis - 2018-02-17 7:20 PM
57 Imperials had a very complex system that operated the different dampers using oil pressure from the engine


So different than the 55-56 System:

Different as starting in 1957 the AC was moved to the dash and the rear unit was now optional
Also, the rear unit no longer had the external fresh air scoops

Denis - I haven't seen that oil system on any non-hemi cars, have you?
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2018-02-18 12:28 AM (#558286 - in reply to #558272)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Got no figures. Bill probably can quote exact numbers. He is
that on point !

.... but I did see them occasionally on non-Imperial cars, on an
exponentially diminishing level as one walked down the price ladder.
Aftermarket units seemed more common on the lesser priced cars.
My lowly 58 Plaza is oddly optioned with 318, Torqueflite, PS, PB
and got A/C as an aftermarket dealer install. Go figure ! Someone
wanted to buy a cheap car, and option in some driver comfort items.
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firedome
Posted 2018-02-18 1:49 PM (#558330 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: RE: A/C in FLs ?



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Reason for asking is I saw this one recently on a '59.
I've never seen factory A/C on a '57 to '59 Firedome before, don't think on a Plymouth or Dodge either, for that matter.
I have seen A/C a couple of New Yorkers, and Imps, but that's about it.
My Dad never had an A/C car until he got a '67 Fury III.



(IMG_0839.jpg)



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firedome
Posted 2018-02-18 1:51 PM (#558331 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: RE: A/C in FLs ?



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'59 DeS with A/C underhood :

Don't think these had oil-hydraulic control, probably vacuum or cable-lever?
Need to check a Mopar service or parts manual to verify.

Edited by firedome 2018-02-18 1:54 PM




(1959-desoto-firedome-5.jpg)



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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2018-02-18 2:15 PM (#558334 - in reply to #558331)
Subject: RE: A/C in FLs ?



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A/C was not a cheap add-on option !!! Apparently, the buyer of this
59 Firedome had to forego getting a radio to afford the A/C !
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-02-18 3:21 PM (#558336 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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No Don, I haven't seen them. But I remember in Carlisle seen a valve cover for sale from a 392, with the oil connections. I the time I thought it was just an ruin/addition of a unscrupulous owner with a drill bit and a torch, when in reality it was a rare AC car valve cover.
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1960fury
Posted 2018-02-18 3:21 PM (#558337 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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once had a 60 adventurer sedan, with no options, not even a govebox light, radio or clock except ps and ac.
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-02-18 3:38 PM (#558338 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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the 57 Imperial AC unnecessary complex design is not much different than the instant heater model 801, in which an electric pump pressurize fuel from the tank to a burner in the firewall. I can't imagine how many cars went down in flame because this system.
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christine-lover
Posted 2018-02-18 3:44 PM (#558339 - in reply to #558338)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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The 57 and 58 factory air setups (all Mopar makes) used the oil lines, you can see the vacuum actuator on the 59 above, did they also have oil lines too? I had a 58 Savoy wth factory air, was a TX car, no options like PS, PB, clock or back up light. When I went to TX in 2010 and went to 1 yard there, not much FL, but I can recall a 57 Dodge and 60 Polara both with factory air.

Edited by christine-lover 2018-02-18 3:47 PM
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-02-18 11:08 PM (#558378 - in reply to #558284)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?


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KcImperial - 2018-02-17 11:22 PM

56D500boy - 2018-02-17 6:26 PM

hemidenis - 2018-02-17 7:20 PM
57 Imperials had a very complex system that operated the different dampers using oil pressure from the engine


So different than the 55-56 System:

Different as starting in 1957 the AC was moved to the dash and the rear unit was now optional
Also, the rear unit no longer had the external fresh air scoops

Denis - I haven't seen that oil system on any non-hemi cars, have you?


I've seen quite a few on Ply and Dodge as well as Chrysler and Imp. A good question to ask is what different places have we seen the surplus engine oil dump. On the top of the left valve cover. On the top of the valley pan. On the base of the engine oil filler tube. On the side of the engine oil pan.

I've seen at least one on all these places!

Greg
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-02-18 11:33 PM (#558379 - in reply to #558378)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?


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Actually, there are two reasons for the oil dump. One is to collect any possible oil blow-by from the recirculating air hydraulic door opener cylinder and the other is to release residual oil pressure in the system when the upper cowl fresh air door is closed. This is the normal "key-off" position of the entire system. Sometimes there are two rubber hoses to dump and sometimes they are teed into one.

If one has the time, resources and capability to restore one of these 57/58 systems, by all means do it. That oil pressure system is silent, predictable and secure. The later vacuum systems are NONE of that. These systems will literally freeze one out of the car in any climate.

Been doing it for more than 30 years!!

Greg
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firedome
Posted 2018-02-19 10:53 AM (#558396 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Yes vac control can be problematic, both our '11 and '05 Xterras have problems with the vac hvac controls, you get cold air sitting at a light or going downhill!
But at least I can under stand how the vac system on '59 FLs works, oil-hydraulic is unfamiliar, and I can imagine a big mess if there's any connections inside the car!

The '59 pictured must have had a deaf owner with hot flashes, it is pretty weird seeing radio delete on a fairly loaded (PS, PB, A/C) Firedome, though this particular car does have manual seat and windows, so they really did kind of pick and choose.
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LD3 Greg
Posted 2018-02-19 11:54 PM (#558446 - in reply to #558396)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?


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The hydraulic system is really quite simple. There is a hydraulic cylinder which will need to be rebuilt. No problem. The piston ring, is, in fact a rubber ring which I found that most hydraulic shops had in stock. There is an oil solenoid actuator that might also need to be rebuilt. This might be a problem. "Gary the parts doctor" rebuilt all mine. Gary Goers had all the hydraulic hoses as a kit right in stock.

I guess I don't like the vacuum systems because the actuators of the early sixties frequently leaked and the plastic push button controls were problematic and the last thing we needed was continuous vacuum leaks to further decrease our engine efficiencies.

Greg

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arizona mopar gold
Posted 2018-02-21 9:17 AM (#558547 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Out of the 9 FL cars i own, Only 1 has factory A/C , thats in my 57 D500 Royal...with the engine option and the A/C ticked off in the options box at time of ordering the car it almost doubled in price $4095 total...I have the original invoice for the 57.


Edited by arizona mopar gold 2018-02-21 9:22 AM
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billy
Posted 2018-02-26 11:57 AM (#558839 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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My 57 New Yorker has it....better of eaten your wheaties if you want to put it on or off, it weighs a ton...



(nyer2.jpg)



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deaner
Posted 2018-02-26 1:32 PM (#558841 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: RE: A/C in FLs ?


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3 to 5 percent in 57/58. excluding Imperial.
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macedon
Posted 2018-02-26 1:59 PM (#558844 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Both my 57 Fireflites are factory A/C cars. My 58 Imperial is factory A/C. The 57 Imperial I used to have was as well. Just lucky I guess. They all have that oil hydraulic system. My driver's side valve covers have two oil lines on the bottom rear. The 57 sedan blows ice cold on R-134. I'll mess with the oil system on it some day. As for the other two... I need to get them running before I worry about the A/C :P
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firedome
Posted 2018-02-27 4:13 PM (#558935 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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3-5% non-Imperials sounds about right, at least from what I've seen over the years here in the great NorthEast, probably more in California, Florida and Arizona!
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ooobex
Posted 2018-10-06 7:17 AM (#571201 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: RE: A/C in FLs ?


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ive got a 59 coronet 326 poly with complete working all original factory ac it was a detroit builtcar in oct 58 delivered to dallas and sold in gladewater texas im one lucky duck thats the main reason i bought this car...plus it was in very good condition as far as rust goes as well how many coronet 4 doors were made with factory fitted ac i wonder..
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mstrug
Posted 2018-10-06 6:21 PM (#571225 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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I lucked out and bought most of a system From Ryan in Round Rock TX. And that crappy old '57 Dodge 4 dr. hardtop I have has A.C. too.



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Lancer Mike
Posted 2018-10-07 11:23 PM (#571305 - in reply to #571225)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Jeffrey Godshall's Collectible Automobile article had the option breakdown for 1957 - 1959 Dodges, but now I can't find my copy of the magazine! 

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58 DESOTOS RULE
Posted 2018-10-09 10:48 AM (#571379 - in reply to #571225)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Is that the factory position of the HVAC control for your A/C equipped Dodge? I have never seen a 1957 Dodge that had the heating controls underneath the glove box area; usually they were underneath the radio so the driver could reach it easily.

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hemidenis
Posted 2018-10-09 3:24 PM (#571392 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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As I said before, I talked to a guy who actually resorted the system in a 57 imperial convertible (plus the whole car) and he told me to stay away from it. I will add some aftermarket AC to my Imperial eventually using a modern compressor and system. My patience for theses complex unobtanium parts gadgets is long exhausted.

Edited by hemidenis 2018-10-09 3:43 PM
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Phil_the_frenchie
Posted 2018-10-10 3:01 AM (#571421 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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My 57 convertible had a system which worked ! I say "had" because some years ago a leak appeared in the sight glass and i haven't replaced yet, because i drive most often with top down ... I restored all the parts especially the power piston and its solenoïd, i had to replaced also all hoses. It's a complex system wich works with engine oil which came from a special "T" fitting at the rear of engine. This T has 2 outlets, one for the solenoid and the other bor the oil pressure gauge, so you've two hoses under the dash with oil engine so two possibilities to have leakage ... The A/C control at dash is also specific, with two microswitches. I switched to R134 , i replaced only the fitings and the compressor oil, the dryer was new (i sent the old one to ? i can't remember it was 18 years ago) and when the systems worked i had around 9°C at outlet on dash.
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big m
Posted 2018-10-10 6:45 PM (#571455 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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From the five or six hundred FL cars I've dragged in over the years, only about 5-7% ever had factory A/C. Naturally, in higher heat and humidity climates you'll find a higher percentage than in northern states with cooler overall temperatures..

---John
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hemidenis
Posted 2018-10-10 8:05 PM (#571461 - in reply to #558264)
Subject: Re: A/C in FLs ?



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Expensive option at the time.
The original l owner of my car told me that he didn't want to pay for factory AC in 1961 when he purchased the car new in a Norfolk, VA dealer, but a few years later he went for a rear AC unit installed in the trunk which still working today powered by Freon. Areal neck freezing idea when the car is cruising at highway speed. No that good in a hot day sitting in traffic.
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