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Quote:
Originally Posted by redstack View Post
I'm considering this AC unit, so watching closely. Thank you for sharing your install.
Working as fast as I can to be able to use it early May for a road trip!
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:40 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #101 (permalink)
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Made some progress last weekend/this week so here's another update:

We decided to change up the location of the drier and remove it from the fender well and place it inside the smugglers box.



Next up was to get the refrigerant lines ran. In order to accomplish this we dropped the pan under the car so we could run some lines from the existing factory routing up into the smugglers box. We decided we did not like the stability of the condenser so we made yet another support bracket for the condenser fan from the fan down to the bottom of the bumper. Now it's solid! You can't see it from the photos, but I took apart the plug from the power for the condenser fan and used an existing grommet to run that through to the frunk and then put the plug back together. The lines are held together by a combination of some custom flat bar brackets, zip ties, and some left over self tapping screws/electrical conduit straps. This worked great for running the lines!



Here is the hardware used












Existing straps on the body from the original AC system


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Old 04-19-2019, 01:58 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #102 (permalink)
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Here you can see the pan mounted back up after we were done. That thing sucks and it helps to have an extra set of hands for it.


Lines coming up into the smugglers box. These lines have yet to be cut here. We ran them the entire length without cutting on the longest run. We ended up with a few feet of excess line.



Additional bracket to support the condenser/fan


So at this point we have run all the lines and are in the phase of mocking everything up in place and pulling things back out of place to test fit and make sure everything is placed properly. In the photo below, you can see the blower, drier, and compressor test mounted. I'm headed to the garage tonight to work on it some more and will report back with more progress next week! I have the photos for the alternator install but I wanted to wait until the fan came back from powder.



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Old 04-19-2019, 02:03 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #103 (permalink)
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I too am watching closely. Great thread.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:40 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #104 (permalink)
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Major progress this past weekend! In summary: the car is back up and running, and I'm mostly through plumbing ducting and electrical wiring. I'm confident that we will be charging the system by next weekend.

Friday night, I got all the parts back from the powder coater and was able to put the new alternator back in with the freshly recoated parts! This process was relatively easy with the exception of the housing strap. I had it powder coated and it was a huge PITA to get it back in place as the distributor is probably supposed to be removed before uninstalling/re-installing, but I opted to force it past the distributor and that seemed to work after about 30min of struggles lol






Saturday morning I went to home depot and picked up some PVC 1 1/4'' threaded end caps for the two smaller side outlets on the blower that I don't need. I cut them down in size, painted them, and glued them on to shut the holes off. I also picked up some 1/2' clear tubing to run the water drain out the bottom of the blower.

I started the morning off by making a ground location in the smugglers box to the right of the drier. This location is ideal because I was able to use a Dremel to clean off the paint on both sides and run a bolt through with washers so it has a lot of contact to ground.



Next up was to start doing the hose routing and additional duct work that Classic Retrofit wants you to run. I used this Dorman hose as it's very flexible and cheap. The box is 6' long and I needed two of them to be able to run everything.



In the photos below, you will see the driver side with the new T fitting added and lines ran for driver side. It was best to have the blower out for this part and the ability to move the blend units around. If you have LHD vehicle, the driver side one just needs to be loose but not removed completely. The instructions say to take your time and be patient. I could not agree more. This is not a difficult task but you need to take your time with it. I forgot to grab a photo of the pass side so I'll have to show you that later.

One of the T fittings before install






After completing the hose lengths on both sides we bolted the blend units back in place and attempted a test fit of the blower. It possible to place the blower in there with everything else in place, but it take patience and you want to be mindful of all the edges of it as you can damage the unit and possible other components in the car. In our case, I snapped off one of the drain lines at the bottom. So here we are scoring the surface and re-gluing the drain in place. There are two drain holes at the bottom of the blower. You technically only need one so I have one capped off and of course the one I broke is the one I needed lol



the glue
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:37 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #105 (permalink)
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One of the other things we noticed when test fitting was that the Bowden cable that was on the fresh air blower that was being re-used to connect to the new blower seemed to barely reach. To avoid any issues with that at the time of assembly we opened up the blower and moved the bracket over 1''. We closed off the holes with black screws and then went after electrical wiring.






First of the electrical we decided to tackle was the temp sensor that needs to be mounted in the blower unit. It was suggested that we zip tie it and kinda run it in the fitting but we drilled a hole and ran it directly inside to the post that's in the and zip tied it there. This was surprisingly easy and the size of the sensor plugged the hole nicely. (EDIT: This is the wrong sensor in the photo. We initially mounted the wrong color sensor during these photos and switched them later!)







Lastly and actually kinda random, we went in to the cabin where we removed those two heater blowers to cap off the smaller holes that were no longer needed. I shaved down the caps and tapped them in place.






I'll do another post for electrical when I make more progress this week.
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Last edited by PDKLOL; 05-20-2019 at 05:40 AM..
Old 04-22-2019, 12:01 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #106 (permalink)
 
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Will, did I miss the details on that alternator?
It looks way fancier than my aged Valeo unit.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:50 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #107 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbalich View Post
Will, did I miss the details on that alternator?
It looks way fancier than my aged Valeo unit.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that I opted to get the upgraded alternator to support the electric compressor. The link below is to that alternator. I have a really nice Bosch one that came off the car if someone needs a 90A unit. I'd have to look at receipts but I think it's fairly new.

https://www.classicretrofit.com/collections/upgraded-alternators/products/porsche-911-high-output-150a-alternator
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:50 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #108 (permalink)
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Any updates on this? Seemed like you were really close!
Old 05-17-2019, 10:55 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #109 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedouglas72 View Post
Any updates on this? Seemed like you were really close!
Sorry about the lack of updates. I was able to get the AC up and running and I'm able to get it to hold 30-40 degree vent temps! I'm still working out the kinks and still plan to wrap up the photos and will do a walk around overview video of the whole thing.

I've been unable to get around to this because I actually drove the car about 1,200 miles to a show called Alpine Vag Fair and tested out the system there and back. I'm home now and the car made it safely. This week has been clean up and prep for this weekends trip (family gathering) and next weekend I'm flying to PA to buy a MK2 Jetta for my wife.
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:37 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #110 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDKLOL View Post
... and next weekend I'm flying to PA to buy a MK2 Jetta for my wife.
Did she lose a bet?
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:40 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #111 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbalich View Post
Did she lose a bet?
LOL we both like the MK2 a lot. This one is a Bynum built 12v VR6 car that's show quality. She is super excited for it!
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:36 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #112 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDKLOL View Post
LOL we both like the MK2 a lot. This one is a Bynum built 12v VR6 car that's show quality. She is super excited for it!
A Bynum car is a lot different than what I pictured when you said mk2 Jetta.
Like a whole universe different.

My first VW was a 91 GTi. (counter-flow 8v. JH, I believe.) So much fun and I drove it to both coasts from Indiana. But I can never go back. The nostalgia glosses over many of the things I hated about FWD and most of my VWs in general.

Post some pics when you get it home. Those cars are always so well built.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:42 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #113 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisbalich View Post
A Bynum car is a lot different than what I pictured when you said mk2 Jetta.
Like a whole universe different.

My first VW was a 91 GTi. (counter-flow 8v. JH, I believe.) So much fun and I drove it to both coasts from Indiana. But I can never go back. The nostalgia glosses over many of the things I hated about FWD and most of my VWs in general.

Post some pics when you get it home. Those cars are always so well built.
Will do! Buying it from a friend in PA. Pretty excited for this one.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:48 PM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #114 (permalink)
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Hi,
I just found this thread. Right now Im at the installation of one retrofit AC, too. But except many small issues I came across one bigger one. The contactor. Ive no idea where I might find it. Did it came with your kit? If so do you have a pic?
Many thanks Malte
Old 05-20-2019, 04:23 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #115 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaRu View Post
Hi,
I just found this thread. Right now Im at the installation of one retrofit AC, too. But except many small issues I came across one bigger one. The contactor. Ive no idea where I might find it. Did it came with your kit? If so do you have a pic?
Many thanks Malte
Normally the documentation for the classic retrofit stuff is of very high standard, I'm surprised at this.

I thought they eliminated the contactor in later generations as it was unnecessary?
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:08 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #116 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaRu View Post
Hi,
I just found this thread. Right now Im at the installation of one retrofit AC, too. But except many small issues I came across one bigger one. The contactor. Ive no idea where I might find it. Did it came with your kit? If so do you have a pic?
Many thanks Malte
Malte,

The contactor was removed from the system. If you read the service bulletin that's on the website HERE you can see what Jonny did differently. Let me know if any other questions come up!
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:33 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #117 (permalink)
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Last phase of the installation was to get the blower installed. Due to the lack of space on the driver side; we had to go ahead and crimp down the AC lines that attach to the expansion valve on the side of the blower. The photo below shows us doing that. After we did that we went after a final installation and connection of hoses. Initially we were going to use hose clamps everywhere but it turns out that with the new hose material, we were able to use black zip ties which worked perfectly!



Blower mounted with no hoses connected



This side still bothers me a little but the hoses are squashed a little in a few places and this side of the blower also drives air to the center vent as well as the pass side vent. Flow to this side was initially less than driver side as it only pushed to the drive side vent. Keep in mid that with the help of the blend valves, you can redirect air flow to blow out the bottom of the dash as well as up to the defroster area. All of that remains intact for functionality.





And this is the driver side going in. To be honest; I thought this side would be harder but it was actually way easier to do!









Last step was to connect the power to the blower (which uses the factory plug!) and connect the bowden cable that was once connected to the factory fresh air blower. This unfortunately became an oversight issue that was not explained in the instructions. Had I known ahead of time that this was going to happen I would have removed the bracket off the fresh air blower and installed it on the new blower instead of trying to use the one supplied by the kit. The later year cars like mine (1987) must have used a different part number clip to hold the bowden cable in place. The two photos below show what the stock bracket looks like on mine and what the classic retrofit one looks like. I decided to use zip ties and a piece of flat bar to hold it in place temporarily until I can get the correct clip.

Factory bracket with clip (this clip will not transfer over)


Classic Retrofit Clip


The rest of the process was not documented all that well because I was running out of time before the trip. I plan to do a final overview video of the wiring as well as a complete review. I will try and capture that this week and explain how everything works on the video.

To recap the final steps though...

I closed off the fresh air intake completely and put the center mesh back together just above the hood.

We then put power to the system and turned the blower on to see what air flow was like through the vents. Once we confirmed blower and vent direction was all working correctly we put the AC system into a vacuum for 40min. It is highly recommended that you have someone pressure test the system with nitrogen though as pressure is what the system is under normally and can show a leak easier than a vacuum.
Putting the system into vacuum could pull an O-ring into a seated position and hide a small leak.

Once we were done with that we charged the system. Classic Retrofit has an excellent explanation of the amount of Freon that needs to go into the system. I'm not going to sugar coat it....this was a part of the process we struggled with as we could not get the pressures right, nor could we get the AC compressor to kick into high. We could not get the low side to come down enough while the high side was not high enough.

This was when we started finding issues with our installation process. As mentioned above, we had the temp sensors installed backwards, and we needed to go into the programming of the system and adjust some settings. Once we did that we struggled even longer. I did a few test drives and the system was only getting nominal vent temps. People kept asking me for reviews and I knew I could not review something I knew was not right yet.

On the night before the 8hr trek to Helen, GA I decided to do one last check on my pressures and look over everything. The system would not power on at all. I freaked out and started checking over all my electrical. I'll post it down below but we discovered that our 80amp fuse had melted It was not blown, but just melted and fused to the holder. I quickly made a last minute run to a few auto parts stores and grabbed a new/different fuse holder and fuse along with crimps. THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER! Apparently the fuse holder itself was defective and had a poor connection internally which was causing poor power to the compressor/ECU. Once we reset the power to the ECU and got the new fuse holder in place, the system kicked ass! We were cranking out 40 degree vent temps!

All in all, I love this system and it's potential. I'm still working out all the programming to be dialed in to fit my preferences here in sunny/humid FL but I'm very happy with the outcome! The car made the trek to Helen and back.
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Last edited by PDKLOL; 05-20-2019 at 06:47 AM..
Old 05-20-2019, 06:44 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #118 (permalink)
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Here is the melted fuse



And here are the vent temps to prove it!

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Old 05-20-2019, 08:10 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #119 (permalink)
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Great news and great work! What was the ambient temperature when you were getting the 40 degree vent temps?
Old 05-20-2019, 08:22 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #120 (permalink)
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