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Tips for Restoration

Restoration is the process of reconditioning a vehicle from its current status to what it once was. It is not uncommon for owners of classic cars to want to restore their vehicles to their original factory glory. A complete restoration project would include more than just the outside appearance of the car, but the interior and mechanicals as well. 

 If you are considering restoring your car, here are some tips for the restoration of factory items. 

  • Make sure you have enough physical space to complete the project. Restoration takes time, as you probably know, but you will also want to ensure that you have enough space prior to beginning your restoration as well. 

  • Use the factory assembly manual. Even if you feel confident you know what to do, using the factory assembly manual ensures that nothing you do will potentially harm the car, decrease its value, or delay the restoration process. It will also help you outline and stay within your price budget by outlining what exactly you will need. 

  • Chances are, you will probably come across a setback at some point in the restoration process. If the setback is too large or costly to handle alone, contacting an expert or Original Air can save you money. 

  • Before disassembling the parts, make sure they are all functioning. This will save you time in the long run so you do not stumble across a malfunctioning part later on. If you have to replace parts, you can find and order them at the beginning of the restoration process, rather than putting the process on hold as you order them later. 

With these tips in mind for restoring factory items, we hope your car restoration project is an enjoyable, efficient experience for you. If you need help finding or installing new items, be sure to contact Original Air for assistance. 

Should You Buy a Part or a Kit?

If you need to repair your muscle car's air conditioning system, you might be faced with deciding whether to buy just the specific part you need or a complete kit that includes more than you might immediately need. The best answer probably varies on a case to case basis, but if you need help deciding which is best for your situation, consider the following: 

Should you buy only the a/c part you need? 

  • If you are confident that buying one part will fix the problem your car's air conditioning, then go for it. There is no point in preempting a problem that you are confident will not come up again in the near future. If the problem is quite obviously a broken hose, buy just the a/c hose to replace it.

Should you buy the whole kit? 

  • If you only order one part, you have fixed the immediate problem, but risk troubleshooting in the future. You can fix the rotary compressor today, but there's no guarantee that the expansion valve will not break tomorrow. While you are already working on your air conditioning, you can save time and money by purchasing a complete air conditioning repair kit.

  • If you purchase the complete air conditioning kit, you have the opportunity to upgrade your air conditioning system. Many muscle cars originally use R12 but R134a might be better for you. If you already need to fix your air conditioning, upgrading could be beneficial and convenient. Nobody wants to have semi-functioning air conditioning, especially in the middle of summer.

When deciding between buying a specific part or a whole kit, you are surely going to want to measure the pros and cons of each to ensure that you are saving yourself the most hassle and money as you can. Hopefully, with these tips in mind, you can choose which method will be the best choice for you and your car. 

A Cool History on A/C in Automobiles

first automobile with ac

When you get into your car that has been baking in the summer heat of a supermarket parking lot for the past two hours, the first thing you do is crank up the air conditioning and try not to burn yourself on the seatbelt as you buckle up. You probably don't stop to consider what you would have done if your car was not air conditioned, or how it came to be that way. The history of A/C in automobiles, though, is quite an interesting one.

The first automobile manufacturing company to have air conditioning was Packard in 1939. However, for a number of reasons, it did not do well on the market, especially considering it was an expensive, flawed option in cars that most post-Great Depression American consumers did not want to invest in. It was therefore discontinued in 1941. Cadillac experimented with air conditioning in 1941, which was also rather unsuccessful.

Then, the Chrysler Airtemp was introduced in 1953. This system was more successful than Packard's or Cadillac's previous models because it was most effective and activated with a switch on the dashboard with three levels of power, closer to today's A/C systems in cars.

A year later, the Nash integrated system became the first heating, air conditioning, and ventilating system. Where most systems used a separate heating system, the Nash integrated system was unique in its dual nature and found success because of it.

Car coolers with evaporative cooling were popular up until the 1960s. They were the most successful in drier parts of the United States because they relied on low humidity, but until interior air conditioning systems were improved upon, car coolers were a sufficient way to cool a vehicle.

From there, air conditioning in cars continued to evolve into what we have today. Modern air conditioning units in cars run on power consumption, using horsepower from the engine to cool the vehicle. Although most days, we do not think much of our car air conditioning unless it is not functioning properly, modern car air conditioning was derived from various types of air conditioning systems over the years before it came to where it is today.

Did you know there is a proper procedure for the installation of O-Ring A/C fittings?

The first thing to do is to inspect fittings to be used to ensure they’re free of contaminants and/or damage. This is very important to ensure not only a leak-free seal but to prevent from contaminating newly installed or cleaned components.

Even the most minor dirt or contamination on o-ring seats can prevent a fitting from sealing once tightened. Imperfections in the o-ring seat such as this can prevent a fitting from sealing or cause an o-ring to split once tightened.

Next, lubricate the o-ring by rubbing a drop or two of oil on the surface until there is a light oil film over the entire o-ring. Install the o-ring to the o-ring bump and connect the fittings.

This is where many people unknowingly get into trouble. Contrary to popular believe, o-ring fittings don’t require significant tightening. Over-tightening can cause many problems, but the most common issues that arise from over-tightening an o-ring connection is splitting an o-ring. This can happen right away, or sometimes later on down the road.

The general rule for properly tightening an o-ring fitting is hand-tight, plus a quarter turn.

Connect the fittings and tighten by hand. Once completed, use two wrenches, positioning them ¼ turn apart [show starting position of 12 o'clock]. With both wrenches held at the 12 o’clock position, hold one in place and tightening to the 3 o’clock position with the other wrench.

Keep in mind that because “hand-tightening” can vary from person to person, it’s essential to do a thorough leak-check once the initial system charge is added to the system, and once again after fully charged. A minor adjustment to fitting tightness may be necessary.