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The Chilling History of Auto Temp Control

It’s 2017 and we’re just on the tip of commercially producing self-driving cars. Automatic controls for our automobiles is all about the natural development of the evolution of the car. Cruise control, automatic transmission, automatic windows; we strive for comfort as we travel. Your automatic temperature adjustment in your car has been in development for almost 100 years now.

  • 1919 - The Kool Kooshion seat cover that uses small springs to hold drivers about a half-inch above the car seat, allowing air to circulate underneath them and behind their backs.
  • 1921 - The Knapp Limo-Sedan fan, a small electric fan that can be added to the inside of a car.
  • 1930 - The first example of a somewhat modern A/C feature the “car cooler” is developed. It uses water evaporation to cool air, which is then blown in through the open passenger-side window. A cool looking device no less. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_cooler
  • 1939 – Packard begins to offer the next level in air conditioning as an option. The system, however, is in the trunk as opposed to the dash. It required you to remove the drive belt from the compressor to turn the system on or off. It roughly cost about $275 at a time when the yearly income was $1400. This option was short lived because we swiftly dove head deep in World War 2.
  • 1953 – The return of air conditioning returns in the form of a rear mounted system like Packard.

           

         1953 Chrysler Imperial with factory trunk mounted “Airtemp” system. Photo Source.

  • 1954 – The first front-mounted A/C systems were put into production by Pontiac and Nash. Nash combined the heater and AC in one in-dash system, bring the standard that most cars have today.
  • 1964 – For the first time, drivers can set a preferred temperature, and the system will automatically adjust the A/C and heat. Cadillac introduces comfort control and the A/C game is forever changed.

The rest is all history, with developments in AC refrigerants, standardization of the modern A/C in the AMC Ambassador and by 69 over half of all American cars have A/C. Your modern A/C units were able to be recharged by 2003 with the launch of IDQ’s single can recharge system. At Original Air, we offer many products and services to help you keep your automobile cool when the sun shines down. Be sure to take advantage of this cool weather and send your parts in for rebuild today.

7 Things You Might Not Know About The Chevelle

If you know anything about cars, you know the Chevrolet Chevelle is one of the most celebrated vehicles to ever sport the bowtie. While only being in production for 13 years the Chevelle left an impression on the car industry that stands the test of time. At Original Air we know you take pride in your vehicle and we want to make sure you stay cool in one of the coolest cars on the planet. Despite being an open book because of its popularity here are some things you may not know about the Chevelle.

Chevelle shared its A-body platform with the El Camino and the 70’-72’ Monte Carlo (though it was coded as a G-Body in the latter).

It was built in 10 different plants in 2 different countries, Arlington, Texas; Atlanta, Ga; Baltimore, Md; Flint, Mich; Framingham, Mass; Fremont, Calif; Van Nuys, Calif; Kansas City, Mo.; Oshawa, On, Canada; and Sainte-Thérèse, PQ, Canada.

The Canadian Chevelle had only slightly different traits in the trim and the grille, it was also dubbed the Acadian Beaumont.

The ’65 Chevelle was notably different than its later model years.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IkT5m82hzI4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> Youtube Source

Appearing in over 1,600 movies and TV shows the Chevelle is one of the most popular little and big screen cars appearing in such movie franchises as the Fast & Furious.

If you happen to see a woodgrain console Chevelle it was taken from a Monte Carlo as no Chevelle’s had woodgrain consoles.

 

One of the most expensive cars to ever be sold at auction a 1970 Chevelle SS 427 LS6 sold for $1.15 million dollars.

 

 

Whether you’re a diehard Mustang owner or champion for the Camaro you cannot deny that the Chevelle is one of the greatest automobiles to grace the streets. Let us help you keep your legend cool with our original factory parts for the Chevelle’s AC.

5 Things You Don’t Know About 2nd Generation Camaros

5 Things You Don’t Know About 2nd Generation Camaros

 

 

Everyone loves the classic Chevy Camaro, they’ve been around for 51 years now and there is no end in sight to the love the world over has for this classic American muscle car. We work with all kinds of original first generation Camaro builds to bring you the coolest AC for your ride but you may be surprised by these little-known facts about this American classic.

  1. The second-generation Camaro may not have the classic look that car collectors froth at the mouths for but this fine example of an American classic SOLD BEST in 1979 with 282,571 sales. 
  2. The first cars produced in 1970 were really 1969 Camaros, because of issues with production of the Euro-inspired sheet metal design for the second generation, Chevy built ’69 Camaros as 1970 models for 4 months.
  3. GM conceived of a WAGON version of the Camaro but decided to strike that from production be they completed a fiberglass Firebird build out done by Pininfarina later on.
  4. Second-generation Camaros drew inspiration by the classic Ferrari Lusso 250 GT. Not only did these please people like Steve McQueen but designers at GM incorporated “a European grand-touring aesthetic” to the body.
  5. The returning year of the Z28 in 1977 was the year that Camaro for the FIRST time EVER beat out Mustang in sales! The Z28 sold 14,349 models helping sales of all Camaros reach 218,853.

No matter who you are, the world over agrees that the Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most legendary muscle cars out there. If you’re looking to be cool and stay cool when the heat is on Original Air has you covered for your original AC kits.

5 Things You Don’t Know About 1st Generation Camaros

Everyone loves the classic Chevy Camaro, they’ve been around for 51 years now and there is no end in sight to the love the world over has for this classic American muscle car. We work with all kinds of custom first generation Camaro builds to bring you original AC parts for your ride but you may be surprised by these little-known facts about this American classic.

  1. Chevy had three different assembly locations for its first-generation Camaro, Van Nuys, California, Norwood, Ohio predominantly but it ALSO was assembled in the Philippines, Belgium, Switzerland, and Peru.
  1. GUY FIERI rocks the classic 1968 ZZ502 BUT it does NOT belong to him it belongs to his hit show Diners, Drive-In, and Dives! The show originally featured a 67’ Camaro SS which belonged to the show’s former producer.Photo by: Guy Fieri’s Facebook Page
  1. There is only ONE 1968 Z28 CONVERTIBLE in existence and it was specifically built for Chevrolet GM Pete Estes. This was a play by GM to convince him to keep the Z28 in production for 1969. The beautiful piece of history went for auction in 1991 for $100k! Photo by: motoryeti   
  2. Arguably, the 1969 ZL1 Camaro is the most valuable production Camaros it is considered one of the “blue chip” models for muscle car collectors. They were all built with a special order COPO system with an all-aluminum 427 big-block system. Photo by: Mecum Auctions 
  3. The modern version of the ZL1 wrecks the original generations by an immaculate 125 horses!

Photo by: cartechbooks

Photo by: About Muscle Car

No matter who you are, the world over agrees that the Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most legendary muscle cars out there. If you’re looking to be cool and stay cool when the heat is on Original Air has you covered for your original AC kits.

 

When Should I Replace My Hoses?

When to replace the hoses in your car is generally a concern for car owners, as it affects both the efficiency of the car and the safety of its passengers. However, it can be complicated to know when it is the right time to replace your hoses. Of course you do not want to replace a hose that is perfectly functioning because you want to save your money, but waiting too long can cause serious problems for your vehicle. 

69 camaro

Radiator hoses are exposed to high temperatures and are given the important responsibility of transporting coolant to the engine. It is pertinent, then, that the radiator hose is not damaged, since a damaged radiator hose puts the engine at risk of overheating.  

So how do you know when to replace your radiator hose? 

  • It is always better to replace the hose before it fails entirely. No one wants to be stranded on a highway somewhere because your car broke down. Preempt potential problems by being aware of when you should replace your hoses. 

  • The most obvious indicator is if your coolant is leaking, then you need a new radiator hose. 

  • Be cognizant of the current status of your radiator hose. If there are cracks, bubbles or bulges in the hose, it is time to replace it. 

  • When the car has cooled down, touch the hose. If it has a crunchy quality, it is time for a new hose. 

  • The estimated lifespan of common radiator hoses varies. Some say they last about five years while others say ten. Oftentimes, it depends on the car itself and how many miles it has been driven. 

Knowing when to your radiator hose needs to be replaced is valuable insight and is beneficial to both you and your car. For more information about replacing radiator hoses or purchasing an engine compartment upgrade kit, consider contacting Original Air today. 

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. 

Is R134a Right for my Muscle Car?

If the air conditioning system in your car is not running properly for one reason or another, you are probably looking into fixing it or getting it replaced. However, if your vehicle was made before 1995, like many muscle cars, it most likely contains R12 coolant and you might consider converting to R134a. The debate between R12 and R134a is a complicated one, so we've answered five main questions you might have when approaching this problem. 

  1. First off, what’s the difference between R12 and R134a? R12 and R134a are refrigerants used in car air conditioning systems. R12 was the first to be used and R134a is, for the most part, used today since R12 was banned. The main difference between the two is that R12 is compatible with mineral oil whereas R134a is compatible with synthetic oil. 

  1. Why was the manufacturing of R12 banned? R12 contains CFCs, like hairspray once did, that are potentially damaging to the ozone layer. It was banned because of this potential environmental risk and replaced by R134a because R134a, using synthetic oil over mineral oil, does not have the negative environmental impact that R12 does. 

  1. Why should I make the switch from R12 to R134a? The manufacturing ban on R12 makes it difficult to find at most auto stores now. If you can find R12, it has been shipped from overseas and is probably pretty pricey. It has largely been replaced by R134a, which is a cheaper and more convenient option, as well as the one that is better for the environment. 

  1. How do I convert an R12 air conditioning system to an R134a system? There are conversion kits that can help as well as conversion calculators online to aid in the conversion, but the process easy to follow with simple instructions here.

  1. I've found R12 is more effective in my car than R134a. Should I still convert to R134a, or should I keep R12? If you truly are adamant about R12, there are plenty of R12 substitutes that are better for the environment than R12. They are also more readily available than R12, which would be the hassle of using R12 since it is very difficult to find. 

All in all, R134a is preferable to R12 because it is readily available and self-manageable on top of being better for the environment. Hopefully these answers will help you understand the differences between R12 and R134a and guide you in fixing your car air conditioning system. 

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Parallel Flow A/C Condenser

Seeking better performance from your AC system? Consider changing from your traditional tube and fin condenser to a parallel flow condenser. Modern condensers are more efficient due to materials used and increased surface area.

ac condensor


A little history on the automotive air conditioner condenser. Copper was the preferred metal used with R12 to allow for efficient heat exchange as refrigerant flowed through the system. Condensers were designed as one continuous tube wrapping back and forth across a plane to allow for heat to radiate away from the system. Although more expensive, eventually aluminum began replacing copper as a more effective way to provide the necessary cooling. From the tubes being made of aluminum, to also the fins manufactured from aluminum, ac systems continue to evolve.


Today, manufacturers utilize parallel flow condensers with R134a. Using multiple tubes rather than just a traditional single tube, parallel flow condensers maximize contact with the refrigerant to increase the transfer of heat away from the system. This allows the automotive air conditioning system to run even more efficiently than the tube and fin setup.

In summary, here is why you should consider investing in a parallel flow condenser as an upgrade to your tube and fin setup:

  • There is more metal surface area available for the refrigerant to pass over leading to more efficient heat exchange.
  • Our Parallel flow condensers are built to be direct bolt-in replacements of the OE unit – no modification needed on your car.
  • Refrigerant utilized can be either R12 or R134a, and is ideal if you are considering upgrading to R134a.

Here at Original Air, we manufacture our own line of parallel condensers that are direct/exact fit for your original factory AC system.

 

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.