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Old 05-11-2021, 03:33 PM
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Default Vintage Air Compressor vs. Harrison

We're putting Vintage Air on our '68 Firebird. It is a factory air car, so we have the engine brackets for the compressor. Vintage Air send the wrong brackets for the compressor--SBC, which won't work on the Pontiac block.

We have two choices--wait months for Vintage Air to send Pontiac brackets and use the Vintage air compressor or, use the factory compressor brackets and either a OEM Harrison compressor or the Vintage Air compressor.

Will the Vintage Air compressor work with factory brackets?

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Old 05-11-2021, 05:50 PM
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I don't know what compressors Vintage Air is using these days but I suspect Sanden?

The last Pontiac I converted to a new style Sanden compressor I used the one that mimics the old A6 compressor so it bolted onto the original brackets.

Maybe ask Vintage Air if they can supply the A6 style Sanden with the kit??

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Old 05-11-2021, 05:58 PM
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Get a Pro6ten compressor from our host Ames. It bolts directly to your factory brackets. If you paint it semi gloss black, hardly anyone will notice its not the original. Ive done 2 cars with this compressor and they work great. They will accept R-12 or R 134. It comes filled with oil for R 134 but you can drain it and put R 12 oil in it if you want to use R12. If you use R 134 your POA valve will need to be recalibrated.

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Old 05-11-2021, 06:00 PM
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That's what I'm talking about

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Old 05-11-2021, 06:04 PM
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Here's a picture of one I did. I even thought about taking it one step further and installing the A6 sticker to disguise it a little more.
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:07 PM
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Heres a pic of one in a 69 GTO. I left it aluminum color.
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:18 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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I have a question about the compressors. Please don't take this the wrong way. I notice many muscle cars and all the vintage air and other kits do away with the Frigidaire/Harrison A6 compressor. Is there a specific reason for that? The A6 is heavy and can leak a small amount of oil that can mark the underside of the hood. Other than that, extremely reliable, can support an 80,000 BTU system and was original equipment for nearly 40 years on GM, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and other cars. Just curious why they are discarded as so much junk on so many classic muscle cars? Always interested in learning new stuff.

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Old 05-12-2021, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgarblik View Post
I have a question about the compressors. Please don't take this the wrong way. I notice many muscle cars and all the vintage air and other kits do away with the Frigidaire/Harrison A6 compressor. Is there a specific reason for that? The A6 is heavy and can leak a small amount of oil that can mark the underside of the hood. Other than that, extremely reliable, can support an 80,000 BTU system and was original equipment for nearly 40 years on GM, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and other cars. Just curious why they are discarded as so much junk on so many classic muscle cars? Always interested in learning new stuff.
For one thing the A6 is heavy! The aluminum ones are much lighter. My favorite reason is the Pro6ten doesn't kill your HP like the A6. You can barely tell its on. With the A6 it felt like you killed 50 HP or more. I charged my cars with R12 and it will freeze you out and I live in Phoenix, Az.

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Old 05-12-2021, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgarblik View Post
I have a question about the compressors. Please don't take this the wrong way. I notice many muscle cars and all the vintage air and other kits do away with the Frigidaire/Harrison A6 compressor. Is there a specific reason for that? The A6 is heavy and can leak a small amount of oil that can mark the underside of the hood. Other than that, extremely reliable, can support an 80,000 BTU system and was original equipment for nearly 40 years on GM, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and other cars. Just curious why they are discarded as so much junk on so many classic muscle cars? Always interested in learning new stuff.
I don't mind the A6 myself. They don't make a Sanden, Pro6ten or otherwise, that will pump as much as the A6 does. It's just a bigger compressor, period. That's how they make the Sandens more efficient, they're smaller physically and internally and just don't move as much freon (less ci)

Personally I'll stick with the A6 most of the time unless it's requested to change. That firebird I pictured earlier I discussed with the owner for a while. The A6 worked but was slinging a little oil as you mentioned. I was going to do seals or switch to the new style Pro6. In the end, since I was changing hoses, condensor and revamping the entire system with R134 the Pro6 was chosen. It works fine and is a good compressor. No complaints.

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Old 05-12-2021, 09:17 AM
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Then there is the 80s rotary compressor! Seems to work OK on my 81 TA .

On my 78 with the A6 it made getting to the two or 3 front plugs a really hard time unless you jacked it up and went through the fenderwell-especially when I had the Herb Adams front braces on!

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Old 05-12-2021, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgarblik View Post
I notice many muscle cars and all the vintage air and other kits do away with the Frigidaire/Harrison A6 compressor. Is there a specific reason for that? The A6 is heavy and can leak a small amount of oil that can mark the underside of the hood.
The A6 is heavy and the front seal WILL eventually leak because it's design ensures it will. This was fine in the old days when you could get R12 and top it off but with R134a running at higher pressures, it will leak faster. The modern compressors have this issue solved and while they aren't 100% identical to the overkill of an A6, they are very good.

Quote:
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Then there is the 80s rotary compressor! Seems to work OK on my 81 TA .
Ack! No!!! Undersized and the seals on the rebuilds\remans are terrible. Finding a working manifold sealing method for the back that doesn't leak is a challenge and a half as well.

Don't bother waiting for Vintage Air to send the brackets, the factory brackets will work just fine:

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Old 05-12-2021, 11:00 AM
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In my 61 I used original 61/62 mounting. I had to have a machine shop make new end plates for the different mount spacing used on the Sanden compressor. Or maybe it was only the rear plate. Originals were for an A6. And had to get long bolts and make spacers to allow for the different length.
I suppose Summit thought everyone would have already changes to LS or LT. Which I know Dick would never do.
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Old 05-12-2021, 01:38 PM
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I used the A6 because I like the look. it is heaver and does use 14 hp. But if you have the POA valve recalibrated it wont click on and off when using R134.

The brackets are special on a 70 and i wanted to stay as close to O.E. as possible . Other than performance changes

don't know why pics are side ways ?
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:54 PM
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I worked in our family business rebuilding the A6 (and other compressors) back in the early to late 80's. It is an exceptionally strong compressor but there were problems even back then when trying to rebuild them correctly. Biggest headache was finding decent valve plates.

The problems got worse as decent cores got harder to find. It has not been used on a production car in forever.

The front shaft seal design worked fine when all the parts were in spec, but as parts wore out and the quality of the replacement seals dropped it became common for them to leak.

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Old 05-12-2021, 05:14 PM
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Brand new A6's are available.... I had one built about 2 years ago. It is built of all new parts, and has the newer double lipped seal design. I did choose to go that route, and no problems so far. I think the compressor was only about $130 more than the typical reman price. I paid $440 at the time. Alma makes them, and they need to be ordered through a distributor. More info here - https://forums.aaca.org/topic/309123...c-compressors/ I ended up ordering mine through ThermoKing up in Michigan somewhere, but talked directly to Alma to get the correct part number for my application. They were more than willing to help.

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Old 05-12-2021, 05:18 PM
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Yep I bought one for my truck several years back. Worked fine.

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Old 05-12-2021, 07:48 PM
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Lots of good information in this thread. Thank you. So from what I see there is no direct cooling performance improvement with the Sanden compressor or other little aluminum compressor with either R12 or 134A. The A6 as I mentioned is a big heavy beast, but looks correct under the hood. May have a front seal leak at some point like they all seemed to do. So a restoration grade car should probably continue to run an A6 and all others should balance the cost, weight, and looks factor and choose whatever they want. I am just seeing more and more Sanden and other little aluminum compressors on muscle cars even on the show fields. Judges don't seem to care one way or another at multi-brand shows. Good to know.

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Old 05-12-2021, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Boneske View Post
We're putting Vintage Air on our '68 Firebird. It is a factory air car, so we have the engine brackets for the compressor. Vintage Air send the wrong brackets for the compressor--SBC, which won't work on the Pontiac block.
I have a Vintage Air ready to install in my 69 bird - factory air car. Havenít examined the compressor brackets yet. Is it easy to tell if they are the incorrect brackets? Can you take a picture of yours and post?

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