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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 89 ramcharger with a 318 with factory no ac. I want ac and so far I have acquired many of the parts; ac compressor and lines, heater box with the ac options, control box, and ac vents and ductwork. Has anyone else done this? I’m wondering if I can just mount the ac compressor in the same place it’s mounted on every other 318 where the idler pulley is. What else do I need (besides the condenser)? Will it just hook up to the under dash harness I have in there now? Does anyone have pictures of a completed ac system under dash and under hood?
 

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Dont have pics yet but the toughest parts to get are the vacuum harness parts from engine to other side of firewall, then to controller, then to the vacuum diaphragms.  Off the top of my head you'll need:
-Compressor and lines
-Condensor
-dryer and bracket- some models these are integral with the lines.
-AC suitcase- includes ac specific evaporator and heater core AND vacuum diaphragms
-AC controls with AC specific cable to blend door
-AC Dash and the unique venting riveted to it and all the others connecting them to the ac suitcase
-Vacuum lines, which are specific and usually red, green, black, brown 1/8 tubing in a bundle with quick connect ends

Toughest part is removing and swapping dashes.  Can cut windshield gasket but it looks hacky.
 

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i think the biggest thing that you would need is the wiring harness. i am almost certain the non ac trucks generally have none of wiring for ac and is completely differently wired in that aspect. you almost need a complete parts truck to get all the parts you would need
 

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There is about a foot long jumper specific to AC trucks, but the cab harness is the same
 

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89ramcharger150 said:
I have an 89 ramcharger with a 318 with factory no ac. I want ac and so far I have acquired many of the parts; ac compressor and lines, heater box with the ac options, control box, and ac vents and ductwork. Has anyone else done this? I'm wondering if I can just mount the ac compressor in the same place it's mounted on every other 318 where the idler pulley is. What else do I need (besides the condenser)? Will it just hook up to the under dash harness I have in there now? Does anyone have pictures of a completed ac system under dash and under hood?
Yes, the comp should mount there. You will need the rear bracket for the compressor.
 

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jerseybud said:
Dont have pics yet but the toughest parts to get are the vacuum harness parts from engine to other side of firewall, then to controller, then to the vacuum diaphragms. Off the top of my head you'll need:
-Compressor and lines
-Condensor
-dryer and bracket- some models these are integral with the lines.
-AC suitcase- includes ac specific evaporator and heater core AND vacuum diaphragms
-AC controls with AC specific cable to blend door
-AC Dash and the unique venting riveted to it and all the others connecting them to the ac suitcase
-Vacuum lines, which are specific and usually red, green, black, brown 1/8 tubing in a bundle with quick connect ends

Toughest part is removing and swapping dashes. Can cut windshield gasket but it looks hacky.
Agreed. The 89 dash (probably back to the mid 80's) Has embossed squares on the backside, that look like they are supposed to be for cutting out the dash holes, but they are wrong for 89 vents. Do not cut on the groves.

The defroster vents are the same between AC, and non AC. After fffing up one dash by cutting on the lines, I able to use the old dash, by using one of those rotozip type tools, and cutting the holes with the dash in place, after mounting the duct work. I started with a small hole, and then slowly making it into a rectangle, by using a template, and trying my best to eyeball the right spot by looking through the hole. and lining up with the ductwork.

Also need the AC heater resistor block.
'Also a relay that mounts on the drivers side inner fender. wiring should be there. You should have all the under hood wiring, except for the short section that goes to the compressor.
 

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89ramcharger150 said:
I have an 89 ramcharger with a 318 with factory no ac. I want ac and so far I have acquired many of the parts; ac compressor and lines, heater box with the ac options, control box, and ac vents and ductwork. Has anyone else done this? I'm wondering if I can just mount the ac compressor in the same place it's mounted on every other 318 where the idler pulley is. What else do I need (besides the condenser)? Will it just hook up to the under dash harness I have in there now? Does anyone have pictures of a completed ac system under dash and under hood?
Are you going with new parts where available? I think there's almost no point/benefit in you going with used/OEM parts because you can buy the lines and compressor and everything brand new. At the very least, you should go with a brand new evaporator and condenser.

Are you planning to stay R12 or run R134? Especially if you're going with R134 you will want to buy new lines that have modern barrier hose. If you've acquired original/OEM lines and run R134 in them, you will slowly lose your refrigerant through the hoses.

I'm very eager to see how your project turns out because I just fully rebuilt my AC system and am getting pretty subpar performance, so I'm real curious to see how yours turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here’s everything I’ve got for it right now. It would be easier to upload pictures but it never works on this site. As of right now I have 3 dashboards, 2 factory non ac, with no vent cut outs, 1 with vent cutouts (rough condition), all of the ductwork that goes behind the vents from the heater box. A complete heater box with all of the motors and wiring on it that should be, (except on the vacuum tube quick connect, most of the the tubes have come out of the connected, and I am uncertain as to which one is configured where) I have 2 heater/ac control boxes both with the other end of the vacuum tube quick connect lines and 1 cable that goes from the heater box to the control box, I have a complete under dash wiring harness (in pretty rough shape), 2 vents to mount in dash, a new cluster bezel with vents, the ac compressor with brackets, lines, relay/box that mounts on fender and evaporator.
So far my plan is to tear the entire dash out of my truck, take the original harness, and take the ac harness and only take the components that pertain to the ac/heat and remove all other wiring or connectors, and then combine the original dash harness of the RC with only the AC/heat wiring components of the other harness. I also plan to use the factory AC dashboard as a template to cut out 2 direct fitting holes for the ac vents to fit in on the original RC dash. For buying new, I will most likely get a new evaporator and I do not have a confessor so I will buh that new as well. As far as refrigerants go I have not chosen one yet, but. It sounds like my choices are, use a lower quality kind, but keep the original lines on the compressor, or switch to a better refrigerant and have my lines replaced to be able to withsatand it. And with that said I’m all ears to suggestions for what kind of refrigerant to use and what components I should buy or replace and which brands they are and where to find them.
 

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you're on the right track, you want new lines, R-12 isn't readily available (you need a license to buy it) and it is cost prohibitive. Do you have a FSM? that should have a blow up view of all the parts required. off the top of my head; H valve, drier/accumulator, low pressure shut off switch in addition to what you're already working. Hopefully you have the vacuum line diagram for working the blend doors. while you have the box's out use a good foam and reseal the whole damn thing. Most folk also cut a 4" hole in the front of the box and glue/screw in a boat access panel to have ready access to the coil for cleaning etc.

in terms of refrigerants: if you go R-12 the system should be max 44oz. It requires mineral oil for the compressor, and has a molecular weight of 120. If you go R-134a it requires PAG/Ester oil for the compressor and has a molecular weight of 102 which equates to 37oz max charge. Here's a fun one! If you go R-152a or canned "air duster" (must read 1,1 diflouroethane) it has a molecular weight of 68 and only needs roughly 26oz of refrigerants.

R-12= expensive, bad for the environment, requires licenses and hard to acquire, requires different lubricating oil, but VERY COLD
R-134a = not expensive, better for the environment, easy to acquire, PAG/Ester oil compatible, 99% of all auto shops can recover and charge this system for ~$100, but not as cold as R-12
R-152a = cheap, easy to acquire, PAG/Ester oil compatible, no shop will want to touch it; do it your self with $50 in cheap side can punch ($20) and gauges ($30) and $12 for (3) cans from Walmart, better cooling properties than R-134a with lower pressures associated. better for the environment than R-134a.
 

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I converted mine from Heat to heat/AC. Same plan you have. I bought a new Sanden compression and condenser from Bouchillon. Charged with 134a and it works very cold as far as temperature goes. Despite new fan, new wiring, etc, airflow is only moderate, but I'll take it over nothing. Factory design is not very good.
 
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