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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering purchasing an 83 Dodge van with a 318 that has been converted to 4WD. One of my biggest concerns is the lack of factory AC. Was wondering how hard it would be to have AC added to this van. It's gonna be a daily driver and occasional travel rig so AC is important to me. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Red Trucker
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You'd have to add all the components and any wiring that would go with from the dash controller to the box under the dash as well as the compressor, etc. Your options are either attempt to retrofit all OEM components or go with an aftermarket add on unit, like these:

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What about adding a rooftop rv ac unit? That might be something I'd want to do anyway for camping. Is that something that could be used while driving?
 

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Red Trucker
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Sure, problem you'd have is power. Aren't they all AC? An inverter off the battery wouldn't be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been looking at pics of the interior and curious where one of the underdash units would actually fit? Doesn't look like there's room between the doghouse and the dash. Would it be possible to install into the dash somehow?
 

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Red Trucker
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Most likely not, though you may be able to find/use newer components with an original airbox.
 

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I put the factory AC setup in a non AC van.

You have to get every little nut and bolt as well as cut out the firewall sheet metal to add the intake grill used on Max cooling. Also you have to add the opening for the AC box that pulls air through the inside of the passenger fender. When you take the heater core box apart to install new core and evaporator you'll have to make up gaskets for the AC box parts from 3 different kinds of foam. The damper inside the box is a foam cover steel paddle. The foam is cast onto the paddle and usually crumbles after 20 years. Make something up.

It is doable, but wow it's a lot of brain work.

The van I did it to had a twin blower aftermarket unit hung under the dash above the passenger's feet. I should fixed it instead!

My present Dodge has aftermarket AC as well. It was referred to as dealer air. The dealer could buy a complete kit that was installed before delivery.

In this case it has a short, wide evaporator jammed right behind the dash directly above the dog house. Works okay, but the 440 heats up the floor so it really needs more insulation. Air comes out the end ducts at 49°.

Whichever way you go don't start until you have every single part needed.

GOOD LUCK!

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 
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