First Classic-A/C question

Discussion in 'Wet behind the ears??' started by ParkerSkylarker, May 20, 2013.

  1. Hey-new guy here-just bought my first classic car. Dad's a bowtie guy with 3 corvettes and mom's a Mustang Lady with 2 ponies....but Gramps was a trishield guy, and now so am I. I got a 1972 Skylark Custom convertible with 50,000 miles on it (summer car in Cleveland). 350 CID, 2BBL, PS, PB. I have a question regarding upgrades...I am currently looking at my "wish list" as far as what performance upgrades to install...thinking about headers, new cam, 4BBL carb and intake manifold. I have no experiencer with headers-but have been told some horror stores about heat-anyone care to enlighten the new guy?

    Also, this car did not have A/C originally-all of the A/C kit companies I see do other A bodies, but no Skylarks. Anyone have any luck finding an aftermarket kit to retrofit factory air onto a 68-72 Skylark?
  2. rogbo

    rogbo Gold Level Contributor

    Welcome, you got AC already!
    Pull them little knobs out down by the kick panels
    and keep moving. For us old timers that was it!:grin:
  3. Those are going to be replaced with new kick panels for some speakers! Previous owner put an amp in the trunk and left me with 2 sony speakers bouncing around the back seat!
  4. V8Sky

    V8Sky "Scarlett"

    Welcome to the group and good to see another '72 Skylark Custom convertible owner here:TU: What are you planning on doing with your Buick? Mine started out as a 350 2bbl as well. I swapped to an aluminum 4bbl intake w/ Quadrajet carb, 3.23 posi rear, electronic ignition, 2 1/2 inch x-pipe dual exhaust - and no headers. Great for cruising around which is what I use my Buick for. My Buick has factory air but I hardly used it and when the compressor died I just left it - might redo the system down the road but having the top down is more fun!
  5. I found a "survivor" in Cleveland, OH of all places....she only has 50K miles, and based on the body, I think it's a legit 50k.

    I am planning on the TA performance aluminum intake manifold/Edelbrock 600 CFM carb kit, a new cam, headers and dual exhausts. Not sure on the rear end. Mine is a slushbox, and I plan to keep it that way. I just want a nice cruiser that will have a little get up and go....Not a true "sleeper" that will surprise people.

    It rides GREAT....just floats down the road.

    Those are interesting wheels you have there. The previous owner put Rally wheels on it and thats great. Where did you get yours?
  6. V8Sky

    V8Sky "Scarlett"

    The wheels on my Buick are the rare 1971-72 Buick Super Sport wheels. They only came in 14x6 or 14x7. I bought a set and sent them out to a wheel customizer - they are now 15x7 in the front and 15x8 in the rear with 255/60/15 tires all around. Had the centers painted fire red to match the body.

    ---------- Post added at 08:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 PM ----------

    My intake is from TA Performance - got a great deal on a never used one in the box from a guy who abandoned his project. Most guys will tell you a stock iron 4bbl intake will give you the same performance so if you find one locally for cheap it would be a good deal as well.
  7. That's cool. They look almost like the Olds Rally wheels. I saw a 71 Skylark convertible with the Buick Rallys at the Charlotte Autofair in April that had been painted to match the body...not sure I would have done that, but it was a good luck.

    Looks like you went to a GS hood?
  8. V8Sky

    V8Sky "Scarlett"

    Yes, the wheels do resemble the Olds wheels - so I bring along my Buick dealer's album in the trunk to prove they are not:laugh:

    I added a bunch of GS options to my Skylark though I kept the Skylark emblems on. Additions = GS hood, grill, dual sport mirrors, N25 bumper, bucket seats, shorty console, Hurst autostick shifter, sport wheel, rally gauges, speed alert, and in dash tach.
    angelorayhurst likes this.
  9. Did you change the front bumper too? Mine has the bumper guards.

    I was thinking about one of those Star Wars air cleaners, but I like the way your hood and that setup looks too.

    Decisions, decisions!
  10. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Aftermarket A/C exists. (Re: First Classic-A/C question)

    Hi Parker and V-8 Buick Cool-cats,

    First things first, welcome to V-8 Buick! [​IMG]

    You are correct that nobody sells a "turn-key" kit that can be fitted into a Buick, but you can adapt probably any of the aftermarket kits to work with your Skylark. The three main vendors are:

    1. Vintage Air: <cite></cite>‎
    2. Classic Auto Air:
    3. Old Air Products:

    I recommend that you take a look at what each company offers. I went with Vintage Air because they were the most common. However, in retrospect I have a feeling they are resting on their laurels and competing products may be easier to install in a Buick.

    There is are of course a "few problems."

    1. You need to come up with a bracket to hold the compressor of these kits. You cannot use an existing Buick A/C compressor bracket. A common strategy is to "splice" (weld) parts of the bracket that comes with the kit onto a Buick bracket. Obviously this must be done with precision or your pulleys won't line up.
    2. You can use many of the components from any GM A-body such as a heater delete plate to clean up your firewall. However, give some thought about how you want to route the hoses. The Vintage Air kit I bought for my 1965 Buick Special wagon proposed running the hoses through the passenger-side kick-panel. That would have wiped out a fresh air source and a potential speaker location. My mechanic and I are "scheming" around this problem following some examples posted here on V-8 Buick and Team Chevelle.
    3. You can buy kits with underdash A/C vents. The Vintage Air kit I bought had a really cheap housing. After looking at that I got mad and decided to do the extra work to get in-dash vents. You can get neat looking underdash A/C vents, but be prepared to build a housing yourself if you want to look neat and professional.
    4. You need to control the A/C system. There are two strategies: buy a modern A/C control panel or use the kits conversion of your old controls. I went with a kit intended for a 1965 GTO. The 1965 GTO and Buick A/C controls were very close. So I'm hoping the kit conversion will work without too much trouble. However, you need to research this carefully to see if you can use the old Buick controls or not. In my case the Vintage Air controls would have looked really crummy in my car. Some guys have made nice displays.

    Do some searching on Aftermarket A/C on this board and you'll get some examples. I'll know more about how my car's installation turns out as the work progresses.

    Hope this is a start.

    Cheers, Edouard :beer
  11. V8Sky

    V8Sky "Scarlett"

    >>My Buick did not come with bumper guards - which I like as it gives a cleaner look. I actually just removed my GS air cleaner and went with a custom Buick open element tall air cleaner which sucks in more air. Will have to add that pic to my garage this week.

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