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Old 05-11-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
sqrlnts
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Thumbs down Vintage Air Sure what?

If I don't get this off my chest I am going to explode. I am more than a little disappointed in my $1200 kit from Vintage. Let me just start with saying the directions are a letdown. I write technical manuals for my work and often have to interpret them from Japanease Engrish, which is much easier than making sense of what was provided. The directions are 21 pages of front and back confusion. They do not flow well at all and i cringe each time I have to reference them.

They also state that if parts are missing after 15 days they will not pay for them. Fine, but give me a damn inventory sheet! So far I am missing my trianary switch, control cable bushings, and firewall line grommets. I also seem to be missing two high pressure hard lines but am not sure becasue the directions are so unclear. I will also need to crimp my own line fittings as only two line ends are completed from the factory, this blows monkey balls.

Can I also recommend that they add the evap center pivot mounting hole on the firewall template as mine is filled in. Its impossible to reach or mark with the evap mocked up, will have to fab something to work.

The instructions that came with the compressor say that you should mount it with the oil fill plug straight up vertical or risk damaging the unit. The pictures in the instructions show it mounted 90 degrees to the left, which is it?

Now to my favorite part, the center two vents that mount under the control panel. Who designed this jewel and how is it suppose to seal to the main evap unit? I would **** can it and make my own if I had more time but I will probably end up using duct tape to seal the poor fit.

Have I called the tech line, not yet, I am afraid I will make someone cry.

End of rant for now.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Man that is disappointing,I was going to purchase one from them soon but now I will definitely be reevaluating my decision and doing some more homework. I would love to come over and take a look.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

The package unit for my AD went in just fine. The hoses crimped on one end is to allow you to route the hoses were you want them to go. VA does not know what all is in your engine bay and if they did crimp both ends to their determined length then they would hear more compaints that they should have provided longer hoses so the installer could do their own routing.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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Man that is disappointing,I was going to purchase one from them soon but now I will definitely be reevaluating my decision and doing some more homework. I would love to come over and take a look.
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I will be working on it tomorrow, your more than welcome to swing by and take a look. i will PM you my number.

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The package unit for my AD went in just fine. The hoses crimped on one end is to allow you to route the hoses were you want them to go. VA does not know what all is in your engine bay and if they did crimp both ends to their determined length then they would hear more compaints that they should have provided longer hoses so the installer could do their own routing.
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That makes sense.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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The package unit for my AD went in just fine. The hoses crimped on one end is to allow you to route the hoses were you want them to go. VA does not know what all is in your engine bay and if they did crimp both ends to their determined length then they would hear more compaints that they should have provided longer hoses so the installer could do their own routing.
My .02
What year truck were you installing it in? I'm about to order a Vintage Air set up for my 1950 and I'm hoping it goes in easy. I sure like the look and idea of having the AC for those few hot days (or should I say warm days) that we get in Seattle.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #6
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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What year truck were you installing it in? I'm about to order a Vintage Air set up for my 1950 and I'm hoping it goes in easy. I sure like the look and idea of having the AC for those few hot days (or should I say warm days) that we get in Seattle.
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I have a '50 3600 with a 235 six. When you order make sure you let them know what engine setup you have. There are two different hose kits since the compressor is located on the drivers side of the engine. I routed my hose below the front of the engine and then into the compresor. This is where the uncrimped ends come into play. I'll try to post some pictures of my install.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:29 PM   #7
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I think I would write them a letter with suggestions to correct the items you just commented on. I did go to the website and look at the heat/ ac install instructions that look pretty complete to me http://www.vintageair.com/Instructions2013/901193.pdf or http://www.vintageair.com/Instructions2013/901189.pdf for the standard kit and both say refer to the packing list for the exact items included. It may be that their packing list is a bit vague and refers to component groups rather than individual components in the groups.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:01 PM   #8
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Sadly it appears nothing has changed since 1999, I fought the same problems and more. Main one was which o ring went were. Put it in take it to the rad shop to be charged, no go, go back home take it all apart, swap rings around per advise of shop, drive back, find some other thing was not right. They even sent me the dash controller for a 56 chevy car, not a truck, tried to tell me it was an experimental unit. Took a picture of a buddies car, sent it to them they decided to send me the right one.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:56 AM   #9
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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Sadly it appears nothing has changed since 1999, I fought the same problems and more. .
Yep....its always a crap shoot with them (VINTAGE AIR). Bad directions, bad customer service and missing parts are the norm and have been for many years. Im shocked they are still in business. Folks in the market need to try Old Air or one of the others on the market.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

i can't say much for the instructions as i combined systems and went with half the surefit and a compacII evaporator
i can say that their tech support and customer support is one of the best i've had experience with.
i ordered mine early on as i had a lot of work with my fiberglass interior, it was 6 yrs before i charged the system.
when i needed different fittings VA swapped them out without question.
when i had problems getting my system to cool they sent me a new expansion valve and dryer at no cost.
i believe rob at tech support is the owner, he has always been helpful when i called them about my system.

posting a lengthy complaint about a vendor without ever contacting the vendor is bad business
in my opinion, i have had a very good time dealing with their tech support.

as for crimping the hoses, if you read the instructions they explain you why they can't send you crimped hoses
the hoses can not be twisted at all, they must be cut to length and ''clocked'' at the proper angle for your application
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:53 PM   #11
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEs50Chevy View Post
What year truck were you installing it in? I'm about to order a Vintage Air set up for my 1950 and I'm hoping it goes in easy. I sure like the look and idea of having the AC for those few hot days (or should I say warm days) that we get in Seattle.
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It's going in a 57.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ogre View Post
i can't say much for the instructions as i combined systems and went with half the surefit and a compacII evaporator
i can say that their tech support and customer support is one of the best i've had experience with.
i ordered mine early on as i had a lot of work with my fiberglass interior, it was 6 yrs before i charged the system.
when i needed different fittings VA swapped them out without question.
when i had problems getting my system to cool they sent me a new expansion valve and dryer at no cost.
i believe rob at tech support is the owner, he has always been helpful when i called them about my system.

posting a lengthy complaint about a vendor without ever contacting the vendor is bad business
in my opinion, i have had a very good time dealing with their tech support.

as for crimping the hoses, if you read the instructions they explain you why they can't send you crimped hoses
the hoses can not be twisted at all, they must be cut to length and ''clocked'' at the purple angle for your application
Thanks for your input Ogre, I respect your advice. Me complaining before contacting them is BS though. VA is a large enough company that I should get what I ordered period. The fact is the instructions suck and I had to go to ACE for parts, this shouldn't happen with a $1200 kit, in my business it's called quality control. A call to Cutomer service isn't going to fix that.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:34 AM   #12
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I bought my VA setup in stages from a local VA dealer who is only about 3 miles from my house, so that is convenient. As already mentioned, the hoses come extra long and not crimped so that you can custom fit them to your application. You cut them to length, mark the orientation of the end, and have them crimped. VA will crimp them for you but you would have to send them back. My local dealer did it for me. The problem I had was following the condenser mounting and hookup instructions, and I did have to make some changes to their suggested procedure for doing it. Regarding the missing rubber grommets, I thought I was missing a couple of those also. I called Rob at VA and he said those were not intended to go where I thought that they needed to go, but he sent me three of them anyway. I like the look of my VA setup and I would recommend it to anyone who was considering buying one, but be aware that it does take some work and some thought to install it. If there is anything that I don't like about it it is the way the hoses are connected and routed behind the inside unit. It's tight back there and I found it difficult to make the last connections to the evaporator. I'd rethink that part if I were doing it again.
Another consideration, if your firewall is recessed any at all you might not even be able to get the unit up into position without modifying the lower edge of the dash in the glove compartment area. I had to modify my center outlet box slightly because some PO had made room in the center of my firewall to accommodate a large HEI distributor.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Thanks for the advice Russell. I thought I would just chime in on the customer service from Vintage Air. There is none on the weekend. PATHETIC!
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I'm fairly new to this forum but have spent years as an active member on trifive.com. Vintage Air has a pretty good reputation on that forum and there have been many, many of their members that have installed VA units in their 5,6, and 7 Chevy cars. Certainly, there are some complaints about a few things but they are well liked for the most part and most reports are excellent when it comes to tech-support experience.

I installed the VA Sure Fit Gen-IV (evap only) system in my '55 Bel Air. I thought the instructions were pretty straight-forward. I also thought the quality of the unit was very good. Not great but very good. Some of the wiring wasn't up to my standards and I did a couple of minor modifications. I also think the plastic side vents are very poor. I trashed them and installed original repros. Some people think the plastic center vent is bad too but I thought it was acceptable and am using it. Also, some people complain about the plastic defrost ducts but I thought they were just fine after a little trimming of the plastic to fit well.

I agree with Ogre that it would have been better to have posted about your experience after you contacted tech support. I think you expected a little too much and are being pretty hard on them. Of course you should have received what you paid for but give VA a chance to make it good. I believe they will. I do think they care about their customers. Good luck and be sure to report back. Btw though, it's not pathetic at all that they don't offer weekend support. You are way off-base on that.

I see that VA has just recently released the all-electronic, no-cable Gen-IV system for the 55-59 trucks. I am so happy with my no-cable Gen-IV system in my Bel Air, I think I may get one for my '57 3200. I bought my truck and it had a Old Air Products unit already installed in it. However, I just removed it today since I'm starting to restore the truck and I'm not very impressed with the qualty of the unit at all. I may consider selling it on ebay. The heater core was being used but as far as I can tell, the A/C was never hooked up under the hood.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:20 AM   #15
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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I agree with Ogre that it would have been better to have posted about your experience after you contacted tech support. I think you expected a little too much and are being pretty hard on them. Of course you should have received what you paid for but give VA a chance to make it good. I believe they will. I do think they care about their customers. Good luck and be sure to report back. Btw though, it's not pathetic at all that they don't offer weekend support. You are way off-base on that.
Roger, thanks for chiming in. If VA truly cared about its customers it would provide a tech support line beyond normal business hours, it just makes good business sense. Its absurd to think people have time to call during work hours.

I am being hard on them because they deserve it. We are all men here, this is simply me putting my experience with VA on the airwaves so that others can learn from it.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #16
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I got a used VA TF surefit unit (just the under dash part and some hoses) and was able to figure out from the online manual download how it mounts and works. I was missing the cables and replacement fan switch which I ordered from VA. When I got them I found I had an earlier unit and had to modify two of the cable brackets on the unit. Using the instructions and wiring diagram bench tested all the power circuits, micro switches and fan switch. I have found their phone techs friendly and knowledgeable about the product. It would be nice if they had someone available during the weekend when a lot of hobbists are working, but I assume they did a cost benefit and found that the number of calls did not add up to paying someone two days salary. You could probably get you questioned answered here anyway. As for the missing parts a call would probably solve that.
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Old 05-19-2013, 02:25 PM   #17
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I don't think it would be easy to find a specialized product business like this that would have weekend tech help. Maybe Saturday till noon but that would be it. To expect it is just unreasonable.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:08 PM   #18
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I'm freaking out now, I ordered the complete $1200 kit and haven't yet got around to installing it. Hope all my parts are there, it would suck to start ordering parts now. I'm thinking the O-rings are going to be a pain.
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Old 05-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #19
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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I'm freaking out now, I ordered the complete $1200 kit and haven't yet got around to installing it. Hope all my parts are there, it would suck to start ordering parts now. I'm thinking the O-rings are going to be a pain.
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I wouldn't freak out.
They have a good reputation about understanding that people buy these things well before installing them and treating them right.
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:23 AM   #20
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Sorry to hear about all your issues. I installed the kit in my 72 C10. While the instructions leave a little to be desired the kit installed smoothly, all the parts where there, and was not very had at all. It heats and cools very well.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #21
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

I would like to say a HUGE thank you to James (Magiccoolbus) for crimping my A/C hoses tonight. Had a great time checking out your 57 Chevy and your 69 Suburban. Its meeting guys like James who help you through head scratching problems that makes these old truck projects enjoyable. Thanks again.

Hoping to get the hoses installed tomorrow night and have a charge in this thing by end of the week. More to follow.
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Old 06-05-2013, 10:28 PM   #22
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

John, I was glad that I could help. Good luck finishing it up.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #23
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

AC is charged and working good while at speed. At a stop my mechanical fan with no shroud is not pulling enough air, which is causing the compressor to cycle. I will need to add a pusher fan on the condenser. My plans are to run a relay off the brake switch to power the fan. This will allow the pusher to come on before I get to a stop for in city driving.
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Old 06-08-2013, 05:16 PM   #24
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

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AC is charged and working good while at speed. At a stop my mechanical fan with no shroud is not pulling enough air, which is causing the compressor to cycle. I will need to add a pusher fan on the condenser. My plans are to run a relay off the brake switch to power the fan. This will allow the pusher to come on before I get to a stop for in city driving.
I am not a fan of pusher fans. Sorry, I always cringe when I see one. I think it is much preferable to have a good shroud.

Pusher fans have to be mounted directly to the condenser and most times through the radiator core too. Adds vibration and decreases their life. The bulk of the fan being mounted in that location also blocks air flow on or off.

I'm keeping the front of my condenser free and clear of any obstructions.
I had a shop build me this shroud. Took my radiator and fan down to the shop so he could custom make it a custom fit.

Oh, I will also be using a trinary switch so my fan will come on when the A/C pressure requires it as well as when engine temperature requires it.

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Old 06-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #25
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Re: Vintage Air Sure what?

Curious why your not running a shroud? The problem with no shroud is that at a stop or very slow speeds the air will not move through the condenser & radiator at all. The fan just pulls the air through the path of least resistance, which is anywhere but through the condenser & radiator, hence the need for a shroud, to make the fan pull through the condenser & radiator. Only at speed is the air being forced through the condenser & radiator.
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