Re: Aftermarket Air Conditioning

Posted by HH56 on 2021/8/23 20:07:31
The photos above by DavidPackard are some of the few I have seen of a 22-23 series car. His engine is the later 288/327 block used thru 54 though. If your engine is stock it should be the older 356 which ended production with the 50 models so you are going to be entirely on your own as far as the compressor bracket and drive belts. You could go with something like he used or try the link in post #3 pointing to the bracket Ross came up with. His is probably one of the better, simpler, and easiest to make brackets out there for aftermarket AC.

I believe Packard may have changed fan belt size on the 22 and 23 series Customs with 356 engines and if it is 3/4 or less you could probably get a longer belt and find the appropriate size compressor pulley to do as Ross does with the single belt driving everything. If the belt is still the extra wide -- almost 1" -- as was used on the earlier 356 engines that will be an issue in finding a large enough groove on the compressor pulley. Prewar Packards with AC drove the compressors off a second groove on the fan pulley and that might be an option in driving a compressor that needs a narrower belt. AFAIK, the few dual groove AC pulleys reproduced in the 70s or 80s are most likely NLA but you might be able to find one or have something custom made. Some with the later blocks have used a power steering pulley on the vibration damper to drive a compressor. I am not sure one of those could be added to the 356 vibration damper and Packard didn't provide anything postwar until 53.

Electrical on 6v cars is going to be another issue. I don't know what DavidPackard did on his car but getting his thoughts would be at the top of the list of people to get in touch with. While it has been found the Sanden compressor clutch will pull in at about 7v and has been used by several people satisfactorily on 6v cars, there are no inside units made for 6v that I am aware of. You will probably need to either find an old unit off ebay or the junkyard or else modifiy something.

Cooling could well be an issue. The 22 and 23 series models are not known for having robust cooling systems to start with. At the least I believe you will probably need to think about going thru the engine and cooling system to make sure it is clean and otherwise in excellent condition and also think about having the radiator recored which will be a significant expense. Packard did add an extra thick core on AC cars and also installed what they called heavy duty fans. In some cases that was an extra blade and in others, a larger diameter. The 356 engine had a 5 blade fan instead of the standard 4 blade which gave it a slight advantage but you might need to think about something modern such as a flex fan if you want more than 5 blades. Doing that will require some fabrication because of the larger diameter fan hub used on that engine and fan. I don't believe any commercial adapters will fit. Some have added a push fan in front of the radiator just for normal cooling needs so I can't speak to how effective it would be with an extra load of added AC.

Here is the fan pulley used on the 40-42 356 engines with AC.

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