Restoring 1971 Buick Skylark A/c System- Need Pics and Help

Discussion in 'The Big Chill' started by Christopher Spouse Drew, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm restoring my a/c system in the next couple of months and i need some help with what the original system looks like with some pictures to compare what I have in my car. When I purchased my car it had a non working a/c system and I don't know if its part original or completely aftermarket or from another early 70's car. A previous owner put a 350 olds engine in the car, im not sure if he put the whole olds a/c system in their as well. here are a few pictures to help you guys maybe identify what i have. As you can see im missing the part of the a/c system on the firewall. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. tubecatgs

    tubecatgs Finally a 4 speed......

    Definitely doesn't look like Buick stock components. I can send some pics later.
  3. Stage 2 iron

    Stage 2 iron Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately your car is a non-Air car from the factory you have a after market AC system in stalled in your car let alone a olds engine Buick pics wont help you. You need to look the AC parts to see who the manufacturer is hopefully there still in business.
  4. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    How do you know its a non a/c car from factory? My wiring harness has the wiring for the a/c controls.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  5. Mart

    Mart '71 350 GS, almost stock

    Generic harness.
  6. ilikebmx999

    ilikebmx999 Well-Known Member

    You can tell it’s originally a non ac car because you’re missing the ac condenser box an original ac car has.

  7. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Yeah I understand that, but if you look at my firewall it looks like where the condesor box would pass through the firewall was welded up, right? IMG_4933.JPG
  8. buick64203

    buick64203 Buick Hunter Staff Member

    Looks like it was an AC car originally, but all the original AC components were removed. You have what looks like a Vintage Air set up. Looks like you have no heat though? I don't see a heater core. What a mess....
  9. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Its a big mess, and yeah it does have a heater core you just cant see it in the pictures. I dont know if its Vintage Air or another company, tomorrow im gonna look around the system and I hope i can find a name somewhere.
  10. ilikebmx999

    ilikebmx999 Well-Known Member

    Ah ok. I didn’t notice just how hacked that is. Is your goal a full restoration or just get the ac working?
  11. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Right now get the a/c working is the goal but in a couple years I will be doing a full restoration and most likely putting the a/c system back to factory.
  12. buick64203

    buick64203 Buick Hunter Staff Member

    Your probably better off at this point keeping the aftermarket air. The first thing you have to do is diagnose what's wrong with the system that's in there. Honestly, your just better off getting a new Vintage Air complete kit and starting from scratch than trying to piece that back together. Be cheaper in the long run
  13. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Yeah I never put a compressor belt on yet, so im gonna put a v-belt on and see what happens haha
  14. Joe B

    Joe B Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't waste the belt.
  15. hvramesq

    hvramesq Silver Level contributor

    Christopher, there is a place in Ft. Lauderdale that specializes in classic car air conditioning. I plan on having them do my ac but not a priority right now. its Kel Auto 954 524 1169. They are within minutes of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Port Everglades. If you want to do the work yourself, they could probably help in diagnosing the problems.
  16. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the heads up Hector, I will definitely check them out and keep the contact.
  17. philbquick

    philbquick Founders Club Member

    If you were going to return the car back to it's original factory condition, with a Buick engine, then it would be good to go back to a stock system. As long as your car is a Buickmobile it doesn't matter much so you may as well clean-up the Vintage Air system. Those Sanden compressors are the best ones out there. Before you put a belt on it be sure the pulley rotates freely and also turn the clutch on the very front to be sure the compressor isn't seized. If the clutch turns with little resistance it probably doesn't have a charge, if it has enough resistance that it's difficult to turn with you bare hand it may still have a charge.
  18. Christopher Spouse Drew

    Christopher Spouse Drew Well-Known Member

    I have been putting this car back to stock since I got it, I'm gonna put a 455 in this car as soon as I can and throw this olds 350 off a cliff haha I want to put it back to stock because i have the manuals to fix anything in my car. With this aftermarket system I don't know whats what, I have no repair manual, so for me its simple to put it back to stock.

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