Aftermarket AC and Heat System Kit.. Help! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Aftermarket AC and Heat System Kit.. Help!

Have you guys considered an aftermarket AC/heat system for the Elise or Exige? I'm looking at the Vintage Air Gen-II Mini Universal kit and I want to see if there is a way to use it in my car.

I bought an Exige and the price was low just because the car didn't have AC and heat. I thought I could just buy used OEM parts and put it back together, but I saw these systems and they seem pretty good.

Something that I have to figure out is that the Vitageair kit is designed to use it inside the cabin and it might work outside but I have to do some adaptations. I dont know if any one have worked with these systems before.

Any comments are greatly appreciated...

Here is the link of the system.

http://www.vintageair.com/2016%20Catalog/2016%20Vintage%20Air%20Catalog%2047.pdf
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 07:37 AM
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Vintage Air is a great company to deal with. I have a vintage air condenser in my Exige

I would suggest starting with the factory parts, they are usually available from race car guys.

With proper mods the stock system works reasonably, heat is powerful AC less so.

The problem with installing one of their mini kits is the odd way the Exige system is set up. The air all goes through the 3 1/2 inch tube to a separate diverter assembly. This assembly is, I think, the weak point. Airflow out of the heater box is pretty significant, but seems to get lost in the diverter.

The Vintage mini assembly is pretty nice, i have the earlier version in my +2[but have not used the AC as of yet]

I think to install the Vintage unit you would have to make the recirc vents mostly heat out vents, run individual hoses to the face vents and defrost vents, and also since from the factory the heater is actually outside the car, make a cover similar to what I did:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f313...rework-348738/
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f259...usions-375169/

note that my efforts were merely icing on the cake to the efforts of others who did the work of figuring out how to make the heat/ac work much better.

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f92/...-wa-how-26740/


I think my post are a pretty good integration of several previous efforts, with a few new mods.

Also, I believe the Vintage controls will work with the factory controls, the 'old air products' valve I used does.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:26 AM
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The gen II mini might be a tight squeeze, my CAD drawing of my cover plate shows about 18.5 inches at the narrow end of the heater area, and the heater assembly is only about 8 inches tall, so it might have a hard time slipping under the booster and may not fit under the chassis rail as the factory does, but it might

you can actually get a dummy box from Vintage to try out.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for response exigegus. I decided to go with original components just because there is way more information. I already got a heater core, blower, Fresh air assembly, Ac compressor, Dryer and several pipes. I haven't gotten the condenser though and I will try to use the vintage air condenser just like you did. I'm a beginner for the all this work but Im learning and its so cool to work on the exige.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 11:44 AM
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I think you made the right choice, it will be more acceptable on resale, you can get more help if something doesn't work, and I think with proper mods it works just fine.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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I totally agree. I read your post and its doable to do it myself with more research and guidance. Ill get all the parts and Ill post an update. Thanks!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:48 AM
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I think with a bit of attention to detail, the AC can be quite functional.

In approximate order of importance:

Remove recirc cover plates
Tony Wa mod[or the electronic version I used, I have connectors to make the harness]
Sealing fresh air door assembly[which fixes the 'problem' the recirc covers 'solved']
replacing upside down AC condensor
Sealing the recirc baffles
Once you are there you have a system that will work

after that you can think about some of the sillier things I did..........
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