Chilled water for Auto A/C
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    108

    Lightbulb

    OK Guys , Dont laugh, Im actually considering this, but would like some opinions if it would work...First, here is my dilema... Ive got an antique car that I only drive once or twice a month when the weather is nice...It has the original under dash hanging evap and fan unit, but everything else was discarded years ago during an engine swap...finding an original compressor, condenser, line set, pulleys, brackets,etc. is almost impossible. An entire reproduction system is available for about $1200, but thats pretty steep for a twice a month cruiser. So here is my idea ...I was thinking of running some rubber tubing under the carpet to an ice chest in the trunk, putting in a couple of gallon milk jugs of ice and circulating ice water through the evap with a 12 VDC water pump.
    I know, in theory, it would work, but my questions are:#1 Will it would handle the heat load of the car? #2 If it does handle the heat load, would I have to stop at every 7-11 to buy more ice? #3 what about circulating something other than water? ( Glycol perhaps )

    So does anyone have an opinon?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,271
    I've been wanting to try this since I was a teenager. Back then I had a "clubhouse" out behind the house and wanted to make an ice powered chiller to take the edge off the interior on a hot day.

    So as for your case, I say bench test it. Take the evap out of the car, remove any metering devices, and do all your hookups on a bench in the garage. There you can measure what kind of temp drops you get across the coil, and can see how quick your ice consumption is, and how much ice you need in the chest to get the necessary refrigeration effect.

    Only thing is you'd have to drain the evap after your twice monthly run, or an early freeze in the fall might get'cha...plus a buildup of crud inside the pipes over time.

    A car has a very high heat load in summer...a hot garage isn't much better. Might make for a good bench test.

    If you do this, let us know how it turned out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,744
    You want to know what is really sad? In 1968 I was in the Air Force and put a Thermo King in my new Plymouth. I took it out when I sold the car and carried the whole system with me packed up for years from coast to coast.

    I got tired of looking at it and, yes, I gave it all to Goodwill or something like that. I just bet it is the same unit you are looking for.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    North St Paul MN
    Posts
    858
    Install one of these in your trunk
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    108
    Wow! 73 views and only 3 reply's...That tells me that no one has any experience in this. I guess Im going into uncharted waters with this project.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    good luck dude
    www.vetopropac.com - The best tool bags on the market - The offical tool bag of choice by techs everywhere

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Urbandale IA. USA
    Posts
    4,881
    Since cold air falls, why wouldn't you put the chilled water tubing in the celing?
    With all that glass for a greenhouse effect, I don't think a couple of gallon of ice will last long.
    Wouldn't it be just as easy to install an AC kit in the car?


    Those who dance, appear insane to those who do not hear the music.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    1,040
    I believe an auto A/C is about 2 tons. Thats a lotta ice!
    Experience is what you have an hour after you need it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Russellville, Ar
    Posts
    2
    Can your test system tolerate a brine solution? This would reduce the temperature of your circulating media and maybe increasing cycle time of ice consumption.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    North St Paul MN
    Posts
    858
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    350

    Exclamation

    Be careful you don't fill the inside of the vehicle with CO2 gas - bad things will start happening at about 5% CO2. Higher levels will cause even worse things to happen. If you bring in a lot of outside air to keep the CO2 levels down, you likely won't be able to cool it well enough to stay comfortable.

    You also need to factor in cooling the car interior itself, not just the air.

    Carrying aroung hundreds of pounds of ice won't do good things for the miles per gallon or acceleration performance.

    Maybe you should make a mold of your posterior and make ice blocks to sit on instead. Just tell people to ignore the wet spot.

  12. #12
    What LMTD said is right. And also what Roby said should be taken into account. Use the dry ice, if you go that way, but by no means allow the dry ice to vent off into the occupied space of the car itself.


    It would be possible to put enough dry ice into your trunk in order to act as your ice reserve, as in an ice builder tank affair.
    Then you'd just burn off the ice as you circulated your water solution in your occupied space.
    By the time you got the bugs worked out of this sucker ... your talking more like five or ten grand, not just a little ol $1200 for original equipment era type of auto ac.

  13. #13
    Have you ever seen these?

    http://www.classicaire.com

    Different applications and these are reproductions. You can find originals at swap meets or Ebay.

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