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To be A/C or not to be A/C

TeeScott

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Aug 14, 2023
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Bardstown, Ky
All, The mostly original 73 ralleye challenger I purchased a few months ago still has ~100% of all the factory A/C equipment in-place but the PO stated that it hasn't worked for years(see pics). Car was driving and running when I bought it, but did neither well & overheated after about 10 mins. Car has mostly sat with sporadic drives around the neighborhood for the past 12-13 years. My current focus is to get it cleaned-up, running well and safely driving/stopping, etc... MY QUESTIONs:
(1) Are any of the original under-hood A/C components worth trying to salvage OR should I just remove everything while I have the radiator out of the way while doing various repairs?? (2) Is it really worth trying to piece meal a working system together using some of the original parts, or to just start basically from scratch w an after market system like the one from Classic Air?? I would eventually like to have a working A/C system on the car, but my focus now is on mechanical and electrical issues.

THX
-TeeScott

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casper

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Aug 16, 2023
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baltimore
Just food for thought. Not all 73 challengers did not come with a/c. So one with original ac is more interesting.
 

Moparbastard

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Nov 14, 2023
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New hampshire
Keep all the original air parts and make them work. I do it all the time. If you can't find any R-12 you can use propane. Yup. Or use an R-12 substitute. Every time you mess with factory engineered parts you risk starting a cascade of further repairs / operations. The engineers at Chrysler got paid good money to spend years getting all the systems right. You can switch to a rotary compressor from a later Mopar if you like, but I wouldn't go much further than that with modifications. I make custom brackets and fuel lines for my customers all the time. It takes a lot of time which = a lot of $. Keep your car as stock as possible. Cheers.
 

Ricks72Chlgr440

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May 2, 2023
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South Texas
Keep all the original air parts and make them work. I do it all the time. If you can't find any R-12 you can use propane. Yup. Or use an R-12 substitute. Every time you mess with factory engineered parts you risk starting a cascade of further repairs / operations. The engineers at Chrysler got paid good money to spend years getting all the systems right. You can switch to a rotary compressor from a later Mopar if you like, but I wouldn't go much further than that with modifications. I make custom brackets and fuel lines for my customers all the time. It takes a lot of time which = a lot of $. Keep your car as stock as possible. Cheers.
Propane?! Um, no. Nothing like having an under hood torch in the event of a front end collision.
 

Xcudame

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May 27, 2023
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I would leave it as stock as possible. One thing I would add though is the cut off switch the Mopar police cars had that turn off the AC with your pedal to the metal. Those Chrysler v2 compressors suck a lot of horsepower!
 

cuda joe

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Dec 26, 2021
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nj
I would restore the original system because it looks cooler than the aftermarket air ..they sell repro condensers like original and updated condensers that work with 134a better they look different don;t know which way to go either way you will have to pull the dash and replace all the seals on the air ducts while your at it replace heater core before it leaks all over the place i wouldn;t be afraid of the r12a the stuff they put in cars now 1234 is flammable
 
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