So, while I read all the threads that say "Don't do it", I decided to add A/C to the Formula. Figured I would post a couple of things that I ran into along the way - a lot of this I already knew, but some of it I had learned the hard way. I will add posts as I think about it - not trying to do a step-by step - if you need this, you should probably not do it.
Lead off with the condenser:
Shop manual is not much help.
I have seen posts that suggest that the radiator needs to be removed, fascia needs to be removed, of even both. Condenser mounts to the lower radiator support, and the front top fascia support. I used new well nuts from the (good) hardware store, 12mm OD x 6mm ID; three M6 x 30, and one M6 x 25 SS bolts, four fender washers, and re-cycled the washers from the old bolts (cut off the heads, drilled out to 6mm - they are captive washers. Cost $9.00
Condenser goes in easily from the underside. Front wheels on normal ramps, no jacking. Pull the lower shroud, bolts to lower radiator support, fascia and a couple of screws on each side. Push condenser up in place, secure with wellnuts - holes are already there. About that easy. This was a Formula, but I looked at one of the GT's, looks about the same. Not sure on other models, but would suspect it is the same.
Lines hook up easily from this angle, use new O-rings - Autozone has kit for $4.99, I used a little silver-based never-seize on connection nut threads only, lubricant (A/C oil) on the O-ring.
I'm attempting the same thing now. I'm adding a/c to my 85gt. The ecm shows that a/c is enabled, but i haven't tested the circuit yet to see if it will bump the rpms when it sees the signal yet. Have you thought that part out yet and what did you come up with? I'm not worried about the nuts and bolts of it, just how the ecm will act..... Ron
Having just rebuilt my factory A/C system, I'll take this opportunity to wish you good luck. If you have any specific questions about the factory system, I'll do my best to answer. (Well.... mostly factory. I have a 4.9. Close enough.)
[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 10-29-2014).]
This question has come up before. Someone who had done it posted a concise guide, but I haven't been able to find it. There are a lot of things that need to change, like the location of the oil pressure sender, the air box, and the controls, the bracket for the compressor, maybe the pulley, the alternator, not to mention all the big pieces. At least one of the long lines under the car has to be fabricated IIRC. You may need a different heater core. The post I remember did a good job of explaining the wiring issues, especially regarding the control head.
I really like a/c, even in a Fiero. I have an SE with a sunroof but no a/c and a GT with air that has never worked in the summer. Both cars are all black. Even on a mild summer day here near the lake the GT is unbearably hot. The thermometer is usually around ninety inside. A day in the eighties will have it over a hundred with all the windows open and the vent fan on high. Just not useful IMO.
Why is there a spider crawling around the forum?
[This message has been edited by 85 SE VIN 9 (edited 10-30-2014).]
Thanks for the help offers, guys. I was aiming more at clarifying little things that might be of help to someone.
Couple more are as follows:
Removing the suitcase looks pretty obvious - pull dash, pull ducting, unplug, disconnect hoses, pull bolts, pull suitcase. There is one other little detail - there is a heater duct on the bottom of the suitcase, that will stop the suitcase from coming out. Remove one screw, 7mm head, from just above the tunnel on the driver's side, remove the duct, pulling to drivers side - it has a tab on the other side, Other thing keeping the suitcase in is the grommet around the vacuum pipe - it is really tight. Some brake-clean will help, as it does on all rubber hoses, etc.
Next, the pedal support bolt (at least on the three cars I have) has been installed from the passenger side, with the nut on the drivers side. It cannot be removed with the suitcase in place. Take it out now, and reverse it - you can install it from the driver's side, and will make it a lot easier down the road.
You will have to change the main wiring harness, otherwise do a lot of extra wiring. The harness REALLY does not want to fit between the suitcase and the steering column support. Put the new harness in place before re-installing the suitcase.
The front A/C lines (to the condenser) can be installed without pulling radiator or side shroud. With the tub out, pull brake and clutch line bracket. I had brake and clutch masters loose. Pull clutch/brake lines to the side, wiggle A/C lines in through the grill, through the side shroud hole, and back along the frame rail, inside the brake/clutch lines.
Condensers are the "easiest" part. You can use either a used fiero, a "Universal New", or anything that will fit. it just has to fit the opening and mate up to your hose ends. the evaporator is the "only a fiero part" will fit.
No, I went ahead and used a Condenser procured at the local Pick and Pull. Few strokes with a fin straightener, flushed a couple of times with a couple of quarts of lacquer wash, blew it out, vacuum-checked it, and installed.
OK, one thing I ran into. Not sure (don't remember) what the donor was, but when I checked the under-car lines, there were a couple of abrasions, one fairly deep - I am guessing from the forklift when the placed the car in the yard, I had thought that all under-car lines were the same, and called Damien to seeif he had some he had pulled out of his Chump car, No, but there were a good set in his parts car, and he was gracious enough to let me pull them. Took them home, installed them, but they were not "Quite Right", although would have been usable. Looked at my line set, examined with a loupe, cleaned, acid etched, Alodined, and epoxy=coated abraded area, then installed.
Difference was the length of the front horizontal bend on the liquid line, that hooks to the small "sub-Frame" line going to the condenser. Not sure if the front liquid line changes to match the rear line set - I assume that it does. Anyway, something to watch out for.