Air Conditioner Compressor Brackets

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jmontes

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Hello all - Seems these are like finding unicorns. Last year, I installed a Classic Auto Air system in my son's 71/351C. It came with the Sanden compressor and a retrofit bracket to install which I thought was good since all of the original stuff was missing. Problem is, the mount does not use an idler pulley and the Sanden compressor ties onto the same grove as the alternator utilizing a 63" or so belt. I am not too fond of this set up as he has now gone through 3 v belts in a short while. When this happens, you lose the alternator and the EFI... Where can one find the original brackets or at least an idler that can be used to run the A/C independently off the crank pulley?
 

jmontes

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47 views and no replies... :) Circling back for anyone else that may have this question. I was able to resolve with a mounting bracket from Vintage air. they make a bracket specific for a 351C to mount a Sanden compressor.
 

Jayro

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47 views and no replies... :) Circling back for anyone else that may have this question. I was able to resolve with a mounting bracket from Vintage air. they make a bracket specific for a 351C to mount a Sanden compressor.
Thanks mate, was watching this as I’m in the situation where I’ve got a sanden compressor to go into my 73 (351C). I’m in Australia though. Would you have a pic or link to the bracket you went with?

Cheers
 
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This mounts a sanden compressor onto a factory AC pedestal. You will need a factory idler for tension adjustment, and probably a factory 3-groove crack pully. You will also need this adapter to help stabilize the idler and bolt it to the top of the compressor.

The same company does sell the stock-style crank and water pump pulleys. Ebay and espcially https://secure.cougarpartscatalog.com/ are good places to look for original parts like stock pulleys & idler brackets.

I just did this to make room for some aftermarket valve covers (the CAA brackets had the compressor within 3/8 of an inch of the stock stamped steel covers, too close for any cast aluminum covers).

Interesting comment about needing to use the alternator belt. On my CAA system, I had the AC running off the crank/water pump/power steering loop. The alternator ran directly off the crank. It worked well, I just wanted the extra space I could get from the stock-style configuration.
 
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I first saw this and thought I had the solution, but when I went to the Rickster to check, my pulleys weren't lining up. When I had things mocked up when I built the motor, the compressor belt lined up on the 3rd crank pulley and a stock style idler, but after removal to drop into the car and reassembly, they're not lining up. I was watching this thread to see if anyone had good tips that I, too, could use. I've been thinking about modifying my Classic Auto Air bracket to let the compressor move forward about 1/2" so that the belts line up, but the Vintage Air bracket looks like an easier, albeit more expensive option.
 

jmontes

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Thanks mate, was watching this as I’m in the situation where I’ve got a sanden compressor to go into my 73 (351C). I’m in Australia though. Would you have a pic or link to the bracket you went with?

Cheers
vintageair.com

1658757249432.png
 
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I talked to tech support at Classic Auto Air and they suggested running all the way over to the alternator with the thinner 7/16" wide belt. I'm not sure I like that, and this is what I have come up with for now. 20220727_130400.jpg

I'm still not sold on it, and I still may modify the bracket that I have to correct the misalignment that it had, or go with the VintageAir bracket.
20220726_110238.jpg

I am hoping though, that running the AC compressor off the first groove with the water and power steering pumps will work okay, at least for a while. Long enough to let me get the AC system charged and start test driving.
 
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TO correct the misalignment in the 2nd picture, you almost have to have the stock 351C AC bracket/pedestal with the sanden adapters I linked to above. When I reconfigured mine with the idler pulley, this was the only way I could see to get the belt to run straight.

It looks like you have the top portion of the idler bracket cut off - I personally would be concerned with flex/stability issues, but it may be OK. Just would keep an eye on it. when running the AC.
 

RIBS

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Here’s a 302 setup.. I have a different adapter bracket. it appears your PS pump is higher up on a 351? Mine routes compressor idler crank.
 

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Bobby

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I agree with 71 Coop. You need a factory style compressor mounting bracket and the tensioner pulley. If you use a 3 groove crank pulley, it will line up with the outer belt groove on the crank as well as the compressor. NPD has a repro OEM style compressor mounting bracket, tensioner pulley and one bracket that specifically says it is for a sanden compressor..... if it will fit on an OEM compressor bracket, use it to guarantee a fit.


 
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It looks like you have the top portion of the idler bracket cut off - I personally would be concerned with flex/stability issues, but it may be OK. Just would keep an eye on it. when running the AC.
I thought of that, so I kept the piece I cut off and can weld it back on if needed.
 
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I talked to tech support at Classic Auto Air and they suggested running all the way over to the alternator with the thinner 7/16" wide belt. I'm not sure I like that, and this is what I have come up with for now.

I'm still not sold on it, and I still may modify the bracket that I have to correct the misalignment that it had, or go with the VintageAir bracket.


I am hoping though, that running the AC compressor off the first groove with the water and power steering pumps will work okay, at least for a while. Long enough to let me get the AC system charged and start test driving.
I can't see the details of the Sanden bracket, but you may be able slide it forward a little or add some bushings. My setup is similar even with the top idler pulley cut off. You could weld a rib or two instead of the whole bracket.

20190803_132010.jpg

20190804_230725.jpg
 

Mister 4x4

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I guess my post from the other day got lost somehow.

I also have a CAA and recommend sticking with the Sanden mounting bracket, as it's fully adjustable. I didn't like the CAA instructions from their customer service of using the power steering circuit to power the compressor (4-pulleys on a single V-belt is just asking for slippage 'somewhere'). I basically decided I needed a factory-style idler arm assembly, since I already had a 3-groove crank pulley from a '72 coupe parts car. In doing some research, I discovered there's a bracket that ties the new to the old, bridging the gap between the new Sanden set-up and factory-style idler pulley assembly - it's the U-shaped metal on the top of the Sanden compressor - just like what RIBS captured so well in his pics above. I was thinking I could make my own bracket easy enough, but then found the part via CAA's own Old Air site for $29. Why couldn't CAA tell me that's what I needed when I asked? I spent 2 years trying to figure out how to make that work, then remembered this pic from my 'inspiration car' - been staring at it for several years when the epiphany hit me. It's a 351C-4V car, with pretty much the same set-up as the 302 cars.

1971_ford_mustang_mach_1+engine.jpg

No, I have no idea what Monte Carlo bar that is, either... I'm guessing it's custom.
 
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I guess my post from the other day got lost somehow.

I also have a CAA and recommend sticking with the Sanden mounting bracket, as it's fully adjustable. I didn't like the CAA instructions from their customer service of using the power steering circuit to power the compressor (4-pulleys on a single V-belt is just asking for slippage 'somewhere'). I basically decided I needed a factory-style idler arm assembly, since I already had a 3-groove crank pulley from a '72 coupe parts car. In doing some research, I discovered there's a bracket that ties the new to the old, bridging the gap between the new Sanden set-up and factory-style idler pulley assembly - it's the U-shaped metal on the top of the Sanden compressor - just like what RIBS captured so well in his pics above. I was thinking I could make my own bracket easy enough, but then found the part via CAA's own Old Air site for $29. Why couldn't CAA tell me that's what I needed when I asked? I spent 2 years trying to figure out how to make that work, then remembered this pic from my 'inspiration car' - been staring at it for several years when the epiphany hit me. It's a 351C-4V car, with pretty much the same set-up as the 302 cars.


No, I have no idea what Monte Carlo bar that is, either... I'm guessing it's custom.

Thank you. I didn't know about that adapter. That bracket would have been very helpful to use on the other side to hold the steering cooler. I had to make my own.
 

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Well, here is what I did, and it seems to line up perfectly. I unbolted the AC compressor and tied it out of the way, and then removed the moveable portion of the bracket with the slots in it. I measured 3/4" in front of the bolt holes that were there, drilled and tapped 3 new bolt holes to allow the entire compressor mount to sit 1/4 - 3/4" farther forward. On one side, I had to trim a bit of the opening to allow the tensioning bolt to move forward as well. A couple minutes with the 90 grinder and a cut-off wheel and a little clean up was all that was needed for that. I tested the pulley alignment with my 24" 3/8 extension and they line up perfectly and even had a little room to spare. I slipped the belt on and tightened the idler, and I think it's good to go.

AC bracket 2.jpg AC bracket 3.jpg
 
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Well, here is what I did, and it seems to line up perfectly. I unbolted the AC compressor and tied it out of the way, and then removed the moveable portion of the bracket with the slots in it. I measured 3/4" in front of the bolt holes that were there, drilled and tapped 3 new bolt holes to allow the entire compressor mount to sit 1/4 - 3/4" farther forward. On one side, I had to trim a bit of the opening to allow the tensioning bolt to move forward as well. A couple minutes with the 90 grinder and a cut-off wheel and a little clean up was all that was needed for that. I tested the pulley alignment with my 24" 3/8 extension and they line up perfectly and even had a little room to spare. I slipped the belt on and tightened the idler, and I think it's good to go.
Looks great!
 

RIBS

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I guess my post from the other day got lost somehow.

I also have a CAA and recommend sticking with the Sanden mounting bracket, as it's fully adjustable. I didn't like the CAA instructions from their customer service of using the power steering circuit to power the compressor (4-pulleys on a single V-belt is just asking for slippage 'somewhere'). I basically decided I needed a factory-style idler arm assembly, since I already had a 3-groove crank pulley from a '72 coupe parts car. In doing some research, I discovered there's a bracket that ties the new to the old, bridging the gap between the new Sanden set-up and factory-style idler pulley assembly - it's the U-shaped metal on the top of the Sanden compressor - just like what RIBS captured so well in his pics above. I was thinking I could make my own bracket easy enough, but then found the part via CAA's own Old Air site for $29. Why couldn't CAA tell me that's what I needed when I asked? I spent 2 years trying to figure out how to make that work, then remembered this pic from my 'inspiration car' - been staring at it for several years when the epiphany hit me. It's a 351C-4V car, with pretty much the same set-up as the 302 cars.

View attachment 66208

No, I have no idea what Monte Carlo bar that is, either... I'm guessing it's custom.
Yeah, that bracket came as part of my CAA kit. You will need to restore the idler arm to factory shape.. another thing I noticed, you have washers in several places, I guess to act as spacers? There’s lots of brackets on these cars, do you have the triangular bracket that mounts below the deck of the factory AC bracket, and ties over to water pump area and possibly power steering??It sits under idler bracket? It’s buried, but picture below….might help line things up if you don’t have it, I found mine in a pile of spare parts that came with the car….
 

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Mister 4x4

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Yeah, that bracket came as part of my CAA kit. You will need to restore the idler arm to factory shape.. another thing I noticed, you have washers in several places, I guess to act as spacers? There’s lots of brackets on these cars, do you have the triangular bracket that mounts below the deck of the factory AC bracket, and ties over to water pump area and possibly power steering??It sits under idler bracket? It’s buried, but picture below….might help line things up if you don’t have it, I found mine in a pile of spare parts that came with the car…

When I got my CAA kit (back in 2013), that piece did not come with the kit, as mine was an original 'No A/C' car. Also, that pic is not my engine, it was from the inspiration car I'd found in an issue of Mustang Monthly that I'd bought before I found mine. Here's mine, with the CAA installed, but still haven't gotten the factory-style idler arm assembly installed.

IMG_0705-1-1024x768.jpg

I'm hoping that once the weather cools down, and I get my Jeep running again, I'll be able to jump into the Mustang and finish up the nit-noids I still haven't taken care of (repair the A/T cooling lines, fuel injection, A/C, finalize the power accessories - windows, locks, alarm, trunk popper, remote electric mirrors, refurb taillights w/LED kit, relocate the back-up camera, finish the trunk carpet kit, et al).
 
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