Kinda got carried away..... M1028 rebuild

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Sharecropper

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OK I am moving forward with adding AC to my P400 / 700R4 build. After researching all available options, including retrofitting a civilian setup into my M1028, I narrowed my choice down to 2 aftermarket kits - Nostalgic Air and Vintage Air. And after researching both kits, I chose Vintage Air and here is why:

The Nostalgic kit is AC only, and the OEM heater and dash control remain as original. In contrast, the Vintage kit is a complete replacement unit which mounts behind the dash and is fully self-contained with new heater core, blower motor, and new electronic dash control which replaces the OEM dash control. The Vintage kit comes with new ducting and defrost plenums, while the Nostalgic only comes with new ducting. The Vintage self-contained unit allows for temperature and directional blending between heat, cool, cab-directed and windshield-directed air flow. Dry conditioned air directed to the windshield through the Vintage defrost plenums will clear fogged glass faster and more efficiently than the OEM defrost cycle which relies on heater core air only. In my opinion, the Vintage Air design is simply a far superior system with all new components and electronic dash controls.

Having said all that, Vintage Air does not offer a CUCV-specific kit to fit the dual-alternator trucks, while the Nostalgic Air kit does advertise such a kit. To learn more, I called Nostalgic and spoke with someone in their warehouse (nobody answered in their office). When I asked about the CUCV kit and how it mounted on a dual-alternator CUCV vehicle, I was informed that the special brackets were not produced by Nostalgic but were out-sourced from a machine shop in Texas. Ah-Ha! I then resolved to source the CUCV brackets from the machine shop and buy the superior Vintage Air kit.

I then got on Steel Soldiers and did a search for CUCV Air Conditioning and found David Roth's (82ABNMP - Southern CUCV Restoration) 2013 thread about his M1009 restoration https://www.steelsoldiers.com/showt...with-A-C&highlight=nostalgic+air,+vintage+air . One of the posters in the thread indicated that Nostalgic was sourcing the CUCV brackets from Component Parts, Inc. in Ft. Worth. An internet search for Component Parts came up empty. Since the thread was 6 years old, I figured the company must have shut down. Another poster in the thread was Barrman in Giddings, Texas, who i then contacted via PM. He confirmed that Component Parts was indeed the producer of the CUCV brackets, and that the machinist who developed the brackets was a fellow named Herb but the lady I should speak with was a Ms. Lillian. Jeez, this story is beginning to sound like an Indiana Jones movie. Anyway, I managed to find the company and called Ms. Lillian. I ordered the bracket kit #5255 for $250 C.O.D. (they don't take credit cards!). The kit was delivered last week. While the machining seemed excellent, the paint was not. So I bead blasted all the parts and repainted them with hi-temp engine enamel. I will post photos of the install as I get into it.

For those of you who are interested, here is the contact info for the machine shop and Ms. Lillian -

Component Parts, Inc.
PO Box 7514
3100 Chesser Boyer Road
Ft. Worth, TX 76111
817-834-4771

After receiving the bracket kit I then called Vintage Air to inquire about what I needed to order to complete the install. I was referred to a Mr. Jason Martinez in their technical department. A nice fellow and we talked a while. He emailed me a quote with what I needed, however he said all the parts can be cross-referenced and purchased from Summit for slightly lower prices and free freight. The Vintage kit includes the Sanden 508 compressor, which is available separately from Summit, so I went ahead and ordered it the same day as I ordered the brackets from CPI so I could easily finish everything that needed to be mounted on the P400 before it went into the truck.

I will post photos and comments as I get to that point.

Hope this helps.
 

Sharecropper

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OK, the CPI A/C bracket kit has been bead blasted / painted and is ready to install. The kit consists of a rear A/C compressor bracket, a front bracket, an adjustment arm, a crankshaft pulley and spacer, and a bag of bolts, nuts, and spacers. There were no instructions, only a packing list and 3 grainey black & white photos with notes indicating where the parts went. I called back to CPI and spoke with Ms. Lillian and informed her that the instructions were left out of my kit, so she had her office girl email me the pdf document. It was the same thing as I had received with the shipment, still no instructions. So I determined to figure things out myself.

The first thing that I determined was that the rear compressor bracket bolts to the front of the passenger side head at 2 connecting points. The top point is a new bolt through the bracket into an existing, unused M10-1.5 threaded hole. The bottom connecting point consists of the existing long through-bolt that goes through the bottom of the passenger side alternator and into the block. The rear bracket is produced from 1/4" plate steel and there are 1/4" steel spacers welded to the head-side of the bracket at the hole locations in order to space the bracket away from the head to clear the valve cover flange. Therefore the bracket thickness at the connecting points is 1/2" What the kit (or pictures) does not instruct is that the OEM alternator spacer must be cut off 1/2" to compensate for the thickness of the bracket. After pondering this for a while, I procceeded to accurately cut the spacer and test-fit it with the alternator in place to make sure everything would bolt up correctly, which it did. During the test-fit process of the rear bracket, I realized that the fuel return line from the #2 injector was now not long enough to go around the bracket and re-attach to the hard fuel return line on the front of the engine. No problem, I thought, I would simply install a longer flexible fuel return line around the edge of the bracket. But the more I thought about this, the more I disliked that idea because it would expose the flexible fuel line to the sharp edges of the bracket. So, I drilled a hole in the bracket and installed a rubber grommet, through which the return line would pass. Here's my progress so far. The red arrow indicated the OEM alternator spacer which must be shortened by 1/2".
 

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Sharecropper

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OK I hit my first snag with the CPI A/C compressor brackets. After getting the rear bracket bolted to the front of the passenger head, I moved on to install the front bracket. This piece is a CNC-cut shape with a stiffener welded along the bottom edge for additional strength. It is held in place by 3 connecting points - the studs on 2 existing water pump bolts and the long through-bolt at the bottom of the alternator. The kit provides 2 metric-threaded couplers which are to be threaded onto the 2 water pump bolt studs, and a longer M10-1.5 hex-head bolt to replace the OEM through-bolt and be long enough to compensate for the 3/8" thickness of the bracket. My initial thought was "this is too easy", and darn it was. As it turned out, the 3 holes in the front bracket did not align with the 3 connecting points. The 2 points at the water pump studs aligned, but the hole for the through bolt missed approximately 1/4". To check and make sure the through-bolt hole was indeed the hole that was mis-aligned, I temporarily installed the bracket onto the 2 water pump studs and couplers, and then inserted a straight steel rod through the holes in the ends of the front and rear brackets to see if those holes aligned. Because I built my engine stand to be perfectly level and plumb, the entire engine is therefore level, so a magnetic level placed onto the steel rod would tell me if both brackets were aligned and if, indeed, the through-bolt hole was the hole that was mis-aligned. As the photo will show, the steel rod was dead level, meaning the A/C compressor would be correctly positioned with the front bracket fastened to the 2 water pump studs. This proved that the through-bolt hole was mis-aligned. I called Herb at CPI in Ft. Worth and discussed this mis-alignment with him. He couldn't hardly believe it, so i sent him the photos. He called me back and said that he would "look into it", but I never heard back from him. So I decided to fix the issue myself. Noting which way and how much the through-bolt hole was mis-aligned, I took the bracket to my vise and clamped it so the direction of mis-alignment was straight down. I then took a course rat-tail file and went to work. Within a few minutes I had elongated the through-bolt hole so that the through-bolt would pass through without binding. I test-fit it and was satisfied that the compressor would bolt-up straight and true. Now on to the next step.
 

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Sharecropper

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Well I have encountered another issue with the CPI kit. The kit comes with a special cast pulley which bolts inside the OEM crankshaft pulley, along with a 1/4" steel spacer to position the CPI pulley just outside the OEM pulley to align with the Sanden compressor. To test the alignment, I temporarily installed the compressor and CPI pulley & spacer, then used my straightedge to see where the new belt would hit on the compressor pulley. As the photos will show, the CPI crankshaft pulley misses alignment with the compressor pulley by exactly 1/2". The 1/4" steel spacer which came with the CPI kit should have been 3/4" in order for the pulleys to align. So it looks like I will be fabricating a special 3/4" steel spacer to fit behind the CPI crankshaft pulley to make everything line up. Wow.
 

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Sharecropper

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Will there be enough clearance for the fan once you install the pulley spacer?
Ken; Yes I test-fit the fan before I had the spacer fabricated. Will have about a half-inch clearance. I’m waiting on a v-belt for the compressor tomorrow and then I will complete the front of the engine and post photos. I was also concerned that the compressor belt might hit the lower radiator hose but that is not an issue. After fixing the shortcomings of the kit, it seems everything will work as designed. Time will tell.
 

Sharecropper

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Well I believe I am finished with the A/C compressor install. I had to make another modification to the bracket kit - I relocated the attachment point of the front adjustment bracket, as the attachment point from CPI didn't make much sense nor would it have provided very much strength to keep the belt tight. The kit attachment point had the bottom of the bracket bolted right under the compressor, which is really dumb and would not have maintained belt tension, so I drilled a new hole right under the bottom alternator through-bolt and attached the bracket at the new location for more strength.

Overall, I am disappointed in the engineering and fit/finish of the CPI kit. If I had not possessed my mechanical and engineering skills, there is no way the kit would have bolted in place and performed as desired. Anybody contemplating this modification with the intention of purchasing/installing the CPI kit should pay attention to the issues I discovered and documented in this thread. I am comfortable with the kit after I made the modifcations, however it would be a mistake for anybody to think they can simply purchase the kit and bolt in on. Knowing now what I do, if I had to do it over again on another CUCV I would fabricate my own brackets. Anyway, here are a few photos before I re-install the fan -
 

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Glockfan

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Guys, Sharecropper (Mike) is dealing with some fairly significant health issues right now. I just wanted to take the time to ask you guys to keep him in your thoughts and prayers (if you pray). You would be hard pressed to find a better guy than Mike and I am happy to call him my friend. In addition to me, I know he has inspired countless others with this build thread alone. Wishing Mike a speedy recovery!
 
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